August 21, 2010

Discovering Blogher - Lessons Learned - Recap Part II

Finally seeing and experiencing Blogher for the first time is a dream come true for me! Definitely filled with more adventure and excitement beyond what I imagined it to be!
Blogher is the ultimate HUGE! All the other conferences I've been to paled in comparison. It's like going to THE big city. It's crowded, loud and noisy, fast-paced, yet teeming with life, endless opportunities and fun! There's just so much to see and so much to learn. But there's a caveat: without a solid plan and strategic goal, it is easy to lose perspective and any perfectly thought-out plan can quickly get undermined by the slew of activity that surrounds the conference. Like going to the supermarket without a grocery list - you end up buying on impulse and blowing up your budget! 

This is where careful planning along with being conference-ready and sticking to a pre-set agenda needs to come into place. I'm no expert, but fortunately for me, having the experience of attending other {smaller} conferences this year has helped me "survive" Blogher though not enough to escape the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Here's my top discoveries at Blogher:

  • It's all about CONNECTing : In spite of the extensive program procured for Blogher, I saw that clearly, the ultimate essence of the conference {considering it's size} is to CONNECT, CONNECT and CONNECT! With 2000+ some women who attended this year, 3 days is not enough to meet everyone or even meet with those bloggy friends you swear to meet up with at the conference. It's so hard to keep track of everyone! Making friends with everyone I came across with was a brilliant move. They're as lost or overwhelmed as I am! Seriously. Knowing that made my life easier.
  • It is not a crime NOT attending the sessions: I agree that there were great sessions at Blogher but I immediately learn early on that if your goal is the business side of Blogher {like me}, then it makes perfect sense that your priority is to connect with them and use every spare time you have to be visible at the expo hall and swag Suites to meet the brand representatives face to face. After all, It's easier creating an instant relationship in person than online. So yes, I took advantage of it every chance I can get. And please no, don't judge me. I'm not an isolated case.
  •  Swags are a big part of the Blogher culture: With the onslaught of sponsors and multitude of brands represented at the conference, free items and swags are a common denominator - though there is a choice not to accept them - But who doesn't want free stuff especially when you need them, right?  Half of the stuffs I got were actually "blessings" to me! So, I can't complain though I'd say, attending Blogher also means being physically fit for carrying heavy loads of swag bags! Ouch, those bags sure did an awful number on my shoulders!
  • Keynotes are the best : The closing keynote made a huge impact on me personally and has instilled in me my importance as a blogger. It made up for all the sessions I missed. The speakers were all fantabulous! Which of course made it into my wrap-up vlog!
Top Tips:
  • Bring reliable Sandals or walking shoes: There's a lot of walking involved. On my 2nd day, I was done with glam. My feet hurt and I was ready to walk barefoot! I didn't care if the only walking sandals I have were my old, beaten-up flip flops. I was ready to sacrifice glam for comfort - which I did. Trust me, no one cared. Everyone was busy rushing around to notice.
  • Bring lots of Business Cards - I'm a big believer of business cards and I can't believe how a big portion of attendees don't have business cards. If you want to make connections especially with brands, a business card is a crucial item to have. There will be lots of business card trading occurring everywhere. Be prepared to be on top of the game! Not having a business card is like losing a great business venture.
  • Stick with those you know - Conquering the conference hall and hopping on to one event to the other with someone you know can make life easier especially in cities you've never been to. Though it's hard to synchronize activities due to different schedules, having someone you can rely on makes a whole lot of difference in the whole world! Or in this case at Blogher. 
"If I was a girl scout, experiencing Blogher is like earning the ultimate badge on my sleeve. I survived, conquered and learned a lot! Not to say added more friends into my collection of fabulous women in the blogosphere! "-
What are your thoughts and tips?

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  1. I'm going to my first BlogHer in aAn Diego (by myself!) Little butterflies will grow into giant ones as the date draws near. Thanks for the article, I'm looking for all the info I can get! :)

  2. Thank you for this post. I'll be attending BlogHer this year for the first time and appreciate any advice I can get!


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