BlogHer – Tips and Tricks I Learned

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BlogHer Tips

I still have BlogHer posts coming – don’t fret. I am waiting for my swag boxes to arrive so that I can do some posts, and I am just trying to compose in my head what to write about for the other posts. It is all kind of jumbled in my head, as BlogHer was pretty insane. But for this post, I thought I would tell you what I learned {as this was my very first time at BlogHer}, and what I will do differently next year.

GENERAL:

Pack comfortable clothes! I cannot emphasize this enough. I saw this tip in the Twitter stream before I left for BlogHer, but I figured with all of the parties, I would need dressy clothes as well. I noticed at both BlogHer and other blogging events I have been to, that the outfits people wear vary. Some people love to get all gussied up, and apparently they have “young” feet. Most people are casual. Capris, a blouse and flats are perfect for most events.  Maybe pack one dress – even a casual sundress for the parties.

what to bring to BlogHer Bring flip-flops! I did not bring any flat, casual flip-flops and I was really sorry that I didn’t. Instead I brought oodles of dressy shoes and two comfy pairs of shoes. You will be on your feet pretty much the entire time. You will not be in the spotlight, and people will not be staring at your shoes, or at you. Good impressions are important, but use your personality to shine – not your shoes.  I recommend  packing several pairs of comfy shoes {might I suggest Shoebuy.com, and the pair that you think will be the most comfortable?  Wear them for a day {a couple of weeks before you leave}.  Walk around in the mall or take a really long walk in them.  You might find that they are not as comfortable as you thought.  I learned this the hard way, when my “comfiest of comfy” shoes left a cut and blisters on my feet after the first day.

Bring a large purse. Many of the women I was attending parties with brought flip flops along {and did in fact, end up wearing them}.  A big purse will allow you to throw shoes in there, and other things that you manage to accumulate during your outings.  I bought a big purse specifically for BlogHer and I am glad I did. I ended up putting my Flip camera, digital camera, sunscreen and more in it.  Very handy!

Sort through your business cards at the end of each day {or when you find time for a break}.  You will be collecting an insane amount of business cards each day, and talking to so many people.  You think you will remember who everyone was, but the truth is, you probably will not.  Take notes on the cards with information such as where you talked with this person, what you talked about, etc.  It will help you remember the important facts.

Don’t overschedule. This is especially important if you are a first-timer.  It is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the sessions, personal invites to parties, BlogHer parties, etc.  You cannot do it all.  You just can’t.  Personally, next time around, I will only commit to two parties per night. Maybe it will be different next year, as the conference will be held at a convention hall {and I really hope that will help}.  This year parties were scattered throughout the city, and a cab ride was required for most events.  I really wish that the parties that were away from the hotel would have had shuttles to take the bloggers to their event.  It would have saved time and lots of money.

SWAG, TRAVEL AND HOTEL:

Stay an extra night before BlogHer if possible (Wednesday).  It will allow you to settle in and rest up, especially if you will be flying all day the day prior to BlogHer.

Take a rolling,  lightweight suitcase for your carry-on luggage. I actually put one change of clothes in mine, as well as my laptop.  If you are trekking through the airport {especially a big one}, that laptop can get very heavy and uncomfortable.

Bring an extra suitcase. Oh, how I wish I had done this!  Chances are you have no idea how much swag you will end up with.  It is insane.  Like Oh Em Gee  insane.  On the last day of BlogHer, I had to lug all of my swag down to the shipping booth.  This was no easy task.  It is cheaper to check an extra suitcase on the plane, than to ship home your swag.

Bring several big plastic garbage bags. Luckily I did pack a few of these, just because.  They ended up coming in really handy, as I filled them with swag and it made carrying my “loot” quite a bit easier.  If I hadn’t had these, I would have been struggling to carry an ungodly amount of tote bags  to the shipping booth.

Before you head to BlogHer, research where the nearest UPS store is. There ended up being one right around the corner from our hotel, but I was unaware of this until the last day of BlogHer.  Had I known, I think I would have taken a bag or two of swag to the UPS Store each day.  Not only would this save a lot of trouble on the last day {while also trying to pack to go home, settle the hotel bill, etc.}, but it probably would have been much cheaper.

Bring some small bills. If you are going to be flying, taking a shuttle, staying at a hotel, etc. you will be tipping.  You do not want to get caught with $20 or higher only. Stock up on $1, $5 and $10 bills that you keep in your wallet specifically for tipping!

Print out your blog logo to tuck into your conference badge.  This was my friend’s idea and it was a fantastic one.  The BlogHer badge only shows your name and blog name, but sometimes they can be hard to read.  People will recognize you faster if they see your header or blog button.  Simply tuck it in the badge sleeve on the backside of your badge, so you have a 2-sided badge.  Remember to flip over your badge when you are at the Expo hall, dining, or just wandering around.

