15 Things I Wish I Had Known About BlogHer

Alternate titles:

  • The things people didn’t tell me about BlogHer before I went, but what I wish they would have.
  • Unsolicited advice to newbies who might go to #BlogHer12.
  • Things that did not happen to me at BlogHer, but that happened to a friend of a friend of a friend.
  • Yet another #BlogHer11 recap post.

What I wish someone would have told me prior to going to BlogHer ’11:

  1. When packing for a blog conference, include a collapsible duffel bag in your suitcase.  Use it to bring home massive amounts of swag, dirty laundry, or perhaps that blogger that you just adore and want to keep as your new real-life BFF.  Not that I’m endorsing kidnapping.  But you never know when that duffel bag will come in handy.
  2. Making eye contact with people in the hallways is really hard.  People aren’t looking straight ahead.  Everyone is tweeting, texting or emailing on their smart phones.  If you want to get someone’s attention in the hall, the best tactic is to accidentally bump into them.  Or, better yet, send them a DM.
  3. You will be showered with swag.  And I don’t mean the fun, Christmas decoration sort of swag.  I’m talking tchotchkes, in embarrassingly obscene amounts.
  4. Only bring home swag that you would be comfortable handing over to TSA for hand inspection.  Don’t be tempted to pick up, say, paraphernalia from an adult toy booth, unless you’re willing to explain repeatedly to the security guard, “I swear.  It was a blogging conference.”
  5. You’ll meet some people that you immediately adore.  Some may exceed your expectations of what they would be like in real life.  And yet others may fall a little short of what you would expect them to be by reading their blogs.  That’s life, I guess.  Or, more accurately, that’s life when you bring thousands of women together in one place.  Move on to the next person.
  6. Drink tickets are worth their weight in gold.  So much so, that they are sometimes bartered for swag, favors, and places in the ladies restroom line.  Hold on to those suckers for dear life until you’re ready to redeem them.  And if you’re not a drinker, for Pete’s Sake, give them to someone who will put them to good use.
  7. Don’t worry about buying meals when you’re at the conference.  There is literally food everywhere.  One night, I had a 12 course meal while making my way through the expo hall.  And, yes, I regretted going back for seconds at the Dove ice cream booth.  And thirds.
  8. If you think Twitter moves fast in every day life, just try to keep up with the hashtags when you’re at a blog conference.  #itsimpossible
  9. No matter how short you are, ditch the high heels.  You might get compliments on your cute new shoes.  But the whole look is offset when you get blisters on your feet, and all you have in your purse are Hello Kitty band-aids.
  10. Starting a conversation with, “So, how long have you been blogging?” or “What’s your blog about?” might not be the best idea.  Especially when you’re unknowingly standing next to someone that’s been blogging since the dawning of the internet, and you have no clue who they are.  Instead, maybe start with, “Ooh, I love your shoes.”  They’ll appreciate the effort you took in noticing.  Especially if they’re wearing cute heels.
  11. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.  For someone who spends 14 hours a day behind a computer, this was a toughie for me.  In some cases, I had to force myself to break out of my reclusive behavior to interact with real people.  And, in the end, I’m glad I did.  Even if it was scary.
  12. Smile.  Please.  You’re so much more approachable when you do.
  13. On the way home, allow extra time going through security.  Especially if the conference is in San Diego, and the security line makes Black Friday shopping lines look like a walk in the park.  And if you disregarded point #4?  Just be forewarned that you might never get to your gate on time.
  14. Always introduce yourself by at least one or more of the following information: first name, Twitter handle, and blog name.  Ideally, at least some of these are the same.  Otherwise, you’ll end up starting conversations with, “I’m Kayleen, but my Twitter handle is @booyahsmomma, and I write at a blog called Chip and Bobo.”  Yeah.  I don’t blame you if were confused after meeting me.
  15. And while we’re on the subject of names?  Whatever you do, don’t name your online identity or company with a name that contains an apostrophe.  There might be a computer error that cuts off the last part of your name.  And you might end up walking around with a badge like this:

And you might just feel a little silly.  Either that, or it might be Booyah.

44 thoughts on “15 Things I Wish I Had Known About BlogHer”

  1. Can I just say that with my new google reader I’m SO fast at knwoing when my faves have a new post?!


    Also? Great recap?

    Also? Dying at the airport security scenario.

    One last also? Adore you Kayleen, booyah, booyahsmomma, chipandbobo!


    1. Yay for Google Reader!

      And the feeling is mutual. I didn’t write anything about the roomies in here. But, seriously. That was one of my favorite parts about BlogHer.

  2. This is such a great recap! I love the humor in it. Uhm…#14 – I’m totally in your shoes – name, twitter handle & blog are all different. It is kind of a mouthful to get out!

    1. So glad to hear someone else has similar… um… identity issues. I think we should all wear our Twitter avatars on our badge. I totally would have recognized you with your lobsters… even if you did have three different names. 🙂

  3. I can testify to the blisters. Yikes! And this week because of the blisters I’m having to wear Phineas and Ferb bandaids to work. With professional dress clothes.

    1. As someone who’s gone to work more than once with Thomas the Train stickers stuck to the butt of my business suit, I can relate to this! Ah, the mark of a mom.

  4. BooYah!
    That’s hilarious! Was Sharpie not a BlogHer Sponsor? Good points all. Hope you decide to come to Blissdom next year.

    One more item: Make up some business cards. Even if you never use them IRL. Everyone exchanges cards and it gets old explaining that you don’t have any cards and you’re not just choosing not to share them!

