I wasn't quite sure what to expect when a fellow blogger/quilter talked me into signing up for BlogHer'13. At first I said no automatically but then I remembered my resolve to say YES to as many things as possible after I retired. Other bloggers I knew were not so enthused about this conference but I just closed my eyes, bought an early bird ticket and took the chance. I am so darn glad I did and next year, I hope I can attend and stay at the official hotel. My experience was "BlogHer'13 Lite" as I day tripped in, was only able to attend on Friday and took a train home at 5:30 pm. Even with this short but sweet experience I am still glad I went to BlogHer'13.
My adventure started off on Friday when I got up at 4:30 am to drive to the train station, take the train and then a cab in time to make the Newbie breakfast at 7:30 am. This was the least exciting part of the day but since I usually don't get up until 8:30 or 9:00 my brain was still back in bed anyway. And I did get to give away some cards. Ah yes, the business cards. I got 50 free ones, got carried away and reordered 300 more. I gave away 43. Who wants a card?
We were greeted by the founders of BlogHer and they seemed pretty cool. Things were starting to look up. I liked the women I was sitting by as well. The keynote address was by Ree Drummond of the blog/books/TV Show The Pioneer Woman. You may have figured out that I am not cook of the year so I didn't even know who she was. (No, I don't live under a rock, why are you asking?) I was captivated by her. She was so down to earth, self deprecating and told great stories. I was getting excited!
We had a quick game of speed dating, BlogHer style. I seriously loved it, you meet a new blogger every minute or so. I could have done it for easily an hour. Like everything else at BlogHer'13, they left you wanting more.
Off to the Expo hall and sessions. I know a lot of people love swag bags and this one was fine but unless it's fabric, I am not so into free stuff. (Don't get me wrong, if you have extra money cluttering up your place, send it my way.) I cut out and went to a session on Humor Writing which is a tough gig. Have you ever tried to dissect what's funny? That's a darn quick way to make everything really serious but I enjoyed it. I left my swag bag there so I could go to lunch unencumbered.
At lunch I stumbled upon a very cool table, the women there were so smart and fun. We had a grand time and then the second Keynote speaker of the day came on, Guy Kawasaki. I also had never heard of him. (No, I do not live in a cave. Why all these questions about where I live?) He was also just fabulous. I "won" one of the copies of his book, APE, and by "won" I mean I ran towards the stage with my hand out and a begging look on my face. Afterwards I tweeted him how thrilled I was to acquire this book about self publishing and mentioned I was a Droid user. (He had remarked "Real Women use Droids" to a room full of Apple women. The man has guts.)
He also has 1,365,289 followers on Twitter. Yes, he is that cool. And he tweeted me back. No biggie. Or I almost died on the spot because although I had only learned about him I now want him to be my bff. Here it is. Sigh of happiness.
@KQuilt You use Android and self publish? My kind of woman...
— Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) July 26, 2013
I retweeted it and haven't tweeted anything since, like not washing your face after Elvis kisses it! I floated over to two awesome sessions on Pitching and Publishing. I would totally love love love it if I could get something, anything published in a Quilt magazine and these sessions really showed me how to focus on this fantasy.
Overall this was a really fabulous conference and you could tell it was designed by women, very savvy women. The food was FABULOUS, Mexican themed breakfast, Middle Eastern Lunch, snacks heavy on chocolate and Good humor ice cream carts roamed the halls at one point. You read that correctly. Ice cream bars for the asking and when I am tired, I eat and so I asked. The conference was very techy and there were lots of sessions to help you learn more. I met two women from ChicagoNow and made a good craft connection.
Great women, free chocolate, fabulous speakers, new information and my brain lit up like a Christmas tree. I left there dog tired but feeling great. Next year I am going to do the whole tamale, the entire enchilada, please stop me as I am running out of Mexican food metaphors.
Sew happy I went and hope it improves my quilting blog!
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