Request a roll away bed {if you have roommates} and refrigerator at check-in {or request it long before you arrive}.  I imagine they run out of them quickly, but we found both to be indispensable.

Bring snacks and bottled water to keep in your room. It is easy to forget to eat, or run out of time to eat during BlogHer.  Pack some snacks {breakfast bars, crackers, etc.} to keep in your hotel room.  If you are driving, then you could also bring a case of bottled water, or your favorite beverage.  If you are flying, you can pick these up at a drugstore if there is one close to the hotel.

EXPO HALL:

Take Breaks! I was utterly exhausted by the time the Expo Hall opened on Friday.  I was so wrapped up with other things going on, that I did not get to do much at the expo on Friday.  I was rushing around on Saturday to try to go to all of the booths.  What I wish I had done was, on both days, head to Expo for a couple of hours, then go to my room for about 1/2 hour, put my feet up and drink some water.  Then repeat.  While you are in your room, you can drop off the goodies you have received thus far, lightening your load for your next trip to the expo.

Print out address labels. Thanks to my good friend Christine {Live, Laugh, Laugh with CJ}, I now know to do this for BlogHer and any other similar event.  She printed out labels for us which included our name, address, phone number, Twitter handle, email address and blog URL.  Almost every booth at the expo had giveaways – you enter by putting a business card in a jar, or by filling out a form.  The stickers had everything we needed – even the people manning the booths thought it was a wonderful idea!

Bring your camera. There are some great photo opps at the Expo.  Wandering around this year were the Pillsbury Dough Boy, the Hamburger Helper hand and more.  I also spotted Tamra from The Real Wives of Orange County  {I didn’t get a picture with her though – her nose was a little high in the air}.  You may want to take pictures with bloggers you meet in the expo, or even PR reps you have worked with before.  It’s a busy place and there is always something going on!

PARTIES:

parties at BlogHer,what to bring to BlogHer

Plan ahead and try to arrive early. The taxi line outside the hotel was really long for a couple of parties.  You might even benefit from walking a couple of blocks to catch a cab.

Bring your invitations. Many of the parties will check  your printed invitation, and also check  your name on the guest list.

Whew – I think that is it for now.  I am sure I will be adding more tips as I think of them, and will refer back to this before I head to BlogHer next year.  What tips do you have?

Looking for shoes for BlogHer? ShoeBuy has an amazing assortment of casual and dressy shoes!


 

Are you ready for San diego?  Be sure to read what to expect at BlogHer ’11 in San Diego!

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About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!

18 Comments

  1. oh how i wish i had brought flip flops. someone told me people didn’t wear them in new york so i didn’t pack them and my comfiest of comfy shoes gave me blisters too.

    and the printed address labels are genius. my mom used to do that way back in the day when you have to take camera film in to get developed but i hadn’t thought of that since then.

    • I am sorry you had blisters too…I think everyone must have! I imagine it could happen even with flip flops, I don’t know LOL.

  2. Super tips! Of course, you know I was all about the flip flops. I have learned the hard way on that so I’m glad I had them with me every night.

    I saw Tamra too and like you, I found her a little too arrogant for my liking and didn’t approach her.

  3. Good tips. I packed 3 pairs of new sandals. Even the Keen sandals I bought that I knew were comfy weren’t as comfy when I wore them around the hotel room. I ditched all the sandals for a pair of block flip flops. My motto: I was dressy from the ankles up.

    • I looked everywhere for flip flops, and didn’t find any even at the Duane Reade stores. Finally on the last night I found some…figures! I’ll bet you looked smashing from the ankles up 🙂

  4. Those are great tips Speedy. I’ll definitely keep them all in mind next year, especially the comfortable shoes part! Uncomfortable ones can be hell just walking a little distance!

  5. Excellent list! You’ve nailed every single point!!

    I have another tip…as far as camera points. Bring one of those point and shoot cameras. My camera isn’t a DSLR, but it’s not tiny and quite a few times when I wanted it, I had remembered that I left it in the room because I was sick of lugging the thing around.

    • Jennifer-admin on

      Thanks – I just might do that! Or we can do one big linky – where everyone can link up their BlogHer tips. I might learn something new too 🙂

  6. I love the idea about putting the notes on the business cards… I didn’t get a ton when I went to the Disney conference and I couldn’t remember who was who when I got home.
    Great idea about chechking out the UPS store and bringing bottled water.
    I got exhausted just reading your post, I have no idea how you kept up with all the activities. I can’t wait to read more on your trip.

  7. Great tips! I agree, you should repost just before Blogher next year. They have such cute flip-flops now, dressy ones, etc. – I pack casual and dressy flip flops both on every trip. sammiejanL40 at aol dot com

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