Keynote speakers! Prizes won! People met!
Those are just a few of the fun things I did during the BlogHer 2013 Conference in Chicago, IL this past weekend. Lest I leave you thinking that was all that I did… oh no my dear friends, I also:
- Got a temporary tattoo at the WordPress book and I really like the placement… like really like the placement (around my wrist).
- I gave myself a monster blister the first official day while wearing my Converse One Star sneakers, which are cotton, with cotton socks. Oops. (I decided to not take a photo. You’re welcome.)
- I had to use three bandages to cover said blister for the rest of the conference.
- I joined Instagram all because I wanted to win a new Serta iComfort mattress. Yeah, I really did do that.
- Cedric the Roaming Gnome, my faithful traveling companion, assisted during the conference by being Field Reporter and COO, or Chief Opinions Officer, of the weekend.
- Cedric insisted that hew hashtags on Twitter be created so people can track his antics (and opinions): #Cedric, #RoamingGnome and #CedricApproves. He contemplated #CedricDisapproves, however he suggested following the adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”; for a cantankerous gnome, sometimes he can be pretty diplomatic.
- I got a lot of swag. I dare say closing in on 40 pounds minimum of swag; this included a bottle of lube from the fine people at Trojan. That’s right…the condom people. You heard me.
- I won a Keurig Brewing Machine plus a box of my preferred Iced Tea. #brewoverice
Besides all of that, I got to see Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, and Guy Kawasaki (who gave away 500 copies of his newest book, APE How to Publish a Book, and yes – I snagged a copy) speak in addition to Sandy Jones-Kaminski, who wrote the book “I’m at a Networking Event – Now What???”. I got to meet Sandy, she signed the book I won (it’s good to know your Dale Carnegie quotes) and we spent a fantastic two hours talking (and getting shushed by a woman with supersonic hearing). Good things happened during that conversation and I sincerely hope things pan out from what was discussed during our discourse. Plus, I promised to review the book once I’ve finished reading it!
The fun didn’t stop there! Due to my “bad kid at the back of the class” attitude during breakfast on Saturday where tables were reserved for the various genres of blogs (weddings, mommy-blogs, education, atheists, etc.), I wrote up a sign that said, “I’m just here to eat some breakfast”, which caused a few passersby to chuckle and one woman to say, “I just want to eat some breakfast, too! May I join you?” INDEED! I was floored when I discovered that DazyLady’s and my new dining companion was Peggy Wagener, the woman who started up Living Without Magazine! We spent a great deal of the morning speaking, had lunch together again, and she requested a copy of the article I wrote that was published in N Magazine! She also stated that she wanted to discuss some future plans with me further.
Two exciting and influential women in two days?! Are you KIDDING ME!? Kismet is a wonderful thing. I am truly in awe of how The Fates can step in and push people together to discuss great things. Yeah – I’m STILL reeling from the excitement.
On top of all of that, I also got to see Cheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, speak about her book “Lean In” and her organization. I haven’t read her book (unlike Mr. Kawasaki, who hasn’t sold 1 million copies of his book but gave away copies, Ms. Sandberg brought a LARGE pile of her book to sell to conference attendees). I have, however, heard many mixed reviews about it and her message, and what I got from her interview during the conference amounted to: misandry, male-bashing and promoting “bossy little girls” to become the “Bull in the China Shop”. Sorry, Ms. Sandberg, great business leaders aren’t “bossy”, they listen, are present, are effective and lead by example. You didn’t appear to say any of those things.
So, on top of all of that, I also had my first time riding a city bus ever. The three-day bus pass was $20, includes unlimited rides and I rode the bus repeatedly and survived to write about it. No really – it wasn’t scary at all and it also beat the average $26/one-way cab ride from the hotel to the conference center (and back).
And, last but not least… I will take a moment to say Congratulations to the man in the hotel room* adjacent to mine for having two orgasms in under two hours. I woke up initially to the jackhammering on the wall; I stayed up for the finale…. only because the jackhammering was keeping me awake… at 3 AM, and again at 4 AM. By the way, I hope your partner came, too; they were silent, so I couldn’t tell, but they deserved something after all of that. Sadly, it wasn’t as good for me; I was a wee bit tired come Friday morning from the early morning “bedcast”.
*Note: The Essex Inn at 800 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago has thin walls.