BlogHer is the Super Bowl of blog conferences. It is so dynamic is scale, size and overall awesome.
This year the conference was in my backyard. It was held at the same location as BlogHer12 at the Hilton on 6th Ave. When I walked back into the hotel (for the first time since the conference!) I realized almost immediately how much I had changed and grown as a blogger. I wish I had a crystal ball back then to show me where I would be today.
Similar to BlogHer 12 there was still a constant sense of frenzy. There were other events simultaneously taking place and I had to make real decisions on where my time was best spent, after all, I paid good money for a ticket.
The festivities began on Thursday evening with a keynote focused on the #womenslives and #blacklivesmatter hashtags.
The founders of the #blacklivesmatter hashtag told their stories about what it is like to be the face of such a movement that resonates so strongly with so many people, especially those in the black community. The talked about how viral the hashtag went after George Zimmerman was acquitted and then again with the protests in Ferguson. They even discussed how hard it was to fight to BE the face of the movement as media outlets had started to have conversations around #blacklivesmatter and yet still didn’t involve them. Their cause is not just a hashtag, it’s a real movement with international divisions. Check out more about the 26 chapters here.
Afterwards it was time for some expo fun! BlogHer has one of the biggest expos I’ve ever seen next to Toy Fair and the NYC Marathon. Lyft had beautiful electric pink cars on site (quite honestly if I drove I’d want that to be MY car!), Baskin Robins had 10+ flavors and was giving free ice cream all night long. Dunkin Donuts was giving samples of their new smoothies, Captain Aquafresh came by and made an appearance, and so much more! This might be overwhelming to some but I spoke to some brands that I really wanted to work and shmoozed (read: got some great freebies) with others.
Best Buy also had Kenny Lattimore, and I completely fan girl squealed and got my picture with him. Maybe because he sang my wedding song “For You”.
The next morning I showed up bright and early for a Yoga session with Depend. This wassn’t your mamas yoga. It was tough and good and just what I needed to combat the tense that had built up in my legs and hips thanks to extra running! (Plus it was motivation for my Yoga for Runners post yesterday!)
When Yoga was complete I headed for Breakfast with Soledad O’Brien and 3 young women that she mentored in her starfish foundation. They shared their amazing stories of doing any and everything possible to get a good education. Soledad’s foundation helps these girls both financially and by connecting mentors to mentees. One of my favorite points that Soledad brought up was that mentorship doesn’t have to be so difficult. Help and guide people when you can. Make a difference. When someone reaches out to you, you have an opportunity to be a mentor. Plus, I love Soledad, she is an old school bestie in my head.
Next I went to the Social Media session, I try not to miss these sessions because Social Media changes literally by the second so I wanted to make sure that a) I was getting the best use of my time and b) I am doing the right things on the right platform. Here are some of the highlights:
- Create and USE LinkedIn, brands are searching for people on this platform everyday!
- Upload native videos to Facebook, since Facebook likes it so much they will show it to more people
- 11 is the magic number of hashtags on Instagram (I NEVER use this many! Maybe I will start now….)
- Pinterest: Should be pinning 10-15 pins a day
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur, but that evening I ended up at YouTube Kids. It was a special event in the same place that I am ALL too familiar with because I have taken MANY youtube classes on my own. We had a really yummy dinner, some tips to grow our channel and a really cool tour of the space. The space is more like a real life movie set, from different scenes, to fancy lighting and structures–a YouTuber could really make some special things happen!