#BlogHer16 officially gets going today in LA and I am missing out. It’s not from a lack of trying though – my ticket was bought early, hotel booked around the same time. As soon as flights opened up I secured mine. I was ready!
And then life happened and plans changed. And I’m here watching all the conference updates trying to be happy for all those bloggers out in LA about to have the conference of their lives when all I really want to do is be there enjoying the experience with them.
I’m consoling myself by trolling Instagram knowing that it would never be the same as being there and that there are quite a few things I’m going to miss. #BlogHer15 was my first everything in blogging conferences and I was fortunate to be attending with two other bloggers from my island in the sun.
We connected through our blogs months before and travelling, attending the conference and living together for a few days, not only sealed our friendship in blogging but moved it beyond that as well. I will be forever grateful for that.
This year I planned to attend by myself and while I knew I would miss my friends, I was extremely excited to navigate the conference no longer a newbie but still very much new to blogging conferences and it definitely would have been my first time in LA.
What I will miss
I will miss the energy. If you’ve been to a BlogHer conference you know what I’m talking about. The air is alive with hope, love, excitement and just enough fear of the unknown that if it were a alive it would probably look like a unicorn…it’s that’s amazing.
I will miss the opportunities for learning. Not just the sessions – if you choose the right ones for you and where you are at with your blogging journey it can definitely make a difference. I will miss the meet-ups, the random coffees and the in-the-hallway-chats. That’s how I met Tiffany of the The Mrs. Tee, through a random call for a dinner date. Tiffany is a VOTY honoree this year! Congratulations to her.
I will miss the opportunity to explore a new city. I think what made my conference experience so great last year, was that I saw NYC with two friends. While, I wasn’t new to the city it was my first time getting to show other people some of my favourite spots and it was just so cool. We had fun.
Some tips and lessons
A tip for those considering attending a blogging conference is to get there a day or two before and get to know the city you’re in. It’s a also a priceless opportunity to connect with bloggers BEFORE the start of the conference, especially for newbies.
You will meet your favourite bloggers and they will turn out to be normal people. You will have blogger groupie moments. And it will be amazing. Yup. That happened and I went over and introduced myself and it was like I said…amazing.
My biggest lesson was letting go of my expectations and surrendering to the experience. The best things happen when you least expect it. This is how I met and connected with a blogger I admire. We had just boarded the bus to head to the closing party. I was sitting in the front because we were the first ones on. Behind me, sat Elan…I could not believe it. She wrote this post and it really resonated with me. It’s one thing to leave a comment on a blog post but to meet the writer and express exactly how much what she wrote echoed your own feelings and fears. That was truly priceless. And it happened on the bus, on the way to the closing party.
You will find your tribe. BlogHer offers this unique opportunity to connect with women and men who are your brand of crazy or normal. Same difference. Like my call for other Caribbean and international attendees to meet up in the hotel lobby after the closing party at last year! That turned into the best lime this Trini could have asked for. 2 Jamaicans, 1 Bahamian, 1 Bajan and 3 Trinis and 2 honorary Trinis. We had fun!
I’m gonna miss all the swag! I kid you not, BlogHer has the best swag and you have to be smart about packing before you get there, or you will need an extra bag for the stuff you get over the course of just 3 days.
Self-care while at the conference is important. I had a mini implosion which lead to an explosion in my room by the Friday afternoon of #BlogHer15. You need to take regular breaks. Please don’t be like me. You cannot do all the things. Because there is just too much to.do.see.experience. Breathe. Go for a walk. Skip a talk. It’s okay.
Oh that reminds me re-entry is a thing. And I am definitely NOT going to miss that. Life after a BlogHer conference can be difficult to assimilate. I went back to work on the Monday after #BlogHer15 and by the Wednesday I crashed and burned. Hard. It was too much. My brain needed the break to just get all the ideas and connections out without the distraction of work.
Great things happen when women and men support each other. And that was been my best experience at #BlogHer15 and what I was hopeful for this year. Ah well. #BlogHerFood16 is in Austin *fingerscrossed* that’s where I’ll be headed in October – hopeful but mindful.
I’m going back to stalking Instagram for #BlogHer16 updates.
Now I want to hear from you. Have you been to a BlogHer conference or blogging conference before? What was your experience like? Do you plan to attend a conference in the future?