So do we really need another BlogHer recap? Probably not. Especially since BlogHer was almost two weeks ago and I’m like moldy bread late with this post in terms of Internet time. But here I go anyway. Because after four years of BlogHer conferences, it’s what I do.
I’ve been a little slow to post it partly because I was on vacation after the conference so I lost a bit of my momentum and blogging mojo… but really it’s mostly because BlogHer is just so dang overwhelming. My head is still spinning and just *thinking* about the weekend still tires me out, let alone the idea of posting about it.
Which brings me to, am I going again next year? Because it’s so exhausting, why would I? The answer is yes, but I’m trying not to think about it much at this point. The bottom line is that everyone’s BlogHer experience is different – it’s dependent on how long you’ve been blogging but more to the point, who you are and what you choose to do with your time there. For me – I’m not there to make new contacts. It’s too much and I frankly don’t believe that walking up to someone at a booth is going to get you some big opportunity.
BlogHer is more the opportunity to reconnect with the brands I’ve already been working with. Because that’s where the true opps lie, in my opinion. The best opportunities come from the reps you’ve nurtured a relationship with and the brands you truly enjoy and want to work with. Which takes time.
And of course BlogHer is also chance to see all of my great blogging girlfriends and to have a good time with them! There’s definitely a part of me that considers the weekend to be a glorified girls weekend. I get very disheartened when I hear of the swag drama or the just general negativity surrounding the experience at the conference.
But enough of that. Let’s talk about the positives & the events. The best event I attended was hands down the very first event once I got to New York City – and that was an intimate gathering at the Hope Lodge with the American Cancer Society. The event was in honor of Susan Niebur (@WhyMommy), a Mom blogger who lost her battle with cancer last year. I didn’t know Susan but I followed her story and my heart breaks just to think about what she went through and knowing that her poor kids are without their mother today.
Forgive me for not remembering her name, but a lovely woman from the American Cancer Society got up and spoke about the Hope Lodge and what they do there. [edited to add - it was Jessica D' Avanza from ACS who spoke! You can also visit her at her running blog, rUnladylike] One quote she said stuck with me; she said that the American Cancer Society exists to put itself out of business. I loved that. Wouldn’t the world just be such a better place if they do eventually put themselves out of business.
I knew about the American Cancer Society, of course, but I didn’t know about the Hope Lodge. Hope Lodge is a home away from home for cancer patients. Cancer patients travel to their local Hope Lodge and stay for a time – services are offered to help support the patient and their family, basically helping them come to terms with what is happening and to offer resources on the best way to fight cancer.
I could go on and on about this one event. Really though, in looking back at the entire weekend, that event sticks out because it’s the event I went to that had the most meaning. We’re bloggers with a big reach – people read us and listen, and it’s important (IMO) to make a difference and remember what really matters when you’re in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of everyday blogging life.
Moving on from anything else serious, and since I’m getting so long-winded I’ve probably lost 99% of the people who started reading this post, I’ll leave you all with a photo montage of the rest of the weekend: