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The #BlogHer11 Blog Part 3, The Final Part (I Promise!)

Posted Aug 12 2011 8:50pm

Chris and I were very excited to get underway with the official first day of BlogHER (even though I look disgusting - I don't know why I left my hair-prettying-materials at home)... Headbands, I think, do not a pretty hair-do make (for me). 

Screen shot 2011-08-12 at 3.33.45 PM
We begin our broadcast day at the "Newbie Breakfast." I was really looking forward to it because, well, I WAS a BlogHER newbie and I felt like this would be an opportunity to know what I was doing there. It would give me a path. Perhaps I should have forked over $75 or whatever for "Pathfinder Day" but that seemed like a sneaky way to get more money from me... Ultimaely, the breakfast was a dud. It was a lot of tired ladies in an unenergetic room with a speaker... Not what I was expecting. 

Didn't matter. I was still excited for my first panel, "Blogging to Self Acceptance." I mean, YOU read this blog. Doesn't that strike you as profoundly relevant?

It was. It was OUSTANDING. In fact, ultimately, it would be the only truly worthy panel I saw all weekend. The panelists, Mr. Lady  (her blog is called "Whiskey in my Sippy Cup so I knew I'd love her), Gluten Free Girl , and Brene Brown  were clever, insightful and even inspirational. It was like being a deeply rewarding group therapy session (and I LOATHE group therapy). I took a lot of notes. I must share highlights - some of the key points or things said that really resonated with me:

  • We blog through imperfections, about "orphaned parts of ourselves" - the parts of us that do not feel at home with other parts. 
  • Perfectionism gets in the way -- it keeps you from judgement, blame and criticism. It becomes an addictive shield.
  • You should only share your REALLY personal stories with people who have earned the right to hear them (as such, I never tell anyone anything - just ask my poor, suffering friends). 
  • Blogging is an opportunity to practice compassion.
  • If you claim not to care, how can you ever really connect?
  • Via @unmarketing : "Don't try to win over the haters, you're not the jackass whisperer."

And it just went on like that. 

Screen shot 2011-08-12 at 3.45.17 PM I had all the essentials at hand.

I hope I have the opportunity to speak to these brilliant women again sometime. I will continue to follow them online. I am their new biggest fan. 

P.S., the moderator, Gretchen Rubin , was equally brilliant and I sensed she could have contributed more but I respected that she held to her role as moderator. But I'm totally gonna check out her book

Total non-sequitr, there was a Flash Mob at lunch and it was AWESOME. Click here to see

In the afternoon, I hit up the "Perfecting Product Reviews" panel, which was just okay (although panelist MommyNiri was a standout). I feel like mostly, I was at a defecit in panels because I work in PR for a living. Next year, I need to be ON a panel. It's not vanity - it's just that I feel like I could help. I always love to teach what I know. 

In the evening, my roomie and I headed to an off-site event at the Andaz , sponsored by Softcup  - a product that both intrigues me and grosses me out. But we got to ride in a pedi-cab, I got to meet Gold Medlaist Amanda Beard, eat prosciutto-wrapped jumbo prawns, AND I tried UV's CAKE FLAVORED VODKA . I'm not messing around, friends. You know how I love the vodka.

    Screen shot 2011-08-12 at 5.00.36 PM

I have to say, though, the Swagbucks party we went to after reminded me of the girl in school, who nobody liked, who had a brithday party, that only a few people came to - and only out of pity. It may have been a smash before we got there but they ended it an hour earlier than advertised so we were totally disappointed. 

Frankly, by this point, I was EXHAUSTED anyway. I don't know how people do it. There were more parties that night and I went to precisely none of them. All I wanted to do was stay in my comfy Marriott bed, play with all my free toys, and feed my Frotierville cows. 

Day 2? 

Well, sadly, cut short. Because following the car accident , I had to find a way home. And the only feesible option was the train. Which left around 6 or else I'd have to spend another night. Which I didn't have a room for. 

But on Day 2, there was much of the same. But I spent some of my day dedicated to the sponsored hospitality suites. I wanted to see what companies were doing as far as social media; how they were utilizing BlogHER. Hershey's was my hands-down favorite. They created an adorable campground and you could make your own S'mores. Hallmark Cards has a great project wherein you could pick out some cards and either have Hallmark send them to friends OR tweet someone at the conference that they had a card for pick-up (I totally sent one to Chad ). Hot Wheels, I'm sorry to say, epically failed with little-to-no decor and toys to play with -- that did not work. Johnson & Johnson had a really amazing presentation pertaining to all of their non-profit programs but it took forever to get through them. I was however interviewed on camera (which was cool but I look beyond atrocious so I am not sharing) and that was a trip. 

Screen shot 2011-08-12 at 5.28.13 PM Chris and Ana Lydia  (She is the infamous "Latina PR Pro") making s'mores

Lunch was pretty awesome. For not only was the keynote speaker Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo , arguably my favorite brand inthe universe, but they read MY tweeted question first. This is a woman who oversees about 60 brands under her umbrella - that's 300,000 employees. AND, she's effing COOL. I mean, she's amazing. It was a great lunch. 

The session I attended after that? Well, I must say, I walked out. It was "How to Pitch a Book" but with the lights half-dimmed and the focus on mommy bloggers (I ran into that a LOT and it was my chief complaint about BlogHER), I couldn't keep my eyes open by then. I had to get moving. 

Only a little more time for the Expo before I headed to the train station.

Overall, I have few, few complaints (the mommy blog thing for instance) and I really do plan to go next year (and I wasn't kidding- I'm going to put together a panel with some colleagues) despite it being AUGUST IN NEW YORK (I'm already perspiring). I encourage you to look at my pictures and patronize these brands that came out to support us. What they did for us made the weekend immeasurably fun and memorable. 

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