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Blogging Conference Season | Are You Going?

June 4, 2012

My blogging peers know that blogging conference season is upon us! BlogWorld Expo, BlogHer Food, Type A-Parent, World Domination Summit, Evo, BlogHer’12, and a handful of Bloggy Boot Camp stops presented by SITS. My personal conference agenda includes stops in NYC for BlogHer’12 and Las Vegas for Bloggy Boot Camp in October.

Last year, BlogHer’11 was my first ever blogging conference. I was terrified. I actually bought my ticket weeks before the conference and scrambled for a hotel room. I had a few sleepless nights over what to wear and figuring out my elevator pitch. A lot of worry over nothing. Those three days in San Diego were incredible. I had so much fun. I met a ton of awesome people, I attended a few great sessions, I stumbled a little, and laughed a lot. I am really looking forward to this year’s BlogHer’12 conference.  Are you going?

I wanted to share a post I wrote last summer. I was seriously panicking – PANICKING. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still worried about what to wear and I’m always refining my elevator pitch. But now that I know what to expect, I’m definitely not so anxious. It’s going to be off the charts!

And now, last year’s post:

Panic on the Streets of San Diego

I pulled the trigger and bought a ticket to next month’s BlogHer conference in San Diego. And panic has officially set it.

Even though I’ve read the posts at Mommypants and Amber Page Writes about what to and what not to fret about as a newbie, I still can’t help but let my anxiety get the best of me.

lonely_blogging_conferencesI’m a wallflower. I’m always on the outer edges and never fully in the mix. I’ve been that way my whole life. It’s not something I love about myself but something I’ve become accustom too. It’s kind of frustrating.

I worry that I’ll make a bad first impression and won’t be able to recovery. Embarrassed, I’ll retreat to my hotel room, order dinner and a pay-per-view movie and follow BlogHer’s evening events (read: parties) on Twitter.

Speaking of parties. Thank God the sponsored parties are non-RSVP. I find that I’m already feeling a lot like the middle school tween who didn’t get invited to the sleep over. I’m begging on Twitter to win an invite to some random party. Why? I don’t know. Because it seems like everyone else is going except for me. I’m starting to become a little pathetic.

But am I just supposed to cruise into the Sparklecorn or the CheeseburgHer parties and hit the dance floor by myself? I may cruise in and hit the bar by myself and then see where that takes me. I’m not so afraid to do that.

Now, don’t even get me started on what to wear. This didn’t even cross my mind until I saw Little Hen House start putting together day and night outfits for other attendees. I mean, I live in jeans, a tee, and flip flops. Dresses and skirts are so out of my comfort zone. Heels? Forget about it. And the only accessories I ever wear are usually my wedding ring and diamond studs.

But…I have started pinning some outfits I like and I picked up a pair of wedge sandals from Target to get me started. You can check them out here on my Pinterest board. Tell me what you think. (Here’s my 2012 blogging conference attire Pinterest board)

So, are you going to BlogHer ’11? Are you a newbie like me? Or an experienced blogging conference goer?

I laugh reading this now.  All that worry and it was nothing but fun.   If BlogHer’12 is your first blogging conference, what are you worried about?   Leave me a comment – I’ll start making a list of who I need to meet up with IRL!

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer June 4, 2012 at 6:58 am

I’m going, but last year was my first year too. I was pretty much exactly like this. This year? Just ready to go have some fun.

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

Jennifer – did we meet? I have the absolute worst memory. I vow to take photos with everyone I meet this year!
Yep, NYC is going to be bananas. Can’t wait!

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Jennifer June 4, 2012 at 11:51 am

Honestly? I have no idea. LOL Maybe we did.

