Last year at this time, I was reeling from all that I had learned at BlogHer07. Now, I'm attempting to recover from BlogHer08. Looking back, I realized that, after last weekend, I had been to three different BlogHer events in the course of a year. And boy, how things have changed.
I really knew no one who was going except for Gwen Bell, a designer I had met in Boulder, and we had only spoken once. There was an extra bed in my hotel room and I offered it to her. (She paid me back by being a great Lijit evangelist!) I went in to the conference with my entire schedule planned out and I knew every session I was going to attend. Camera in hand, I took tons of pictures, handed out business cards with my blog's URL handwritten on the back and brought only sensible, comfy shoes. I met tons of people, blogged from the event, and was overwhelmed by the community I had found. There was a lot of opportunity over the course of the weekend for me to perfect my pitch, which means that I found out quickly what worked...and what didn't.
BlogHer Business 08:
This trip marked my first time to New York City by myself and my first opportunity to participate on a BlogHer panel. I spoke about being the public face of technology company and how my involvement was helping to humanize our brand. This conference blew me away in terms of its business focus. I was amazed by the other attendees and loved that I could pick the brains of smart women who were in the same boat. We discussed blogger outreach, PR tactics, and different ways of measuring the ROI of social media. There were lots of case studies presented of big companies who were getting it right and I felt humbled to be in the company of so many successful women.
This year, I went into the conference with a less-planned, more free-flow approach. (Oh, and a dude.) My Lijit pitch has gotten much better and I knew there were going to be bloggers in attendance who were already using Lijit, which is very different from last year's conference. Besides being mentioned on two panels as an effective blogging tool, when I told people where I worked, they had heard of us! Success! I went into the weekend knowing that it was all about the interaction. Building new relationships, strengthening old ones and thanking people for using our widget. I was much more comfortable this year, except for the fact that I chose the cute shoes over the comfy ones. Another difference? Wearing the right shoes can actually lead to talking to the right people. Good (and somewhat painful) lesson to learn.