Ah, blogger conference season. When we bloggers make the very pained decision to leave our families behind while we come together for personal and professional development.
And, sometimes we attend a party or two (or twelve), toss back Cake Vodka shots and find ourselves crashing and burning in someone else’s hotel room. In a different hotel. And they’re not even attending the conference.
Yes, it’s time to don a fancy dress and flip flops (I learned the hard way last year – you MUST bring your flip flops!) and party among your peers. These are the women who support you, cheer you on and share battle scars – and sometimes, they happen to live on the other side of the country. To BlogHer’12, and the mass gathering of online friends: I’m so excited!!!
Now with the conference a mere six (6) weeks away, I thought of a few totally cool things that I just had to share. It makes the conference personal and special to me – so without further ado:
1. In my former life, I was a Customer Satisfaction Specialist for Honeywell. A large part of my role was to analyze satisfaction scores and create training modules/best practices to improve overall engagement, morale, and subsequently raise the level of service. Now not to toot my own horn (warning: I’m about to toot my own horn) – I developed a program that raised the satisfaction score from 6.2 to 8.5 in just six months. And it didn’t go unnoticed; MarketTools CustomerSat, our partner who provided the survey data, asked me to come and speak at their conference in San Jose, to share with other business leaders the success of my training program.
Now at the conference, in conversation with one of the MarketTools directors, she told me about her daughter, who had recently started a media company called “BlogHer.” I nodded politely, but I barely knew what a blog was – never mind this network based on a bunch of women who ranted online. She asked if I had ever considered starting an online journal – LAUGH! I had too much on my plate to find free time to blog.
The next year, when I once again attended the conference, the director and I had a great conversation about the success that her daughter had achieved and the immense popularity of blogs written by women. I offered heartfelt congratulations and was absolutely touched by the pride in her voice.
And years later, when I met Elise Camahort Page, Co-Founder of BlogHer in person – I had this very awesome introductory line:
“Hi Elisa, my name is Lena. I actually know your mother. Please give her my love.”
(Somehow, I think I stood out from everyone else’s intro that day. BOO-YAH!)
2. Last year, BlogHer’11 was in San Diego, which was both thrilling (I’d never been) and terrifying (I only had about two weeks notice to wrap my head around the fact that I was going). One of the articles that helped me immensely was Jen Taylor’s “What Should You Bring to a Conference?” post in her blog, Little Miss Mocha. It served as a soothing reality check, and I encourage all conference attendees to read it at at least once.
3. This year, BlogHer’12 is in New York City. And even though I’ve been to NYC more times than I’ve been to Burlington, I’ve never visited New York with a gaggle of bloggers. To say I’m excited is an understatement. Making it even more spectacular?
I’m going thanks to the good folks at Maple Leaf Foods!
LOVE this partnership – as you all know, my family is a huge fan of Maple Leaf Foods and their umbrella of brands, especially Dempsters, Olivieri, Tenderflake, and more. In fact, at any given time, you can see my boys munching on a slice of Natural Selections Salami (sooo garlicky but sooo good!)
I look forward the official countdown to BlogHer’12 and over the next few months, you’ll definitely see me paying delicious homage to my sponsor. The good news? There will always be something in it for you too – whether it be tasty recipes, fabulous giveaways or the chance to grab free coupons!
New York City, here we come!