This year will be my fifth BlogHer. This year will be my first year with a baby (yes, Vivi’s coming too) and it will also most likely be my first year wearing nothing but stretchy pants, because if I’ve learned one thing from the last four BlogHer conferences? You’re either going to like someone or you’re not and it makes no difference whether they’re wearing a new dress with heels or sweatpants with house slippers.

You can dress a jerk up but they’re still just a jerk in a dress.

The thing about these conferences is that you already have something in common with almost every single person attending. And let’s be honest, it’s kind of a dorky thing.

awkward prom photo.

We all like to spend time on the Internet for various and assorted reasons.

We’re all geeks on some level and that alone should get anyone over the initial anxiety hump.

Hoosiers (me and Amy)

To you new people, the conference will be what you make of it. You can spread yourself out and meet well over three thousand new people or you can find those with whom you connect with the most and spend three amazing days with soul sisters you never would have met had it not been for this dorky little hobby of yours. Or you can be like me and do a little of both.

@chookooloonks

If your mental status can handle it sit at a new table everyday for breakfast and lunch. Introduce yourself, ask questions about your table mates. Use the word ‘you’ more than you use the word ‘me.’ Take time to seek out those who look scared and alone and say hi. If you find someone crying outside the bathroom sit down with them and offer to share medication (kidding, kind of.) Don’t be offended if someone isn’t super nice to you, maybe they’re really scared of being surrounded by that many people (and it’s a lot of people.) If that “big” blogger you were so excited to meet brushes you off? Please don’t take it personally, maybe they just really had to poop, or their husband just called and informed them their baby fell of the swing set back home and knocked out her two front teeth. If you feel as though there are “cool kid clubs” please remember that many people who have been before are really excited to see their old friends they only get to see in person once a year. Excitement does not mean exclusion.

Bossy Moosh Joy

The people that go to these conferences are good people. They’re there because they want to be there.

As far as I know no one spends all this money and travels all this way only to find new people to hate and destroy. That’s what the check out line at Wal-Mart is for (again, kidding, kind of.)

That being said, if you are coming all this way simply to make fun of people and make them feel uncomfortable? You seriously need to find a new hobby, no offense.

Amy, moosh, Laurie

My first BlogHer I bought all new clothes. Seriously, everything I wore was brand new. I had my hair and makeup done and I even went on a diet.

This year? I’ll bring clean clothes (none of which will require Spanx) flat shoes and my chubby baby. I’ll shower daily, comb my hair, brush my teeth and hug you, because I will be so happy to see you again or meet you for the first time. I will spend my time with kind people, I will eat when I’m hungry, leave when I’m overwhelmed and hopefully more than once I will laugh so hard I pee a little.

@lesbiandad

And when it’s over I will regret not being able to meet everyone, go back to my regular life here in Indiana and look forward to doing it all again next year.

Comments

  1. I want to pee laughing at our photo. I LOVE you.x oxo

  2. Oh yes, yes, yes. I wish I were going this year, because I would wear stretchy pants with you and pose our babies together.
    Have fun and enjoy the Blogher experience with a baby. It is fun :)

  3. I have yet to go to BlogHer, still not able to go this year, but when/if I do ever get the chance, this is exactly how I hope it will be.

  4. Whenever I read your blog, I’m reminded why I’m damn tempted each and every time I visit my folks in Evansville (IN) that I want to visit Indy. I use the excuse with my husband that I want to see Lucas Oil Stadium (or the old RCA Dome) because of the Colts, but damn it, it’s just because I want to see if I can randomly run into you.

    And now I feel like a freaking stalker, but it’s true!

    Anyways, I totally agree with all that you wrote. I wish I could go to those blogger conferences, but I’m never able (kids, school, no vacay, no $$$, the list goes on), but I know that at one of those, I won’t be singled out and picked on because of my own issues, because we all have issues!

