12 Lessons Learned From BlogHer12

I had a great time at BlogHer 12, learning so much that my brain was completely full for a good 24 hours after I left and meeting some great people.

I was also psyched that BlogHer13 is being held in Chicago, a city I love and have not been back to in 10 years, and does not conflict with my son’s birthday.

Taking what I learned from BlogHer12, I am going to make sure I do the following for BlogHer13.

1. Book the conference hotel the very second the conference rate becomes available:  Thankfully, the Sheraton allows you to cancel pretty close to the conference, so even if I can’t go at the end, I can let go of the room and not get penalized.  I really want the conference hotel.  Its much easier to make periodic swag drops during the day, and I think there is more quality socializing to be had when you are in the conference hotel.

2. Bring more going out clothes. I brought one dress for the Friday parties, but that was not enough.  I am going to bring dressy stuff for each night.

3. Bring cute shoes:  I kept to functional shoes since I was schlepping between the two hotels, but if I am following lesson number 1, I can bring the more fun shoes.

4. Bring a baggie for the business cards I collect, since I had them in a million spots in my bag.

5. Find an adorable backpack to keep my hands free, which is especially helpful during the buffet meals.

6. Set the alarm on my phone 15 minutes before each seminar starts so I (a) make it to the seminar before it starts and (b) get a seat at the seminar.

7. Be more assertive about trying to catch up with the bloggers I really want to meet:  I did not realize that there were 5000 people registered and just how many people 5000 people are.  I was hoping to meet Stephanie O’ Dea from Crockpot365 and Melissa from Rock And Drool, but I figured that by checking the badges of people that looked like them, I would find them.  Bad strategy.

8. Try to fit in a nap every day:  If I want to stay out past 11, I either need to nap, or start learning to love Red Bull.

9. Bring a water bottle:

10: Bring some different sized envelopes to organize the papers and coupons you receive as you visit with the vendors.

11. Bring one large suitcase.  I had brought a duffle bag for the 2o pounds of swag I brought home.  (Yes, I weighed the bag), but for ease of transport I think I would have been better off with one really big bag that was slightly empty while traveling to BlogHer, that I could load up at the end.

12. Write more posts and make an effort to connect with the wonderful women (and men) I met at BlogHer12, so I will be a better blogger and social media user this time next year.

So to the others attending BlogHer, anything you would do differently for BlogHer13?




BlogHer 2012

My bag is mostly packed, my Amtrak ticket is printed and I remembered to put my Sheraton Membership Card in my purse.  I am ready to go to BlogHer.

I am very excited to go.  I have been having trouble finding readers and getting the blog off the ground, so I am hoping that the opportunity to learn from other bloggers and meet people will give me the kick start I need to have a better blog.

As with all seminars and conferences I find myself looking at the seminar list, and I want to go to all of them.  I want to hit every party and have fun.

I am also looking forward to going because I have been doing the stay at home mom- not working thing for a couple of weeks while preparing for and completing our move and I could use the decompression for a day or two, especially now that I have seriously started job hunting.

So I hope to spend a few days meeting people, learning new things and coming back fired up and ready to tackle the world.

So if you see a gal with a hot pink tote bag and a shy smile.  That’s me.  Come over and say hi!




Getting Around NYC

I am very excited to be attending BlogHer this year.  Its my first BlogHer and I am looking forward to meeting some wonderful bloggers and learning ways to make my blog better and learn how to be better versed in social media.

I was also excited that the conference is in NYC.  I grew up on Long Island and have always loved visiting the city.

While there are many ways to get around NYC and they all have pros and cons, with the exception of bringing your own car and driving it around.  My only response is to NOT DO IT.  NYC can be challenging to navigate by car and finding legal, inexpensive parking is next to impossible.  If you thought about coming in by car, I suggest you find one of the commuter rail or Amtrak stations near you and park your car there and take the train.

If you are going to take in some sightseeing when you are not in conferences here are the pros and cons to getting around.

Pros and Cons to Traveling in NYC:

1. Walking-

Pros: Its free and its a great way to see the city, there are a lot of cute little stores, and gives you lots of opportunities for people watching.

Cons: You are limited by the speed you can walk, so if you are trying to see lots of the city, walking alone is not the most efficient way.

2. Taxi-

Pros: You will go exactly where you want and you can still see lots of what is going on.  Also, if you have a friendly driver, you can have some great converations.

Cons: Taxi’s are expensive.  I would save a cab for when you are either exhausted, carrying a lot of stuff, or feel that you are hopelessly lost.

3. Subway-

Pros: Efficient, and not very expensive.  You can cover lots of the city, and get to people watch.  Also the subway is very safe and most trains have a map of the stops so you will not miss your stop.  Here is a link for a Subway Map, and you can also download a free app for the Subway.

Cons: You do have to plan a little to make sure you are going to the right place, and be careful to be on a local and not an express train.  Also, since the subway is underground, you do not see a lot of the city.

4. Tour Bus-

On just about every corner you will see people selling tickets for one of the double decker tour buses.  You buy tickets and you can hop on and off for different loops around the city.

Pros: You really get to see a lot of the city, and if you get a good tour guide, you learn a lot of neat facts.  Also, the hop on-hop off nature allows you to target the areas you want to see, and with a bus every 10-20 minutes during the day, you are never stuck in one area for long.

Cons: The tickets are not cheap, but if you google the companies, you can often get coupons.  Also, getting from place to place is faster than walking, but slower than the subway or taxi.

I have never tried the bicycle rickshaws, so I cannot comment on them.

Getting around NYC is also pretty easy as the bulk of the city is on a grid.  Sometimes you might get turned around a little, but you can always find your way.

Also to save yourself a little on a cab, try to catch your cab facing in the direction you want to go it.  That trip around the block, especially in traffic can add to your fare.