1. Not everyone will know you. Not even close. I thought that I’d know, maybe, half of the attendees. Ha! Mommy Bloggers make up a tiny fraction of the event. There are political bloggers, green bloggers, fashion bloggers and just about every other niche you can think of. It’s a freaking zoo. Be prepared.
2. Have a buddy. Make sure to have phone numbers, e-mail addresses and ways to get in touch with people. It sucks to be standing in a room of strangers who have zero interest in talking to you. Especially on the first day.
3. You’re not going for the sessions. Sure, that’s what you’re paying for, but that’s not really why you’re going. Pick some that interest you and skip the rest. Don’t feel guilty for sleeping in or grabbing a drink at the bar instead. Those will be far more memorable than listening to every lecture.
4. RSVP for every party. At least the ones that interest you. Most already have waiting lists, but spots do open up. If your name isn’t on the list, you’re not getting in. And that sucks.
5. Don’t feel left out for not getting private party invitation. There are a million private parties over the weekend and you’ll make yourself crazy if you stress over the fact that you weren’t invited. It’s not fair and it doesn’t make sense. (Much easier said than done.) Plus, even if you never attend a party at all, you will keep plenty busy. Chatting in the lobby and the expo hall alone could take a whole day.
6. Bring comfy shoes. Sure, start out wearing your cutest heels, but by two in the morning you’ll end up barefoot or in flip-flops. Flip-flops are a far better option for gross city streets.
7. Find the Geek Lab. Where else can you get friendly tech advice from some of the smartest women out there? Nowhere! The two hours I spent getting my broken blog fixed was well worth the price of conference admission.
8. Make a point to meet the people you care about. It really is a whirlwind and you can easily be feet away from people you know and not meet them. Ask around and stalk the people you want to meet!
9. Identify yourself! People probably won’t recognize your face, but they’ll know your logo or Twitter icon. Stick a business card (yes, you need those) in your conference pass so people are more likely to recognize you.
10. Remember, BlogHer is like life. There will be people you’ll love and people you can’t stand. People will disappoint you and people will impress you. People are either exactly what you expect, or the total opposite. In a good and a bad way.
Have Fun! This is probably the rare weekend where you aren’t planning meals for anyone else, dressing them or wiping asses other than your own. Enjoy it! It’ll be over too quickly and you’ll be back to the daily grind. Planning for next year’s conference.