    Casey Reply:

    @Sarah @ TM2TS, Just be sure to let me know when you’re coming so I can be in the same place you will be so you CAN bump into me. I don’t leave my house much. Unless we’re talking Costco.

    Sarah @ TM2TS Reply:

    @Casey, Oh Wow! I definitely will … eventually I’ll make it back to Indiana LOL!

  5. robynski says:

    Hahaha! What a great post. This is my first BH, but not my first conference. I’m not wearing new clothes, I’ve started a juice diet and will be one of those in the corner most likely.

    I only wish I had a darling chubby baby I could use as a decoy to my chubbiness. ;o) Alas, they’re all grown and won’t be at BH either.

    Lokking forward to attending. Your post helps!

    Casey Reply:

    @robynski, I figured bringing Vivi would be like bringing a living breathing excuse for my soft midsection and stretchy pants.

  6. SUCH good advice from a ProBlogHer. =)
    Have a blast and hug some necks for me!

    AmazingGreis Reply:

    @QuatroMama, so sad you won’t be there Jen! Will miss you! XOXO

  7. Great post Casey! Everything is oh, so true! I can’t wait to see you and to meet sweet Vivi!! XOXO

  8. I would love to go to a blog conference. Back when I was in college and after when I got paid for my work I went to conferences all the time, student government and then professional conferences. I feel like I would get a lot out of a blog conference but I can’t get over feeling that my blog isn’t popular/important enough… What are your thoughts on that?

    Casey Reply:

    @Emiky, Honestly it was my first BlogHer that even got me noticed by anyone, I was a true nobody back in those days. That being said I don’t give a hoot if you even have a blog or not as long as you’re a nice person. A lot of people feel that way. If your blog is important to you then it’s important enough.

  9. This is my 1st BlogHer and I’m a nervous wreck. I don’t usually do well in large group social settings but am going to do my best darn it!

    I am so appreciating all the posts saying it’s ok to be nervous, everyone else is too, etc. Thanks!

    Casey Reply:

    @Elizabeth, Honestly it’s so big that it’s too big to get nervous about because you’ll be so past nervous and overwhelmed you’ll have fun, or be dead on the floor, whatever. ;)

    Elizabeth Reply:

    @Casey, Thanks! That made me totally laugh.

  10. So sad we won’t be roooming this time around BUT I get to see you next weekend so that is good. Also, the Indiana thing.

    Steph

  11. Lovely. This will be my first conference- I am anxious and giddy. Hope to see you there!
    No new clothes for me- I’ll be 7 months pregnant… but I am most certain I will pee a little on many an occasion. :)

    Casey Reply:

    @Jenni Chiu, I’ll be peeing too. I’ll just use the laughter as a cover up.

  12. Last year was my first time and first conference. This year I am no longer a Blogher virgin. I am trying to get to know people before hand, follow the twitter stream and generally relax because I am determined to have fun.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jen, Then fun you shall have. I declare it be so.

  13. Love the advice & the great photos! Hope to meet you & Vivi there!

  14. I literally bubbled over into Level 6 laughter when I saw this appear. Any and every excuse for our prom date to appear on the internet. Eventually I hope this is the singular image that pops up when I Google myself. It explains so much. Love you and am beyond excited to get some quality Vivi time in. I’ve decided we should all take surfing lessons. Or watch other people take surfing lessons while we eat tacos. Discuss.

    Casey Reply:

    @To Kiss the Cook, You had me at tacos.

    becky Reply:

    @Casey, y’all *have* to make it fish tacos. Trust me.

    Also? This will be my 5th as well (I missed last year as I was about 7 mos pregnant). Can’t wait to see my friends and make new ones.

    And maybe my little guy Morgan (7 mos right now) can meet your little Vivi and say hi. :)

  15. AWWW love love love.
    Have fun on my birthday with some of my favorite people, K?
    Will miss you.

    hugs and kisses!!!

