It’s Friday. The official start of BlogHer. I was actually able to get about six hours of sleep last night. Let’s do this!
I started the morning bright and early by attending the McDonald’s breakfast. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. I sat with the fantastically funny Mitch and Linda, along with my friend Amanda. We sampled McDonald’s new breakfast options and listened to the president of McDonald’s, Jan Fields, along with other key representatives. They talked about the McDonald’s Listening Tour and answered tons of questions from the audience. There was a great discussion about crew members referring to the toys as girl toys and boy toys in Happy Meals. (It’s something that drives me batty…toys have no gender!) I’m also officially obsessed with their new blueberry and pomegranate smoothie.
After breakfast it was time to figure out where to pick up my official BlogHer bag. The expo was split into two floors with a few areas scattered here and there. I didn’t like this, if only because I’m sure I missed something. The bags were tucked in with some sponsors in a back corner of one hallway. I’m glad I found it because that’s also where Martha Stewart’s Staples display was located! Swoon! I got insider information that after Martha’s lunch keynote she’d be heading back to that very spot for a meet and great. I made plans to stalk her then and there. Then I realized my schedule wasn’t going to allow that. Darn it. I hate it when a stalking plan doesn’t come together!
There was a visit across the street to meet the team from Highlights Hello. I’m excited to learn more about this magazine, especially after I discovered it’s made to be toddler proof. (As an early educator I see the damage toddlers do to books on a daily basis!)
I had a small pocket of time for the expo now and I wanted to make heads or tails of it all. There are TONS of photo opps around the expo, including a chance to get your milk mustache with a couple of milk men. As my friends made their way to the Verizon lunch I stayed around the expo trying to find my way. I had been warned before and realized while I was there: some brands have no idea how to work with bloggers. I failed when it came to helping them realize how they could work with me. (I did a better job when it was a brand who was ready to work with bloggers. I can sell myself when you want to buy. I just don’t know how to do it when you don’t.) And of course in some cases the brands sent the wrong people there to be their representatives. If you’re just there to be a warm body and hand out swag there’s not much of value we’ll be able to discuss.
After lunch it was time to meet up with my friends and head to the Mom Select Swag Suite. Those brands were ready to work with bloggers which was really nice. Not everything was a fit for me and my blog, but at least they had a plan. I also finally met Courtney and Sandy from Collective Bias! I only wish there had been more time to chat. Next up was the Tweet Suite at the Muse Hotel. While there I was able to deliver one of my blog pendants to a winner and also chatted with someone who had already received hers. I was able to meet a ton of people thanks to those pendants. I’ll definitely make them again next year.
In the afternoon I finally had a chance to check out the suites at BlogHer like Out My Window and Hot Wheels. My favorite had to be Camp Bondfire from Hershey’s and Walmart. S’mores? Hello? Yes, please! I actually had to rush away to make my appointment to check out the new Starbucks Verismo machine. Since they were doing appointments it felt a little cloak and dagger. No signs on the door. No sign that anything was going on. I had to double check that I had the right room! Then the door opened, I gave my name and was welcomed in for the demo. (It’s a very cool machine.)
It was getting late which means it’s time for parties! We visited the Naughty Monkey showroom and checked out some amazing shoes. I also tried a Red Velvet Cosmo. It’s a strange drink. It really does taste like red velvet cake. The first glass is delicious. After that you start to feel a bit ill… (I’m really sorry. Super awesomely sorry to all of the bloggers I forced to try this with me. Forgive me. Especially if you tried a second glass…)
An adventurous taxi ride later and I was in line with Amanda and Mandy for the Hasbro Party. Oh, wait. I skipped the part where I fell in the middle of a NYC sidewalk and busted up my knee. That was fun. And all my fault. (Even if I liked to blame random bloggers for pushing me down for sport.) The line was hot and miserable and I was thinking to myself that the party better be the best party ever to make it worthwhile. Luckily the party was pretty fab. There was a Plinko style “Where’s My Water” game to play, fun with Nerf, a life size Optimus Prime…seriously, every party should have a life size Optimus Prime. A highlight of the Hasbro party for me was finally meeting Amy and Emily. I absolutely loved every chance I got to make a real life connection with someone I knew online. (Although it would be nice if everyone had a chance to meet me before I just spent an hour melting in the sun waiting to get inside…did I mention just how hot everything was in NYC?) I didn’t get a chance to make any brand connections while at the party, but I did have a fabulous time. (Once I was inside, in air conditioning!)
After Hasbro we headed to Sparklecorn for a while. I was hoping to find someone attending Desserts After Dark to walk with me. Sparklecorn was dark and loud and it was pretty much impossible to find your hand in front of your face. Needless to say I wasn’t finding anyone inside. Luckily outside of the party I ran into Cinny who said Shelley was on her way. Yay! I had a fab companion to walk with to the party. Once I arrived at Desserts After Dark I quickly noticed I was turning into a pumpkin. I was seriously beat. (And we have one more day of this!) I did stay around, enjoyed some desserts and chatted with some new friends. But eventually my bed was calling and I said my goodbyes.
There’s still one more full day of BlogHer left! I’m exhausted just thinking about it! (You might notice there’s no mention of sessions. There’s a reason. I’ll get to that…)