I can’t believe a whole week has already passed since BlogHer13. I’ve seen dozens of posts on what attendees did and learned at the conference. I’m going to tell you what I didn’t do instead.
10 things I didn’t do at BlogHer 13:
Leave my child at home. I brought my 12-year-old daughter with me on her very own full conference student pass. I loved seeing her be inspired by “The Pioneer Woman” and Lourds Lane. She networked her way across the expo hall, set second row at the fashion show and helped me take notes during sessions. She played Sims when she got bored during sessions. She was so fired up by the experience that she started her very own blog while we were still in Chicago.
Tweet during sessions. I was way too busy taking notes –the old fashioned way, with pen and paper!
Blog. I didn’t blog once while I was gone. I thought about writing on the plane on the way home, but stashed my laptop in the overhead bin and pulled out a novel instead. My brain was full of info and needed a break.
Get tipsy. I didn’t have one sip of alcohol at BlogHer – not even the free wine, cocktails and champagne flowing in the expo hall. I prefer to eat my calories, so the sponsors giving out pizza, chocolate and donuts were much more my speed!
Enjoy Chicago pizza. I tried it. I hated it. I’m definitely a New York pizza kind of girl!
Explore Chicago. I put pressure on myself to see all I could of New York City last year and was absolutely exhausted. I decided not to do that this year. I was only in Chicago four nights and three of those were filled with conference activities. I took a water taxi tour and saw the city on shuttle rides. My daughter and I walked to Navy Pier and bicycled along the river. Other than that, we stuck to the Sheraton and McCormick place.
Spin the “wheel of pleasure.” In case you missed it somehow, Trojan was giving out free vibrators and lube if you spun their prize wheel. I skipped it because I had my daughter with me and the line was always huge.
Pay a fortune to ship swag home. We flew Southwest Airlines specifically because they allow two checked suitcases per passenger at no charge. I only brought freebies home I will actually use and left the rest in the swag exchange room. It all fit into the extra suitcase I brought.
Go to CheeseburgHer. I went to all of the parties last year. They were loud and crowded. After a bit of networking and eating delicious food at the fashion show after party, I went up to my room to pack, shower and read. I was asleep well before CheeseburgHer came to a close.
Scream and hug anyone. I didn’t stalk anyone and I’m not big enough for anyone to recognize me, despite rocking a sticker that said, “I’m a big deal,” courtesty of Queerie Bradshaw. Maybe next year? (However, I did get my photo taken with the Pillsbury Doughboy.)
I attended the conference in NYC for the first time last summer. I was so overwhelmed by all that was going on and tried to do/see/experience it all. I left feeling like I didn’t accomplish much of anything.
I scaled back this year and focused on what was important to me: learning how to improve my career as a writer and making connections with those who could help me do it.
Finding my own path to enjoy BlogHer made it an amazing experience. I can’t wait to do it again next year – with my daughter at my side!