  16. Spot on 100%.

    Just so you know, you probably don’t remember, but we met last year in NYC. You were one of the 1st people I met and you were so nice to me. For a newbie who was kind-of freaked out, it helped a lot. :)

    Casey Reply:

    @Robin, Last year was such a blissful blur, you have no idea how happy it makes me that I was nice to you. *phew* Will I see you again this year?

  17. you know I’m gonna hug your face…because you may be the only person there I have actually met in real life and I miss you. you have that effect on people.

    <3

    Casey Reply:

    @Katie, That makes me one in three thousand! Whee!

  18. Wish I read this before I went “cute, trendy and comfy” shoe shopping to wear at my first conference! Heading to Midwest Media Moms Summit in Chicago this Saturday and I feel better already. Screw the Spanx — I’m letting my muffin top fly!

    Casey Reply:

    @Karen, I’ll be at that one too! We’ll practice our squees!

    Karen Reply:

    @Casey,
    Hooray! Can’t wait to meet you and Vivi — the cutest accessory ever!

  19. I’ve made blogher next year a goal. I’ve only posted my blog a little over a month ago. I’m loving it but feel like I have a lot to learn still. Still feel like thre are lots of crickets chirping in my neck of the woods!
    http://chosenchaos.blogspot.com/

  20. Loved meeting you last year (I flew to NY with Sam) and I’m so sad that I won’t get to see you and all my friends this year :( I’m also bummed I won’t get to squish your gorgeous chubby Vivi. Have a blast. And you could make a paper bag look great btw.

  21. Very excellent post! I found pretty much everything you said here to be true at my first BlogHer last year. And one of my highlights was, of course, our uncomfortably long hug. (which really? wasn’t that uncomfortable.) I won’t be there this year, but I hope you and Vivi have a blast!!

  22. I’m way more nervous this year! Last year, I had the time of my life. I had a roommate whom I did everything with. This year, new roomie, and sort of flying… solo. Kind of scared.

  23. Best BlogHer11 post so far!

    You, my friend, are tops on my list of people I must find and hug in San Diego.

    I will try my hardest not to have a crying fit in your room (although I cannot make promises).
    ;)

  24. Super perfect advice.

  25. I can’t wait to hug you (and steal your baby)

  26. Michelle says:

    “…wearing nothing but stretchy pants” – I hope you are wearing more than that! Have fun.

  27. I just want your green dress. Please can have?

    Casey Reply:

    @Katherine @ Postpartum Progress, Addie already called dibs. Kids. Sheesh.

  28. this will be my first year! i feel like i know a fair number of people (thank you twitter!) but i’m still terrified that i’ll end up all alone which is probably a little silly. or not. we’ll see won’t we?

    and thanks to you and Morgan @the818 i will probably be downgrading my clothes for comfort. cuz we’s smart like adults, right?

    Casey Reply:

    @the grumbles, Comfort and a smile, ’tis all you need.

  29. I’ve really devoted myself into blogging and hope to attend a Blogher conference one year. If there is one close to Jersey within an 800 mile radius. I would love to attend. Too bad I didn’t start my blog sooner like you did, but better late than never. It was all in good time. Enjoy yourself and keeping building up your blogging enthusiasm…I know I am. Maybe someday I’ll see you at one. XO

    Casey Reply:

    @Rose, They usually switch coasts each year so start saving up for 2012! It could be your year and I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU AT ONE!

    Rose Reply:

    @Casey, You betcha! MISS YOU!!!

  30. I just got REALLY REALLY sad that I won’t be there this year…

    Waaaaaaah.

  31. You forgot to mention: When the party isn’t happening for ya anymore, grab some buddies, get your jammies on and room service up some hot wings. eat them in bed.

    Casey Reply:

    @designhermomma, No pregnant Emily in bed eating hot wings pictures this year, we’ll have to reenact at your house.

