It wasn’t about the swag, the parties, the sessions, or even the networking.
Even though the swag was nice, the parties a lot of fun (especially Dance Party USA at Sparklecorn), the sessions I attended (Essential Writing and Editing Skills, Essential Blog Content Development Workshop, How to Pitch Freelance Editorial Work and Malcolm Gladwell is Missing the Point: Revolutions are Happening Online) extremely informative and the networking a great step towards furthering my freelance writing career, for me, BlogHer ’11 was more about finally meeting so many amazing women that I have been getting to know on the Internet through their blogs and on Twitter for months.
It was about the connections I have built online with women I had already considered friends, but wanted to hug in person and tell how much they mean to me. It was about surrounding myself with like-minded mothers, seeking their advice, sharing a laugh and a glass or two of wine and maybe even shedding a tear as they worked through an emotional moment.
I did all of the above and in turn, BlogHer ’11 met and exceeded my expectations.
Thumbing through the stack of business/blog cards I collected from everyone I encountered makes me smile. Many of these women I already classified as members of my tribe and a few I had been fortunate enough to meet once or twice before, or talked to on the phone. Being able to spend an entire weekend with them was pure magic. There are also lots of new names in the stack and I’m looking forward to getting to know them and their writing soon.
I met most of the women on my “must meet at BlogHer ’11” list, but didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as I would have liked with anyone.
The weekend moved much too fast and in a lot of ways felt like being back in school, shuffling from one event to the next, saving seats, checking in, wardrobe changes and cute shoes, gossip and laughs. It will surely be a weekend that I won’t soon forget and I’m already missing Natalie, Nichole, Katie, Sherri, Gigi, Morgan, Lori, Poppy, Robin, Yuliya, Galit, Cheryl, Tracy, Jessica … this list could go on and on and on.
All I can say is, thank God for Twitter!
Feeling more inspired and focused about my writing and my little corner of the Internet than ever, I am planning to attend BlogHer ’12 in New York!
I took copious notes during the sessions I sat in and will be sharing a few tips over the coming weeks (although I believe the bulk of the information covered will be available on the BlogHer Web site), but if you’d like to know more about my BlogHer experience or have a specific question, please ask.