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Megan June 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

Im going to Bloggy Boot Camp too- my husband and I are making it a long weekend!
BlogHer was my first too, and it was a little overwhelming. I with I had done a little one first

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Suzanne June 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

Last year was my first year too and I felt exactly the same way. This year I’m giving myself a lot more time for EVERYTHING – including getting there and back, sightseeing and getting drinks with friends – and refusing to let myself feel bad for not getting on the most specialiest special party ever invite list. I think BlogHer is going to be awesome this year!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

I really think the whole party invite thing is the worst! I trolled Twitter last year trying to get into every party and look back wondering why I did that. I went to one private party – which was super fun – but it’s niche was absolutely unrelated to mine. I felt like I had to go because everyone else was going.
I’m hoping to get there Wednesday afternoon and leave late Sunday in hopes that I can sight see a tiny bit. I’d really like to visit Ground Zero and have a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity! Any takers?

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Suzanne June 4, 2012 at 11:52 am

That’s about when I’m getting in-leaving too, and if you want a date to Serendipity on Sunday I am 100% your girl!

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Sharlene June 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

I am sticking to the blog conference I enjoy the most, TBEX!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

Hey Sharlene! Thanks for commenting! What’s TBEX? I’ll go Google now. Tell me why you enjoy that one most? I’m looking to spread my wings a little bit too in 2013. I already bought my Mom 2.0 Summit ticket and I hear great things about Alt Summit too.

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Sharlene June 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm

TBEX is the big travel bloggers conference. The price is right, the networking is great, and I always learn something new.

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Jennifer June 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I’m going to TBEX too – in fact, Sharlene and I are sharing a car from the airport!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Very cool! Have fun!

Jen June 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

Oh me I am going to Blogher and I went to Bloggy Bootcamp Philly. I definitely want to say hello to you :)

This year I am slowing down a bit at Blogher. I went to too much last year and was really overwhelmed. This year, this Boston gal is going to pick and choose and actually go to a session. :)

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 11:40 am

Jen! You didn’t go to any sessions last year?? Have you looked at this year’s schedule yet?
I really want to go listen to Voices of the Year this year! We’ll meet up for sure. Where are you planning on staying?

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Nicole June 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

I had a blast last year!!! Oh my goodness that shrimp scampi. Best room service ever!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

You kill me! That’s the biggest takeaway? I will say that the lunch (which was really breakfast) we had at Mary Janes inside the Hard Rock Hotel on our first day was amazing. And spying on other bloggers was pretty hysterical too!

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Nicole June 4, 2012 at 11:51 am

BWAHAHAHA. Yep. (to all of the above)

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@monicabenavidez June 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

I’ll be there, too! I went to San Diego last year, and I am so glad I don’t have to go through the newbie jitters again. :)

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

Those newbie jitters are the worst! I was terrified about meeting other bloggers, talking about my own blog, what to talk about with all the brands in the Expo hall, what the parties would be like, and beyond. My real fear with BlogHer this year is really just the travel and logistics as I’ve never been to NYC and the big city scares this suburban-grown girl!

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Ann Odle June 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

I never knew there were so many things to think about (or conferences to choose from!) I’m going to be at BBC in Vegas too this year; and am looking forward to learning a lot from all of you past attendees!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 11:33 am

Hey Ann! BBC Vegas will be my first Bloggy Boot Camp but I’ve heard great things about this conference! I’m really looking forward to it. And well, it’s in Vegas! FUN!

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Amanda ~ sunny vegan June 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

I wish I were able to go, especially to the BlogHer conference. I too am a wallflower and could never go alone, we really need to meet up irl soon!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Amanda – You should got to the BlogHer Food conference. Or check out this link – she’s got a list of “food/photography” conferences coming up! http://jenncuisine.com/resources/food-blog-conferences/ and I heard very good things about this one too http://www.campshuttersisters.com/
And definitely we should hook up – THIS SUMMER! Aren’t our little ones close in age?

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Desiree Eaglin June 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I’m not going to BlogHer this year….soooooo bummed. But I will be there in 2013!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Well, you have a brand new baby at home. I think that’s reason enough to stay home!

