As you may know from my last post, I attended Blogher15. My decision to attend was made a bit more complicated, not only for the reasons I previously discussed, but because the day after the conference ended I was flying off for a 10 day vacation to Italy. As you can imagine multi-tasking doesn’t work especially when you have a hundred balls in the air.
Needless to say it was all worth it. Rushing to the conference, running home at night to do laundry, pack, work, sleep (maybe) just to start it all over the next day was challenging; By the way challenging is the word we use to describe circumstances that really stinks! BUT, I would do it all over again.
Blogher15 was my first blogging conference. I had no idea what to expect but as a relatively new blogger I was open and eager to learn. From the moment I stepped off the escalator on the 3rd floor of the Hilton Midtown Hotel, I knew this was where I was supposed to be. As I received my bag full of goodies, and entered the Expo Hall, the sights, sounds, and vendor booths beckoned me. The vendors were too numerous to count. Depend, Coca-Cola Life, McDonalds, AT&T, Best Buy, Canadian Lentils, my new personal favorite, InfoLinks, Go Daddy and WordPress.com were just a few of the exhibitors present. Makeovers, photoshoots, unbelievable opportunities to win prizes and giveaways were on hand. AT&T had a virtual simulator in their booth that every driver should experience. The heart thumping simulation of the ramifications of texting while driving was surreal.
The Bogher15 agenda was amazing: I know that sounds trite but it truly was. The key note speakers were all giants in their respective fields. Ava Duvernay, director of the critically acclaimed movie Selma, Gwenyth Paltrow, Academy Award winning actress, Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Patrisse Cullors, Fulbright Scholar recipient, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and voted new leader of social justice have all demonstrated their commitment to empowering women and girls, mentoring, social justice and providing support to the disenfranchised. Lifting one another up transforms families, communities, and society by lifting us all up. Righting wrongs that are all to pervasive in many of our communities enables all of us to remain safe and free. By remaining silent we passively imply consent when in many cases that is farther from the truth. Blogging and social media provides the perfect forum to create a dialogue regardless of your position.
The only thing that I absolutely hated about Blogher15 was not the food, which was great, not the lack of exercise, Depends sponsored 2 fabulous yoga classes each morning, not the agenda, topics ranged from Building Your Site, Breaking Stereotypes and Building Self-Esteem, Mobile Photo Editing, Personal Brand and Creativeness, Social Media Bootcamp and much, much more! What I absolutely hated was that I could not divide myself in two so that I could’ve attended EVERY workshop! I know I would have benefited from every one!
I’m not going to make you jealous by telling you about the McDonald’s sponsored closing party. Maybe just a little. Big, roomy coach buses picked us up at the hotel and shuttled us to the pier. The pier was transformed into an outdoor party place complete with a McDonald’s kitchen, servers in yellow and red tee shirts passing out hamburgers, chicken nuggets, french fries, salads, and go gurt and not to forget an assortment of drinks. A fabulous DJ played the best dance music which had most of us dancing. Boys To Men were the featured performers and they did not disappoint. As usual they had the crowd totally engaged and the sing along was contagious.
The three days of the conference passed by in warp speed. I can’t believe it’s over and I am already ending day 2 in Italy. I didn’t want too many days to pass without sharing my Blogher15 experiences. Suffice to say, I am already planning to attend next year’s conference.