06 Aug 2012 6 Comments
BlogHer’12. Where to start? I’m exhausted, first of all. My face hurts from smiling and laughing so much, second of all. Both of these are good things.
I had a couple of great roommates. Somehow we all seemed to sync up on bed times, although they were always up before me, but honestly, that’s not hard to do. I have been sleep-deprived for 24 years now.
I was able to cross an item off my bucket list (god, I hate that term) by going out to dinner with my friend John to Les Halles. The food was fantastic. Steak and frites, but holy god, they were good. And a scrumptious creme brulee for dessert. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Even if this place isn’t still owned by Anthony Bourdain (one of my imaginary boyfriends), it’s still damned good, and honestly, not that expensive. It’s $20.50 for the steak & frites, which is downright cheap, considering it’s New York City and it’s a very well-known place.
I spent some time in the lobby bar, which is hellaciously expensive. I met Kim and AnnetteK and Aurelia Cotta and a bunch of other wonderful people. We hung around, had a few drinks, laughed our heads off and had a great time. I ran into Christina and Sam and The Queen of Spain‘s husband, too.
There were parties, which I found overwhelmingly loud. The venue they had for the big parties this year was lousy. It was a huge, L-shaped room, and narrow, which lead to a lot of congestion at the door. The last time BlogHer was at this Hilton, they had the parties in the grand ballroom, which was perfect. This time? Not so much.
I don’t know if it’s because BlogHer has become such a huge conference or if the Hilton was particularly inept, but there were a lot of things I didn’t like this year. The aforementioned parties, for one. The food. Good lord, the food was awful. The burgers they served at every single party were half raw and tasted of fish paste. It was disgusting. They even managed to screw up pigs-in-a-blanket. I didn’t think that was possible. And the staff at the meals, at least, were pretty rude as well. The Martha Stewart luncheon had me running before she even got on stage – just the noise level of 5,000 people sent me over the edge.
There were great things, though. Katie Couric was interviewed by BlogHer founder Lisa Stone and was engaging and funny and intelligent. I’ve always liked her but hearing her speak has given me a much deeper appreciation for her as a news journalist. That’s not something I ever thought I’d say.
Also? President Obama spoke via live video feed. Yeah. Live. Think this blogging thing doesn’t matter? Think again.
I attended a couple of sessions, too. Schmutzie, Stacy Jill Calvert and Stephanie C. Roberts on iPhonegraphy. I learned a lot of cool tricks and tips from that session. It makes sense, really – I always have my phone with me. Snap some pictures, run them thru various programs, and I have some halfway decent shots. I took better pictures with my phone than I did with my big camera.
Most of the time, I had a blast. The only time I didn’t was when I got overwhelmed because there were so many people there. Several times, though, people would just walk up to me and start talking and it was so nice. I loved that. I wish I were better in crowds, but I’m just not.
Next year, the conference is in Chicago. I’m debating about whether I’m going to attend or not. From what I’ve heard, sessions will be held off-site at a convention hall, which may help a lot. And frankly, I get more out of seeing people in the hallways and at the parties than I do out of the sessions, so it may just be a party pass for me.
Despite the problems I had with the venue this year, the good far outweighed the bad and I’m very happy that I went.
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