BlogHer 12 NYC recap.

August 15, 2012

Its no secret that I spent the better part of last week/weekend in New York City attending one of the biggest blogging conferences in North America. I had the pleasure of going with a dear friend, and ended up meeting some fantastic ladies. Carolyn, and TerriAnn were the best roommates a newbie could ask for. You should check out their blogs. I learned more about OBAMACARE in an 30 minute conversation from these ladies, than I had in reading everything I could get my hands on. Government rulings affects everyone different. Also, I’m happy to live in Canada.

I digress.

BlogHer was.. Intense. Yup, there is no other word to describe it. It was my first time being at a conference of over 5000 women, and it was nothing like the tech conferences that I frequent. For starters, these women are amazing, smart, and driven. Most of them had to foot the bill for the conference themselves so they wanted to get the most out of the experience.  And that they did. There were private parties, and swag, and sessions, but mostly parties and swag that most people grativated towards.

I followed along the twitter stream for a week or so just to have an idea of what the deal was going to be, but I seriously wasn’t prepared for the insanity that took place that weekend. Having a friend that I knew with me there made things a bit easier. We wandered out to Times Square a few times, shopped around, and even went to go see a Ghost on Broadway, thanks to (MamaDramaNY). I haven’t seen the movie, so I went in with a clean slate and I have to say that I really liked it. The male lead is beautiful and the set design was fantastic.

The thing that we didn’t get to do was go to the sessions. I think we made it to 2 of them. Some of them didn’t really make sense, others were wayyyy too early in the morning, especially since we had the ability to go out the night before. Not that we did or anything. I came home with most of my drink tickets. Now what does that tell you?

The thing that blew my mind, and still continues to, was the amount of parties and swag that companies were giving away. It seemed that this year most of the brands were swiping your badges in order to follow up and email you later. I am slowly starting to see some of the emails trickle in.  Some of the brands were fantastic in their presentations (Starbucks), and went above and beyond to make sure that the guests knew about their new products, other pretty much handed you samples and left you alone.

I am a fan of both- in moderation. I like learning about things that are in the pipeline, who wouldn’t, and I, like anyone else love free stuff, but I don’t want to stand there and talk to brands about it. I did have some interesting conversations while getting our nails, and eyelashes done. Not being the girlie girl that Marie is, the lashes were a new experience that I most likely won’t repeat. But I have a few pairs if I feel brave.

I live in my bubble of personal finance, and everything is fantastic, but going out and talking to other people out there, I came to learn that a) there aren’t that many YOUNG personal finance bloggers, and B) most of them are not women. The look of surprise on the brand’s faces when I told them what was I wrote about was awesome, mostly because they didn’t really know what to do about it. There were their for the moms. The wonderful, fantastic ladies who have kids, and pay attention to what type of toothbrush their kids use; not someone who writes about saving money for GEN Y.


Marie, my friend who went with me, and I have big plans for next year, and it will have start with bringing bags that we can carry our loot/swag back home in. Since I refuse to check bags in, we had to leave a ton of things for the cleaning staff, but I am all set for vitamins, digital scales, smoothie makers, bathing suits, and  fake eyelashes. Yep, you read that right.

The total came out to less than than I have expected since we had all of our meals provided to us. We did venture out, but they were to food carts that I loved.

Things that I learned:

  • Rooming with people is an awesome way to meet new people and SAVE A TON of money. My roommates were great, and took to parties that we crashed.
  •  Be prepared with things like bandages, comfy shoes, and ear plugs. Yes, earplugs.
  •  Delta Arlines can make a 49 min flight stretch out to 4 hours.
  • New York has the BEST STREET FOOD. Period. 53rd and 6th is the place to be. The line never ended.
  • The CheeseburHer party lacked fries.
  • These ladies know how to bust a move. (Side note: there was a booth that was handing out hangover pills. Totally not related to the parties from the night  before)
  • Comfy shoes are your best friend, and staying in the same hotel as the Conference saves you a lot of headache.
  • You can barter everywhere, including in Times Square.
  • Hillshire Farms makes the best chicken with gouda sausages.
  • Coffee-mate Natural Bliss creamers tastes like milkshake. And there might be a video of us chugging that floating around the interwebs.
  • People love Canadians. We went and sat on the steps in Times Square and had random as to take pics with us. Yeah, we’re that pretty. ( If you squint hard enough, you can see me taking a pic in one of the pics above)

Total trip: $1000

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  • Financial Samurai August 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Sounds like a ton of fun!

    What percentage of participants were guys?

    You coming out to Fincon12?


    • Marissa August 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      About 1%. Yeah, not a lot of men. And yes, see you in 2 weeks!

      • Sam August 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm

        Those sketchy guys!!

        • Marissa August 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

          Haha, you’d be surprised at how women talked to them. Ps. They were mostly food writers.

