Monday, August 12, 2013

BlogHer 13: The Recap

Being the poor college student that I am, no way did I think I was going to be able to go to BlogHer this year even if it was in my 'backyard' of The Windy City a.k.a Chicago, Illinois. Of course I did what any self respecting blogger would do when strapped for cash: I sought out sponsorship. From early May until about mid-July I pitched every company I could think of that fit well in my blog's niche.

All pitches came back relatively the same: a very polite 'thanks but no thanks.'

By the end of July I had pretty much given up on going to BlogHer 2013. I had after all taken a nearly 2 month long bloggy hiatus so it was probably for the best anyway. Of course tell that to my subconscious who got really bummed out reading about what everyone planned on doing and which parties they were going to attend...

BlogHer started July 25th and ran through July 27th this year.

And I bought my ticket on the 23rd.

Indeed, I am probably crazy for putting my expenses on a credit card, agreeing to be roomies with people I've never met before, and throwing caution to the wind....

But would you expect any less from me!?

All that being said, looking back on the whirlwind 4 days that was BlogHer in Chicago, it was undeniably worth everything I did to get there!

The Roommates:

Before I bought my ticket, I put a plea out on the BlogHer Facebook community I belong to to see if anyone knew of a place I could stay. The Universe was definitely looking out because it sent me Jen of Life with Levi and Becky of lil' burghers.

These girls are definitely crazy fun and I'm thrilled to be able to call them my friends! They are most definitely a big part of what made my trip so very worth it.

The Windy City: 

Of course the first day in the city and we're going to do a little exploring! I had just met my roommate Jen and another wonderful woman, Ashley of Crunchy Frugalista when we decided we were hungry and went in search of somewhere to eat.

Along the way, adventure ensued...but that's a blog post for another time.

The Expo Hall: 

I had only been to one other BlogHer in the past back in New York in 2010 and that's only because I ended up winning the trip so I don't have much along the lines of a comparison to BlogHers past when it comes to the Expo Hall.

Some people were saying that it wasn't really up to par with last year's Expo Hall experience in New York but personally, I thought it was pretty darn amazing!

I noticed that a good deal of the sponsors this year were promoting healthy living, sustainability, and a few who toted going green, so needless to say I was ALL over that. I met some wonderful people, made some great connections, and got to try some pretty incredible products, all of which I can't wait to share with you!

5 Lessons I Learned from BlogHer 13:

1. Make sure you know the EXACT hotel you're staying at. Did you know there are two Hyatts in Chicago? I apparently didn't and spent a good half the day wandering around the wrong hotel! This was after I had checked my bags in of course *face palm*

2. Wear comfortable shoes. This may seem like common sense, but trust me! Some woman think cutesy shoes are the way to go but when you're spending most of the day (we're talking 15+ hours here) on your feet walking from one place to another, those stiletto heels or cute wedges don't seem so adorable anymore...

3. For the love of all things bloggy, bring a notebook! Yes, this is the digital age with iPads, smartphones, tablets and computers galore, but when you're lugging all your swag around there's nothing simpler (and more lightweight) then an old fashioned notebook and pen to write down the essentials.

4. Speaking of the digital age, make sure you carry a phone charger in your purse. Learned that lesson the hard way.

5. Last but not least, learn to be flexible. I wouldn't have gone to half the parties I went to if not for the last minute. Heck, I wouldn't have gone to BlogHer 2013 at ALL if not for the last minute! Sometimes going with the flow of things brings you the most wonderful opportunities.

Very appropriate fortune cookie fortune acquired on my trip!

If you'd like to see all the pictures I took on my trip, please feel free to friend me on Facebook!