What happens when you decide you MUST go to a blogging conference 3 weeks before it happens? Well if you're like me you read every article and post you can find about the previous conferences as well as the one coming up. I jam packed myself with so much information about the BlogHer conferences it's no wonder people start to get anxious. I felt their pain.
When I decided to make the trip to NYC to attend, I also knew I was going to be traveling alone. No big deal right? I read all over the place that even if you attend alone, you will still feel super welcome and everyone is really friendly. I decided it would be okay and I would make due. To make that traveling alone thing even trickier I decided I needed to also save some money so I opted to stay with family on Long Island (about a 50 minute train ride to the city). This did not help my anxiety when it came to meeting new people.
Follow along with me this week as I recap my first ever blogger conference. I will be talking about my experience and offer up tips for newcomers. Everyone has a different experience so I hope one of you can relate to mine.
It was about 12:30pm when I arrived via a Coach bus into New York City. It was hot, sticky, and I had been awake since 5:30am with no coffee. Scary thought, I know. I was meeting my cousin whom I would be staying with for the time I was spending in NYC. Stepping out into the sunlight after emerging from Port Authority showed me the first lesson I learned about attending a conference and NOT staying at the hotel it was being offered at; if you bring bags, you kind of have to carry them with you from that point forward. Thankfully the Hilton where the conference was being held allowed me to "check my bags" for the day. Amen to the Hilton!
I was what I felt like a thousand pounds lighter and starving for lunch. We decided to head out in search of sustenance. Which actually meant I was in search for wine of course. We settled on the Olive Garden in Times Square. They had this pretty amazing deal on a wine flight for $9.00. For Manhattan that is pretty darn cheap. I also figured it would be a good idea to actually eat something so the endless salad and breadsticks sounded like a plan. It was nice to feel full and a little less sweaty. Going back out into the world seemed hard at this point though.
|Lunch! I mean my drinks? ;)|
I quickly caught on to the fact that I was going to be leaving with quite the swag and not much room for it. Oops! I wandered around a few times trying to avoid more swag that I didn't need and grabbed a glass of wine. There were wine and drink stations set up all through out the 2 floors. I had my picture taken with some sponsors and all in all had a fun experience. I briefly stopped up at the Multi-Culti party before exhaustion completely took over and I needed to call it a night.
My cousin was still in the city so after accessing the swag situation I decided there was no way to walk the 20 blocks to Penn Station or even try to get on a subway so I hailed a cab. After a pretty frightening cab ride I was reunited with K and on the train to Long Island. Whew! What a crazy first day!
Day 1 Lessons Learned + Tips!
- Stay at the hotel the conference is being held at. This will save you lots of frustration.
- Pack comfy shoes and be prepared to walk A LOT.
- Sunscreen! Needless to say I had a little redness after day 1's adventures.
- Wear really good deodorant if you won't have time to shower.
- Be patient. Things can change quickly in a large city. Be prepared for anything.
I hope you enjoyed day 1! Please come back tomorrow for day 2 and more tips! Follow along all week as I talk about all things conference related!