Going to my first blog conference was something that completely terrified me, especially because I was going by myself. But, because I had already taken the time off work, bought the early bird ticket and also only live two miles from the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, who was hosting #BlogHer16, I kinda didn’t have any excuses to bail on Aug. 5, when I was freaking out about getting in the Uber and heading off to the welcome breakfast. So, I went. And, now, with two months of time having passed, during which I could digest everything I took in, I can honestly say going to #BlogHer16 was one of the most exciting experiences of my life.
The three best parts of the conference were 1) the Expo Hall, where I met some amazing sponsors like Jelmar/CLR, Chocotelegram, Best Buy and Baskin-Robbins, 2) the inspiring keynote speeches by women like Sarah Michelle Gellar (who proved she is more than just Buffy the Vampire Slayer — who is still an amazing female role model), and 3) the breakout sessions that helped me realize new goals for That’s So Grown-Up and the actions I need to take to make the blog better in the coming months. And, hello, the other bloggers! My God, were there so many kind, considerate, funny, positive and strong women there, all with the same goals and aspirations and a desire to help each other in any way they could. It just reminded me how much I love blogging.
I can’t even begin to do the keynote speeches justice, other than to say that hearing women who have dominated social media and and taken the blogging or business world by storm gives me hope for a future where #girlboss isn’t a necessary hashtag — just #boss will do. When it came to the breakout sessions, I focused on going down the tracks that I thought would best enable me to take That’s So Grown-Up to the next level as a blog: Mind Your Own Business and Tech & Tools. You’ll be seeing more and more of what I learned in those sessions soon, but you won’t be seeing changes in my writing style or what we talk about here, so don’t worry! What you will see is an improvement in your user experience (giveaways!), as I hope to really work closely with sponsors in the future.
What sponsors? Well, two of the most amazing sponsors I met at the conference were Jelmar/CLR and Chocotelegram. Jelmar/CLR had an awesome booth which offered one of the best ways I saw in the Expo Hall to entertain and engage the bloggers: a cleaning personality quiz! I took it, and to the surprise of probably no one here, I was a #NeatFreak. Ya, laugh all you want but Jelmar was glad to hear it, and I was too! Having lived on our own in an older apartment for a year now, and with the amount of hosting we do, Ethan and I are CONSTANTLY cleaning to keep things nice. So, I kind of fangirled over meeting a company whose goal is to make sure your home is squeaky clean.
Then there was Chocotelegram, a business who offers the ability to send a sweet message, literally. They print out personalized messages and pictures onto the most delicious pieces of chocolate and ship them off to that special someone for you! Talk about taking the candy gram to the next level. They were so excited to meet me (and meet you through me!) that they offered me the chance to review one of their products, so be on the look out for that post soon. But, until then, use this special code they gave me for you dear readers, so you can test out Chocotelegram for yourselves! Use the code BloggersROCK to get 20% off your first order at chocotelegram.gift, now through Oct. 15!
Other highlights of my Expo Hall trek included meeting actor Freddie Prinze Jr. (SMG’s husband and author of the new cookbook Back To The Kitchen) at the Best Buy booth, and eating some delicious cookie dough Polar Pizza at the Baskin-Robbins booth!
I really can’t find a way to express how much I loved #BlogHer16, other than to say that SheKnows Media just announced #BlogHer17 will be in Orlando in June, and I’m already dusting off my mouse ears. Does that help?