BlogHer ’13 and All Its Weirdness

posted by Momo Fali on July 29, 2013

What happens when you take Queen Latifah, Sheryl Sandberg, Wendi McClendon-Covey (of Bridesmaids fame), Randi Zuckerberg, Gale Anne-Hurd (as in the writer/producer of Terminator, and producer of AMC’s The Walking Dead), many, many more talented and inspirational speakers, hundreds of brands, and thousands of bloggers?

Queen Latifah

Why, BlogHer ’13 of course.

Now imagine the logistics of all of that; the food (including vegan and gluten-free options), signage, transportation, set-up, registration, social media, programming, promotion, and every last detail down to a lactation lounge, a fashion show, a shipping station, and transcribed session content – and imagine all of it being managed by a staff of about 15 people. That, folks, is really where I’ve been.

Let’s put it this way, I picked up a copy of USA Today on Thursday and didn’t even get a chance to read this article until Sunday.

photo(48)

oh hi, those are my bosses in USA Today.

U – S – A – Today.

So it’s weird, you know? It’s weird to have the cell phone numbers of those three women, or be a fangirl of all these big name speakers and Food Network stars like Ree Drummond who is actually one of your greatest friends. Just so you know, it’s possible to be inspired by Ree AND pose for a picture with her in which you accidentally move Anissa’s wheelchair with your breast. Yes, that happened. (Thanks for the photo, Cecily.)

boob shift

Cecily, Ree, Dresden, Katherine, Rachael, Anissa, and me. Awkward.

It’s weird to only see your co-workers a couple of times a year. Or have the opportunity to hang out with your co-worker/BBFF/Bedazzler-Extraordinaire, Melisa and be TOTALLY fine with walking around in the shirt she made you. She, literally, can not help herself. I love her.

social media team

totally fine, because it was awesome!

And, it’s odd that I speak on panels with unbelievably powerful women, with great stories and amazing hair.

blogher '13 panel

Seriously, how did I get to here?

It’s strange to have one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in the World sitting just feet away when she gives you a great quote like this:

— BlogHer Conferences (@BlogHerEvents) July 27, 2013

It’s crazy to walk through the Expo Hall at the conference and get a manicure from Kiss USA, grab a drink from Dailey’s Cocktails (or Turning Leaf, or Moskato Life, or Yellow Tail), pet a puppy from ASPCA, check out a generator from Ryobi Tools, swoon over We Montage, and fall so deeply in love with the Shark Sonic Duo that you almost grabbed it and ran.

I got products I love (and will buy again) from some of them, and from Windex, White Cloud, Samsung, Folgers, ULTA Beauty, Walgreens, CLR, Jamba Juice, Orbit Gum, and Budweiser’s STRAW-BER-ITA. As a matter of fact, I want a STRAW-BER-ITA right-NOW-er-ita. I also learned about the good work of companies like Etymotic and Camp Wonder, supported generously by Cetaphil. Social good makes me warm and fuzzy.

I think the brands were better than ever this year and they GOT IT. They understood that blogs and social media are the new front porch/back fence/water-coolers of the world. Trust me, if I like something I’m sure as heck going to tell you so. And, who would’ve thought that 10 years ago? Uh, no one. See? More weirdness.

So, it’s surreal; this enormous gathering of (mostly) women from all over the world who affect change, share stories, and influence people online. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where it isn’t considered rude to pull out your phone in the middle of a conversation and send a tweet. Bloggers are nothing if not multi-taskers. We are often simultaneously posting to Twitter, Facebook, IM, and email. While we’re making dinner. And, picking up after our kids.

In all it’s weirdness, though, BlogHer is the one time of year where everything is familiar. It’s my people. We are writers, educators, brand ambassadors, and a hundred other labels, but above all we are bloggers.

And, I will own that weirdness all day long.

    Comments

  • Shannon


    I just want to squeeze you.
    I’m sorry. Is that weird?

  • Momo Fali


    Not at all. Your squeezes are quite welcome.

  • Melisa


    Sigh. I love this post. I think I’m going to bedazzle it onto a piece of velvet and frame it for my living room. :)
    xoxo

    • Momo Fali


      Of course you are! Michaels sees you coming.

      • Melisa


        It’s why they’re still in business.

