so you’re going to BlogHer…or not.

I went to this big blogging conference last year–you  may have heard of it?  It’s called BlogHer and it’s kind of a big deal.

Anywho, I went while I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with Charlie. I flew across the country, by myself, while popping zofran and tums like candy, on lots of medication to help me feel ok.

I still barfed during sessions.  I still needed to go back to my room every afternoon for a pregnant nap.  I still left all the parties by 11pm so I wouldn’t turn into a pumpkin could get some sleep for me and Charlie.

And I came back with a wicked case of antenatal depression.


I really did.  I met some of the most fantastic women; I solidified friendships; I hugged one of my best friends for the first time; and I was recognized by someone whom I was pretty sure had no idea I existed. Plus? San Diego is gorgeous.


I am not going this year.  Lots of reasons.  Not the point of this post.

I will be going next year.  I’ve already decided (please, BlogHer Goddesses, let it be more centrally located in the country for this midwestern bumpkin).

When I do go again, these are the things I think I will do differently…

>>>I will NOT stress out about what to wear.  Seriously.  Last year I think I wrote three posts panicking about clothes.  CLOTHES.  My BlogHer vet friends told me not to worry.  They told me over and over.  I worried.  Needlessly.  Most of the stuff I painstakingly picked out?  I never wore.  At the time I blamed pregnancy, but let’s be honest.  That is not how I roll in real life.  I put something on in the morning and willmaybe change up part of it to go out at night.  Not do a complete overhaul.  Also? NO ONE CARES.

>>>I will NOT bring 87 pairs of shoes.  I wore two.  TWO pairs.  flip-flops by day and ONE of the nights I wore a cute pair of red mary jane pumps I had.  Again, I was pregnant.  But I wasn’t THAT pregnant.  I’m a teacher.  I am used to being on my feet, but I also wear comfy shoes.

>>>I will NOT try to do ALL THE THINGS.  It’s not possible.  Well, maybe it is, but you go home with jet lag and antenatal depression and no desire to blog ever again.  I tried to go to sessions and speakers and the expo and all the parties I could possibly attend.  Man, I want to go to bed just reading that.  Next time I will maybe go to some sessions.  Or maybe I will just get an expo pass.  Or maybe even just a party pass.  Quality over quantity is a true statement.

>>>I will NOT care about parties.  I really didn’t care last year, but I rsvp-ed and went to them all because the crowd I was with went to them all.  I ended up underwhelmed at most of them.  I am sure part of it was my lack of drinking, but I am not a HUGE drinker, so I can’t really blame that.  I just think some of it is over-hyped.  Like prom.  Remember how you wait your whole life for prom and then you go…”meh. I guess it was fun.”  Yeah. That.  Don’t get me wrong, a few of the parties were off-the-chain-ALL CAPS-awesome, but that was mostly due to WHO was there, not WHAT was there.

>>>I will NOT worry about my impression.  I know last year there were people who were let down after meeting me.  But they didn’t know I had maybe just barfed, or just woken up from a nap, or was on my way to a nap, or was on a mission for water, or was amazed they knew me, or was still shell-shocked by the sheer number of people I knew, but didn’t know…but KNEW!  I know I came off as aloof, snobby, whatever to some people.  I am bad at showing emotion.  It’s why I talk to people IN MY COMPUTER.

>>>I will NOT just stare at someone I love, but go talk to them.  I wish I had gone up and said hi to so many people who I saw from afar.  So silly to not do it.

>>> I will NOT be a swaghole. Of all the free stuff I was giving/took, I left about 30% of it behind.  Of the stuff that came home with me (smashed in its own suitcase that I had to check/pay for), I probably only kept/used 10%. I gave another 10% of it away as gifts, and I chucked or donated the other 80%. I’m  a language teacher, and even I know that I played that game wrong.  No one needs 43573987 tubes of lip balm.

>>> I WILL make time to just sit and chat.  The best…and I mean HANDS DOWN THE BEST part of going to BlogHer was meeting IN REAL LIFE people I have been pouring my soul to in this space, whom I have been whining and venting to on twitter, whose words I read faithfully over my cup of coffee in the morning or my glass of wine in the evening.

Did you make it this far down my list?  You did?  AWESOME.

Want more tips?  I’m over at Daddy Runs A Lot today (the fool let me roam his place alone…unsupervised…oh the amok I will run…) giving him some tips too because he is going to BlogHer!

I figured that poor soul has visions of hot moms having pillow fights in his head and what he is in for is very, very…NOT THAT.

So follow me to his place for a big party…I mean…tips for Dad Bloggers at a Mom Blogger conference.  Weee!


Also, don’t forget that I am doing a super awesomely rad giveaway with Papersalt over here.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Thank you for this. I’m not headed to Blogher, instead I will hit up Blissdom Canada but just looking at the agenda and hearing how much was crammed into 3 days from other bloggers kinda made my head spin. I embrace your advice to not do everything. It’s freeing really…

  2. Even though I’m the world’s coolest Mommy-Blogger, I’m not ready for BlogHer. Still, if I ever do go, let’s just sit in a corner and laugh at everybody else, okay? But I’m not staying up to 11PM!!! Dear God, I haven’t seen that hour in years!

