I arrived at #BlogHer16 Los Angeles with a mixture of excitement and anxiety for what was ahead. Three days of networking, learning and connections – This was my second BlogHer and it I thought I knew exactly what to expect. Yet this year the connections I found went far beyond my expectations
Once my flight landed, I was super excited to get to the Hotel so I could register and get my #BlogHer16 experience started. I booked my shuttle ahead of time but didn’t realize exactly how many share-a-ride would include. The number of stops meant I had plenty of time to chat and get to know a few of my shuttle mates. It wasn’t until the driver went over everyone’s destination that I realized there was someone else on her way to BlogHer as well.
Shawn from Shrederella is a food blogger with personality to spare. She was super excited an her enthusiasm helped me forget about the longer than expected commute and focus on all BlogHer had in store. She had attended BlogHerFood before but this was her very first BlogHer conference.
As a BlogHer Conference toddler myself, I shared a bit of what she could expect. We went from talking about blogs, web design, video tips to chatting about the quirky habits of our husbands. It felt like meeting up with an old friend. It was so much fun and definitely made me realize that attending a BlogHer Conference can be about networking, learning and growing BUT the real life the People Connections can be just as important.
Shawn and I continued to chat away I was checking my phone for notifications – you know like we all do – and I saw a Facebook Mention. I figured it was just a reaction to a photo or someone saying they were on their way too. Instead I saw….
I turned ever so slowly and sitting right behind me a mere two rows back was Tiffany Horton a budding Blogger I’d chatted with for the weeks leading up to the conference. I was in LA less than 5 hours and already made great real life connections with two truly amazing women.
Once we arrived at the hotel it was a mad dash to Registration and the Expo Hall. My plans were to arrive around 4, change clothes, Register and stroll the different booths making note of the ones I wanted to have a more in depth interaction with. Instead I dropped my bags in my room, barely made the Registration desk and did a fast sprint up and down the maze like rows of Brands, Showcases and Demonstrations of the Brands.
I made note of several booths to come back too but by then my stomach started reminding me I hadn’t eaten since 6am EST and it was now around 8pm PT. Tiffany was feeling the signs of hunger as well and after a quick check Facebook we saw that there were several ‘Newbie‘ BlogHer attendees meeting for dinner down the street from the hotel. I am always up for great company and great food so even though this as my second year I still wanted to go!
Everyone introduced themselves, their site’s and gave their reason for being at BlogHer. Sitting there I realized I was among women who were motivated and passionate about the same thing I am – it was amazing! This was networking on an entirely different level. We were talking blogging, yes but we were also talking life and that was something I never expected. I never expected to find a common set of interests with women I just met. I enjoyed it and wondered how I missed this during #BlogHer15.
I missed it then because I was so determined to do and be everywhere and meet every brand I forgot about the people behind the brands. They are women, mothers and friends who are just like me. So making life connections is something I decided would be a part of my plan this year. It happened that first night and I was determined to bring it through the rest of my stay.
I headed up to my room to start editing my Video Vlog from the day and record a video reveal of my awesome BlogHer Swag Bag from registration. As I sat there working, I started to think on the next day. I didn’t want what happened to end with this night. I decided that being present in the moments of this experience would be my focus. I wanted to have true personal connections as well as brand building opportunities and this night helped me realize it is possible.
That first night in LA I found a new meaning to connection. I began to understand the reasons I came were just the beginning of what BlogHer could be for me as a Blogger. I was able to share, interact and find the support I have longed for. Women who understand working to find that perfect instagram image, the perfect wording for that Facebook post and the passion to be a success.
BlogHer is designed to help Bloggers make the connections they need. Yet BlogHer is so much more than that. It’s a place where you, as a Blogger, can find a connection to people who share your passion and understand your drive to be a success at your goals.The awesomeness of BlogHer didn’t end with this night so stay tuned because Day 2 just gets better…
PS – I recorded throughout #BlogHer16 for my YouTube Channel so be sure to watch for more of what my Day 1 was like from flight to night 😉 Stay Tuned for Day 2 of #BlogHer16!