#Blogher11: How I am preparing for my first conference: Advice? #salsacraving

I am just barely past my 6 mos. blogoversary.  I am amazed of what I have accomplished.  Such as, who knew I would be attending BlogHer 2011 courtesy of Salsa Sensations.  As Salsa Sensations BlogHer delegate, I am receiving a sponsorship to BlogHer 2011.  Without Salsa Sensations generosity, BlogHer would not be a possibility for me. Preparing for something full of so many possibilites can be over-whelming at times.

These are several things I have learned from observations and assumptions:

~Packing:  I am a minimalist.  I don’t like to take more than I need ever and rarely go beyond a single carry-on bag (shared by 2).  However, I have been told that swag may get in the way of my plans.  I am now checking a large suitcase  that will be storing an extra carry-on filled with gluten free food (just in case :)). Then, I am carrying on a suitcase plus laptop bag.  Yes, I am already packed.  It is my least favorite part, so I like to get that out of the way early.

~Supplies:  Stylish yet functional laptop purse, tablet, smartphone, necessary apps: some I suggest BlogHer (QR included)/Cozi (organizer),  Timemine planner, business cards, media kit, and chargers for everything.

*If going on gluten restrictions: Find Me Gluten Free App: search for nearby gluten free sources.

~What to wear:  I am told that comfort is important.  While I definitely plan on being comfortable, I am a mom of 3 (under 6). I don’t get to dress up that often and I plan on taking advantage of a chance to look my best.  I am bringing a combination of dress clothes, cocktail dresses, and workout gear (bootcamp & yoga!).  However, I don’t plan on blending into the crowd.

~What to do: BlogHer is filled with lots of activities, so narrowing down your BlogHer11 goals is important.  As a somewhat new blogger, I am excited to soak up the knowledge at BlogHer (yes, I am a bit of a nerd, but aren’t we all at some point).  As much as I would like to meet everyone, I have gone through the list to decide brands that would be a good fit for Great Contradictions.  I have been working on making connections now, so I don’t get to BlogHer completely unprepared.

If you are going to Blogher, here is a sample of my (packed) schedule beyond normal sessions, etc… : Lovable Gals dinner, I’m with the Brand, HTC insight, Cheap Sally, Sweatpink bootcamp, Filtrete Water-front yoga, Disney “The Help” Screening & Cocktail reception.  Feel free to meet up with me at any or all of these events to talk about how great Salsa Sensations is, Salsa Sensations/Blogher giveaway, gluten free living or life in general.  I love meeting new people!

Now what?

I am ecstatic about attending BlogHer.  Needless to say, I did not realize how much goes into pre-BlogHer.  Along with pre-making all the gf food for the boys at grandma’s.  I have to stay connected to get opportunities with bloggers & brands that I want to network with.  I feel like I am in a bit of a BlogHer trance yet I love it!  Being the perfectionist that I am, I have been thinking about what to say, what to wear, & considering what do I really want to get out of BlogHer?  Collective Bias’ weekly conference calls & MomSpark forum have been great resources to help me feel up-to-date on the whirlwind that is BlogHer.

Okay, so your turn…

I would love some tips from some veteran BlogHer attendees!

Come back monday for a Salsa Sensations inspired make-ahead recipe along with Manic Monday Mixer (twitterhop)!  Just a heads up starting Aug. 3rd, I will be hosting a giveaway as Salsa Sensations BlogHer delegate. I look forward to connecting with everyone through #salsacraving on twitter. So don’t forget to follow me on twitter. Also, keep a look out for BlogHer11 information on more reviews of what I will be wearing & doing while networking in San Diego.


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  1. First off, yay so glad you are going! I think this is a great post of what to expect before and during the conference. I remember going crazy last year trying to prepare for my first one. It will be a lot of fun and I think that is the most important thing to remember, to just have fun *insert Cyndi Lauper’s Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun tune here* lol, jk.

    I am so glad you have been on our call’s each week and Momspark has been a great resource to you. It was an *essential resource* to my planning last year and this year! I hope to meet you at Blogher11!

    BTW, can’t wait to see your giveaway, congrats on the opportunity!

  2. I’ve been to a few other conference but this will be my first time attending BlogHer. Your list sounds pretty right on track to me.
    I’ll also be at “The Help” Screening & Cocktail reception. Hope to meet ya there!

  3. Great post! This is my first BlogHer as well. Congrats on your sponsorship. I love that salsa.

    I am a party ambassador for Cheap Sally so be sure to come say Hi to me there. I can’t wait to meet everyone!

    • I will stop by say hi. I will be wearing a Betsy Johnson red sequined dress to Cheap Sally. Hopefully, hard to miss!

  4. Congratulations on securing a sponsorship with Salsa Sensations – how exciting! This will be my first trip to BlogHer, but not my first blogging conference. I think it’s important to remember that it’s impossible to see/do everything – but to have fun and meet great people! The networking/connections made are what matter the most!

    Hope to meet you while we are in San Diego!

  5. heads up that all of the official blogher events will have clearly marked gluten free options and the breakfasts and lunches will have their own gluten free buffets. (i’m a blogher events team employee)

    • Natalie says:

      thanks carrie! I had heard that, but others have warned of cross-contamination risks. I figured I would pack lots of food supplies, try eating buffet the first day, and see how I feel. I am so excited about BlogHer efforts to make it easier on Celiacs!