Last year, I gifted myself tickets to three blog conferences for the new year because it’s a nice tax write off aaannd I’d been blogging since 2009 and I’d never been to a professional blogger conference. I wanted to see what all the hype is about. Is BlogHER really worth it? Can a blog conference teach an old blogger new tricks? Can the secret to managing ALL the social media platforms (which seem to pop up like bunny babies) be found at this magical meeting of the bloggy minds that suspiciously resembles a mini vacation on people’s insta feed? In the name of research, I set out to attend BlogHER 17.
My impression from the first day is BlogHER is not only informative, it’s a shot in the bloggy ass to get your blogging mojo back…and conveniently doubles as a sweet mom-cation.
On day one at BlogHER my worries of feeling like a grain of sand at a beach have evaporated. Mainly because I made a conference BFF a few hours after I arrived so it wasn’t so intimidating, but also because while BlogHER is the mac-mommy of blog conferences for women bloggers, it’s surprisingly easy to navigate. It was energizing to be among likeminded professional bloggers. Don’t be surprised if people in the elevator, at the pool, in the hotel lounges and lobbies ask if you’re here for BlogHER and just start talking to you. Everyone seems eager to network in a genuinely friendly way; didn’t get the ‘ewww networking’ kinda vibe at all.
One thing for sure though: be prepared to be camera-ready at all times. People come to slay y’all, especially those adorable fashion bloggers. I enjoy people watching, and at BlogHER the sartorial sideshow doesn’t disappoint. If high heels and cute rompers aren’t your thing, don’t sweat it; there were plenty of maxi dresses and casual IDGAF getups to be sampled too.
One thing I do appreciate at BlogHER, besides the excellent celebrity speaker line-up (I mean, on the first day’s keynote address we had Chelsea Clinton, who announced her decision to run for office, Sheryl Sandberg, Gabi Fresh, Tai Beauchamp, Margaret Cho!), the people who are addressing the crowd of attendees have valuable advice to offer. So many conferences screw you over with expensive tickets (not to mention flight and hotel costs) and cheap content; stuff you could’ve found on the internet. So far the bloggers and speakers who’ve been up on blogHER’s stage have earned their stripes and you can glean value from their stories.
Speaking of stories, I’m here for the black women who are slaying as speakers at these conferences with their unapologetically black perspectives in travel, fashion, motherhood, and lifestyle blogging. Oneika the Traveller was the keynote at WITS and she arrested everyone with her message of opening up the travel narratives to people of color while sharing some of the challenges she’s faced in her niche. These women are diversifying all of these predominantly white stages with their voices and their voices resonate with and captivate audiences at the same damn time. It’s beautiful to watch how engaging they are and how sought-after their stories are becoming in the blog conference world.
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