Currently I am on a plane home to San Antonio trying to wrap my head around all the information and LOVELY people I got to meet this weekend at BlogHer in San Diego. It is seriously a lot of information, and I want to tell you all about it. I promise that even if you didn’t go, you’ll either my find my blog posts entertaining, informative or a way to kill 5-10 minutes. I mean, don’t you want to know what the hell a Softcup is? You know you do.
But today’s post revolves around what I learned at BlogHer as a newbie. As you all know, I was freakin’ terrified of what could possibly go wrong while at BlogHer or what would people think of my clothes or me in general. I remember Wednesday night all too clearly. For some foolish reason, I decided to try on all my outfits and then promptly proceeded to tear myself down about my size, the shoes I had or how I looked or what the brand/designer was. I literally broke into tears because I was feeling I wasn’t going to be “good” enough. That is an awful feeling, truly, and it was also utterly unnecessary.
Which brings me to BlogHer newbie tip #1: No one gives a shit about what you wear. Really. NO ONE CARES. I mean, you care, and I am not by any means telling you to dress like a slob, but do not stress about it. Cocktail dresses seem to mean different things to everyone, so please, please, please wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Do not squeeze into spanx, 3 inch heels, a strapless bra and a dress if that’s not what you’d normally wear. You’ll be uncomfortable and you’ll either be unpleasant or feel miserable. If you need even more reassurance and elaboration on this, feel free to ask me and I will try to ingrain this into your head. No one cares what you wear.
Newbie Tip #2: You do not need 6 pairs of shoes for BlogHer. Or 6 new outfits. I packed 5 pairs of shoes and only used 4. In reality I probably could have gotten away with only bringing 3 pairs (1 was a pair of workout shoes which came in handy for my workout with Bob Harper!!). And I did buy some new clothes for BlogHer, but then I thought to myself…most of these people haven’t met me EVER and every article of clothing I wear is going to be “new” in their eyes. I still think it’s cool to buy a few new dresses or whatever, but don’t feel like you need an entire new wardrobe or to haul every pair of shoes you have.
Newbie Tip #3: Most people are really nice. I know it may be scary to approach some of the “big” bloggers, but they’re people just like you and I are. And hey, they’re usually flattered to know you’re a fan. On the flip side, don’t only obsess about the “big” bloggers because I truly believe every blogger has fans. In other words, seek out those bloggers you’re fans of regardless of how popular/famous they are. Everyone likes to feel special. I only really met 2-3 people that kind of rubbed me the wrong way, and everyone else was as sweet as pie. It also helps to let people know that you’d love to meet them, give them a hug or whatever. Don’t leave it up to chance if there’s someone you absolutely must meet. @thenextmartha was on my must meet list, and I
stalked, harassed, met up with her a few times while I was at BlogHer. She’s a kick ass woman.
Me and @thenextmartha
Newbie Tip #4: Pick and choose your swag carefully. I’ll be doing a swag-related post, but I just really want to emphasize that you do not need every note pad, pen, neti pot (WTF), journal, flip flop, cereal sample, vibrator, lunch bag, etc. They all add up in terms of weight (think luggage fees if over 50 pounds). I will fully admit it’s easy to get caught up in the expo with all the “free” and “here, take this” and “please sample this new product” atmosphere, but then you end up with a TON of stuff and you’re thinking, “How am I going to lug all this home?” If I would have gone into the expo with the mentality of only taking what I truly need/want/would use, I wouldn’t have ended up spending 1.5 hours sorting through stuff to haul BACK to the swag exchange and sticking granola bars into my tennis shoes so they wouldn’t get crushed. Sigh.
Newbie Tip #5: Party. Yes, you’re going to be tired, you’re going to be busy, and you’re going to feel stretched so thin. But you need to live a little. I think I can speak for most of us when I say we don’t go to huge parties with free booze and fabulous friends/bloggers often. Therefore, you should go to some parties. You should shake your ass to Lady Gaga songs. You should drink wine and wear glow sticks. You should take silly pictures with Harry Potter cardboard cut outs. You should live and let loose at BlogHer parties. I didn’t make it to every single party, but boy did I have a blast at the ones I did go to. My fave? Sparklecorn. My fave non BlogHer party? Cheap Sally. And speaking of non BlogHer parties, do not let it bother you if you’re not invited to private parties. I was lucky enough to win a ticket to one, be a +1 for another and sign up early enough for the other one. In other words, no one was BEGGING me to attend their party, so whatever. There is plenty to do for everyone to feel like they belong. And guess what? You do belong.
Those are the first 5 tips I have for newbies who want to go to BlogHer, and I have 5 more to share with you tomorrow. Hope these help someone who was at home watching all the tweets and wishing they could go, but thinking they can’t because they’re not a “big” blogger or it’s too intimidating, etc. You can go and should go if you want to. Have any questions? Leave them in the comments, tweet me or e-mail me.