Last month, I spent two and a half overwhelming days at the Blogher17 conference in Orlando, Florida. It was my first blogger conference, to be honest; it was my first conference of any kind. Now that I’m home and I’ve had time to decompress, I’m ready to summarize my experience for you.
My BlogHer expectations were fairly simple. Go. Don’t be a pessimist. Be yourself. Learn from people with something to offer. Mission accomplished.
I didn’t attend many seminars. Instead, I chose to enjoy my time working on my blog, enjoying the company of people I found interesting and sunbathing at the Waldorf Astoria.
The SEO seminar I did attend was amazingly executed and extremely illuminating — truly it completely alters how I plan on posting.
The Serena Williams & Luvvie Ayaji lunch keynote attended was PHE-NOM-ME-NAL! Serena was great but Luvvie speaks to me on deep levels. More on that in a later post.
The hotel itself was okay.
[Sidebar: I absolutely hate hotels that don’t have windows you can open. I need real air] Despite not knowing what to wear, I managed to dress pretty fittingly.
The food was decent. Chicken, salad, fruits. What one would expect.
I never really expect much from hotel food.
Confession time: I don’t read blogs or watch YouTube videos as a habit — which I know is odd given that I do both.
But between never having data on my cell phone plan and spending my relaxing moments at home daydreaming — I really don’t have the time. That being said, I went to blogger with no idea of who any of the attendees and most of the panelists were.
Which leads me to my main negative — which I’m sure will be an unpopular opinion — egos. So many self-important egos in one small resort and frankly, I don’t have time for it. I’m entirely too honest and don’t have the stamina to put on airs and feed egos. Many “established” bloggers kept to their established circles, to the point of literally looking through, over and around anyone who they didn’t view as a career asset.
A woman, who followed me on Instagram earlier in the day, looked at me like I had 3 heads when I approached her in the hallway to say hi. Apparently, she followed the #BlogHer hashtag simply as a means to make herself more notable.
I was “invited” to drinks by someone who was organizing a gathering, but was apparently too busy to stop and speak to me. So instead she called out the details as she strolled by. No hello. No introduction. Just directions yelled across a lobby in passing.
On top of that, as I circled the Expo Hall, certain venders avoided eye contact or gave me unenthused hellos. Apparently, I don’t look like someone who likes to steam my clothes or cook in a crockpot — lies they tell. *refills distilled water into steamer in my bedroom* Many brands came with an agenda. They knew the aesthetic of who they were trying to target and didn’t seem to preoccupy themselves with anything beyond that.
Though in the interest of fairness, perhaps the reps were simply showing their fatigue after busy day. I know I surely was.
The Super Dope
I decided to skip entire portions of the conference, including some seminars and events in order to spend time with some great people — most notably, my roommate, Rae La Soul. We’ve been Internet friends for nearly a decade but meeting her in person proved to be one of the highlights of the trip. Having someone to laugh at some of the less than stellar moments with and assist me in breaking out of my strangely socially awkward shell was a huge factor in my overall view of BlogHer.
I had the pleasure of encountering some truly phenomenal women.
Trademarking tips from people who have done it themselves. Inspiring stories of personal growth, business development and finding your niche. Skin care tips over cocktails from a woman who coincidentally also lived in South Korea.
Thought provoking conversation about race, identity and weird suburbs with a writer — whose wit may surpass my own. Insight on how and when to transition into full-time blogging from a full-time, super successful food blogger who was shockingly approachable and really forthcoming.
I discovered a new Rose to fuel my girls’ nights in and some free stuff that I will probably never use but appreciate nonetheless. Add in a nice tan and some time in a hot tub and you’ve got a recipe for Happy Tee.
All in all BlogHer was a great experience. I’m glad I went. I’m glad the attendee pool was as diverse as the speaker list, but I’m not sure if it was worth it enough for me to attend again — especially not if it’s at a resort again next year.