It’s been a week since my first full day of BlogHer. I feel like I’m still processing. Still waiting for the fog to clear.
On one hand, it was a lot of FUN! I got to see (albeit for very short amounts of time) some of the women I’ve grown to love. I experienced NYC a little bit. I ate Mediterranean food. I saw super-secret still-in-alpha-testing products from a tech company I’m really excited about. I was pampered and had girly fun at the Getting Gorgeous event. I rode in a couple taxis. I visited Microsoft offices and won a cool new mouse. I drank wine. And I taught women about WordPress.
Giddy smile. Happy sigh.
And, I felt overwhelmed. Was sickened by the lack of professionalism of both bloggers and brands. I missed meeting up with a client I’ve only corresponded with via email and hoped to meet in person. I didn’t get to see the Statue of Liberty. Didn’t use my DSLR even once. I heard way, way, way too much whining and I was nowhere near children. The parties were so loud my ears hurt so I didn’t stay. I missed a couple of cool events. The only two sessions I really wanted to go to were scheduled during my Geek Bar sessions and I couldn’t go.
It’s hard to come away from an experience like that and know how you feel about it. Would I go again? Maybe. But not certainly. It’s just too big for me. I’ve grown to love BlissDom (tickets on sale today!) and Type A. I adored Mom 2.0 too. But, they are all 700 people, or less. BlogHer was 5,000, 4,863 of which were women. I have no idea if that number is correct. I’m just saying, it was crazy. And full of drama. I don’t do drama. It really saddened me to see the greed over freebies and gifts from sponsors, women pitching themselves to companies that didn’t even fit their blog niche, just to get more free products to review, and people complaining cause they couldn’t get into a session or party that was clearly marked as ‘must register’ or ‘by invite only.’
And then you have those precious moments when you and a couple friends grab dinner together at Fig & Olive, you join friends for drinks at The London, or you ride around NYC in the back of a cab with Casey and Danielle, hoping you end up at Bryant Park, and you just stop and smile to yourself because this is what you do with real friends. My roomies were pretty darn awesome too. Barbara, Malia and Krista? Thank you for putting me up and for putting up with me.
The Geek Bar sessions I taught were such a good experience for me. I know it was sad that they had to be so small, and so many people who wanted to go to them couldn’t, but honestly, they were the perfect size, and we had so much fun. I loved seeing the light bulbs go off for the attendees, seeing women scribble as fast as they could in their note pads, and returning to my room exhausted to find appreciative Tweets on my phone. It was very rewarding and it was fun! I taught four 30-minute classes and could have continued all day. They were that good. (Thank you, Shannon, for being such a fabulous organizer, for asking me to teach those, and for giving people the opportunity to learn in a small setting when the rest of the conference is overwhelmingly large.)
I also had a grand time talking to the folks at the Samsung booth in the expo. I’m such a geek, I know. (I made a decision on my next computer. It will be a 15.6inch Samsung Series 9. I’m in love.) Then I had a very long and fun discussion with one of the NQ Mobile app developers and learned so much. Some gals from Ebay set up a meeting and we discussed working with bloggers, things we can do together, and savored a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the conference madness.
So yes, it was a good experience overall. One I’ll cherish for along time because of the people I chose to spend time with, the drama I avoided, and the new people I met.
Will I go back? Ask me next year, two weeks before almost every one of my friends is headed to Chicago and I’m longing to join them on another grand adventure.