          • Financial Samurai September 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

            What are your thoughts between Blogher and Fincon now that you’ve gone?

            5,000 people vs. 400 is quite a difference!

          • Marissa September 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm

            I loved FINCON way more than Blogher, although the swag at Blogher was awesome.

          • Financial Samurai September 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm

            Good to know! And Jeff told me that you were supposed to be on the Yakezie panel but they ran out of seats or something? Anyhoo, gave you a shoutout on the leadership post on as well. Whoo hoo!

  • Steve @ Grocery Alerts August 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    My wife and I went to BlogHer Food 2012 in Seattle and had a blast! I looked after our daughter. I have heard mixed opinions about Blogher but I would like to go back to Chicago at a warmer time of year (we will probably go next year).

    • Marissa August 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      We have some plans for cdns, will keep you posted.

  • Robert @ The College Investor August 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Sounds like fun! I’m surprised there was even 1% men!

    • Marissa August 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

      Food writers.

  • Lance@MoneyLife&More August 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Very fool. I want to go to fincon but can’t because of timing. I will definitely have to make it to a blogger conference sometime though.

    • Marissa August 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

      You should. Its definitely an experience.

  • Call Me What You Want Even Cheap August 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Wow, sounds like you had a blast. I definitely have to check out a conference next year!

    • Marissa August 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      There are quite a few in Toronto.

  • Rianka @ Golden Financial Nuggets August 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    This conference sounds awesome! I will have to look into next year. Is this conference only held in NYC? Thanks for sharing!

    • Marissa August 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      Its going to be in NYC next year. You should try to come.

      • Karmacake August 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm

        It’s going to be Chicago next year… if I go I’m going with you, so I hope we’re both going to the same place!

        • Marissa August 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm

          Did I say something different?

  • Jacob @ iheartbudgets August 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Sounds like insanity! I think the first time to something like that is always a whirlwind, but you learn what you do and don’t enjoy, and just make it that much better next year. Since I’m a guy, no BlogHer for me, but FinCon 2013 is something I’m looking at attending for sure!

    • Marissa August 17, 2012 at 3:03 am

      There were guys there! Mostly food writers, but still.

  • Jen @ Master the Art of Saving August 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Sounds like an awesome time, I’m glad you had so much fun. 🙂 I’ve never been to NY, hopefully I’ll get there one day.

    • Marissa August 17, 2012 at 3:02 am

      I hope so that you get to go. Its a really nice place.

  • TB at BlueCollarWorkman August 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Sounds pretty cool actually! I mean, being a dude, I’m not sure it woudl be quite the right blogging conf for me, but it sounds like you had a great time and got to meet people and get sort of re-energized! Welcome back! 🙂

    • Marissa August 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you!

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter August 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Sounds like a great trip. I am sure you learned a lot and met some really cool people. I haven’t gotten around to going to any blogging conferences yet. I really should. Welcome back.

    • Marissa August 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks! Are you coming to Fincon or CPFC?

  • Gillian @ Money After Graduation August 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    It sounds like it was a ton of fun. I am definitely interested in these conferences. A fun trip plus great info and free swag? Sounds good to me !

  • AverageJoe August 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Awesome sounding trip. I love going to conferences like that because I return to the office so fired up with a ton of good ideas. It’s always nice to work ON your business instead of IN your business.

  • Andy Hough August 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Sounds like fun. I’m going to Fincon so I’ll probably see you there.

    • Marissa August 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Yes. I will be there with my pretty shoes on.

  • femmefrugality August 18, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Sounds like you had such a great time! I’ve always wondered what kind of audience BlogHer conferences attracted, and while I know it’s diverse, I think you pretty much summed it up right there. :p Which would make it all the better to be unique in the crowd. I bet a lot of sponsors remember you. Not a bad budget for a trip to NYC!

  • Broke Professionals August 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I’m interested to read more about the bartering – what did you pay/receive??

    • Marissa August 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Purses, wallet and a camcorder. Will do a post about it.

  • Ashleigh August 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I love Blogher! I missed it this year but am glad it’s coming to Chicago next year! It’s always so inspiring.

    • Marissa August 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Very excited for next year!

  • Marie at FamilyMoneyValues August 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Wow BlogHer and NYC! I think I would need a guide as well. I looked at BlogHer but it seemed so big, I wasn’t sure where I would add value or get benefit…..

    • Marissa August 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      I think the experience was great, and it really fun meeting new people.

  • Buck Inspire August 22, 2012 at 5:55 am

    What an adventure! NYC has amazing energy. Not sure if I’ll ever hit a BlogHer, but did hit my first blogging expo last year at BlogWorld LA. So much to learn! Chatted with Lisa Stone, one of the co-founders of BlogHer. Very intelligent and personable. What is CDNS?

    • Marissa August 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      CDNs= Canadians. We have our own letters.