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!


•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Erin.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Looks like you had a blast Kayla! I'm glad the stars aligned and it all worked out so that you could go :)

Crunchy Frugalista said...

It was so awesome to meet you too! I think our adventure wondering Chicago was one of my favorite parts of the trip :) Definitely need to do that again :)

Kathleen W. said...

I'm so glad you got to go! It looks like you had a great time. I hope I can get there again sometime and maybe meet you!

Jennifer @ Mom's Got Mail said...

Thank you for the review-it looks like so much fun! I am a new blogger, and I am hoping to go to an event in the North East in the next year (I live in Central New York, so NYC, BOSTON, PHILLY would all be fine). Thank you for the Giveaway link-up, that is how I found you. BTW, the giveaway is for school supplies, so being a broke student, you might want to take a look! :)

Unknown said...

So glad to see you blogging again and even better to hear that you had so much fun!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the pics and the tips! I am hoping to attend a couple of conferences & events next year, so - as a newbie - I'm really enjoying reading everyone's posts on their trip!

XmasDolly said...

what a wonderful post & pics my CD - sorry having a bad day, but glad you saw my update - more details in an e-mail soon . Loved our first meeting. It couldn't have been more perfect it was fate! Hugs. You made my blogher first experience more spectacular, my post isn't up yet, but I did put a few up. So proud of you. HUGS CM

Linda A Kinsman said...

Hey super Blogger; I’ve nominated you for The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award over on My Wahm Plan. Stop by and read all about it here: Thanks!

Terra Heck said...

I'm so excited you got to attend and had a great time. I soooo wanted to go this year (or any other year for that matter) but finances kept me from doing so. Glad to read your post and live vicariously through it.

Becca said...

Wow, it looks like you had a great time! I have always thought about going to BlogHer...maybe one year!

Krishenkas Treasures said...

I am sure that I left a message on this post already, but cant see it! maybe I posted to your facebook. Looks like a fabulous time was had and what fabulous pictures and great to meet new friends xxx

Unknown said...

Wow how absolutely, totally cool, that you made it to BlogHer this year! I've never been... yet. Maybe next year you can convince me to go, and maybe attending might light more of a fire under my blogging butt, LOL.

I'm trying to concentrate more on my photo blog right now, and I started a Tumblr blog too. Sadly, a new computer is in my future, and I realize now that is what stops me much of the time. A 2007 iMac is ancient in the world of computers.... but $$ are not available to get the new computer right now! *sigh*

I know you understand, since you were trying to come up with $$ to attend BlogHer. I am SO GLAD you got to go, and it sounds like you had soooooo much fun. How inspiring and motivating! :-)

Colette S said...

I love your lessons.
Glad you had a fabulous time with this adventure.

XmasDolly said...

Being as I had surgery and I'm trying to catch up with everything I'm just doing a Pinterest board with some of my pictures with Blogher13 Hope you stop by & take a gander. Where ya been?

Cindy said...

Kayla, happy to see you back blogging again...and WOW, you had quite an experience!!! I can't imagine getting to attend BlogHer - what a dream! I love how everything fell together for you...the fact that you went ahead and decided to go at the last minute, that you found great room mates, and had the time of your life. And the tips you shared about attending an event like this are great (like bringing a charger!). Glad you had so much fun and made some great friends!

The Mommy-Files said...

Wow - it sounds like you had an amazing time!!!