Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my first bloggers conference, #BlogHer17. It was located right in Orlando, Florida this year, and I was graciously given the opportunity to go, so I wanted to see what the conference was all about. BlogHer brings together women content creators from all across the globe yearly.
The conference was at the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the area was set up beautifully. The outside views were gorgeous as well! I went to the event on Thursday afternoon, which was a kickoff keynote and Expo. Everyone got their conference bags upon checking in with goodies from this year’s sponsors, which really honestly included a mix of everything. Of course, I had to have a mini photo shoot before the keynote, because I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t.
Thursday’s keynote had a little bit of everything, but the speaker I really anticipated to see was Chelsea Clinton. I’ve admired her ever since I was little (that’s the New Yorker in me), and I was so excited to see and hear her speak. She had a conversation with Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood President. Since I currently work in healthcare and am an aspiring physician, I was completely nerding out with all of the women’s healthcare talk. I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, it was incredible.
The Expo was full of brands to network with such as Best Buy, WordPress, Plant Nite, OLAY, Medieval Times, and more. I would say the brands that were there were more relevant for family bloggers, but it was a good experience for me to network in-person.
I couldn’t make it to the first full day of the conference (Friday), but I wish I could have gone – Serena Williams was one of the speakers!
The second – and last – full day of the conference was Saturday, and it was the most rewarding day. After having breakfast and sitting in on another keynote, I did a fun little scavenger hunt around the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf Astoria that was put together for the conference and got to see both resorts in all their glory. They’re both truly beautiful! I also had to squeeze in another photoshoot because who knows when I’ll get those kinds of views again, lol. Can you believe these pictures were taken with my iPhone?!
The two sessions I went to on Saturday were SEO: Conquering Search Engine Algorithms and 100 Million Views and Counting: Secrets to Building Huge Facebook Traffic. Oh wait, let me correct myself. The SEO session was so packed that I couldn’t see anything, so I downloaded the Powerpoint slides and will be working on it on my own. That’s how you know a session is informative! You can check out a great blog post by the speaker, Stephan Spencer, that breaks SEO down here. SEO is something I definitely need to work on, and can be really overwhelming, so that session was definitely a priority.
The second session was great, and it was also packed, but I managed to get a spot where I could see. Instagram is my baby, and sometimes I tend to overlook the other social media platforms. But the speaker, Nathan Engels, walked us through how to use Facebook as an advertising tool to grow your audience. I took so many notes and have a lot to work on!
I was exhausted by the time the Facebook session was over, so I didn’t attend the closing party, but some other blogger babes I know had tons of fun 🙂
The verdict: #BlogHer17 was a wonderful experience where I got to connect with bloggers I’ve already met, and meet a few that I’ve been interacting with online for the past year. That in itself was so rewarding! Learning about technical things like SEO and ways to build my audience via social media was also really worth it, because it’s one thing to read the material yourself, and a whole other thing to have someone walk you through it step by step and really break it down for you. The Expo wasn’t my favorite thing, only because I’m more of a fashion and beauty blogger and wasn’t a fit for a lot of the brands, but it was a good experience to learn how to make connections and network with brands in person. If you can swing the price and are relatively new to the blogger conference world, or if you have been in the game for a while and want to connect with online friends and the brands sponsoring the conference, I would definitely recommend BlogHer!
Disclaimer: Although my ticket to #BlogHer17 was sponsored, all opinions are 100% my own!