Five Key Lessons I Learned At Blogher


Every time I go to Blogher I learn something new about how to schedule my time and what ultimately is most important to me in this community. Last year, I learned a lot and vowed never to run around Blogher like a crazy woman ever again. And while this year I did a better job of scheduling my time, I still have a lot to learn about not overscheduling.

This year, like last, I learned quite a bit. Here are the five key lessons I learned at Blogher 2010 that  I will surely incorporate into my Blogher11 plans.

1. Go Schedule-less: Next year I will be arriving at Blogher’s door without a single meeting or event on my agenda. I can’t take the pressure of being here and there and everywhere. I’ll be in San Diego and likely will run into my friends. We’ll do dinner, hang out in San Diego, and it’ll be fab.Or, we’ll have a quick hug and know we at least saw each other.

2. Throw a Party: I think it’s about time that the Mom Bloggers Club hosted a party of some sort at Blogher. I have no idea what it will be yet. Maybe it will be a series of intimate dinners where different moms sit and talk over really good meals. That would be fun!

3. Have More Lunch Dates: I don’t know why, but lunch dates are perfect! Mornings, I’ve found, are too unpredictable. And at night I’m ready for bed around 10. Lunches are at the perfect time for me because I’m awake, coherent, and alert! That’s always a good thing.

4. Get Pampered: Maybe it was my imagination, but I think there was a lot of opportunity to get pampered at Blogher this year, from getting your hair and makeup done to getting manicures and pedicures. I think I need to seek out those fun opportunities next year. Who doesn’t want free pampering?

5. Take More Photos: I took all of ten photos — all on my iPhone. That just isn’t acceptable. Next year I  vow to take photos that actually have clarity and focus.

Compared to last year’s lessons learned post, I have come quite a long way. I’m thrilled for my progress.

What lessons did you learn?

By the way — stay tuned for my next post about my marketing observations from Blogher and what I believe they mean to mom bloggers.

37 thoughts on “Five Key Lessons I Learned At Blogher

  1. This was my first BlogHer experience and, OH DID I LEARN!

    I will agree on every single one of your points, except for #1. I needed the schedule or I would have been all over the place trying to please everyone in different ways.

    I also did the iPhone pictures only and totally regret it. Probably only have 10 good ones! I had my cool video camera with me and did not take it out once. Not a single time. I had all those amazing bloggers and friends at hand and I didn’t do anything with it.

    Absolutely agree on the lunch dates. Had one scheduled every day and it was the most enriching part of my day.

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  2. I think the problem with overscheduling at BlogHer is that two days (three, if you’re counting BlogHer Business and the White House Project) is TOO SHORT.

    I would love to see them open the exhibit hall a day early, so those of us who also want to attend sessions can visit the exhibitors without feeling we’re missing something else that’s important.

    For that matter, I wish they could find a way to offer some of the sessions more than once, so you don’t have to choose between two or three simultaneous learning experiences.

    And yeah – I’m not recovered yet, either!

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  3. I learned that there is no reason at all to pack fancy clothes. I ended up feeling incredibly overdressed even when I left the hotel thinking I would be UNDERdressed.
    I also learned that no matter how broken in your shoes, if you aren’t wearing socks in humid weather, you are going to get blisters. Ow.

    I also learned I need to communicate more with other bloggers online. I read a lot of blogs, but don’t comment as I generally get sidetracked by a poopy diaper or the phone before I can do so. I am going to work on this as we approach 2011. There were so many people that I wanted to say hi to but knew they didn’t know me even though I have been a reader of their site for so long.

    Hoping you will have a party like you described… that sounds wonderful!

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  4. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a lunch date with Jennifer James! I would LOVE to ask you a million questions, knowing you’re the blogging queen, and a million more about how you’ve been in the two years (is it?) since we’ve seen each other!

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  5. You see? I’m so bummed we had to change our Fri lunch date! And then we never chatted! *sigh* I will be spending extra time in SD next year so there WILL be time to meet and play. (if I *gasp* don’t see you sooner!)

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  6. I plan to vlog live next time. Can’t believe I missed the opportunity to capture tips from my fave fashionistas on camera. But I am thrilled to have met you in person. The Kellog’s breakfast was a blast!

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  7. I did not go this year- maybe next since I live in San Diego.

    But last year I learned that I needed to make at least a few connections prior to going. I am pretty shy when there are a lot of people- so it was overwhelming for me and I had a hard time connecting there.

    Next time I would find a few online friends or people I was interested in meeting and email them so we could have that “lunch date” or meet for a class.

    It would have made it much better for me.

    -jen

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  8. I agree with Nicole! It was so great to meet you at the Kelloggs breakfast! I’m really going to try to get to BlogHer for the actual conference next time, the little taste I got wasn’t enough. This is a great list and something I’ll definitely remember the next time I’m in attendance.

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  9. Yes, I learned a lot from your post from last year — and it made my trip great. Of course, I still did a little over-scheduling. I’m so appreciative that you made time to be on camera for my new show. Very very excited. Thank you for your great insights into the blogging world.

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  10. While I didn’t attend the Blogher conference but tried to get tickets to the S.F. one coming up (which was sold out when I tried to buy tickets) is to buy tickets early. I am going to BlogHer ’11 especially since it’s in my home state! Love your tips:)

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  11. I’m the husband of a mommy blogger, and I help my wife in regards to suggestions and tech stuff for her blog- To be honest I expected to see a little content in this blog post. ALl I read was that it’s a great big social weekend…. if that’s all it is or all it should be, or all you learned, then, well, ..i’m just not impressed.

