You've found my secret cave!
This is where I will post thoughts and other things that don't fit with my normal deals/couponing posts

August 9, 2011
My BlogHer Experience.

I set my expectations too high, after reading one too many kumbaya posts about how wonderful and life changing BlogHer is. I envisioned a Utopian sisterhood of smart and fun women, where the value of ones mind was more important than a dress size. It actually turned out to be pretty much like high school.

I did everything that was suggested. I followed the twitter hashtag, engaged in the conversation, made contacts, exchanged phone numbers, all that...but once I was there, and after meeting some of the women I had engaged, I ended up with my feelings bruised. In everyday life, I usually have a pretty decent self image. I know that I possess a decent sense of humor, intelligence, and a little bit of sarcasm. I was knocked down a peg after meeting some bloggers I admire, then appeared to not meet their qualifications for being worthy of their time. (My perception = my reality...could be completely off base, but I don't think so) I found that just like in real life, sometimes it depends on how cute, skinny and fabulous you are.

I would go to tables where other bloggers were seated and ask to join them (I was never refused). I made a point to listen more than I talked. When our paths crossed again, I would smile and greet these bloggers by name. I would acknowledge them on Twitter and retweet their comments.

And honestly I did meet a bunch of great women. Sometimes, I would look for them and then worry I'd appear too needy. There were a few parties where I sat at a table alone, but kept a smile on my face, hoping someone would talk to me. I called my husband a few times and ended up in tears, but after pouring out my insecurities to him, he would encourage me to stay at the party. Eventually I would meet up with someone I had connected with.

So here's my advice.

1. If you can, go with someone you know. Even if they don't blog. For me, going alone was a very difficult experience.
2. If you go alone, look for other single bloggers. They are looking for someone to talk to, as well.
3. Don't expect that conversations on Facebook or Twitter will mean that you will have someone to hang around with at the conference. Do it anyway, but don't assume that there will be an instant connection when you meet.
4. Go to the parties (even alone) and just keep smiling, even if you'd rather crawl in your hotel bed and cry.
5. Sometimes your best friend will be the Twitter feed on your SmartPhone.
6. Know in your heart why you're there. Write it down. Don't get sidetracked when your feeling get hurt. My intentions were to learn how to monetize my blog, get swag (yeah, shut up. I'm a poor blogger who wants to give stuff to her readers), engage brands and hopefully meet a new friend.

And I did. I had interesting talks with women from all walks of life. I shared my knowledge, received advice and gave encouragement back. I realized how integral my previous marketing career plays in this new venture. I am proud of myself for going. I am proud of myself for not hiding in my hotel room. I hate that I wasn't cool and confident enough to play with some of the girls I admire, but just like in high school, you play the hand you are dealt and make the best of your experience. Will I go again? Absolutely.

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED! Please update your bookmark to AllThoseThingsILove.com for the most recent deals and matchups like this! :)