I didn’t intend to wait this long to give you a little peek at my experiences at BlogHer ’11, but the Internet reception was TERRIBLE, and I’ve just now gotten home, cleaned up and settled in with my laptop and a good connection.
This was my first time at BlogHer – and really my first blogging conference altogether – so I was completely overwhelmed at the sheer amount of people (over 3,000) and all the topics they blog about. I learned so much from the people I met, and learned a lot from both my good and bad experiences. Here are a few of the highlights:
Because I’m painfully shy, I spent most of my time hanging with local friends Christa and Lissa, and we had a blast attending the parties and events, checking out all the booths and eating and drinking a lot of great food. I swear I literally ate my weight in fresh salad.
We were surprised at one of the lunches with a flash mob!
Our room overlooked the water, and it was gorgeous. I’d always heard San Diego was beautiful but words just don’t do it justice. There is something so calming about the sound of the water and the smell and taste of the air.
Christa and I wandered Gaslamp the first afternoon and found my much loved Ghirardelli. My chocolate caramel milkshake was a much-enjoyed special cheat treat.
My favorite part of the conference was my Quaker-sponsored workout session with Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper. I also got to meet fellow foodie and fitness bloggers Kath of Kath Eats, who probably in no way remembers meeting me; and Monica of Monica Wants It, who is one of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen! I can say that can’t I?
I’d been sorely missing my normal workout schedule, and 30 minutes with him made up for days of working out. Like my Vibram tan lines? I tried to snap a picture with him, but people kept pushing me out of the way, so this was my best shot.
My quads were screaming, my arms were on fire, but I loved every minute of it. Bob was so motivating, and in his Q&A afterward, he answered questions for people on a wide range of issues. I’m iffy on some of the messages offered by Biggest Loser, but seemingly so was he. Interesting huh?
Christa, Lissa and I had a blast at our Missouri Wines “Midwest is Best” party. They sent a selection of spectacular wines made right here in Missouri, and great group of Midwest ladies congregated in our room to drink wine, eat chocolate and talk.
A big shot out to Heather, Celeste, Libby, Alicia, Claire, and Jen. Girls after my own heart for sure!
Libby also did a very bad thing and got me addicted to a new (new to me anyway) app called Songify. Turn all your random thoughts into auto-tuned songs. Libby’s ad-lib abilities are stunning, and her songs were so hilarious.
Finally it was time to go home. The landscape changes on my flight home were amazing:
Desert somewhere over Arizona. It looked as if the sand simply flooded the mountains. The swirled sand looked like waves of water.
The Grand Canyon looks so tiny from here…
I love the stair step shape of this mountain. There were points of the trip where it looked as if civilization had never touched parts of the terrain. Beautiful.
The Rockies. I loved seeing all the winding trails.
Big puffy clouds casting shadows on the mountains…
My beloved Denver, I’ll be back soon I promise!
So what did I think of my time at BlogHer? Well, it’s complicated and probably not what you’d expect to hear for me. I’m still sorting through my feelings. There were some really good moments and some moments that made me rethink a lot of what I’m doing. I definitely think it’s time for some changes. In the meantime, did you attend Blogher? Have you ever attended a blogging conference or meet-up? What did you think?
Now to get back to sorting through the mountain of work to catch up on.
Addendum: Reflections from BlogHer ’11 (Part 2)
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I am so sad you didn’t get a picture with Bob! The workout experience was surreal though, and judging by how sore I still am, it’s a workout I won’t forget EVER. You were so sweet, and I am happy I got to meet you and chat for a bit. 🙂
Me too! I am definitely sore, and am excited about giving his dvd a try. It was so good to finally meet you, and connect over a torturous morning workout lol! Hope to talk more soon since we aren’t so far apart.
I sooooo want to go to BlogHer or BlogHer Food someday!
I would definitely go to BlogHer Food. I think my biggest struggle was wading through the sheer amount of people trying to find people to connect to. A smaller niche conference would definitely be a better fit, for me at least. I’m going to look into sponsorship for next year’s BlogHer Food, or maybe HLS.
I so wanted to go to Blogher 11. I was in the hospital a few months ago so you know. Thanks for the pictures. I love that you ahd a great time.
I hope you’re able to go next year. It’s an overall positive experience, and there is a lot you can take away from it — literally lol.
Loved your post! A wee bit jealous of the Bob Harper thing, that looked awesome! Had such a blast meeting you at the MO Wines thing, it was fun. I might have even made a Songify about something I witnessed on the trip home: https://twitter.com/#!/Heather_Vaughn/status/100600593676111872
That made my day. I’ve loved the app so far. It’s great for those random observations you have throughout the day. I’m so glad we were able to meet, I had so much fun!
I think it would be odd if you didn’t have mixed feelings about the conference. I am still detoxing and processing. Even going in knowing I was going to socialize and connect with brands not to learn I still felt overwhelmed and spread too thin. I needed another day or two and I barely got to hang out with friends besides Jen and Claire.
For learning, smaller niche conferences are definitely the way to go. Bloggy Boot Camp is coming to St. Louis in the spring.
Just wanted to tell you that this post made me laugh – I spent Thursday and Friday night having dinner with Heather and Libby & they introduced me to Songify too! Then I impressed other bloggers with it on Saturday. 🙂 I wish I would have met you as well – I’m from St. Louis (though I now live in Boston) & also pretty shy. I ended up having fun, but the party scene is definitely not my thing!! I too have mixed feelings about the whole conference. I’m still so deep in processing that I don’t know what to write about it yet. It was fun – but what does it mean for me and the future of my blog? Not sure. Anyway, you’re not alone! Maybe we’ll meet next time…
I’ve been making Songify songs left and right! I hope we can meet next time, wherever the conferences take us!
I’ve always wanted to go to Blogher! Lucky girl! I love the chocolate caramel milkshake, Im kinda jealous of that too 🙂
It was SO good!