≡ Menu

12 Blogher conference tips that no one else will tell you

With T minus a few days until the annual Blogher Conference, I’ve run a quick analysis of the #blogher12 tweet stream to see what the general sentiment is.

blogher 12 tweet stream analysis

The only difference between this year and last year, is about 6% more panic over clothing, this being New York where such things matter.

I feel my obligation here as a seven-time (good God) Blogher attendee and speaker, is to talk you down.

A couple years ago I posted a NYC Blogher Conference FAQ that a few people found helpful. Little has changed in New York since then, although I think the number of attendees has gone from 1500 to something like 4 million, and that $26 burger may now be up to $28. Feel free to refer to that for lots of panic-reducing tips.

This year, I thought I’d flat out tell you the things that a lot of people don’t want to tell you. It’s tough love. It’s a New York thing. Get used to it.

(See how I wrote “get used to it?” Tough love!)

1. Dress to impress.

I said this before and I’ll say it again: Yes, it does matter what you wear. That is not intended to stress you out. But if you’re dressed nicely in New York you’re always ready for anything. I hate those days I think eh, I’ll just wear something crappy today and that’s the very day I run into a long lost friend or get an impromptu invitation to a cool party.

Both of those things, by the way, are exceptionally likely to happen to you over the course of the weekend. Hey, Katie Couric could be like, “you seem cool. Want to hang out in my suite and trade parenting stories?” Stranger things have been known to happen.

NO

mom jeans

YES

the stylish moms of blogher

[photo of Chris Jordan, Susan Wagner, Gretchen Rubin via Laura Mayes]

By the way, if you’re wondering what kind of comfy shoes to wear that aren’t Crocs, a real, awesome, celebrity stylist answered that question on Cool Mom Picks recently.  Hint: Wedges.

Also, will it kill you to brush your hair? And put on some lip gloss? (I’m trying to do my best New York Jewish Mother impression here.)

2. Try really hard to stop writing, tweeting, posting about how nervous you are. Even if you are still panicked about what to wear.

I understand, you’re nervous; a lot of us don’t get out much. We’re not always good in crowds. And hey, we’re bloggers–we reveal our every thought when given the chance. Plus we have unfettered access to social media.

That is a dangerous combination.

You do not see 10,000 people tweeting about how nervous they are before SXSW or all the Hollywood producers tweeting about how they’re freaked out about Cannes. (“OMG do I wear the pink Louboutins or the black ones to Harvey’s party? Help! I AM A MESS!”)  If you need to, discuss your panic privately in a Google Hangout with friends. Only don’t call it the “I’m Panicking About Blogher” hangout because that will totally blow your cover.

3. When planning the weekend, know that you don’t have to go to every panel.

If you’re tired or overwhelmed or overextended, rest in your room. Take a walk. Go out for lunch. Or hang out in the lobby and meet some friends. Sometimes the best part of the conference happens outside a meeting room.

4. Go to more panels!

I am always amazed when people go to a conference and don’t bother going to a single panel. Pick wisely and you’ll find yourself motivated, inspired, and probably happy with the level of air conditioning if you’re not stuck in the back.

5. If you miss the Voices of the Year you are a bonehead.

liz gumbinner at blogher community keynote

The one thing we all have in common: We blog. And the opportunity to listen to a group of your peers stand up and read their writing is an amazingly grounding, connective, community experience. When I read at the Community Keynote the first year, it was one of the highlights of my life. Sitting in the audience in subsequent years was also a highlight.

The event is not always perfect (another thing no one wants to say), and you won’t connect with every single piece that’s read, but so what. It’s still one of the most wonderful aspects of the entire weekend.

6. Do your best to avoid RSVPing to parties with a line like “I’m sorry I can’t make it but can someone hold me a goodie bag?”

Ask Nicole of Mom Trends about that one.

(edited to add: Also, consider not tweeting endlessly about private parties before the party. It’s great that you’re excited to go to the #BrandXParty with Brad Pitt and a chance to win a free month in Tahiti. But do all your followers need to know that they weren’t invited? Maybe not.)

7. New York > Free Package Goods

If you didn’t get invited to some private party, please don’t mope in your room. New York is the most awesome city in the world. More awesome than free cleaning supplies. More awesome than a jump drive and a branded t-shirt. More awesome than even a free camera.  Instead, here are a few very cool things you can do, should you find yourself with a night to yourself.

-Go to the official Blogher parties. They are fun. My favorite is always Sparklecorn.

Yvonne at Sparklecorn. Clearly miserable.

     -Gather friends and take a carriage ride through Central Park

-Get drinks at the Top of the Beekman and enjoy the view.

-Take the 1 train down to Christopher Street, find an outdoor cafe, and people watch in the West Village

-Go shopping in Nolita where stores are open late, and stop at Rice to Riches for zillions of flavors of Rice Pudding, like Chocolate Cherry Crime Scene, Coconut Coma, and Fluent in French Toast.

-Take the 2/3 or A/C to the first stop in Brooklyn, wait on line for the best pizza ever and amazing ice cream, then walk back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun goes down over the skyline.

-If you’re feeling really intrepid, take the 2/3 into Brooklyn for the #1 Zagat Rated Ice Cream in all of New York.

-Walk the Highline down from 26th Street, visit Chelsea Market, then grab a drink outside at The Standard. Look up at the rooms, and see if you can spot the exhibitionists getting busy with the shades open, for extra points.

-Scavenge for discount Broadway tickets.

-Browse through Time Out NY for shows, comedy, galleries, restaurants, karaoke and more. Warning: you will be jealous that you don’t live here)

-Pay per view. Something not animated. (Chilling out with a movie in your room is not the same as moping, by the way.)

8. If you’re walking the expo floor, there are better ways to say hi, than “Giving stuff away?”

The expo hall is not your own personal packaged goods trick-or-treating route, in which you hold open your pillow case while people dump in samples of baby lotion and frozen sausage coupons. Okay, so it is a little bit. But you know…be cool. Good relationships don’t tend to start with “what can you do for me?” Unless you are Vince Neil picking a groupie after the show. And I don’t know if I’d call that as a good relationship, although he might.

Rock guys are weird.

Similarly, try and avoid questions like, “So, will you sponsor my home kitchen renovation?” or “You know, I really could use a new car, hint hint.”

Sometimes, really, what you get from the expo floor is an awesome photo. That may be enough.

kristen chase / charmin

Kristen Chase enjoying the Charmin booth, taking a, uh…well, not a freebie.

9. Yes, there are some jerks at the conference.

Think about other places with several thousand people–Grand Central Station, a sports arena, the DMV at lunch hour. The likelihood that there will be some less than lovely peope in the crowd is pretty good.

However at Blogher, I promise the ratio of non-jerks to jerks is about as good as you’ll ever find. If there’s one guy who interrupts every panel to ask 14 questions–eh, laugh it off. If there’s one marketing consultant who tramples you in an attempt to hand her business card to a sponsor first, you’ll have a good story for later.  If there’s one PR person who asks for your Klout score before giving you a coupon, forgive her. She’s learning.

10. The people who say “some bloggers think they’re too cool to talk to you” are insecure and/or full of crap.

I promise, I have only in seven years at this conference met one blogger who I thought was too cool to talk to people; and as it turns out, she has massive anxiety and social issues. I know there are always some women who will complain endlessly about snobs and cliques and whatever and it completely bugs me. I’m sorry if you’re insecure; that’s a terrible feeling. But don’t point fingers at other people just because you’re not comfortable walking up to a half-empty table and asking “is anyone sitting here?” because it brings up some horrible repressed Sophmore year memory.

If anything, what you might witness are friends with long established relationships who want to spend time together the one weekend a year they get that chance. Or what you might be seeing are other people with social anxiety in big groups.

Dancing of course, is the great equalizer. As you will see.

zack galifinakis at blogher, sort of

2-D Zack Galifinakis – not too cool to dance with you. Or Heather Clisby

11. If you have a bad time, it’s because you expect to have a bad time.

You get what you give at a conference. Here is my wrap-up of the 2011 Blogher Conference, where I came to realize that your expectations and attitude are the sole determinants of the kind of experience you have. If you are kind, you will find kindness. If you come to learn, you will learn.  If you come to be angry about a sponsor you don’t like and sit in a corner ranting about them…well, find a corner and leave the rest of us alone.

But mostly, I think you will find thousands of women there to learn, connect, and maybe dance with 2-D Zack Galifinakis.

12. Wear deodorant. 

I say this selfishly. Mostly because I’m not above hugging strangers.

Thanks Huffington Post for including this in your round-up of favorite pre-Blogher conference posts. Honored!

{ 107 comments… add one }

  • jodifur 7.30.2012, 1:26 pm

    I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time I met you. It was on the expo floor of BlogHer ’10 after YEARS of commenting on your blog and you were so NICE and KIND and GENUINE and LOVELY. And then we Just Danced 2. (Or 3.) Or something. And then had a drink in the lobby.

    I’m not sure what the point of this comment is other than to say, people are nice! They are! And then you make an ass out of yourself just danceing with them.

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 1:59 pm

      Correction: We make an ass out of ourselves dancing with each other.

      I remember that well too Jodi! And you still have the blackmail film footage to prove it.

  • Brandi 7.30.2012, 1:27 pm

    LOVE this post. I am going to BlogHer to learn. And dance. But mostly learn. :-)

  • Schmutzie 7.30.2012, 1:27 pm

    Great piece!

  • Amy @ A Little Nosh 7.30.2012, 1:28 pm

    Exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks!

    • Marty 7.31.2012, 6:59 am

      You, my dear roomie, I expect to dance wildly with me and remind me to wear deodorant.

  • Tara Ziegmont 7.30.2012, 1:29 pm

    I wrote 12 tips for BlogHer12 today, too. Mine are less about New York (thanks for that, since I’ve never really been in the city before), and more about facing your fears and conquering your comfort zone. People let their inadequacies and greed squelch what is great about BlogHer.

    Thanks for another awesome post.

  • Major Bedhead 7.30.2012, 1:32 pm

    I am ridiculously excited about BlogHer this year. More than I have been in other years – maybe my anxiety levels are lower this time around. I have stuff I want to do and panels I want to attend, but if some of those things don’t happen, I’m fine with that. I have cute new shoes and new dresses and I’m sure I’ll forget something vital, but I’m not stressing. I’m going to have a good time and to not worry about anything.

  • Lynda @ Hit The Road Jane 7.30.2012, 1:34 pm

    This is the best Blogher post I’ve read so far. The advice is spot on and people should be able to handle it :) It’s better to hear the truth and let that be your guide.

  • Jennifer James 7.30.2012, 1:34 pm

    The Beekman sounds wonderful. Thanks for the tip. Great piece, Liz!

  • Kim at Let Me Start By Saying 7.30.2012, 1:36 pm

    That was so perfectly put. How NYC of you. ;)

    I remember seeing a few hilarious photo ops from people who attended last year. I was all annoyed at how flooded the www was with all the BlogHer talk, then laughed endlessly at pictures like the Charmin one above. Can you say “Holiday Greeting Card Photo Op”?

    I’m looking forward to learning, seeing friends, and waiting to discover whatever it is I’m supposed to discover/have happen to me this weekend. The surprise is always the best part.

  • Candace Derickx 7.30.2012, 1:38 pm

    Thank you for this. I’ve got my best shoes, best clothes and best attitude packed. Getting out from behind this screen is reason enough for me to celebrate. Conferences are what you make of it. Period.

  • RealMommyChron 7.30.2012, 1:39 pm

    One of the best BlogHer advice pieces I have read! This will be my third one, but reminders are still extremely helpful. Especially the ‘get dressed’ one. I still don’t really have appropriate outfits picked out – I think I need to go find a Target – and I LIVE in NYC! I have no excuse for not being aware that people like to look nice in public here. :)

    Hope to say HI! to you in person in a few days!

  • Grown and Flown 7.30.2012, 1:40 pm

    Great advice. One addition? Enjoy the time away from your home and family. If you are like me, you don’t have many nights a year away without family. And while there is nothing wrong with that, a couple of days without those we live with can be a beautiful thing. Looking forward to hearing you at Pathfinder Day.

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 1:57 pm

      Good tip. And so glad you’ll be there!

  • Kristin S 7.30.2012, 1:46 pm

    Yes, wear deodorant it is hot and humid here and if you forget to put some on or bring some you can find a Duane Reade or Sephora on every corner!

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 1:57 pm

      Or…borrow some, as I mentioned in my last FAQ. (Thanks Catherine Connors for not thinking that was gross.)

  • eva 7.30.2012, 1:46 pm

    BOO. So sad to be missing a chance to hang with you. Next year?

  • Issa 7.30.2012, 1:47 pm

    I enjoyed the hell out of NYC last time. So much so that I kinda forgot I was at a conference. Heh. It happens. I’m not going this year, but I wish I was.

    My only advice would be to take the Twizzlers. Last year there were nice ladies handing out Twizzlers seemingly every where. My kids? Thought my left over Twizzlers were the BEST GIFT EVER!

  • Andrea @ Savings Lifestyle 7.30.2012, 1:50 pm

    Great advice! I can’t wait to do Sparklecorn this year. Seriously. I’d add one more tip. I hope I bump into you. I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a while about a hot topic. :)

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 1:55 pm

      Make sure you say hi. I’m all for hot topics.

  • Kim Tracy Prince 7.30.2012, 1:51 pm

    I promise to wear deodorant so nobody sends me a Deodogram after the conference. Hugging you is top of my list.

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 2:07 pm

      That’s a real thing right? That deodogram? I’m scared.

  • Andrea @ Savings Lifestyle 7.30.2012, 1:51 pm

    Whoops! My tip was to allow yourself to completely chill at the hotel bar with random strangers, or just by yourself in the hotel room (with or without an alcoholic beverage or two). Sometimes it can be overwhelming even if you aren’t running from here to there. Getting a fresh perspective, and new people to chat with, or hearing your own thoughts alone, are a great way to have a more positive experience.

  • Sparklecorn was my favorite party two years ago, too. I don’t have a single private party invitation, and I’m not sweating it. I am wearing deodorant, after all. (Some of which I got because of my Klout score. LOL)

  • Chrysula 7.30.2012, 2:00 pm

    Only my 3rd BlogHer but you’re getting a giant AMEN from over here!

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 2:08 pm

      What do you mean “only?” You’re a pro!

  • Christina 7.30.2012, 2:12 pm

    Yep, I agree with all of this. This is also my seventh (!!) year, and I have great memories from every single one. It wasn’t because I was popular (HAHAHAHA) or even perfectly dressed or a social charmer – it was because I was determined to have a good time and forced myself to step outside of my comfort zone to meet new people and try new things.

    I’m sure someone will argue with the fashion tip, but it’s still true. People judge on appearances, sadly. Still, you can wear jeans (not THOSE jeans) and a t-shirt and own that brand of yourself like a boss. Just be prepared to be seen as that ultra-casual blogger in jeans and not wonder why the makeup/fashion/beauty brands don’t email you after the conference.

    Can’t wait to see you this week!

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 2:55 pm

      Fair enough Christine! We’ll have to toast to seven together.

      Okay so…why are people so addicted to their jeans? Honest question. We always joke when we go to the theater on a Saturday night, “would it kill them to wear something else ONCE?”

      • Christina 7.30.2012, 4:39 pm

        I think it’s a regional thing, really. It’s comfortable, durable, and depending on style/color can look very nice in casual outfits. If you’re a person who develops a Nerdist-style brand, it’s also the appropriate geek fashion.

        (But not to the theater – I’m with you on that one. There are places for jeans, but that isn’t one of them. Or weddings, funerals, court hearings, awards presentations, and fancy restaurants.)

        I’ve got a pair of dark jeans for one day of the conference, but I’m also bringing dresses for all of the parties. I know you won’t snub me for my jeans, right? ;)

  • Danielle 7.30.2012, 2:25 pm

    I think the photo of Kristen on the can should win some kind of prize.

  • Avitable 7.30.2012, 2:30 pm

    Excellent advice. Though I never make it to the panels and still have an amazing time – I don’t go to learn, I go to meet people. I already know everything. ;)

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 2:52 pm

      I loved Tara’s advice (above) that you should “know why you go.” Obviously you do. Since you know everything and all. See you soon Adam!

  • Rachel, BacknGrooveMom 7.30.2012, 2:32 pm

    Thanks – I love this post, Liz (and I know I love all your posts, but I really mean it).

    I think that I did say I was nervous somewhere once or twice and definitely in an email to you, but I don’t feel as nervous anymore – and you are so right – I never hear the ‘dudes’ say they are nervous.

    I will add that I am trying to have a ‘loose agenda’ mindset and just go with the flow b/c I never have a good time when I am over scheduled….and, end with this – (the collective) we need to treat the private parties like I tell the boys to act about being invited to parties in their class…keep it to yourself. I know feelings have and will be hurt and from what I hear – it is a good time no matter what!

    **and if I find myself without something on my dance card – I will be over at shake shack.

  • Erin 7.30.2012, 2:32 pm

    Number 7 made me hungry (I’m pregnant, what can I say) And 12 made me giggle and thankful for a super amazing boss who gave me her deodorant at Mom 2 in May because I forgot mine (DW is the best). Wish that I could go to Blogher this year and I am definitely going next year!

  • Alyssa S. 7.30.2012, 2:46 pm

    This is the point where I sigh and feel sorry for myself because I can’t go :( I’ve still only got a limited vaca bank at work and when it came down to a family vacation and this…well..you can guess what won out. I’m especially disappointed because I have a handful of NYC friends I haven’t seen since we moved from Boston 4 years ago and I wanted to visit them too.

    I’m still taking notes because I’ve made it my personal mission to plan ahead so I can attend next year. Because I’m SO totally not above dancing like a complete dork in front of a bunch of strangers.

  • Karen Dukess 7.30.2012, 3:00 pm

    Thank you for this post! I am heading to Blogher for my first time (easy decision; I live in NY) and am looking forward to learning a lot, meeting interesting people and hopefully getting the word out to people who might be interested in my blog. What I am not is nervous, and I have been perplexed by the Twitter stream of people whose nerves are escalating perilously. I started wondering perhaps I hadn’t mistakenly signed up for an Anxiety Anonymous conference. Thank you for your no-nonsense tips (although I would have worn deodorant anyway).

  • Cheryl 7.30.2012, 3:00 pm

    This is exactly the kind of post that makes me feel like we’d be friends if we ever had the chance to meet in person. Sadly, I’m not going to BlogHer, but I hope to attend some day, and follow all of these tips. Hope you have a great time.

  • Julie Marsh 7.30.2012, 3:13 pm

    The pizza/ice cream/Brooklyn Bridge excursion is my favorite recommendation ever. We always did it with visiting friends when we lived there, and it’s still what I tell people to do when they’re visiting NYC without me (darn them).

    #10 – seriously. Speaking for myself, I see you and Kristen maybe once or twice a year, even though we talk every day. It’s no wonder that we may resemble a football huddle at conferences. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have the time or interest in chatting with other old friends or meeting new ones.

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 5:04 pm

      That sound about right. Although this year I don’t have enough of you for even half a basketball team. I’ll be the one-woman band with the accordion and a monkey on my shoulder.

  • Kelli Kauffman Lecy 7.30.2012, 3:13 pm

    ….I love you…is that awkward for you? No, but seriously love your honesty.

    -K

  • suburbancorrespondent 7.30.2012, 3:27 pm

    The more I read about BlogHer, the more complicated and overwhelming it sounds. I think I will leave it to the extroverts among us.

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 5:03 pm

      Overwhelming? Somewhat. Complicated? Not really. It’s a conference. So either that’s your thing or it’s not.

      See you online then?

  • kim moldofsky 7.30.2012, 3:32 pm

    With 4 BlogHers under my belt and a living room full of bathroom fixtures, I’m staying home to celebrate the end of our renovations (I hope). But the rice pudding place sounds amazing and I think I’ll need to make it to New York later this year.

  • Mrs Woog 7.30.2012, 3:50 pm

    Love it. See you Friday xx

  • Sarah @ Toddler Summer 7.30.2012, 4:09 pm

    Thanks for this! This will be my first BlogHer and I’m excited to learn and meet new people.

  • Amanda 7.30.2012, 4:12 pm

    Brilliant. Another? So many avatars, different names and “was it Twitter a blog or somewhere else?” type doubts, don’t be embarrassed to hold up your name badge as someone scans to get your name right.

    It’s not the end of the world, it’s a really fun beginning.

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 5:02 pm

      Ha, my very first year before Blogher, 2006 (eep) I wrote about my fear of not recognizing people in person. And that was pre Facebook/Twitter.
      http://mom-101.lgumbinner.com/2006/07/blogher-i-hardly-know-her.html

      I propose that we all print out our headers and wrap them around our foreheads, indian princess style, to stave off any uncomfortable introduction moments. It won’t be nearly as obvious as staring down at the right boob to check out the name tag. The geeky, horrible name tag.

      I still stand by it if you do, Amanda

  • Alexandra 7.30.2012, 4:13 pm

    The truth, how I love to read it. Thank you so much for this: appearance DOES COUNT.

    I did get brushed off thrice, where I expected a kind hello instead: and you hit the nail on the head: it’s expectations that’ll get you every time.

    No one owes anyone anything, I’ve read that a thousand times.

    But a kind “Thank you for reading” only takes seconds, and means the world to a loyal reader.

    But, that was my first BlogHer and now I know: it can’t be personal. It’s just people who are busy and that’s life, right?

    Over all, being there was so wonderful that I’d take the three brush offs a year over and over to be at a BlogHer again.

    I LOVE BLOGHER and came come with my feet not touching the ground for 5 days afterward.

    It’s what you choose to remember about it. I choose to forget about the brush offs, they’re funny stories now and I still follow the people b/c I enjoy their writing. I get a lot out of my visits to their sites, but I know what they’re like now…and that changes the tone of their posts so much.

    They’re still gifted wordsmiths, and I learn a lot about style through them.

  • Lady Estrogen 7.30.2012, 4:22 pm

    LOVE this list.
    Looking forward to it – and I promise I will be wearing deodorant.

  • Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) 7.30.2012, 4:29 pm

    This is so great. I completely agree and can’t wait to get there already!

  • Korinthia Klein 7.30.2012, 4:47 pm

    It really sounds exciting! I hope one of these years I will be able to go.

  • Gwen 7.30.2012, 4:51 pm

    This is my second Blogher, and my 2nd time in New York for the conference. My feelings about Blogher 10 are mixed, but that was because of a terrible, no good, very bad summer of death and had nothing to do with Blogher 10 itself. That being said I made sure to take time to talk to people I had been reading forever, and I also made sure to talk to people who I had never met or read. I didn’t take enough time to get out and enjoy the city. This time I made sure that I have days on either side of Blogher so I can actually get time for both the city and the conference.

    I hope I can meet you, I’ll be the one in the fabulous red and black dress dancing like no one is watching.

  • {sue} 7.30.2012, 5:39 pm

    This year, I will track you down for an official Mom-101 hug! (Deodorant amply applied.) I’ve been so busy, I haven’t thought more than 2 seconds about it, so I was stressing about not stressing. But now I’m not even stressing about that. Thank you. *exhale*

    I can’t wait!

  • {sue} 7.30.2012, 5:40 pm

    Also, amen on No. 5. (Voices of the Year.)

  • Sili 7.30.2012, 6:24 pm

    Loving this! I will be looking for you to hug (after slathering an extra layer of deodorant, just in case ;-).

  • John Lundrigan 7.30.2012, 6:39 pm

    I had a good time reading this great info, my wife and I enjoyed as we have experienced so much of the same and from you guest comments as well. Much luck to you and yours, regards, JDL

  • Sommer 7.30.2012, 6:52 pm

    Great tips Liz! I agree most are amazing and sweet and willing to connect but there are always some in the crowd and they might just be having a terrible day. I like the idea of just taking a break and seeing the city! See you soon!

  • Elaine A. 7.30.2012, 7:57 pm

    Your tweet analysis is spot on. And I am SO excited for VOTR. It’s always amazing. And I REALLY hope to see you later this week!! :)

  • Erin Lane 7.30.2012, 8:18 pm

    Love it! Hope I get a chance to chat with you (or the very least a random drive by hello in the elevators!)

  • Marinka 7.30.2012, 8:21 pm

    I have yet to approach anyone and be rebuffed (I mean at BlogHer, not in high school).

  • Lara Galloway 7.30.2012, 9:22 pm

    Thanks for helping me laugh while I learn! And there’s nothing like learning from a straight-talker with a great sense of humor. Promise to pack my deodorant and hope to meet you there :).

  • Dresden 7.30.2012, 10:04 pm

    Ooooooh boy do I thank you for #5! I’m reading in VOTY this year and I am so excited and terrified. But seriously? Thank you for saying not just go- but also that it is ok if you don’t connect with what everyone’s reading. I’m totally in the, “I hope I’m good enough” head space tonight. But I’m excited.

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 11:26 pm

      Huge congrats Dresden! What an amazing honor. What happens backstage for you will be as important as what happens onstage. Enjoy every minute.

  • Stacey Maisch 7.30.2012, 10:36 pm

    Best post on BlogHer that I’ve read yet (and I’ve read a ton of them)! Thanks for the honesty and insight from a less-nervous-than-I-was newbie, thanks to you. Looking forward to learning a ton and meeting some great people this weekend!

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 11:25 pm

      Aw that’s so great. So happy to help. Have a blast and if you see me (with or without Zack Galifinakis) please say hi.

  • Heather Clisby 7.30.2012, 10:46 pm

    Ha! I’m the sweaty gal who is Zach G’s dance partner in the photo. I’m not usually open to criminal acts but that night, I tried very, very hard to steal him. Damn security.

    Does this mean I can’t wear the same dress again this year?

    • Mom101 7.30.2012, 11:22 pm

      Hi Heather! You two make a fabulous couple.

  • the weirdgirl 7.31.2012, 3:05 am

    See, last time it was in New York I should have asked you where to shop! I ended up hoofing it through Nolita and Elizabeth street which turned out a little disappointing, though I did score a cute top. I’m not making it out to BlogHer this year, but have a lovely time! Say hi to Kristen and Pierre for me.

    • Mom101 7.31.2012, 6:28 am

      Will miss you! (Although Kristen will be home in Atlanta – you can say hi to her on the internets any time.)

  • Ana Flores 7.31.2012, 3:58 am

    Ah, so refreshing to get a list of tips that are real!

    Yes, you must always dress to impress, but feel comfortable and that includes leaving the stress out of it. It’s a delicate balance, for sure.

    This year I bought an expo/party pass because I never get to truly make it to all the sessions and such. But I might be banging my head right now because I really want to be in the room for Voices of the Year!
    I guess instead you’ll find me on a carriage ride in Central Park with my friends (those who also messed up with their ticket choice!)

    Hope to see you and give you a deodorant-laden hug!

  • NYC Single Mom 7.31.2012, 5:34 am

    Great tips Liz as always. This is my second conference and and I am excited about the conference itself. I am amazed at all the kookiness over the party invites. Last time, I was upset about not being invited to a party (why, ug) and ended up at a party where I met Kristen Chase, your partner in crime. Trust me I was more excited to meet Kristen than the party I wasnt invited to.
    Its nice to get swag but I more appreciate the connections that I will truly make over stuff that ends being given away.

    One tip you should have put on is that NYC is a safe place to visit I have seen on a couple of FB pages about people being upset about not being able to bring a gun. I am still upset over that.

    Hope to see you in the crowd.

    • Mom101 7.31.2012, 6:28 am

      It’s funny, last year I was a little conference-d out, and Kristen and I blew off a party to sit together at a cafe, have dinner and people watch. It was a highlight of the weekend–so I can’t blame you for being excited to spend some time with her. (Although I know I’m biased.)

      Meanwhile, are you fucking kidding me re the guns? Please see my 2010 NYC Blogher FAQ for some thoughts on the likelihood of getting mugged. I mean, really. Just what we need: a bunch of trigger-happy, stressed-out tourists with social anxiety carrying concealed weapons around a conference full of women.

      • lisa @ early morning run 8.01.2012, 10:07 pm

        I also live in NYC and that really saddens (and angers) me to read that people think they need to bring guns. I moved here on my own 8 years ago and have never felt threatened. Just be smart and pay attention to your surroundings. I feel more nervous back in my hometown now than I ever have here!

        • Mom101 8.02.2012, 7:00 am

          Can you say, “suburban meth labs?”

  • Trish Sammer Johnston 7.31.2012, 6:07 am

    Thank you for the clothing pre-conference bitchslap! I’ve been waiting for it. I keep hearing, “If you like to wear sweatpants, go ahead.” And then I’m like … “Really? Do they mean that literally? Because that just doesn’t seem right …” I appreciate people trying to make me feel comfortable, but let’s face it: It’s easier to feel comfortable networking and making new friends if you’re dressed appropriately.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

  • ClumberKim 7.31.2012, 7:15 am

    Could eventbrite make this post required reading before registration is accepted? (And damn…I looked at just 2 of your NY recommendations before realizing I didn’t pad my trip with enough extra days in the city.)

  • dee brun 7.31.2012, 7:39 am

    I am a little upset that Have A Drink didn’t make the list….;)
    Fab List!! All great tips…
    Cheers

    • Mom101 7.31.2012, 11:48 am

      But everyone will tell you that!

  • Winnie 7.31.2012, 9:28 am

    This was great to read. I am a new blogger, and this will be my first conference. I saw a lot of “worry” about what to wear, shoes, and private parties. I am a NY’er, and in NY, people wear what they want and individualism is celebrated, nothing to worry about there. I remember going on a GREAT cruise with my late hubby. We read reviews afterwards, and one woman gave it a poor review.. Why? They didn’t put the free mints on her pillow! (Enough food to feed entire villages, but no mints ruined her trip!) Thanks for this. The parties listed seem like enough for one person to live through in my world.

    • Mom101 7.31.2012, 10:39 am

      Ha, that’s great. I just read reviews of my firm from interns and overwhelmingly they ranked it 5 stars. One kid dinged us though because “the waits for the elevator can be long.” You just never know what some people value, huh. Hope to see you there Winnie.

  • Heather 7.31.2012, 12:47 pm

    I went to Blogher for the first time last year and really enjoyed it, but it’s not in the cards this year. I realize now that I was probably there for one of your panels but wasn’t reading your blog yet, so I didn’t know to swoon. I wish I could go to NYC this year and right that wrong. :)

    Have fun. I hope it’s a blast.

  • JC 7.31.2012, 2:17 pm

    I wont be at Blogher, but I have to chime in – Ample Hills IS the best ice cream in NYC. Well worth the trip to Brooklyn. Luckily (or perhaps not…) I live close enough to walk!

  • Jo 7.31.2012, 2:55 pm

    Every single one of your tips resonated with me. Thank you for all of them. I am looking forward to VOTY and the keynotes – and… oh all of it. I’ll be deodorant-ed up, so I hope you’re in a Hug-an-Aussie mindset when I say hi!

  • deborah l quinn 7.31.2012, 3:21 pm

    In New York you DO have to try harder–lip gloss (or Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm, more forgiving for someone who doesn’t do “real” lipstick), and okay MASCARA. But on the other hand, it’s New York, so thick white socks and crocs or four-inch heels…eh. It’s a look. Just ban the fanny pack, really, is all that matters. And maybe toss the scrunchy in the trash. Let your hair float free as you dance with Zac in 2-D!

  • Amy Smith 7.31.2012, 6:34 pm

    I’m a newbie this year, and LOVED your post, especially the “mom jeans” photo – one of my all-time favorite Saturday Night Live skits.

    I am PUMPED to go to BlogHer — and can’t wait to experience it all!

  • Boston mamas 7.31.2012, 7:13 pm

    I love you liz. Also, the photo of K on the pooper

  • Chloe 7.31.2012, 7:44 pm

    This is one the best pieces I’ve seen. Thanks for being honest. It always matters how you present yourself. And attitude is 99% of every experience.