  • Tabatha


    Pretty frickin’ awesome, if you ask me. :)

    Prepare for BlogHer at your house, Ohio version, soon. buahahahahahah

  • Connie Arbino


    …..and to think I remember getting an email from you saying, “so, I have been thinking about doing this blog thing….check it out if you have time.” I have been a loyal follower ever since. I love that you love what you are doing. Keep up the good work! It suits you well. ❤

  • Liz


    You had me at “my people,” love you <3

    • Momo Fali


      I love you too, Liz!

  • Mo at Mocadeaux


    I so wish I had gone to Blogher. As a newbie I wasn’t confident enough to jump in with both feet. Here’s the ridiculous part…I was in Chicago last weekend but not at the conference. I felt like a kid looking through the store window at the fabulousness I was missing! Your description made me realize I could have and should have taken the plunge! Next year FOR SURE!

    • Momo Fali


      Yes, for sure! We tried very hard to make it be a better experience for newbies this year and we’ll do it again in 2014!

  • Loukia


    I am so sad I didn’t come this year! Serious regret, and I never regret anything! I have loved the last three, hard. And I will be back next year! I’ve already mentally bought my ticket… and am secretly hoping it’s back in NYC! No matter where it is, I will (fingers crossed) be there. BlogHer is amazing. And so is all the work you guys do to make it happen!

    • Momo Fali


      You were missed!

  • Jasmine


    It was amazing

  • Alexandra


    This felt like the BEST BlogHer EVER to me. Everything worked like a charm, all of it hassle free and convenient. I really had a great time.

    You guys do so much, I can’t believe it’s just a handful of you. THANK YOU.

    Seeing my people carries me through until next year. xo

  • Caroline


    You = Rockstar. Sad I missed this year but am definitely going next year.

  • Christina


    I think Melisa left off a word on your shirts. It needs to say “BlogHer social media DREAM team!”

    This was a very good BlogHer for me, and I had a fantastic time. I’m already sad to be missing so many friends. We’ll have to meet up at the satellite office again soon!

  • melissa


    i missed my people this year. *sobs*

  • tracey


    I shall always remember our dance off. Muwah.

  • Casey


    I spoke with Shannon after the VOTY, I was telling her that the church was my everything, when I lost that, I didn’t know where I would fit. She told me that I’ve found my people now. And maybe this is really what I was looking for all along. She’s right. It took a little while, but I’ve finally found my place, my people, my friends.

    Thank you for being a very big part of that.

    • Melisa


      I LOVE YOU CASEY!!!!! (You’re definitely one of MY people, so don’t even try to deny it.)

      • Casey


        Melisa! YOU RULE! I adore you and am SO GLAD we finally met! YAY!

    • SunbonnetSmart.com


      Momo! Just finding this as it came up in my NewsFlash, http://bit.ly/14R2F2N Wow. Wonderful post. Made me so happy to read it. But, Casey! I want to reach out to you with this opportunity. When you were reading your poignantly powerful VOTY, I was overwhelmed with love for you and I thought, right then, the same thing. You have found where you belong. With us. We are your people, and you are ours. Looking forward to meeting you IRL, Much Love, Fondly, Robin

  • Jackie


    This was my first BlogHer Conference and I loved every moment of it. And I have to thank you and all the other people who put so much time and effort into making sure that it was wonderful!

    I’m looking forward to next year!

  • tara


    I’m so jealous!! You are so amazing! It looks like such a fun trip. I hope I get to go next year! I love that you moved a wheelchair with your boob. :)

    I’m going to make my husband read this post so that maybe, just maybe, he understands my craziness. Actually, that’s probably hoping for too much….

  • Zak


    It was so very good to see you, my friend.

  • Arnebya


    I miss it all, and you, already. Annual is wrong. Just wrong.

  • Tanis Miller


    Seeing you is always my favourite part of Blogher. I luff you Momo.

  • Practical Mama


    Kudos to you and your team. It was my first blogher. It was an excellent organization. I loved it in every way. Keynote speakers were inspirational. Sessions and brands at the expo hall were great overall. And I am forever grateful for the gluten-free menu options. Best of all, thank you for bringing us together.

  • Stacy Jill


    I am so glad we finally got a chance to meet in person and hang for a bit in between the whirlwind! This was awesome. :)

  • Nicole Robinson @TheBookWormMama


    Thanks for breaking your trip down. This will hold me over until I make it to BlogHer myself.

  • meleah rebeccah


    One of these years, I really have to break down and attend. YOU ARE MY PEOPLE!

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