Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Time at BlogHer '11 - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

Sculpture made out of Ivory Soap

This was my first time at a BlogHer conference and what better place to have it than in gorgeous San Diego! 
I stayed at the decadent Omni Hotel. I'm glad that the first hotel choice was booked when I registered because the Omni was first class in every respect!  All the way down to complementary hot coffee in front of my door every morning!

I arrived a day early to overcome jet lag and give myself time to unwind and tool around the area a little. I ended up falling asleep at 5pm PST! But I did get to visit some nice shops in the neighborhood.
The convention began the next day with only seminars during the day. The fun part, called the Expo, opened at the end of the day, for two hours. It always is the part of conferences that are the most exciting! I was second in line of a flood of bloggers waiting to get inside! Upon visiting only a fraction of the vendors, I collected so many freebees that I had three tote bags full of goodies! After the second day of visiting the Expo floor, I had collected so many samples that I ended up shipping a large box of these goodies home! 
Interestingly, it appeared that this convention was definitely focused on Moms. There were bloggers with babies in slings, changing stations, nursing stations, toddlers who's Mom's got permission to test out the numerous toys from toy manufacturers...I certainly was at the perfect event as a blogger! This was the main reason I collected so many items. About three-quarters of the vendors were marketing to “Parenting Bloggers.” I have numerous requests to review products from these vendors. Look for my blog product reviews soon!
To give you a glimpse of what my time at the Expo center was like...
I had fun meeting Buddy, from the PBS Kids Dinosaur Train show...

I cooked risotto with famous chef, Marco Pierre White, from the UK...

He even autographed his newest book for me!
I was even asked permission to be filmed as a possible Febreze commercial "tester!"

Fun and excitement was everywhere! Bloggers were allowed to send Hallmark cards for free to any Mom friends they wanted! Postage included! Again, all of the card choices were geared towards Moms and only Moms. But I had a relaxing time filling out cards to friends, while sitting in big, comfy chairs!
When I arrived back at my hotel at the end of the second day, there was a complementary bottle of white wine called, "Mommy Juice" sitting in my room. After receiving that, I knew that this conference was definitely focused on Moms. I wrote a blog about Moms who are now turning to drinking alcoholic beverages at the end of their harried days, about a year ago. I am sad to say that I have friends who do this. Now they are marketing wine specifically to this group. 

By the third day, I was spent. Between running from seminar to seminar and carting freebees all over the Expo, I made a beeline to my hotel, dropped off my conference items in my room, and went outside to the pool area to lay on a lounge chair and take in some of the setting San Diego sun! It was pure bliss!
Now I am back to the heat and humidity that NYC is known for in the summer. I am particularly glad that the BlogHer conference next year will actually be in NYC!! I will be bringing a rolling bag to the conference each day, emptying it when I get home, and start fresh the next day! Thank goodness they were giving out free Thermacare patches for the lower back! I needed them at the end of each day! But the experience was unforgettable! Now I can’t wait for next year’s conference!

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Blogger Robin Gorman Newman said...

So glad you had a great time...I'll definitely be there in NYC next August.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Cara Meyers said...

Get a rolling cart ready!

12:01 PM  
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