  32. See you soon. Warn Vivi about her crazy adopted Canadian internet aunty so she won’t get freaked out with all the baby smooshing I plan on doing to her.

  33. You were one of the kindest “big bloggers” that I met at my first BlogHer two years ago and I have always felt so mushy warm and grateful when I see you online ever since.

    Casey Reply:

    @Briar, YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL.
    I needed a good warm mushy today and you gave it to me.
    Thank you.

  34. I sorta just want to applud you right now.

    Can we somehow make everyone stop talking about “super secret BH parties” on Twitter? I mean really, if it’s that secret, why are you talking about it?

    Casey Reply:

    @Issa, I am going to a super secret party in my room and only Vivi is invited. Beat that.

    Issa Reply:

    @Casey, Dude. How can I get a super secret invite to that party??? ;)

    Kim Tracy Prince Reply:

    @Issa, Those super secret BH parties are either fake or they are just 3 girls drinking wine out of plastic cups in their messy hotel room. (Which is totally cool, and I hope I get invited.)

  35. These were great tips..
    if I’m seeing one thing from the old hat bloggers who have done multiple Blogher conferences it is: comfy clothes.

    I figure that if I go with no expectations things will work out to my benefit.

    Casey Reply:

    @Lindsay Dianne, no expectations and stretchy pants!

  36. Not sure if you remember being in the elevator at last year’s conference and you mentioned to my boyfriend that he shouldn’t have on an “I’m a PC” sticker, but when you heard his British accent you said that he could wear any stick he wanted. It is moments like that at this conference that make me smile and I look forward to having again every year.

    Thanks for this post!

    Casey Reply:

    @Red Lotus Mama, Oh yes, I remember that. I’m such a sucker for an accent. (Along with every other woman most likely.)

  37. Ooooh, this is such great advice. This is my first year going to blogher. And it’s also my first conference EVER. I am nervous but kind of that excited first-day-of-school nervous where you feel like you might hurl but try really hard not to because you don’t want to make a fool of yourself.

    I’ll be honest, I might be wearing some new stuff and some heels. But after my 5th year I can join you with my stretchy pants.

    I would love to meet you and Vivi! LOVE. I’m so glad I read this post and I really hope I see you there.

  38. You really know what you are talking about and I LOVED this post! I have been in many of the situations that you described including crying outside the bathroom! I have met some fascinating women at BlogHer. Can’t wait to meet you there!

  39. Fantastic post. Here here! Can’t wait.

  40. Radness. Enjoyed spending some time around you at TAM09, I hung out around BH a bit last year but this year I’ll have my very own conference pass, AND be actually staying at the hotel. Which should be pretty awesome. ;p

  41. This is why I love you and have been reading you for years. In a blogosphere often rife with pettiness and inauthenticity, you shine, my dear. And would you believe, as a “veteran” 5yr blogger, I have NEVER been to BlogHer?! I love me my Blissdom though! Much more my speed.

  42. I really don’t need help peeing. Laughing just a little can cause that, so it’s not such a great goal for me…

    But laughing so hard I feel like I worked out and maybe even DID burn off a few calories while doing so? That I can look forward to!

  43. Can’t wait to see you and nom on those chubby baby thighs. No one has called the thighs…right? You know what a freak I am about germs.

    xo

  44. Your post kinda sounded like you were defending BlogHer. Does it need defending? Never been so I don’t know for sure, but the conference is (like most conferences) mostly about networking (and having fun. And maybe learning a little?) And networking is an art form that not all of us have mastered. I think once that is figured out there’s no need to be scared of BlogHer. Am I wrong? Just curious.

  45. I’m trying to refrain from buying anything new. SURELY I have things in my closet already! Except maybe that perfect dress… ;)

    Hope to hug you there and meet your sweet baby girl.

  46. See, now had I been keeping up with you better I would have known you were going…and I’m so glad you are.

  47. love these great photos,have fun

  48. hi your blog and photos seems like you enjoy your life