Happy Friday Friends! I’m guessing I’m attracting a larger blogger crowd to this post, so hi fellow bloggers! Drop me a note in the comments below with your blog because I’d love to check it out! Now let’s start chatting about the BlogHer Creators Summit!
Alright, let’s. talk. shop. I’m dishing everything about how I got a *free* ticket to the BlogHer Creators Summit, what the speakers talked about, what I took away, what I wore, and more! So keep reading, I’m hoping this will answer all your questions, but if not then just DM me or something and I’ll make sure to get back to you!
For me? Nothing! The tickets usually cost $350, which I was not about to pay. However, I work with Activate (check them out!), which is kind of like the middle man. They help pair influencers with brands and events, and that’s how I got my free ticket. In exchange for attending a Vagisil sponsored breakfast on the first morning of the BlogHer Conference. Let’s address the elephant in the room…obviously Vagisil is a bit off brand for me, but I felt like attending the event (and being honest with you all here), was worth the value of the ticket to the conference. What would you have done though? And really, the Vagisil event wasn’t bad. As a creative writing major taboo topics were something we spent a lot of time addressing, working through, and highlighting through our writing, so in a way I actually enjoyed seeing how Vagisil handled marketing a very taboo topic!
Living right outside of the city is something I don’t take for granted. Trust me! I was able to attend this two-day conference for under $100. My conference ticket and food were paid for, so all I had to do was get myself there! A round-trip train to the city from Greenwich, CT costs me a little under $30, and then add on another $5 or so for the subway. Of course if you opt for Ubers or taxis then you’ll end up paying a lot more for transportation (expect anywhere from $100-$300), so just take the subway, plus then you don’t have to worry about traffic! (Food for thought- if you’re visiting NYC then you’re probably not used to how bad traffic really is…unless you’re visiting from LA…anyway, that’s why the subway is better for time management. You’ll end up running late to all your events because it takes longer than expected via car!)
Regarding hotels— I did speak with a few ladies who are staying in NYC for the conference and their hotel rate at the Four Points Sheraton was only $279/night, so even if you’re going solo that isn’t too expensive, but think if you get 2-3 girls in a room. Then it’s a no brainer!
In full disclosure, I ended up not going to day 2 of the conference. Day one really tired me and I was a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience. Here’s what kept me from going back for day 2: I felt like the content lacked on day one so I wasn’t especially enticed to go back the second day. Anddd the approx. 15 brand booths to network with don’t change from day to day. A missed opportunity in my opinion. I’d already met every brand day 1 so if I went for day 2 all I’d be going for were the speakers, which I wasn’t sold on.
On day 1 I arrived at 7:00am to the Vagisil sponsored breakfast, and stayed until 2:00pm. I felt like that was plenty of time for me and I really enjoyed my time there, but couldn’t imagine staying until 6:00pm through the cocktail party. That’s A) A super long day, and B) just a lot of excitement and networking for me in one day.
I enjoyed the #BrandBaller panel of four women who manage marketing for some pretty big brands like Moet & Chandon and Away Luggage! These women had a lot of great things to share from a brand perspective of what goes into partnering with influencers. Of course I’m wayyy too small to be partnering with Away (I wish though, that would be such a dream!), it was still really cool to learn for future reference (hopefully!) how a brand decides who and how to partner with influencers.
Gabrielle Union was a great speaker (obviously!) and so engaging, but I felt like her content was really nothing that would help me as a blogger, influencer, creator, whatever-er. She began her session by sharing her struggle with infertility (I don’t want to sound insensitive at all), her journey was incredible to hear, but again, I have no idea what that has to do with my blog… The rest of her time on stage focused on women not having a seat at the table, which is true almost everywhere except for the blogging industry where it’s overpowered by women!
I kind of feel like this was theme of the conference, the speakers were *AMAZING*, but what they were sharing was just fluff. Day 1 felt like a whole lot of motivation and very little education. But helloooo, I showed up to the conference, I was there, I already am motivated, I don’t need a ra-ra routine to get me excited about blogging. What I needed were some specifics, some real information that you can’t find on Google. And unfortunately, I definitely didn’t get that.
Day 2, which again I didn’t attend, had a sit-down with the co-founder of Pinterest, and that would have been pretty cool! There also was a segment focused on how to pitch yourself. I think I’m already pretty good at pitching, but I’m always open for improving, so that would have been something I would have been interested in attending as well.
This is probably kind of obvious, but I just loved feeling like a real blogger! Being surrounded by other bloggers, many of who have wayyy more of a following than I do, really confined that what I’m doing is real. It’s always a struggle for me to put myself out there in situations like this, a big group of people, not knowing anyone, buttt I did well and actually met some amazing people!
I also loved speaking face to face with brands! Sarah from Black and Decker was incredibly nice and I feel like I can offer so much more in person than over email. I am a lot more confident now having interacted with brands face to face and I think this will help me going forward be more confident in my emailing! So thanks Sarah!!
And lastly… the food and the atmosphere! The food, provided by Pret a Manger was amazing and the atmosphere was filled with lots of energy and positivity!
I’d like to think of myself as an expert tote-bag-packer, especially after my stint with commuting into the city daily for work. Your tote bag becomes your life, or rather, it carries your life and that’s huge! Obviously… anyway, my tote bag for a day in the city always includes: water bottle (S’well), granola bars (Rx Bars), lipbalm (Burts Bees), notepad & pen (for the conference), mobile phone charger, wall plug-in charger, business cards (mine are from Basic Invite), a sweater or jacket, bandaids/Advil/Benadryl (just in case), sunscreen (I use this spray stuff from Goop!), hand lotion, and that’s just a few essentials!
Now let’s talk outfits! My number one piece of advice is wear what you’re comfortable in. And that’s two-fold. Obviously dress in comfortable clothing, but dress in something that also makes you feel great about yourself. For me that means a midi skirt, especially since I’m taking the train and don’t want my legs to touch the seats. I opted for a conservative shirt because conservative is the most comfy for me! But obviously since I was attending a blog conference I wanted to be trendy, so I opted for ruffle sleeves, which are still on trend!