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  12. I seriously could have written most of this and it was my first BlogHer.

    I sweated, said yes, said no, changed my mind, worried, and so much leading up to BlogHer that next year I am not committing to anything until the last minute!

    I took 17 photos. I didn’t open my computer or snap a single picture with my fancy DSLR.

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  13. I saw you and thought about giving you a hug and go but knew I would have a hard time just giving you a hug with no conversation. You looked good!

    I learned that mommies need time off and I have been a better mommy since BlogHer. I really needed a break.

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  14. Yes, yes, yes… more pictures… I need to get a camera first I suppose!
    I love the idea of lunch dates.

    I’m going to have to disagree on #1 & #4
    I don’t think I could have managed without my schedule, but I managed to stick to it without letting it stress me out.
    I signed up for some of the pampering, but ultimately think the time is likely better spent meeting all the phenomenal people in the room with you vs waiting for a facial I can get at home.

    My question – my roomies want to rent a house in San Diego next year… I love being on site. What do you think?

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  15. 1) I learned you are a hard woman to find! I didn’t see you and I so wanted to meet you in person! I was bummed when I left the Hallmark event and saw your tag still there because I knew it meant I missed you yet again!

    2) Over-scheduling and being a brand ambassador too was a difficult juggle I missed a lof ot the sessions because of it, and I’d like to actually attend more sessions in 2011

    3) Thankfully I did remember to bring a real camera (2 in fact in case one konked out!) I love all my photos especially with the mascots! Next year, I upgrade to video not just still, Yay me embracing technology!

    4) And since I learned the hard way my ipod Touch did NOT like the conference wifi for some odd reason, I’m bringing a real laptop or netbook next year! (Any laptop brands reading this who would like to send one over, you can find me at Ascending Butterfly, http://ascendingbutterfly.blogspot.com)

    5) I did pretty good for a newbie! ;)

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  16. I’ve never attended a live networking event so I’m looking forward to reading what you learned from blogher 2010. If I can monetize my secret sister shop website, then I can use that money for next years event!

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  17. I learned that no matter where you are or what’s on the schedule, time with friends is priceless and WORTH IT. What we did didn’t matter so much in the end.

    And I took far too few pictures as well.

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  18. i wasn’t there but finally took the plunge and got a ticket for ’11 and because of this i have committed to try to make REAL connections with other bloggers so i might actually have people to meet up with and not wind up miserable and alone in a sea of people.

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  19. I never saw you! Let’s try to connect next year! I think Donna above made a really good suggestion – open the exhibit hall on Thursday so we can visit all the vendors AND make sessions. I knew I would find a lot of the PR people I regularly work with in the exhibit halls, so I spent probably three hours in Hall 1 on Friday and another two hours in Hall 2 on Saturday – during prime session times. How can BlogHer expect us to fully appreciate what the sessions have to offer AND learn about tons of great new products from the exhibitors at the same time?

    I also would really, REALLY love to participate in a Mom Bloggers Club dinner. I’ve never understood why there’s no dinner time at BlogHer. And this year was particularly bad for that. Friday night your “dinner” was whatever was being served at whichever open party you went to, and Saturday night I guess there was food at the Gala but I never saw it. I was so hungry both nights! Put me down for attending a dinner at next year’s BlogHer on either night.

    I also really wish there was breakfast available on Sunday morning. $35.00 for a buffet breakfast in the hotel? No way.

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  20. Instead of going with a set schedule I went with a list of phone numbers of people I really wanted to meet. It worked for me!

    So nice to be able to see you for a bit and give you a hug!

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    • I also went with a list of phone numbers and a “must meet” list. Guess what? I hugged every woman on that list! I had a sketched out schedule, but I didn’t stick to it rigorously. If something surfaced that I was more into doing, I did that instead. I agree with whomever said it would be cool for the expo hall to open a day early.

      VERY BUMMED I didn’t get to meet you. Definitely do a party next year!

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  21. I over scheduled or at least it felt like over scheduling with 1000 more people there than last year. Too. Much. Going. On. Ack!

    I did get some pampering. I got a migraine again this year. Some kind sole made room for my early to have a reflexology treatment (aka fancy foot rub) that helped. I got a migraine last year too. I really rather not make that a tradition, but that’s just me.

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  22. I learned to dress comfortably! My feet were blistered on the first day, which made dressing up in heels the following night pretty much unbearable. I will be much more casual next time – so many experienced bloggers went that route :)

    I want to schedule fewer things as well. I would like more free time to meet other bloggers. I wish I could have met a few more.

    I think a Mom Bloggers Club party would be fabulous!

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  23. I have never been to blogher but it is on my list for next year! I’m tired of seeing and hearing about everyone’s awesome time! It’s time I plan and organize better and make it to a Blogher! I think that The Mom Bloggers Club should host a party! What a great idea!! I’ve met most of my 1st blogging friends from MBC!!

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  24. I am fascinated by the concept of BLOGHER and dying to go. It just hasn’t worked out yet – the whole reason I started blogging “mommyhood” continues to create conflicts – and my hubby’s working travel schedule does take priority. Maybe I need to kick it up a notch and make blogging work instead of fun…

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  25. Jennifer, you have a knack for reflecting on experiences, discovering key lessons, and then dispensing them cleverly and concisely. I always enjoy reading your posts.

    I like your idea for a MBC party at BlogHer in 2011. I am weary of the big, wild, noisy, alcohol-driven parties that are so commonly found at blogging conferences. I would much prefer to meet a few other blogging friends in a quiet and engaging setting.

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