6 Things I Learned From Attending BlogHer ’17
As of this month, I’ve been blogging for 9 years (woo hoo!) and I’ve loved the experiences I’ve gained from it, as well as the ways in which I’ve been able to help provide for my family. I also have loved the brands I’ve worked with and the friends I’ve made along the way. As a blogger, there have only been a few conferences I’ve chosen to attend, including BlogHer (this was my 5th one), Mom 2.0 (I attended my 4th one), and Network Niche (I attended the last one). I had the opportunity to connect with several different brands, form partnerships and ambassadorships, as well as network with other bloggers. I plan to attend both BlogHer (not sure of the location yet) and Mom 2.0 (Los Angeles, California) next year!
This year, I actually traveled to Orlando, Florida in May for Mom 2.0 and back to Orlando, Florida in June for BlogHer ’17. I didn’t mind though because my mom, stepdad and sister live out there. My family and I live on the California Central Coast, which is about 3 1/2 hours from the airport. What I do now is take the Amtrak train to the airport instead of driving and parking or taking an airport shuttle. It’s definitely the way to do it! I was ready to go with my purple luggage and purple purse!
The flight to Orlando was pretty uneventful (which I like). I can be a little bit nervous when it comes to flying because of motion sickness (thank goodness for Dramamine) and the fact that I’m afraid of heights and don’t really understand how planes stay suspended in the air so high above the ground. Part of the way I calm my nerves is by making friends with my neighbors on the plane. Being in such tight quarters in Coach definitely makes it worth it to get to know your neighbors. Plus, I’m always the one who has lots of snacks and candy to share. I love meeting different people and learning about the different jobs people have, as well as the experiences they’ve gone through in their life.
While attending BlogHer ’17, I took a little bit of a difference approach towards what I wanted to get out of the conference. At a lot of the conferences, I tend to hang out with the bloggers I’ve known for a long time (ya know, it’s in my comfort zone). However, this time, I went out of my comfort zone and met a lot of new. awesome bloggers in addition to meeting brands…and of course, having fun! I was excited to meet my very first blogger friend (Jenn from Today’s Challenges) from this conference at the airport (she was my roomie at the hotel)! I’m so glad that I took this approach this year at BlogHer ’17 and am here to share 6 Things I Learned From BlogHer ’17.
1 – Conference Social Media Channels and Handles. At BlogHer ’17, I learned that to get the most out of the conference, I had to get active on the conference social media channels and engage with other bloggers through the hashtag. I joined the BlogHer Facebook Group and followed both brands and bloggers on Twitter prior to the contest. It was a great way to open the door and meet new brands and bloggers prior to the conference.
2 – More than just swag. At a lot of conferences, you may hear a lot about the swag. While getting swag can be fun, it’s not why you’re at the conference (or at least it shouldn’t be). I made it a goal to network with brands and bloggers while at the conference, rather than just collecting swag. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fun things to take home, but there were also a lot of things I gave to my roommate who was going to distribute them to families in need at her church.
3 – Meet new bloggers. One of the biggest things I mentioned earlier was stepping out of my comfort zone and making new friends. I remember walking into the Night at the Expo. I grabbed my drink and looked around the room. I literally recognized ZERO faces! This was my chance. It was my chance to approach other bloggers and introduce myself to them. I was a little nervous doing this, as I kind of felt like the odd woman out, but I did it and was so glad I did! I met a lot of other moms and bloggers at this conference and it was awesome! I highly recommend overcoming your fear and getting out there and meeting people. Don’t be afraid to meet new bloggers. Guaranteed you’ll run into bloggers who feel just like you do.
4 – Mac and cheese + mashed potatoes goodness. One of the brands I was excited to connect with was Bob Evans. At their booth, they had Mashtinis for bloggers to sample. I had no idea that Mac and Cheese mixed with Mashed Potatoes was really good! I topped them with chopped ham, shredded cheddar and bread crumbs and it was so good! I was ready to go back for seconds!
5 – Brand Sponsored Events. Something that I’ve learned from all of the conferences I’ve attended is to go to as many sponsored brand events as you can fit in your schedule. I was so excited to be invited to the Princess Cruises event and then was lucky enough to register for the Medieval Times event and the Bob Evans Event. I not only met up with brands, but also met new bloggers and ate some yummy food at these get-togethers.
6 – Take lots of pictures and share! As bloggers, we have a tendency to take a lot of pictures when we’re out with our family or traveling. However, at blogging conferences, we tend to get caught up in work and forget to take pictures. Don’t be afraid to pull out that selfie stick or even ask someone to take a picture for you. Take pictures of the conference activities, swag, food, bloggers you meet, and even take selfies of the hotel and surrounding areas. While taking the pictures is a good thing, sharing them is even better and can actually help you a lot when you go to publish a blog post about your experiences!
I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to attend BlogHer ’17 and look forward to hearing where BlogHer ’18 will be next year!
Did you go to BlogHer ’17? What did you learn from attending?