It’s the people that you travel who can make or break a trip. It’s always the people. As much as I love travelling by myself and exploring the sights and sounds of a city, the memories I retain more often are the ones with people in them. They can be strangers or life long friends. It comes down to the people.
Blogher this year was no different. The original plan was to go to Blogher with S, one of my favourite PF bloggers from LA, but job changes and an upcoming wedding made it really hard for her to take a week off and fly cross. Even though that didn’t pan out, I managed to talk some of my favourite blogger friends from Toronto to come on a 9 hour road trip with me and explore the windy city.
It was then decided that we would load 2 Ford trucks with 7 girls and make our way down to Chicago and take over the Blogher would by storm, or at least do some really fun things. The thing about going anywhere with 6 girls is the amount of stuff we tend to carry with us. This is before we had our fill of swag from Blogher.
Our blogger party was made of:
- Dainty Girl, Nicole Wilson.
- Rock that Look, Anjali Handa
- The Domestic Peach, Mel Grosser
- Chic Darling‘s West coast editor, Sarah
- Nat and Marie, Marie Nicola
This was our ride. As it was a 3 seater, we called this part of the trip- 3 Girls in a Pickup Truck OR #3girlsinapickuptruck. It was surprisingly roomy and had room for our stuff inside the car. The way back was a different story as we had to throw all of our bags and ALL of our swag in the back of the truck. We were very surprised at how great it was on gas. It was a tank each way.
Blogher this year was slightly different than last year. The expo was smaller, and there was a lot of talk about outboarding etc. Even the advanced sessions were almost too basic. We split the sessions into groups and shared notes after to make sure that we didn’t miss anything. The thing that I did enjoy was the ability to have a chat with the brands at the booths between hauling bags of swags back to our room.
The smartest decision that we made by far was booking at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Chicago. The hotel was attached to the conference, and the lovely folks at the hotel gave a HUGE discount on a suite. We were able to fit 7 girls in the suite and each of us had our own bed!
I HIGHLY recommend the Hyatt in Chicago. Not only did they have the best staff, but its brand spanking new! The views are spectacular, and the fact that you have the option of a suite adds that extra little bit of class. There were some VERY jealous people at the conference. I had quite a few ladies asking who had the suite.
The even better part was the amazing team behind BUYTOPIA picked up our room costs leaving us with a free suite. Now if that isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is. The hotel had the most spectacular view, and tons of room to spread out.
Some of the highlights for me where watching Melissa swoon over Sheryl Sandberg, and listening to Randy Zuckerburg and Brit Morin. These ladies were inspirational, and very honest about their experiences, and worth the price of admission.
Oh and the food! We were lucky enough to have the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago include breakfast in our room package so we didn’t have to wake up super early to make it down to the conference. Because, let’s face it- 7am was not going to happen.
Food and activity recap will be on Chic Darling as I doubt most of your care here, but I leave you here with a picture of the BEST CEASER SALAD I have ever tasted. EVER!
Would I go back next year? Maybe. I would want to check out BlogHerPRO (not that I’m saying that I’m better but maybe the content would be more advanced).
Total cost for this was $350- $200 of was the price of the ticket. We didn’t end up driving the cars around in the city since a) parking is a pain and b) the generous folks at Hailo Chicago hooked us with enough cab fare credits to make sure that we had a good time!
I would recommend buying your ticket in advance- aka at early bird prices as you can always sell it if you can’t go. Waiting till last minute really hurts the wallet.