  3. Thanks Katie, I needed this to calm my nerves. Great advice that I certainly will be using—come hell or high water BlogHer12 here I come. Sadly, I wish you were going, you will be missed 😉

  4. THANK YOU for this. I have been freaking out about what to pack. Which seems ridiculous, really. But I have been obsessing over dresses, jeans, skirts, and omg – shoes! But I will chill and step away from the closet.

    Also, maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t get the swag obsession. I’m all for bringing a few cool things home. But not bagfuls of samples of random things that will just add to the mess of crap that is my house!

  5. I love your post. This will be my first time attending BlogHer and I was amazed to see how many people were freaking out about clothes. I mean, I was truly shocked!
    Anyway, I like your post because you sound like me. I appear aloof and snobby, but that’s only because talking to people in person is not comfortable for me. I much rather talk to them through my computer.

    I promise to do my best and not be a swaghole. 🙂
    I am promising myself that I will not cling to the only person I know who is attending BlogHer.

    I can do this.

  6. Im not going to BlogHer but I went to Blissdom and I wish I had read this first.

    I had a horrible time because I was so stinkin shy and didnt go up and talk to people I wanted to. I just kept to myself. I wish I had done it differently–and I am going to do my BEST to be better next year.

    Im so with you on BlogHer being centrally located next year. Maybe somewhere in the mid-west. It would be much easier for this Southern gal. Also? I wont be shy next year and will probably hug you like no one’s watching.

  7. I’m not going but the thought of it scares the crap out of me. So many people! So many women! Ack! And I come off as a bit aloof too.

  8. Awesome tips, my friend! Particularly the one about swag. I worked in PR and did plenty of events for clients who dd provide swag. And believe me when I say brands do not think highly of those who take a lot of stuff. I mean, they want you to take THEIRS obviously, but people who take EVERYTHING? Urgh.

    Also, I can’t understand the what shall I wear obsession. Just wear something that is you and comfortable. Everyone’s too busy to care about what they’re wearing to care what you’re wearing.

    I’m hoping to go to BlogHer ’13. It’s a long way and I don’t know if I can leave my boys for so long (at least 10 days since it’s so far, may as well stretch it right?). But if I do, WE HAVE A DATE, GOT IT?

  9. Thanks for the wonderful post. This will be my first time at BlogHer and you’ve reduced my anxieties a bit. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  10. I would love to go to a blogging convention, except I have this , I am not good enough thing in my head. Not pretty enough, smart enough, witty enough. You fill in the rest. So the fact that you even went to one already in my head makes you famous.. wait you aren’t??? Says who. Then there is the whole flying thing.. yeah I am not so good with that.. ahem.. perhaps a bloggy bonfire in my backyard is more appropriate for my speed lol.

  11. I don’t know why I feel the need to read BlogHer posts when I am not going to BlogHer. I am such a conference-junkie…one who doesn’t go to many conferences (one so far!) 🙂

  12. You just put my mind at ease once again. Even though I’ve been at plenty of conferences, this is the MacDaddy of them (in my opinion) and I’m honestly a little nervous. But I will be me. And this? Reminded me that that is most important. (And may have just inspired a blog post about it.) 🙂

  13. Great tips, not just for BlogHer but for any conference. When I went to Blissdom this year I went with barely any expectations and I really think that made a difference. My only goal was to meet my friends in real life. And because of that? I had a great time!

  14. I have read and heard so many different things about BlogHer that I got freaked out just thinking about it. I was contemplating going for one day… Budget wouldn’t allow for more. But instead, chose to skip it this year, go to a smaller, local one here in Florida and look into 1 or 2 bigger ones for next year. To a newbie blogger it’s all very over-whelming… Thanks, for these tips. It’s good to hear what the “pros” think!!! 🙂

  15. fabulous post! i hope to go to BlogHer next year and I will bookmark this post so I don’t do all these things. I went to a handmade/blog conference last year and people really did care if you had the biggest blog, the most sales, and what you were wearing. It was overwhelming and not my cup of tea. I took naps in my room and failed to go to parties because I did not fit in with this mentality of shallowness. Sounds like BlogHer is more my cup of tea.
    Thanks for the post,

  16. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself all summer because I’m not attending BlogHer. Frankly, I just don’t feel like I have enough exposure to attend. I’m changing domains, though, writing more often, and getting my name out there, so I hope to attend next year. I love your thoughts on the conference!

  17. Someday, we will go to BlogHer together… I know it and we will go just as you said aka have a hell of a good time.

    • Oh and I have to add one thing… I WILL worry about what I wear and take way too many shoes because well, that is just me. 🙂

  18. Amen to all of this. For the reals. I was SO fried when I came home last year. So tired and drained. I refuse to do that again this year. More talking, more friends, more free time.

    I’m pretty bummed you’re not going. 🙁

  19. Meeting and rooming with you last year was one of my BlogHer highlights! This was a great post. I’d like to go again and Chicago is an awesome location and I’m with you, I’m not going to stress next time either about anything (clothes, my appearance, etc.) and will definitely make more time to sit and talk and enjoy. Maybe we can be roomies again? 🙂


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