I've just had the most bizarre 48 hours.
It started with my flight to BlogHer11. I booked the first flight out, not really thinking about the ramifications (like having to get up at 4 am.)
Our flight was late, and as it started to sink in that I would miss the conference opener, I began chatting with the woman next to me on the plane. She said her name was Brandi. It turned out we went to the same schools and knew a lot of the same people. She was going to BlogHer too! Then we started talking about women's sports, and how ironic that in the UK football is so popular with men but girls aren't encouraged to play. She said sports are important for kids, to gain confidence. She started dropping names of British women's players. Then she said she had met the President. This woman was pretty cool. I found out later from hubby, that she was Brandi Chastain, and is probably the most famous women's footballer in the world. I guess I'm a bit slow in the mornings. I should have known when she offered me a ride and a Gatorade PR woman showed up with a limo and had Brandi sign 40 footballs on the way to the convention centre.
I did miss the opening sessions and arrived at lunch, so I met up with Jen and we had lunch outside the Marriott by the large interlocking swimming pools. As we munched on Baja fish tacos with a really yummy green sauce, the sun gleamed and the smell of of the swimming pool mixed with suntan lotion, we decided this would meeting our default meeting spot for the next two days.
Then the sessions began. Actually, I'm embarrassed to say I only went to one full session, and bits of others. The entire conference was filmed, so we all can catch the full sessions later. Big relief, as there were so many people that I wanted to connect with in person.
Now that we felt free to meet people, Jen and I started walking around the show floor. As we passed Knorr, Jenn stopped. OMG! THAT'S MARCO PIERRE WHITE. As in the Michelin star chef. He was giving a cooking demonstration, and the American audience didn't seem to appreciate his talents. We hung out like groupies through the demonstration of asparagus risotto (with their fab new chicken stock) and chatted with him afterwards.
We also had a good chat with Bridesmaid's Wendy McLenden-Covey (at the Hillshire Farms stand). She was down to earth and really funny. She said she was going to launch a blog called: Don't be a slob (inspired by the people of Walmart). I think we talked her into Ignore that Trend. It was refreshing to met a celeb that are willing to chat with regular mums.
We met with bloggers too! Jennifer James from Mom Bloggers Club, Jory des Jardins from BlogHer, The SITS Girls, Brenda from Aussie Bloggers, Lisa Belkin from the New York Times marvy Motherlode blog, the list just goes on and on. And we didn't even get to connect with everyone on our list.
- At 3k attendees, BlogHer is huge, but everyone goes so it is a perfect place to catch up with the blogging jet set.
- You don't have to look far for inspiration. The Voices keynote was varied, and we launched "What's in your handbag" after seeing the Burning House Project.
- Video is big, the session had bloggers squeezed on every inch of the floor because there weren't enough seats.
- Conversations are there, will all type of views, like Can Women Have It All? (No, and quit complaining about your husbands, sorry just my thought).
- I kept myself pretty much swag-free, but if you are into that kind of thing you could bring home suitcases full.
- Blogging is still cool.
Have you ever been to a blogging conference?