Two weeks ago I attended BlogHer 12 in New York City. It was my first time attending BlogHer and visiting New York City. It was an amazing experience! The number one thing I learned is that when you are at either BlogHer and New York City you’ll never be bored! There were conference activities, events, luncheons, keynote speakers, the expo hall, restaurants, shopping, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Hyde Park and more!
I had so much fun I can’t wait to go back to both! Here’s a recap of my trip:
The Sheraton New York
While the official conference room block and activities were at the Hilton, it was full by the time I decided to register so I stayed at the Sheraton New York which was a very short walk to the Hilton. I was incredibly pleased with the Sheraton. My room was lovely, clean, and had a beautiful view, and I never had to wait for an elevator (a major hurdle at the Hilton). I was excited that the location of the conference and my hotel was within walking distance to Times Square, Central Park, Radio City Music Hall, and Bryant Park. I’d recommend the Sheraton to anyone staying in NYC.
Times Square was incredible and I can’t wait to go back with Dave, Kora, and Logan.
This was such a simple idea that I was far too excited about. It was really fun seeing myself and everyone else up there. I felt famous!
Registration was a breeze. On Thursday I only had one or two people in front of me and even when I saw the longer lines on Friday and Saturday, they seemed to move quickly. There was some confusion because the official BlogHer tote bag was not handed out at registration but I had no problem picking one up the next day in one of the expo halls.
On Thursday night I was excited to go to a Logitech party where we were introduced to the Logitech TV Cam HD where we used Skype to phone the actress who played the mom on ET! It’s an incredible new way to make video calls from your tv and makes it feel like the person on the other end is right in the room with you.
I was very happy with the food offered at BlogHer. Breakfast on Friday was filling with eggs, bacon, muffins, croissants, cinnamon rolls, and more. And lunches offered a large selection of sandwiches, pasta, and delicious desserts! There were even cute BlogHer cookies in the bar at the Hilton to snack on.
I was excited to hear Katie Couric speak at lunch in a one-on-one conversational format. It was an interesting interview where I learned about her thoughts on everything from staying in shape in her 50’s (she spins), falling off the diet wagon (she starts the day on Weight Watchers but doesn’t always end the day on it,) what it was like to interview Sarah Palin (as a person she felt uncomfortable for her but she felt she should be better prepared for the tough questions in her position), and her next adventure, The Katie Show, which will have 2 seats for bloggers at every show!
There were a number of suites on the 42nd floor of the Hilton. While the elevators were very difficult to navigate (I often had to wait 15 minutes or more to get n one and then was sandwiched in so tightly the thought of getting stuck was terrifying) the suites were wonderful. Hershey’s did a fantastic job decorating their’s to celebrate their Camp Bondfire and the Reader’s Digest Suite had lots of fantastic information about their new book as well as cupcakes, water, and other ways to wind down. I was partial the Hershey’s Suite because was so cute and I love s’mores and I won a Kindle Fire at the Reader’s Digest Suite!
I visited the Expo Hall many times throughout the weekend. It was a fun atmosphere filled with jostling excitement. Everyone was polite and all of the exhibitors were easy to talk to and excited about their products. I learned a lot, tried some delicious food samples, and even won a $25 gift card by spinning the wheel at the Retail Me Not booth! One of my favorite exhibitors was Samsung. They basically had a house set up and you could go from one area to another learning about different products. I found the tips about S Beam and All Share Play on my Samsung Galaxy S3 very helpful and I was excited to learn about their new canister vacuums and Smart TV’s.
I was invited to a wonderful brunch at Sarabeth’s Central Park with Time To Play Magazine, an informative and fun site that offers in-depth toy reviews which tell you why the toy is fun, where to find it, and what to be aware of. It was an intimate setting where I was pleased to meet the Time To Play group as well as other bloggers. We had a a fantastic time chatting and getting to know one another while enjoying a truly lovely brunch. It was one of my favorite events of the weekend.
I was also invited to a Verizon Wireless luncheon where we learned about Hopeline, Verizon’s program to put unused cell phones into the hands of domestic violence victims and survivors. There is also a Hopeline app that offers support and resources for those dealing with domestic violence. We heard from a domestic violence survivor who shared with us her incredible story of survival. We also were there to see Verizon Wireless present a $10,000 check to the Joyful Heart Foundation which works to foster a community that supports sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence victims and survivors. It was an inspiring and touching luncheon that I was very glad to be a part of.
The Hasbro party was an enjoyable fun-filled evening with delicious food and drinks. In fact, they were serving champagne in honor of one of the My Little Ponies getting married. There were lots of life-size games to play throughout the room and it had the feel of a night out at a club with party music to dance to between games. I had a nice evening hanging out with fellow bloggers and really enjoyed myself.
I also attended the Lands’ End party which had a back-to-school theme. They even provided school buses for transportation to the party! When we arrived we were given report cards and visited various stations around the room learning about backpacks, kids jeans, back to school outfit design, and even had our hair done and a makeover. I was excited to have a stylist who works on Project Runway do my hair – even if he did say I need to “embrace the frizz.”
I had a fantastic time this weekend and can’t believe it’s over. I enjoyed the conference so much that I’m already making plans to attend BloghHer 13 in Chicago. I enjoyed my time in New York City and can’t wait to go back and bring the family, but I am looking forward to Chicago being within driving distance. It was a wonderful learning experience and I enjoyed meeting so many people whether they were bloggers, reps (love the girls from theBlogFrog!), exhibitors, and even taxi drivers. It was a weekend filled with memories I’ll never forget.
What about you? Will you be heading to BlogHer 13 or any other conferences in the near future? If so, I’d love to say hello!