    I’m sure that point had been covered in great detail prior but I wasn’t paying attention. I rarely do. 🙂

    1. Oooh, good point about the business cards, Sandra. Just make sure that when you have them made? They have ALL 3 of your names on there.

      Got your email about Blissdom. That actually sounds more like my speed… so we’ll have to see. Plus, you know I’d love to meet you. 🙂

      1. Me too. It will happen sooner or later. I’m still willing to fly out and remodel something with/for you.

  5. love your tips. I’ll have to remember to re-read them if I do go next year. Also, my name, twitter and blog are all different. Well the first two are similar the last one feels out of left field. =)

    And who wouldn’t want to be referred to as Booyah? I certainly would enjoy it.

  6. This is the best re-cap ever. I’m tired of reading about blogher. Mostly because I didn’t go and seem completely out of the loop. Meh…one day when I have money or the balls to meet people in real life.
    Boo and ya is the best name tag ever by the way

  7. Last year after BlogHer, a friend sent me her Jimmy Dean alarm clock. I laughed really hard and then threw it out.

    Then again, maybe she sent it because she secretly hates me. Who knows!

  8. NICE nametag! haha!

    Can I just say that the smiling one is my biggest fear I have the worlds best bitch face when I’m not 100% comfortable or when I’m thinking about something else. I would be so screwed in a conference environment full of tons of people I not only wanted to meet, but wanted to like me.

  9. Firstly, you rocked the ballerina flats!
    Secondly, loved hiding, i mean hanging outside from the madness with you …
    Thirdly, the name thing Nicole Morgan is registered
    a. a successful writer in Scotland
    and NicoleMorgan1
    b. a porn writer – yes, a porn writer – Google her!

    so the matching name thing – no go.

    Need a new name that goes three ways
    (now i sound like a porn writer!)

  10. Firstly, you rocked the ballerina flats!
    Secondly, loved hiding, i mean hanging outside from the madness with you …
    Thirdly, the name thing Nicole Morgan is registered
    a. a successful writer in Scotland
    and NicoleMorgan1
    b. a porn writer – yes, a porn writer – Google her!

    so the matching name thing – no go.

    Need a new name that goes three ways
    (now i sound like a porn writer!)
    Much love xxx

    1. Um, no comment on the porn writer angle. Or how to go about positioning yourself three different ways. 🙂

      But it was lovely to meet you also. You and Lynn were a dynamic duo, for sure!

  11. One of my favorite BlogHer recap posts! Honestly. I think I would have such a hard time with the social stuff…I get so nervous with new people!

  12. That’s so cool that you went. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind for next year’s event. I understand it’s back in NYC again and that’s basically my backyard, so I’d really like to go.

  13. I hear you on #10! I gotta say I liked being naive about the indentities of very popular bloggers. I don’t think I would have met any of them because I’d be too self-conscious of what to say! I just treated everyone the same, and was surprised when I had stumbled upon some blogging legends!

    It was GREAT to meet you Booyah’s Momma. I really enjoyed our conversation at CheeseburgHer! 🙂

    Jen 🙂

  14. Booyah! I thought your badge described your personality perfectly. Maybe not a computer error, but a fortunate glitch?

    I loved, loved being your roomie…you were exactly how I thought you would be, and even more adorable in real life. Even when you were sleeping and we were trying to wake you up at 7am to hug and exchange swag. Still adorable.

    Now next time I go to a conference? I’m SO ready this post again.

  15. I can’t tell you how very hard I laughed at before-7-am at your badge.

    It is so damn funny but totally awesome all at once!

    This is the best recap I’ve read. No joke.

    1. Thank you, dear lady. The feeling is mutual.

      I know I mentioned I was more than a little nervous coming up to say hi. But I’m so glad I did. I do hope our paths cross again at a different conference. My bet is, they will.

  16. I really LOLed at #2. 😀

    I hope you re-publish this next year BEFORE BlogHer so many “newbies” can benefit from your sage advice. 🙂

    And I think your badge rocks!! ha!

  17. Yours is the first recap I’ve read about the conference – which is also a first – and that just shows how much I know about life itself. As for “Hello Kitty” band aids…do they sell them at Target?

    I don’t have heels to sport them in but I’m thinking they’ll look great on the nicks I give my husband when I shave his head. What do you think?

    Absolutely hilarious post!

  18. Hello Kitty bandaids and #4 in your bag? Did the TSA agent ask for your number?

    And at a predominantly female conference, I’m sure no one would forget Booyah.

  19. Can I just tell you how disappointed I was to miss this year’s conference? Especially once I found out you were going! I was so jealous of everyone who went that I even avoided catching up of my favorite blogs because I couldn’t stand to read the recaps. I’m over it now…sort of.

    Anyway, I am glad you went and hope that we will be able to connect at another fantabulous bloggy conference in the future.

  20. I’d like to think you wrote the majority of this post about me.

    Especially the part where you speak of being underwhelmed when meeting a blogger and adult sex toys.

    How did I not notice the Booyah?

    1. The adult toys were anything by underwhelming. As were you. OK, now that I said that in the same paragraph, that probably came out wrong. But you know what I mean.

  21. It’s been several weeks, and yet this BlogHer posts still make my stomach churn with envy!
    But IF I ever make it to a conference, your words will ring in my head! Not sure I’ll be smiling though: I tend to frown when I’m trying to remember stuff…maybe I should carry notes…

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