I was privileged to attend BlogHer Business in New York City on Thursday and Friday of last week. I was equally privileged to attend Blogger Social on Friday evening and Saturday.
First BlogHer. To join 400 smart, engaged, forward-thinking, funny, (mostly) women was a major treat. No fear of being supreme geek, not when you are surrounded by technology, marketing, PR and social media whiz kids.
The guest panels provided an interesting look into the way large corporations are approaching social media use as part of an overall marketing strategy. Rita Arens posted a transcript of my favorite session - "5 Case Studies." Awesomeness encapsulated. (Rita, I'm sorry for your American Airlines aggravation - that particular airline was quite a topic of conversation at my table. I've had my own pain with them. Or more accurately, my husband has.)
The "Ask the Experts" sessions were well run and thought inspiring events. I particularly enjoyed Toby Bloomberg's session with C.B. and Yvonne. The discussion about what matters when a corporation wants to blog was spirited, with ideas thrown in by friends from Cisco and a new blogger from London. Intuit sponsored the room and raffled off some gift certificates and full versions of Quickbooks. I won a full version of Quickbooks and had a really nice conversation with the rep about the upcoming Mac version - which I have been promised when it is ready. Coolness.
C.B. and I wandered through the Microsoft Lounge and obtained full versions of Vista. The experience was good and the people in the tech lounge knew their stuff - and how to overcome objections. On top of showing off the operating software's cool new features, if you wanted them to install Vista on your machine, they would optimize it for you. Several peeps took advantage of it and didn't seem any worse for wear before the conference ended.
More on BlogHer Day 2 later. Now, Blogger Social evening one.
This photo sums up the entire event, let alone the first evening. Christina Kerley ("CK") greeting our Age of Conversation co-author and "Our Man in Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman" Arun Rajagopal as he arrives at The Perfect Pint, only to have the air squeezed out of his lungs with a hug of greeting.
The first night of Social was nothing short of a lovefest. To finally hug Drew (whose flight was totally, nastily delayed) was fantastic. I was so excited to see Mack I practically knocked him down the stairs! I was also psyched to see Paul (who introduced me to CK via email more than a year and a half ago,) Gavin, Katie, Luc, Kris, Steve, Doug, Jason, David (who ran a youth hostel for the weekend,) Connie, Chris Kieff! (must always be shouted) CK was thrilled to see everyone. Ann, it is a pissah that we live so close, but had to travel to NYC to hang out. Let's fix that! Toby Bloomberg brought brownies and triple wrapped each one and tied with a pretty ribbon for all of us. Sweet, rich, southern brownies after several hours of open bar - nothing could be finer!
Short toasts and bursts of thanks and raffles of lovely things made the evening fly. I can't remember the last time I left a bar at 2:30 in the morning and felt like I could run a marathon on the way back to the hotel. I had to force myself to sleep so I could be ready for BlogHer day 2!
More hugs to everyone who made Friday night so special. It was such a treat to see all of you in one place: Tim Brunelle Matt Dickman Mark Goren Sean Howard Valeria Maltoni Steve Roesler Greg Verdino Tangerine Toad Kristin Gorski Mack Collier David Armano Tim McHale Mario Vellandi Rohit Bhargava Anna Farmery Thomas Clifford Lewis Green Geoff Livingston Kris Hoet Connie Reece Seni Thomas Darryl Ohrt Joe Kutchera Paul Dunay Marshall Sponder Chris Kieff Tara Anderson Jason Falls Paul Soldera Roberta Rosenberg Saul Colt Todd Andrlik Nathan Snell Ryan Karpeles Jennifer Laycock Cam Beck Mike Arauz Matthew Bailey Heather Gorringe John Rosen Matthew McDonald Jennifer Berk John Wall Kevin Horne Virginia Miracle Shashi Bellamkonda David Berkowitz Vahe Habeshian
Thank you to all of the wonderful people who gifted us with fantastic things for our goodie bags - more on that tomorrow.