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Mama Bub June 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I’m super excited for Bloggy Boot Camp. I’m sad I’m missing BlogHer this year and I know as it gets closer I’m going to be SO jealous of everyone who’s going. I’m making it my mission to make it to Mom 2.0 next year, though – whatever if takes!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I’m so happy you’re planning on going to BBCLV!
Mom 2.0 is going to be a must for you next year. And what if BlogHer is on the west coast again? Two biggies, months apart. Start selling some advertising space, girl!

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The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful June 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Hi Wendy — indeed I will be at BlogHer ’12. My twitter handle is @shannoncolleary — tweet me when we’re there and maybe we can stand at the bar together until we’re liquored up enough to go dance with each other.

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Sounds like a plan, Shannon!

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aimee steckowski June 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm

have a GREAT time. i will be spending the summer in upstate NY with family and leaving the blog in the hands of our co-authors and a new social media intern!! look forward to reading everyone’s updates on the conferences though – i always learn so much!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm

That sounds great Aimee! You’ll be gone the entire summer?

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Jenn Willey June 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I’d love to go to Bloggy Boot Camp, BlogHer, etc, cause I’m really just starting to take off on this blog thing. But I also feel like a blogger wallflower and don’t personally know a lot of the other bloggers out there. I’ll shoot for next year!

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Jenn – You should definitely go to BBC Vegas. I’ve never been but I heard so many great things especially for newer bloggers. BlogHer is completely overwhelming if it’s your first conference (as in my case). And I promise, everyone feels the same way about being a wallflower (I am Queen Wallflower – even around my closest friends) but as soon as you meet up or connect with a few others it’s no holds bar! Seriously!

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Jessica June 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I’ll be at BlogHer and (hopefully) BBC Vegas as well. And I’d love to hit up Serendipity3 for frozen hot chocolate. There’s no dieting in NYC, right?

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Definitely no dieting in NYC! Let’s definitely plan for Serendipity! I’m trying to fly in Wednesday so maybe Wednesday afternoon/evening if you don’t have plans! BTW, where are you staying and with whom are you rooming?

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Julie Ordonez June 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I’ve never been to a conference but I hope I get to go someday soon! Thanks for reassuring me that, just like my blog, the easiest way to get people to respond is to relax and be yourself.

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Definitely Julie! While the socializing is really fun, there definitely is a learning aspect to it all too. I gained a lot from BlogHer’11 and that’s what I’m really looking forward to this year too!

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Carolyn West June 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I was so excited last year to go to BlogHer but it was a different kind of excited than I am this year. Last year it was nervous excitement, wanting to meet everybody and do everything. This year, I know everybody already so I’m really looking forward to just having a blast running into friends. I also know several people who are speaking so I’ll be at more sessions than I was last year.

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Wendy June 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Ooh…I haven’t looked yet at who might be teaching the sessions. I’ll have to pop over there and look again. I really want to attend Voices of the Year for Susan Niebur’s post. I’m going to be an emotional mess!
There are still a lot of people I’m itching to meet. Especially some of my East Coast gals I adore! And YOU! I still don’t think we’ve met IRL yet, right?

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Carolyn West June 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Nope. We haven’t officially met yet. It’s so funny, though… most of the people I talk to online I have to stop and think if I’ve met them in real life because it just seems like I know everyone so well.

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Yvonne Condes June 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Love this. I’m so glad you had a good time last year and you’re going back for more. It’s funny, you hear so many stories and then you go and it’s great. My first Blogher was incredible because it was one of the first times I had gone away after having my kids. I was thrilled just to sleep in a bed myself, but then I got to learn something, meet new people, and network with interesting bloggers.

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Wendy June 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Oh yeah..I’m not going to lie. The mini-vacay away from the kid is pretty awesome. And I do love meeting others with the same passion as myself!

