I've been asked a few questions about the BlogHer conference by some of my non-blogging readers. I thought I'd try to answer those questions and give you a recap of the conference all wrapped together in one post.
Sounds easy, doesn't it?
(Except … I'm on new pain meds as I write this, the room is all swirly and whirly, so … um, maybe not so easy.)
There are somewhere around 55 million blogs in existence. About 2,400 bloggers met in NYC for the BlogHer 2010 conference.
Wow, don't I sound so official, and professional, sharing that with you?
People attend BlogHer for different reasons. Some people are at the conference to get as much free stuff (swag) from the sponsors as possible.
Did you know, SWAG stands for Stuff We All Get?
And yes, I was given an awful lot of free stuff at the conference.
Some people participate in BlogHer because they want to gain a sense of self-importance (As an example, Mr. Ego Blogger might say: "I was invited to TEN parties in ONE night, I must be a Very Important Blogger!).
Other people don't care about the conference at all and only attend as an excuse for a party, getaway, weekend.
Still others, are determined to make a lot of money from their blog and see the BlogHer conference as a step towards monetization.
My point is, there is no right or wrong reason for attending BlogHer.
The conference exists, and each person attending it can take from it what they want.
For me, the joy comes from spending time with other bloggers. BlogHer is an opportunity to reunite with blogger-friends I wouldn't otherwise have much opportunity to see.
It's also a chance to meet friends I've "known" online, but not yet met in person.
In addition, each year I make brand new friends – people I knew nothing about when I set off for the conference.
These new friends are like unexpected nuggets of gold (or dough?), discovered in the crowd.
This was my second year attending BlogHer, and because of that I was a little more relaxed about the experience. Doing every.single.thing, and attending every.single.party, was not important to me. I did a LOT, but I paced myself so it was enjoyable. I'm an introvert and scheduling down time, and small-group time, was critical for me.
Really, what I enjoy most at BlogHer is one-on-one, or small group, time vs. the large parties. For me, that's when the personal connections happen and the personal connections are what I love about the conference.
Was there drama at BlogHer?
Probably – after all, there were 2,400 people there. The thing is, I wasn't aware of it and therefore it didn't exist as part of my BlogHer experience.
Were there some bitchy bloggers there?
Well, yes there were. Or should I say, I encountered a few bloggers who were bitchy to me? Based on my experience with these very same people online, I expected them to be quite nice. They weren't. I didn't let it faze me. If you put 2,400 people together at a conference, you're not going to like all of them and all of them are not going to like you. I didn't give it more than a seconds thought and I moved on to other people.
And guess what?
There were a few bloggers I *expected* to be aloof and they were actually warm, wonderful, people.
One of my favorite sessions at the conference was on Humor Writing. Jessica Bern was one of the speakers. I enjoyed it immensely. However, it was even better to spend an hour sitting on the floor, in my party dress, outside of the Sparklecorn party chatting away to Jessica and Stacey (Any Mommy) one-on-one.
One of my favorite "small-group" opportunities was lunch at a pizzeria on Saturday.
Or taken from the other end of the table:
In the end, the BlogHer conference is whatever you choose to make of it. I took it minute by minute, stayed flexible with my plans, and had a fantastic time.
Isn't it true …
Ultimately, each of us is responsible for whether or not we have a good time no matter what we're doing?
By the way, next year's conference will be held in San Diego. I'm so excited!
© Twenty Four At Heart