“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” Thomas Merton
Have you ever been to a blogging conference? What was the experience like for you? From Wednesday through Saturday night, I attended two outstanding conferences in NYC: Yes, two! I got to zip around Manhattan, flitting from Blogger Bash offerings at Pier 60, to BlogHer15 offerings at the Hilton Hotel midtown. There was so much to see, do, learn and enjoy that I went home every night exhausted yet thrilled about the events of the day. Between seeing the Blue Man Group, (stay tuned to enter to win 4 tickets for a Blue Man Group giveaway), a sneak preview of Grandfathered and photo ops with Josh Peck, Care Bears, Carson Kressley and many other fab experiences, every day was an experience to remember and cherish. Needless to say, we got lots of Sponsors/Brand swag from every direction at the conferences. I took tons of photos and video and will share more soon. What should you do after a mega blogging conference? Scroll down the page to read 6 things you must do; plus get the link to the post courtesy of JillR of BlogHer University. Mega Thank You! to Lisa Stone, Sheknows Media and team, to Joey Fontman and team, and to all the organizers and brand sponsors!
What was the overall experience like for you? For me, it was PHENOMENAL! Each morning, from Wednesday on, I got up very early to head out and join the conference events all over again. I must say that there was not a single moment to waste. All of it was worth attending. I got to see many of my blog buddies and make new friends. Maria Bailey and the MomSelect team organized a wonderful learning event with HP – MyPrintly and we learned new ways to curate and share our photo memories. Every presentation, learning session, Expo visit, outing, party, and blogging exchange was special. I enjoyed all of it and wish I could have attended every single event; it was that good … no, it was the BEST. I would encourage you to get on all the mailing lists and sign up for all/any upcoming blog conferences that are offered.
Other Observations? My only regret is that my plate was beyond full; with two events and tons of fantastic offerings, it was hard to do it all. If you were there you would want to do it all too. My only recommendation is that, next year, BlogHer and Blogger Bash should chat with each other and set separate not overlapping dates so we can enjoy both fully. After all, they appeal to the same group of bloggers and many of us signed up for both. They were both that fabulous! Below, I have given you some snippets of the events but, do come back later for more of my pictures and videos. Enjoy!
“Reading maketh a full man; conference(events) a ready man; and writing an exact man.” Francis Bacon
BlogHer15 began on Thursday night with early registration and a small taste of what BlogHer/SheKnows Media had in store for us; it was going to be an exhilarating weekend ahead. We gathered on the 3rd floor of the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan to register, listen to the kickoff keynote and attend several parties taking place on two upper level floors. Each party had food, treats/swag, and lots of opportunities to interact with our fellow bloggers, meet the brands and exchange notes and cards. Over the course of 3 days, I got to visit a lot of booths; Ursula at Dr. Formulated, the World Market team, Dunkin Donuts, ATT/NetGear, JET, and a ton of others including the WordPress booth where I met Erica and some of the Happiness Engineer team. I thanked them for all the years of offering me/us superlative service. This was merely a taste of the fantastic events that awaited us. Every day, we got to sit and enjoy an impressive breakfast and lunch while listening to/learning from our main Keynote speakers, Anna Maria Chávez, Gwyneth Paltrow, Christy Turlington Burns, Ava DuVernay and other equally exciting speakers highlighted below.
How do you view blogging? The many ways blogging and bloggers were celebrated, this weekend, had me acknowledging how far we’ve all come in the blogosphere. It made me proud to be reminded how each of us makes a difference in the lives of our readers and others off/online. There were so many highlights during the weekend; Majora Carter and Elizabeth Blackney of Panzi Foundation moved us to tears and made us believers in the power of the human spirit, while other presenters made us laugh out loud. Tenishia Jackson Warner regaled us with hilarious stories of her job search and interactions with Russell Simmonds. To pump things up, McDonald’s threw us a to-die-for party at the Chelsea Pier with Boyz II Men, DJ Spider and Nick Cannon wrapping up the weekend for us. All in all, I’m still digesting my long, exciting, and exhausting conferences; do check back later when I’ve had a chance to upload some of the videos I shot of the keynote speakers at this spectacular event.
