If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen some sneak peeks from BlogHer, but it’s now been a good week since coming back from Blogher in New York, and I finally feel like I have landed. Attending a blog conferences is so much fun, but also pretty intense and can be somewhat overwhelming at times. There is a lot going on, so many things to learn, so many things to see and so many new people to meet, and so much fun! This year, BlogHer was in New York and I was not complaining.
I love New York, but I have never been there during the mid-summer time and was curious about the famous big city humidity. I took the red-eye on Tuesday night from San Francisco and the first few days it wasn’t too bad. I was also inside at the conference most of the time, but on Sunday it was so hot! I was walking through the East Village to get a gift for my favorite sidekick and I felt like I was walking in the desert looking for water. I have a new respect for the mid-summer city hussle.
Arriving in New York
We stayed at the New York Hilton Midtown because that’s where the conference was and even though there is a lot of people up there, it’s nice to be close to everything and especially the park. I arrived on Wednesday morning and was super excited I could check in early! I just dropped off my bags at the hotel and freshened up a little before I headed out to run a few errands, explore and attend meetings. I shared a room with Natalia from Manouvellemode.com and she is awesome! If you’re not already following her blog or instagram, I suggest you do so asap.
Later that night we went to dinner at this amazing place called Print and got a pretty cool view of the skyline at the roof top bar later on. We were supposed to have a drink up there, but got totally distracted by Periscope. Have you tried it? We had some fun with it. I am @repolished on there in case you’re on it too!
Morning Run in Central Park
The next morning I got up surprisingly early for still being on California time, but I think the red-eye flight helped me get on the right track. I have always wanted to go for a run in Central Park so I had my sneakers packed this time around. I ran into the park and tried to find the famous pond, which I did eventually after getting just a little bit lost. I love Central Park, summer, winter, fall any time I have been there, it’s been so beautiful! Is running in Central Park, NY on your bucket list? It's on mine! #running #travel Click To Tweet
Dinner at Red Rooster in Harlem
After a few more hours on my computer, the conference was finally officially kicked off! On Thursday night, I was very lucky to be invited to a special event hosted by Candian Lentils. I don’t think I fully understood how great this would be until I was there, because they really went all out and it was so much fun! We got picked up at the hotel and got some time to get to know each other and hear about Canadian Lentils on our way to the restaurant. There was a lot I didn’t know about Lentils before attending this and I am super excited to share some yummy recipes with you guys later on so stay tuned for those.
Red Rooster is owned by chef Marcus Samuelsson, who is actually born in Ethiopia, but raised in Sweden! He is a world famous chef and was the youngest ever to receive a three-star restaurant review from The New York Times. Marcus prepared a five course meal for us where he included lentils in each dish. The food was amazing and definitely opened my eyes to new ways of using lentils! The menu consisted of:
bird and lentil funk
Oyster and Wing
rooster wings and oyster fried in lentil flour
farm greens, clams and mustard vinaigrette, lentil roti chips
Duo of Lentil-Dusted Catfish and Braised Short Ribs
yellow lentil apple puree, fermented garlic
sweet yellow lentil puree
During dinner there was a world known live jazz band that played and Marcus talked about his career and how he ended up where he is now. To be honest it was kind of surreal and a truly an amazing event! We got some really cool goodie bags at the end of the event including bamboo cutting boards and I can’t wait to start using it! After the dinner, me and Sherita from Busy Wife, Busy Life went up to visit one of the suite parties and got some custom totes made. I don’t have a picture of any of the swag yet because I am waiting for my Jet package to get here. Jet offered to ship back all of our conference swag for free, which my suitcase really appreciated.
My Favorite Sessions
I am always curious about the different sessions and even though I have a Masters degree in Marketing, I always learn a trick or two. This year I went to these sessions and sometimes you’ll get very general advice during the specific sessions, but this time I felt like most of them were very actionable and to the point. I included my top “one liner” from each one.
- Social Media Bootcamp: Social Media Optimization: Which Tools Rule for You?
- Don’t forget about LinkedIn! Have a profile, connect and use the publishing tool for what it’s worth.
- The Creative Life: Blog to Book, Your Content, Your Proposal, Your Platform
- A book is the last piece of the puzzle and it is HARD work.
- You As A Brand: Brands on Bloggers
- Working with brands is like courting. Make sure you’re compatible, have the same values and don’t propose on the first date.
- Social Media Bootcamp: Lightning Lessons on the Latest: Facebook and Pinterest
- Use Facebook insights to see what’s working for your audience in terms of reach and engagement and then create more of that.
Packing for a blog conference is always crazy and I can never decide on what to wear, so I usually bring way to much stuff. But hey, sometimes more is better. I learned that the hard way when I spent three weeks in Malta missing that one black pencil skirt that I would “never” use. Here is what I ended up wearing during my trip. It’s almost all Stitch Fix except from the shorts, those are Banana Republic (Similar here). Shoes are Target, Vince Camuto and BCBG heel sandal. The BCBG shoes are so comfortable and I am kicking myself to this day that I didn’t get two pairs. They still have them online, but never in my size.
Closing Party with McDonalds and Boyz II Men
On Saturday night it was time for the closing party. I missed the party last year because I had to get up at 4.30 in the morning the next day to run my first half marathon, but I have heard stories upon stories so to say I was excited is an understatement. The rumors were true, Mcdonald’s was there with a huge trailer food truck filled with endless burgers, nuggets and fries. I don’t usually eat Mcdonalds that often, but it is my preferred fast food. Growing up in Norway, we had McDonalds and Burger King to choose from so I guess there are some childhood happy meal memories still stuck in there somewhere :)I was standing pretty close to the front of the stage when all of a sudden Boyz II Men entered. Everyone in the audience pretty much lost their cool and I didn’t make a difference if you were 5 years old or 35 throughout the 90’s, because at that moment, we were all teenagers again!Needless to say, I had a great time at BlogHer this year and I’ll probably be back next year!Experts, tons of new friends, five course dinners, a rose from Boyz II Men? #blogher15 sounds fun! Click To Tweet
Until Next Time, Hadet På Badet!