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Highlights of BlogHer '12

Jessica Watson is a mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. She lives in Michigan where her life is as unpredictable as the weather. After the loss of her infant daughter in 2007, Jessica left the corporate world behind, vowe...

Bloggers take over NYC

Last weekend over 5,000 bloggers traveled to New York City for the largest blogging conference in the world — BlogHer 2012.
Women at BlogHer '12

With cell phones in hand and laptops never out of reach, bloggers from all over the country enjoyed an amazing weekend of celebrities, sharing and fun.

BlogHer's annual conference has quickly become the hottest ticket of the year when it comes to blogging and social media. BlogHer '12 was held August 2-4 in New York City and was attended by over 5,000 bloggers. The days were a whirlwind of activity, connections and many, many tweets, texts and facebook posts.

Alicia Steffann of Naps Happen summed up the entire experience perfectly, "Going to BlogHer, learning from the experts, and getting to interact with the people I’d come to know and love online was such a fulfilling way to cement and to deepen my connections with the bloggers who have become my virtual sounding board over the years. Now I can hear their voices in my head when I read their posts. Their presence in my life is more tangible."

Here is more on the bits and pieces of BlogHer...

The venue

The hustle and bustle of New York City was the perfect backdrop for BlogHer '12. With so many attendees, the inside of the New York Hilton was almost as busy as the streets outside. This gorgeous hotel managed to play host, provide internet service and even good food to a conference overflowing with women ready for a few days in the Big Apple.

Thinking about attending next year? Here are a some great tips for attending BlogHer >>

The sessions

BlogHer sessions covered everything from Branding and Blogging Professionally to Advanced SEO for Bloggers. Whether you are a writer, interested in the technical side of blogging or interested in working with brands, there is something for everyone. Jean Winegardner of Stimeyland noted, "This year, I really loved the panels I went to. I don't always, but this year they were a standout for me. Some of them were very practical and informative and some of them, particularly the one on identity, gave me some very intense food for thought."

Sessions were full, sometimes overflowing, showing strong interest in the topics on the schedule and eagerness to learn from everyone attending. "Besides meeting and spending time with blogger friends, the highlight of BlogHer '12 for me was attending a session on turning blog posts into publishable essays. The panelists shared personal insights and practical tips, and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. In the midst of such a large conference, that session was an island of calm and community on a smaller scale," said Mary Lauren Wiemer of My 3 Little Birds.

You can find notes from all of the sessions on BlogHer.

The celebrities

From Martha Stewart to Katie Couric to a satellite visit from President Obama, BlogHer '12 did not disappoint. Both Martha and Katie empowered the audience with their words and conveyed their understanding of how important bloggers and social media are to their success. Martha Stewart talked of her involvement in blogging and social media and shared her new show Martha Stewart Cooking School. Katie Couric shared plans for her amazing new talk show and the fact that there would be space for bloggers on each and every show.

President Obama spoke of his dedication to creating equal opportunities for women and also conveyed his understanding of just how important a role blogging and social media have become in his campaign.

Read on for the scariest part of BlogHer conferences from an attendee's point of view >>

The sponsors

With the setting in New York City, this 8th year of BlogHer did not disappoint with sponsors. There were three separate rooms full of vendors and plenty of time to walk through each room and visit with sponsors from Samsung to CVS. There is always talk of the "swag" at BlogHer, and every booth and sponsor had something different to offer. Bloggers left with bags of coupons, vitamin samples and a lucky few found free jeans and fabulous toys to take home.

Overall, the experience was amazing and life-changing for many. "For me, it's all about the connections. I love chatting with people in person that I have met online, learning more about their stories and what their passions are. And let's face it, I love and need time away from my family, girl time, to recharge. And when I'm back home again, I always realize more and more how lucky I am and appreciate my family even more!" explained Rachel Voorhees. Perhaps Alexandra Rosas of Good Day Regular People summed it up best when she said, "The highlights for me were meeting those that I admire and follow. It's like a Disneyland for grown ups."

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