Thursday July 16
Kick-off Keynote: featuring #WOMENSLIVES and #BLACKLIVESMATTER
Evening at the Expo Hall
Community Parties: Multi-Culti, Stylecaster Suite, Queerosphere Suites
He Named Me Malala Screening
Friday July 17
Breakfast & Welcome
Morning Keynote: featuring Anna Maria ChÁvez, Soledad O’Brien, and Samantha Skey
Speed dating, BlogHer Style
Hatch Labs Hudson + Midtown Learning Sessions
Lunch, 10X10 Project and Keynote featuring Gwyneth Palthrow and Performance by Daria Musk. 10×10 featuring Veronica Arreola
Hatch Labs Hudson + Midtown Learning Sessions
EXPOBreak – EXPO Hall
Voices Of The Year Community Keynote and the #FEMVERTISING Awards
Voices Of The Year Reception
GrandFathered Sneal preview and interview/photo Op w/ Josh Peck
Community Party: Open Mic
Community Party: Karaoke
Saturday July 17
10X10 Project & Morning Keynote featuring The Pitch 10X10 featuring Ayinde Howell
10X10 Project, Lunch and Keynote featuring Christy Turlington Burns, Shireen Mitchell, Brianna Wu, and Joanna Stern 10X10 featuring Elizabeth Blackney
EXPO Break – EXPO Hall
10X10 Project AND Closing Keynote featuring Ava Duvernay 10X10 featuring Teneshia Jackson Warner
#BLOGHER15 Closing Party Hosted by McDonald’s, featuring Boyz II Men, DJ Spider, AND Nick Cannon
“I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.” Oprah Winfrey
Blogger Bash actually started their festivities for their VIP registrants on Wednesday evening with a Cocktail gathering on a top floor Manhattan building. The event was organized by Delta Children. Even though I missed that evening of fine treats, I heard the views were spectacular and the food was divine. The following morning, we gathered for registration, a terrific Care Bears brunch, a quick trip to see Amrita Singh’s jewelry collection and receive a gift of a pair of beautiful earrings, and then off we went on our scheduled VIP experience. Marissa DiBartolo was so kind to add me to my preferred schedule so, I caught the The RIDE bus for an interactive, fun and funny tour of Manhattan. You must try it to truly appreciate the ride. We returned 2 hours later to enjoy the must-not-miss magic and goodies of Sweet Suite where many brands/exhibitors like BabyPalooza, Lentils, HomeAdvisor, Disney, Care Bears, and many more showcased their new product lines and lots of great gift ideas for the coming holiday season.
Did you attend the entire conference? The rest of the Conference on Thursday – Friday was held at Pier 60 on the Hudson River side of the Westside Highway in Manhattan. The Blogger Bash conference was filled with opportunities to meet with Brands via the speed dating (meet and greet sessions), the Bloganthropy awards, keynote speakers, more outings around the city, and lots of great food and swag to take home. I took the outrageously entertaining The Ride on Thursday and, on Saturday evening, I made my way down to Astor Place Theater to enjoy one of three showings of Blue Man Group. If you’ve attended Blogger Bash in the past, you know they are famous for their Sweet Suite Big Box of goodies that gets delivered to your home. I’m looking forward to receiving mine this year after a mishap last year. The fabulous agenda is below… Come back later for more photos/videos of this superb event.
Thursday July 16
Attendee Check-in: Care Bears Share Your Care Brunch
Blue Man Group Performance Or The RIDE and other VIP Experiences
Sweet Suite 15: The biggest night of play returns with top toy companies and more! See what toys will top holiday wish lists this year before they hit the shelves.
Friday July 17,
It’s time to get the party started! Grab your badge and get ready to kick off Day 2.
Disney Infinity Breakfast
All-Day Expo & Rite-Aid Recharge Lounge
Speed Dating (Various Time Slots)
Baby Palooza inspiring address from legendary baby photographer Anne Geddes
Morning Speaker Panel: Experts Sharing wisdom
Peanuts Keynote Lunch and a sneak peek at the highly anticipated Peanuts movie
“Brand” New You Event: Rene Syler’s (aka Good Enough Mother) “Brand” New You event connects attendees to various health and wellness brands.
Speaker Panel A
Social Good Speaker Panel
Bloganthropy Awards: recognizes and honors bloggers who use their social media influence to support charitable causes and more.
Lights, Camera, Fashion! – Fashion highlights/show
Canadian Lentils Carnival: Canadian Lentils cooks up a carnival atmosphere full of food and fun!
Saturday, July 18
Blue Man Group Shows at 2, 5 and 8pm
What to do after a mega Blogging Conference? Thankfully, Jill of BlogHer University has given us 6 important tips to help us maximize the time we spent away from our loved ones, and to translate the blogging events into valuable business and long lasting connections. She offered us the following advice: (1) Organize your notes and photos, (2) Make a To Do Plan, (3) Connect, (4) Evaluate your business cards, (mine are from Moo and VistaPrint) (5) Thank the Sponsors and (6) Save the Date for future Conferences. What more would you recommend? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.
Positive Motivation Tip: The Blogosphere is a dynamic entity that expands every day, stay connected and grow!
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos/videos from my Personal Collection