My opinion? This conference is out of control.
My second thought? Too much fluff, stuff, and filler.
I am not there for free products to blab about on my blog. I AM interested in people sharing their knowledge. There’s a shit-ton of brilliant women at these events! If I wanted to learn how to be a better writer/blogger/vlogger/brand builder, this wasn’t the way.
I was disappointed.
Surrounded by over 4,000 women vying for attention and swiping a lot of fluffy free crap, the whole point of BlogHer was lost on me. Stuck sitting (ON THE FLOOR) in overcrowded sessions with barely a chance to ask questions, not my cup of tea. I learned almost nothing, or had such a terrible seat (floor space) that I could barely hear the speakers let alone see them.
My first blog conference experience was the Type A Conference, and I’m not even Type A. What I loved about Type A was the ability to approach people. A few sessions were round table discussions with people who were willing and able to talk to you and share knowledge. BlogHer felt more like a high school popularity contest.
“What party did YOU get invited to?!”
I will now silence my negative Nelly and talk about the good stuff, because there IS a list of pretty cool things we were able to experience:
We scored tickets to Radio City Music Hall and worked out with the Rockettes to start off the day. (sponsored by Centrum and Caltrate.) This was fantastic, and we had a (minimal) chance to mingle with other bloggers beforehand and afterwards.
Afterwards we were off to the conference. During the first session I attended, I really enjoyed listening to Anna Lingeris, the Marketing/PR rep for Hersheys. I only use Hershey products in my bakery, and from a brand standpoint, she was the panelist I could relate to.
And then came lunch. Key note speaker….. MARTHA. (and 4000+ women in ONE room)
Martha was in my house every holiday. For Sunday night dinner. My mom collected her books through the 80s and 90s like it was a job. My mom even worked for a woman that worked for Martha a hundred years ago catering (and the stories that lady told of the pre-super-famous-MS were what you expect). Martha’s CUPCAKES book is my bible.
(full disclosure: my closest friends and employees know my pet name for it: “Dirty Martha”. She’s in a million pieces, covered in sugar, pages missing and scribbled on and edited completely. I love my Dirty Martha and have since bought three more copies as back up.)
Martha hooked us up with all of her magazine apps which is pretty awesome, that alone made up for the discombobulated buffets and elbow jabs I endured trying to get into the banquet hall. She was quite hilarious and completely entertaining, the highlight for me for sure.
The expo was product pushing, but TPO won a new Samsung smart phone and a fancy vacuum so that was pretty cool. I think I got a pencil and some free flavored lubricants (I had no idea what they were, stop judging me).
The afternoon session was good, but the carpet I was sitting on was itchy…ahem. Kate Gosselin coupon crap? No thanks. I would’ve loved to catch a glimpse of Ree Drummond, sadly, the gluttonous crowd was just too overwhelming to bother.
The Expo was a hot swarm, we were happy to get out of there. Back in our room Energizer thought to romance us with one free candle to share 3 ways. Whoopie!
So that was it for the conference. We skipped session day 2, as I’m not sure what I have in common with Katie Couric. (answer: nothing). I don’t plan on going to BlogHer13 at this time, but who knows. Maybe something will inspire me, although you can’t beat Martha. Unless BlogHer13 keynote speaker is Adam Levine. Then, maybe.