  • Asha {Parent Hacks} 7.31.2012, 8:41 pm

    Love you, Liz. Happy memories. Have a great time.

  • Nikki @ Styling You 8.01.2012, 12:47 pm

    I’m a BlogHer newbie currently sitting at LAX after a sleepless flight from Australia and I’m beyond excited for what the next few days holds. Love this post and hope to meet you!

  • Meaghan Barry 8.01.2012, 1:30 pm

    Great post! I am heading to BlogHer for the first time this year. I think what I am most anxious about, however, is leaving my son for the first time ever. I am sure it will be easier once I have arrived in NYC! I am sure it will be on overwhelming, but amazing, weekend!

    -m

    • Mom101 8.01.2012, 1:39 pm

      He will be fine and so will you. Also, Skype is kinda nice on business trips. Have fun Meaghan.

  • Kelly 8.01.2012, 9:43 pm

    You crack me up. I’m arriving at blogher tomorrow night…. just launched my first blog today, so I’m ummm errrr let’s just say beyond a rookie. I have a 2 yr old and a 9 week old, and I’m kind of, sort of hoping I can get a pass on #1. Unless I can find some clothes that fit asap…… Thanks for the tips!

    • Mom101 8.02.2012, 7:01 am

      Email me if you need some tips. H&M isn’t far, Daffy’s is always fun, and there are plenty of boutiques. A quick walk 1 block to 5th or 2 blocks to Madison and you’ll be in shopping heaven.

  • lisa @ early morning run 8.01.2012, 10:02 pm

    So great to read this post. This will be my first time attending and I’m trying to soak up all the advice I can! Also…I totally agree with you on the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory – great ice cream and view!

  • mod*mom 8.02.2012, 2:50 pm

    Remember we were on CrazyHipBlogMamas sidebar 2006?
    Then I was terminal & bald on chemO, blogher 2006 san Jose I asked you to sneak me in :) you made me feel included & finally I got to meet you & you autographed sleep is for the weak :)

    Last year I caught a glimpse of you speaking at san diego blogher.
    I enjoyed these tips & feel included as a “blogher at home” :)

    • Mom101 8.03.2012, 7:25 am

      Aw, mod mom – wish you were here. Hope you’re doing well. xo

  • Marin 9.07.2012, 9:24 pm

    I attended blogher 10. I knew I was a little fish. I have a 30 year career as a lawyer, college instructor, and had made preliminary contact with about 10 bloggers asking “if I see you can we hang together for awhile? I am nice and funny and nobody has ever run away screaming at the sight of me.

    That being said my heart was broken after the trip. Every blogger I saw said a quick and friendly hello and continued on the path with the 2-3 people she had in tow at the time.

    I could not catch the eye of anyone dancing at Sparklecorn. Everybody had their bunch of friends laughing together. I spoke first, I tried to catch the eye of ANYONE. One blogger smiled at me at both cheeseburgher and Sparklecorn. Everybody was in their own world.

    I was back at high school.

    My tip is to have AT LEAST TWO CLOSE friends lined up to room with. I was unemployed and had to stay with family members and did lose out on a chance to get to know roomies. I am also sick with chronic fatigue. So I did all I could but I will try to line up real people I know fairly well and ask can I hang with you

    I am not a noob either-blog since 2005. People were polite but out of 25 I approached TWO talked to me, and that was after the conference broke and I lost their cards. I even wrote the blogger who most influenced me to come and confronted her. She apologized.

    Never again unless I find at least two people who really want to be my pal.
    One blogger was alone and I stopped her for a chat. We spoke for about 10 minutes when someone interrupted her to ask how she did her hair. She told them it was on her blog, then excused herself politely to continue alone.

    Imagine how I felt when she posted later how lonely she had been at times. Me too!!!

    I want to be perfectly clear these were people I had engaged with via personal email, comments, etc. before hand. Otoh only 2 bloggers had specifically said yes I hope you will find me. Both talked to me several times and one literally ran away the last time I talked to her bc her crowd was calling. I was not asking to be thei bridesmaid. Just a casual “hey wanna go to the exhibit hall with me?”. “wanna sit with us at Spaklecorn/cheeseburgher”.

    I saw this post and I am going to be a Debbie Downer. I so desperately want to come in 2013. But I am not coming unless I can afford to room with people I know who will let me walk and talk with them.

    Signed,

    Someone who used to read your blogs

  • Darcy Perdu 7.18.2013, 1:41 am

    Brilliant and informative! I’m headed to my first BlogHer next week so your post was very helpful! THANKS!

Leave a Comment