Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Headless Guide To BlogHer '09- The Rest

This is part 2 about BlogHer '09 and part 1 is over here.

The Sessions

Although the schedule isn't out yet *update in the comments* I can assure you that there will be many sessions for all kinds of bloggers, with all kinds of experience-from beginners to experts. Start thinking about what you want to learn NOW. Don't be afraid to ask what a session description means! I would have gotten a lot more out of the conference last year if I had asked someone what the descriptions meant. There is also no problem with room-hopping if you start at one and realize you'd rather be in another. Take advantage of the rooms like Geek Lab, too. There are lots of people that would love to answer your questions, or sit down with you and explain something. No where else on the planet will you find a group of people that can and WILL talk blogging like we all will at BlogHer. Use your time wisely, my friends, because we all know that our husbands eyes glaze over whenever we start.

All of that said? If you're really tired and need a nap? Do it. This is a marathon weekend, not a sprint and you probably won't miss anything major. Promise.

Business Cards

I was skeptical, too. Just do it. I got mine at Zazzle-they were cheap and fast, and I was able to design my own. There's a million other sites that can also do them. I got 200. Let me talk about that for a minute. My thought was that I could use them for two years. Sounds reasonable, until you factor in that we are in a changing industry. Seriously? New media changes by the minute. My cards were out of date by the end of the conference, considering that I signed up for Twitter by the afternoon of day 1. I never expected to have a review blog-now I have one. Take it from me, unless you take lots of blogging trips, my suggestion is only get 100. They may be gone by the end of the weekend, but isn't that what you're getting them for?

You will use them, and you will be glad everyone else has them. There is no savant on the planet that can remember everyone's name, blog name, URL, twitter name, and cell phone number. (No, don't put your phone number on it unless you reeeealy want to.) I kept have them in a ziploc and still refer back to them from time to time. Actually, I'll probably get them out before I go so I can refresh my memory! Many people write a "Who I met" post post-BlogHer-perfect for those brain-dead days following the conference when we'll all be catching up on kiddie kisses and laundry.

Some people will bring extra shwag-type giveaways. These ranged from pens, to buttons, to luggage tags, you name it. If you have the money and the time-go for it-but it is not necessary. Will I do mine again? You'll just have to find me and ask!

The Stuff

Bring an extra bag that you can check on the way home. I was told this last year and didn't heed the advice. Thank goodness I drove in one of the Chevy Tahoes with only one other person because I could have been mistaken for a bag lady on my way out. The stuff is seriously fun but I'd hate to have to leave some of it behind because there wasn't enough room in my suitcase. And I didn't even go to all of the suites-a situation I'll be rectifying this year!

The People

One of the best things about BlogHer was/is the people. Last year I met so many wonderful and diverse women. Blogs that I would have never stumbled upon on my own. Seriously. Introduce yourself, start a conversation, pass your card. I know it's fun to hang with the people that you already know but you never know who you'll meet by flopping down on that couch and saying how your feet hurt or you're going on search of the nearest Starbucks.

Another word on the 'big' bloggers: They are women just like you and me. Last year I ended up really connecting with Jenn of Mommy Needs Coffee. Initially I was so intimidated-she's a 'real' author, y'all! But in the end she and I just plain got along and it had nothing to do with how long we had been blogging, how big our readership was, or how many sponsors we had or didn't have.

Conversely, don't get your panties in a bunch if someone doesn't have a long, drawn out conversation with you. Remember that some of these women have been doing this for a veeeerrrry long time. They have long established relationships and many times BlogHer is the only time that they get to see their friends. I'll be trying to do both-meet new friends and catch up with old friends-and if you think I'm blowing you off I'm really not. I just don't have more than one brain and mouth. It's limiting, I know.

In The End

Be comfortable. Make friends-even outside of your regular circle. Go to the parties. Get a tattoo. Learn. Because in the end, we're all there to have fun, right? And make sure to introduce yourself to me!

Headless Mom


Shannanb aka Mommy Bits said...

I love this post but can't believe you didn't show a picture of your "business" card from last year. If peeps want to see it --

So grateful to have met you last year at BlogHer. I really have enjoyed getting to know you this past year!

ElisaC said...

Great post, but I did want to let you know that the session schedule has been live for quite some time, and you can find it here:

See you in July!

Headless Mom said...

I stand corrected, Elisa. Thanks for the link.

I guess I was referring to the e-booklet that has all of the conference information. I loved that last year!

ElisaC said...

Oh yes, the pre-conference guide! We're still working on that, you're totally right! Stay tuned...

Marcy said...

Thanks so much for the tips! This yr. will be my first Blog Her and my head is already about to explode trying to keep everything straight! I appreciate the advice from someone who has already been. :-)

Amazing Greis said...

You are the BOMB! Thanks for all the great advice, again. Can't wait til July!

Laurie, Mobile Mommy/Halo Secretarial said...

Another helpful Pre-BlogHer article, I so appreciate your advice. And I was wondering if I could get away with my smaller suitcase, now I know to bring the big one and leave plenty of room in it!

musingwoman said...

Business cards! So glad you mentioned those, because I'd completely forgotten to order some.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Oh! I'm going this year for the first time - and it's so helpful to read your thoughts. These are exactly the kinds of questions that I've had, so both of your posts have been just what I needed to know. Thanks!! :)

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Awesome advice, lady! This will be my 3rd tour of BlogHer and, well, I've bookmarked this post and re-reading it while packing, because I am a super multi-tasker like that :)

kyooty said...

hehe I have a card, YAY ME! :)

Mr Lady said...

I am SO glad you grabbed me! Faces and names should go together, unlike mayo and peanut butter, which shouldn't. EVER. Now if someone would inform my family about this....