Now that BlogHer ’12 is over, I’m full of lessons, inspirations, and self-confidence.  The BlogHer conference in New York was attended by about 5000 people, and every one that I met had something to offer, even if they were in a completely different area of blogging.  Here the top 5 things I learned at BlogHer ‘12:

Wear comfortable shoes.

1. My roommate and I both brought way too many shoes!  I spent most of my time in flip-flops from Kohls that had bead work on it.  I got compliments on them, and that’s when I decided it was the perfect accessory for a brand cocktail party.  The snazzy heels that cut up my feet when I went downtown?  The place was too crowded for anyone to even notice them, and my walk back to the subway was torture.  Now I know: bring fashionable, comfy shoes… lesson learned, the hard way!

Keep an open mind.

2. I attended sessions with not only birds of a feather, but also people I know that have opposing viewpoints from me.  That said, a sense of camaraderie was in the air, and I “stepped across the aisle” to offer to speak to the type of vendor I usually avoid to share the opinions of people on my side.  I’m hoping to open a dialogue with this company, as this is a group that can really help kids with special needs like my own.  Step out of your comfort zone!

Know your elevator speech.

3. I did not write mine down, practice it, or do any of the things you’re supposed to do.  Instead, I know exactly what I’m doing with my community to support moms of special needs kids.  I condensed that into 2 short sentences, and mentioned that I’m part of that community.  I let my passion speak for itself, and because I know what my community will look like, the speech came easy.  Since it wasn’t practiced, it was natural, and I found that people opened up to me.  The feedback I got for it encouraged me to go for it!

Make friends.

4. I was inspired with a great idea because I talked with the blogger next to me at a session.  No matter if you’re at a breakfast, a session, a party, or on a long, long line for Coldwater Creek jeans, turn around and talk to the person next to you.  I brought an iPad and my Mac keyboard and that alone struck up a lot of comments, so if you are shy, bring a conversation starter with you!

Write on the back of business cards notes about your conversation.

5. I did this on the first and last day, but forgot in the middle!  This quick and easy notation method is critical for me to remember what we discussed, especially if there were opportunities on exchanging links, guest posts, advertising, or business partnerships.  Remembering where you met someone is also great so you can thank them if they did something nice for you, like A Lady In France sharing her Starbucks session with me.  When you get home, you can then prioritize your business cards, and reach out to each person who helped you.

These few simple tips are applicable at any conference and event, and will not only get your message out there but help you do it in natural, simple ways.  Enjoy your next conference, and once you get there, remember that comfort, passion, and friendliness will go far!


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August 11, 2012

The Top 5 Things I Learned from BlogHer’12

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  1. Sarah Peppel

    August 11th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I had every intention of making notes on business cards. Did I do it, noooo… Dang it. Glad you enjoyed yourself. I was in the same Coldwater Creek line and enjoyed the conversations around me!

  2. Gina B

    August 20th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Yes, there is a benefit to a long line!

  3. Alison Shaffer

    August 11th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    thanks for all those tips, I don’t have an elevator speech! good idea to get one now.
    BlogHer sounds like a lot of fun and learning. I hope to get to one soon.
    Love your shoes too!

  4. Gina B

    August 20th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks! Just go with your heart, what your mission is, and the words will start to come. Note I’ve been working on this idea over a year now lol!

  5. Jenn @therebelchick

    August 11th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I wish that I had written on the back of biz cards – I thought I would remember who was who…but once I returned home and began sorting through them, I didn’t remember half of the people I spoke to!

  6. Gina B

    August 20th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Yes, it’s overwhelming! This is the only way I’m SURE to remember.

  7. Debbie Mitchell

    August 11th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I loved your tips. This year’s BlogHer conference was my first and I found that several of your points were right on target, especially writing down conversations on the back of business cards. I met so many great bloggers and want to make sure that I get back to each person to say hello.
    Thanks for writing your helpful tips.

  8. Gina B

    August 20th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks, Debbie, glad to help!

  9. Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

    August 12th, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Great tips, I always warn people coming into NYC to bring comfortable shoes and they never heed my warnings until they get here and their feet bleed!

  10. Gina B

    August 20th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    LOL! Well, I’ve done both…but I used to live there, so I know my “foot expectancy” when I where high heels in midtown (not very long at all…)