10 Ways to Enjoy BlogHer 2012
This is an update of a post I wrote in 2010 and I’ve copied it here almost in full because not much has changed.
In case you were wondering, I will, in fact, be attending BlogHer 2012 in New York City in August. As part of a longer trip to Connecticut, I’ll drop the kids with my parents and take the Party Train into Manhattan that Thursday, just in time for the first of 3,245 parties scheduled on and off the conference site.
I’ve been to the BlogHer conference three times now, so I’m something of an expert. Allow me to share my time-honored tips for survival/maximum enjoyment with you now, as one of the several thousand BlogHer Conference Survival Skills posts out here in the ol’ blog-o-sphere.
1. Bring a box of granola bars. That is the number one thing that saved me last year. It’s a breathless sequence of things to do, people to meet, and shiny opportunities to consider.
2. Pace yourself with the alcohol – for God’s sake! You are an adult person. Drink responsibly. Also, pack ibuprofen.
3. Earplugs. If your roommate(s) is a snorer you won’t hear her.
4. Stay on site if you can. Little breaks throughout the day – plus your own private toilet – are worth it.
5. This gem is from Suebob – wherever you go, you will miss something, but you’ll have a great time there. There are so many simultaneous events that unless you have figured out how to clone yourself you will indeed miss several things.
6. Remember that some bloggers are much more comfortable at home in their pajamas and are socially awkward. If you run up to someone with squee in your brain because you are excited to meet her and she remains nonplussed – it’s not you, it’s her. Most likely.
7. Watch out for that naked lady running through the lobby.
8. Try not to miss breakfast. There are plenty of tasty, healthy treats to stash in your bag for later, in case you forget the granola bars.
9. You can probably live without that free bottle of laundry detergent.
10. This might be the most important thing: DON’T worry if you’re not invited to the party, or you don’t know where the secret swag room is, or if the mommy bloggers get all the cool stuff. Focus on what’s happening, on the people you’re meeting, on the information you’re learning. You’ll be much, much happier and more satisfied.
All of the above is still the best advice I’ve gotten and given and taken. But I will add a bonus tip which I realized last year is probably the best overall approach:
Decide ahead of time what you want out of BlogHer ’12.
With all of that hindsight I entered BlogHer 2011 – not just the two days of the conference itself, but the season. As party invitations started flying about the internet and events and alternate events showed up on calendars and websites, I sat back and calmly took note. I measured every offer against the question “What do I want out of BlogHer ’11?”
Here is what I wanted out of BlogHer ’11:
-Learn more about writing from people I respect as good writers
-Reconnect with friends inside the computer
-Attend some kickass parties
Keeping true to that directive made the difference for me last year. I intend to define my goals similarly this year. I already know that one of those goals is to make it through the experience with a clear head and WITHOUT being exhausted to the point of illness at the end. Because of that, I am available to volunteer at the Serenity Suite on Saturday night of the conference. Come hang out and be serene with me.
Favorite swag from last year: DrinkWell hangover-prevention vitamins, Illume candle, and a whole bunch memories of hanging out with my pal Lisa who passed away in November. It’s gonna be hard to be there without her this year.