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Erin@myveryeducatedmother June 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Yay! I’m going to be at BlogHer in NYC this year! This is my first official BlogHer but not my first conference. I was at BBC STL earlier this year and last year I was at BlogHerHandmade/TCC. I’ve officially been bitten with the anticipation bug, I can not wait for August to get here! Hope we get the chance to meet, I’ll be the tall mic wrangler with crazy, curly, graying hair!

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Wendy June 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I’ll keep an eye out for you Erin!! Your comment made me laugh! :-)

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Julie June 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I’ll be at both #BlogHer12 and BloggyBootCamp Vegas this year yet. (Unless something drastic happens that prevents one or the other.) I’m so excited to meet you – and so many others!!

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Wendy June 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm

We are going to have a great time and I can’t wait to meet you IRL!!

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Shelby Barone June 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I had a blast last year! I won’t be going this year only because we have too many summer travels planned. I can’t wait to hear all about it!!

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Wendy June 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm

BlogHer 2013!!

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Andrea June 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I’ve been to Type-A and am going again this month, but I am SO there with what you’re saying re: BlogHer and the invites to special parties. What the WHA? What on earth? Why? I’m already feeling like I have no clue. Thanks for this. The more reminders I read the happier it makes me that I just want to go and have fun. :)

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Wendy June 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I’m really not going to stress out about it this year. I’m really just looking forward to meeting all my East coast blogging friends!!

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Elle @ SeeMomWorkBlog June 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Last year my first BlogHer conference too and I can totally relate to your trepidation! I was still nursing my baby, so my husband and kids joined me in San Diego and I met up with them in the evenings, so no parties for me. I really, really wanted to, but after nursing the baby and having dinner with the family, I lost any courage and energy I had. I did follow the craziness on Twitter though.

I had booked my conference tickets for BBCLV, then had to get reimbursed because a friend decided to get married the same day! The nerve! I’m still wishing I could go to BlogHer in NY, but thinking it would be extremely expensive and logistically difficult. I need someone to peer pressure me into it.

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Caryn B June 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

I am going to BlogHer and BlogHer Food! I’m also aspiring to go to Evo and Blogalicious!!!

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Wendy June 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Raking up those air travel miles!!

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Kadi Prescott June 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

I have been to quite a few conferences in the past, including BlogHer, EVO, BloggyBootcamp and TypeAParent. I love that each one presents something different. Introverts may find that the smaller gatherings like BloggyBootcamp are less anxiety inducing. Networkers and extroverts usually love the excitement and sheer volume of attendees that BlogHer is known for. Bloggers who want the experience of deeply connecting with brands tend to head to EVO and the ones seeking out an education on the business of blogging find that TypeA fills those needs.
I’m only going to a select few this year because I am busy working on a show that is a marriage of social media mom influencers and fun with a purpose. I would never be where I am today in this process of seeing my dream to fruition if I hadn’t gone to these conferences and connected in deep and meaningful ways with so many bloggers. I highly recommend that every blogger make conferences a priority. It is an investment that you will be glad that you made into building your brand.

xo~Kadi

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Wendy June 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I totally agree that blogger conferences should be a priority!
Do tell about your project! I’d love to hear more!!

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Kadi Prescott June 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

Oh…and Wendy, if the show’s filming schedule permits, I will get to see you at Vegas Bootcamp!

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Wendy June 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Fab! I hope so!

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Kim Tracy Prince June 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I’ll be at BlogHer this year, too. It will be weird if we meet in person for the first time in New York vs. LA. I’m smelling a pre-BlogHer LA meetup in the near future…

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Wendy June 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Let’s do it!
Thanks for stopping in!!

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Laura @ Saying I Do July 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm

This post is great….everything you felt last year..I pretty much feel this year as I gear up to attend my first ever blogging conference at BlogHer! I mean..here I am on a Tuesday afternoon googling “who is attending BlogHer ’12” so it’s clearly on my mind and I’m worried about walking into the conference and everyone else already knowing someone else there. Anyway, add me to the list as a blogHer newbie reaching out to some fellow bloggers! :)

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