So much to tell you… so much I did last Friday at the BlogHer Conference and in NYC in general. Because I am a visual kind of girl, I have lots of pictures in this post -some good, others not so good. But I hope it gives you a little glimpse of what happens at a blog conference.
To keep my costs down I only bought a day pass. It was enough for my needs. I basically wanted to see what a big blogging conference was all about. I found out it is all about – women! Tall, short, petite, plump, skinny, redhead, blonde, brunette…Women everywhere! The other thing I found out- is that a big blogging conference is all about – Swag! Lots of it. So much so I had to take some of it to the Swag exchange/recycle room, as I could not carry it all. We all looked like a bunch of bag ladies – saddled down with all sorts of overstuffed bags.
My day started at 4:30 AM so I could drive myself into NYC for the start of the conference. I walked into the Hilton at 7:50AM. Perfect timing.
Everything was well marked in the hotel, so registration was easy to find.
I picked up my badge, loaded the holder with my business cards and off I went to explore.
So much to do, so much to see… What did I do first?
EAT! That is third thing I learned about a big blogging conference. You won’t go hungry. This photo does not show all the delicious food that was available all day long for the attendees to enjoy. There were set-ups like this in a few different spots and rooms.
I took my breakfast into this room for the “Newbie Breakfast” where we listened to what we could expect from the conference. Everyone was very friendly and you just sat down wherever there was a seat. I met everyone at my table. One was from LA, two from Boston, another from North Carolina and the last one was from New Jersey. I didn’t find anyone who blogged about DIY, Home Decorating, or Crafts the entire day.
After the breakfast it was onto the Grand Ballroom for the Opening remarks and welcome to Blogher along with introductions of the three founders of Blogher. I ran into two bloggers that I met at a SITS conference in Baltimore earlier this year, Jill @Scary Mommy and Erica @Mommy’s Still Fabulous. I also met Rustin Banks and Holly Hamman from the BlogFrog. They look exactly like they do in their videos, so I introduced myself.
The sessions I was interested in didn’t start until later so I opted to go into the Expo Halls. Lots of people, bloggers, and a few famous people. This is where all the sponsors and companies set up their booths. It was a noisy, yet exciting place. More free food, things to learn about the companies, their products and how they can help bloggers earn money. This is where you got most of the free stuff or SWAG.
I came home with a bag full of SWAG, tons of free stuff – t-shirts, mugs, Play-Doh, a Mr. Potato Head, yes, you read that right. I would have preferred a Mrs. PHead, but that is ok – he was free. See the bottle of Metamucil? That was the best part of my day – not the actual product, but they sponsored a suite up on the 42nd floor that conference attendees could go check out. A free foot massage awaited you upon entering the suite. Blissful reflexology for about 15 minutes. It was pure relaxation. Especially for tired feet.
My favorite goodies that I brought home were a lipstick case flash drive I got from the lovely folks at Windows Phone and the stylish buttons I picked up from the Shop Style booth.
There were sessions all day. The session topics were not that interesting to me. I stuck my head in a few, but my main intention was to find some tech help. I was thrilled with the help I got in the Geek Lab and from the Windows people that had set up shop in the Geek Lab. Thank you, thank you guys and girl.
After spending the entire morning in the hotel, I was itching to get out into the city. I went to school here and know my way around, so off I went after grabbing a few items from the lunch buffet on my way out.
I knew I wanted to go downtown and figured the subway was the fastest and cheapest way so I headed towards the nearest subway entrance. I passed what New Yorkers do best -sit and enjoy the show right in front of them – no tickets needed.
I also passed a few of these vendors. It wouldn’t be NYC without them.
Played with the idea of going downtown in style.
But the subway was the cheaper option. Got myself a Metro card. I liked when NYC used tokens so much better, but I guess the paper system is what they call “progress”.
Got off at 14th Street
and started window shopping. I made it up to 19th and went into Fishs Eddy
This is such a fun place to browse. It is a mix between an old-fashioned country store and a flea market.
I love these cake stands, piled high and so colorful.
I then went across the street into ABC Carpet and Home, which has more of a diverse, eclectic vibe.
It has chandy heaven.
and lovely white urns
and this pottery.
I was in love and thinking that I was going to be taking a few of these pieces home with me, until I turned the soup bowl over and
discovered the price – $80.00. FOR ONE SOUP BOWL!!!!!! It is Astier de Villatte Ceramics that are hand-made in a Paris workshop. Ohh.. la.la… Lovely, but way out of my budget. Oh well, I can dream or go back over to Fishs Eddy.
and buy myself some $6.99 white soup bowls and plates. For $80.00 I could buy more than one soup bowl here.
Then I walked a few more blocks and ended up at Anthropologie.
They had some pretty plates, too. I come in here to check out the displays. Since display is what I do for a living, it is always fun to see what the competition is up to.
Creativity is what! – look at the simply clever way to add a lot of impact to your fall decor. These frames would be so easy to make and hang in your home. Each frame has window screen stapled in with autumn leaves glued on to the screen. Some of the frames are hinged together, others were hung by themselves on the wall. Rev-up your glue gun, ladies.
I am always fascinated by the gobs of knobs Anthro carries. They look so scrumptious, like candy. Hard to resist…
White faced clocks and more white dishes – two of my favorite things.
It was getting late and I wanted to get back to the conference for the Voices of the Year presentation. Jill @ Scary Mommy was nominated and won in the design category. She is quite funny and a seasoned blogger who is super friendly and offers great advice. I didn’t want to miss it. So I hopped back on the subway and exited 2 blocks from the Hilton.
On my way back to the hotel, I browsed the windows at MoMa Design for some more visual inspiration.
Right outside MoMa Design was a street vendor selling her husband’s watercolors. I could not resist one of Central Park. I bought it for $10 and then accidentally left it in the ballroom after the Voices of the Year. Boo hoo. Somebody else is enjoying it now.
I made it back in time for the Voices of The Year Presentations. To find out more about this you can go to the Blogher website. Listening to each of the winners read their winning blog post was very inspiring. Each had such a different view, voice, and writing style. This was one of the highlights of the conference for me. They were funny, poignant, diverse, and downright enjoyable.
Once that presentation was over there was only one more event left – the gala. It didn’t start for another hour and most of the attendees went back to their rooms. Since I didn’t have a hotel room, I sat on the floor and stretched my legs along with a few others with no place to call home for an hour.
While I was sitting there I noticed the delightful pattern in the rug and had to show you.
I also noticed a lot of shoes coming off.
These blurbs were all along the floor. Perfect for bolstering a woman’s confidence.
Included in my conference fee were two drink tickets for the evening gala. I knew I had a 2 hour drive home, so I opted for cranberry juice. I talked and met a dozen or more new women, exchanged more cards, had a few laughs and more food. There was no dress code for the day. Some women were in jeans, others suits, and dresses. I did notice at the evening event that a few women had changed into cocktail dresses. It really didn’t matter what you wore. The bottom line was whatever you felt comfortable in was fine.
It was getting late and I had to head home, so I called it a day.
Walked down 6th Ave and over 42nd to the Port Authority to get my car. I had a pretty exciting day. I am glad I went. I got out of the conference exactly what I wanted. I learned a little, picked up some tech tips, got inspired, and don’t forget all the free stuff. Now, all I need is the time to get all the things I learned- accomplished.