Monday, August 8, 2011

A Newbie Tackles BlogHer

This was my very first BlogHer, so of course I was excited, nervous, scared - but mainly excited. I wasn't disappointed!  There is so much to write about. 

I chronicled some of my conference tidbits via Twitter. They provide a snapshot of my experience and interactions with the cool chicks I met.

Eavesdrop on the conversation(@seemomwork):

http://www.twitter.com/SeeMomWork
A synopsis of my BlogHer experience:
  • I decided to save money by walking from my hotel in the heart of Gaslamp district to and from the convention center - about 1.5 miles each way. With my rolling suitcase and comfy shoes, it was a fail-proof plan.  Except I got lost BOTH ways - coming and going. DOH!(Even with Google Maps/Navigation).
  • The Newbie Breakfast was awesome. Delicious food, overcame my shyness and met some really nice women.  I actually even sat at the EXACT SAME table as another local blogger that I tweet with regularly, Megan of Sunshine Wonderland. It was our first time meeting in real life.
  • My first session was Bad Blogger Pitches and I learned a lot there.  It is very similar to regular PR but with the blogging slant.  Always good to be reminded of good etiquette and guidelines to follow.
  • I then became acquainted with the Lansinoh Lactation Lounge where moms were nursing their babies or pumping.  I loved the samples and pumping was delightful.
  • Lunch - delicious. Felt the awkward shyness returning, but ended up sitting at a table with some very nice, friendly women. Hill & Knowlton girls, P&G girls and The Zen Mom, Angela Chee. 
  • My second session: Essential Blog Content Development. I loved the info I gained from this immensely. However, I did feel that familiar sense of insecurity creeping in. I have not been following the RULES. I never knew there were such strict guidelines. What a buffoon!
  • The blur that followed: pumped, chatted it up with peeps in the Lansinoh Lactation Lounge (Tonia from The Chatty Momma and Brigitta of Brighter Schemata), watched the kick ass Voices of the Year, ate a tasty bright green cupcake (courtesy of HTC) and split to meet the family for dinner.
  • Yes, got turned around leaving the convention center and became a bit disoriented. Walked down by the harbor towards the setting sun.  So beautiful... BUT - the complete opposite direction.  So finally made it to dinner around 7:00.
  • Needless to say, no parties for me that evening. Just one big pomegranate margarita at dinner. Walked back to the hotel and crashed. 
  • Day 2. Didn't get lost. Didn't pack as much stuff to lighten my load and to fit swag.
  • Toured the exhibit hall, talked with booth staff, tasted samples, entered drawings, learned more about product reviewing and gathered some great swag.  I didn't go over the top, but I was happy with what I did receive. (Photo and post to follow.)
  • Delicious breakfast. Light conversations. Tired eyes.
  • First session - Blog Design Workshop. I learned A LOT! Please don't hate my ugly blog design - I'm on it!
  • Pump, pump, pump.
  • Delicious lunch.
  • Session 2 - Putting the Professional in Professional Blogging. Packed room and packed full of good insights. 
  • Session 3 - Humor Blogging. It didn't disappoint. I laughed.  How could you not with all the funny women blurting out hilarious and off the wall comments.  It felt like home. I've decided I would rather focus on funny content as opposed to the Debbie Downer crap. But, I do love to vent...
  • Pump, pump, pump. 
  • Closing keynote speech: Ricki Lake!! Gotta love her - she's coming back to TV with her own show again too. Also, cool video with song, "I will not be afraid of women." I say be very afraid of women!
  • Walked back to the Gaslamp District, met the family for dinner, pounded another margarita, walked back to the hotel resigned to the fact that there is no party girl left in me this year. I gave away my drink tickets and pushed away any thoughts of attending the post-conference parties. Well, I did want to go, but I couldn't get myself to want it bad enough. I would need my posse of friends with me to convince me.  Also, a gap from 6:00 to 8:00 between events was too long to wait. Excuse after excuse with me, isn't it?
This morning we had a nice continental breakfast on the rooftop of the hotel. I tolerated enjoyed spending time with the wee ones.  I daydreamed about WiFi and what I might write about. How I can be more creative as well as driven.  How to best juggle my aspirations with the requirements of being Mom.  Resigned to the reality that I just need to focus on taking care of them right now and put myself secondary - until I come up with a better strategic plan.
Overall, it was very inspiring to be surrounded by so many smart and talented women.  Definitely a little intimidating at times, but in a good way.  I am so energized to grow my blog more and make it better.  The unemployment checks will stop arriving soon enough, so I better come up with a better plan for income. Sell my breast milk to make ice cream? 

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