Earlier this month I was in L.A. for blogher 16, in case you missed part 1 of my recap you can find it here. On part 1 I stopped after a very crowded lunch featuring Sheryl Crow and Kim Kardashian-West.
Note: I’m so glad I decided to post this in two parts because I had a few comments that I’m glad I get to address in a related post.
A few people asked if the three hotels were worth the money I saved. This wasn’t my plan I planned to stay at the event hotel for all 3 days but sadly it was booked. The first night I stayed at a hotel that was about a 7-minute walk from the conference hotel. The second day I literally stayed at the hotel right next to the conference and the last day at the conference hotel. I was able to leave each hotel in the morning go to the next one, check my bags and then get my key when I needed it. It literally added about a few minutes to each day and I saved over $200. As a twenty-something paying student loans, car payment, insurance, rent, groceries, gas (you get the picture lol) $200 in savings is not something I’m going to turn down.
Now, let’s jump back into my trip.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
After lunch, I ran upstairs to the expo to meet the one the only heartthrob and chef extraordinaire, Freddie Prinze Jr. I managed to get there pretty early and even got a free copy of his cookbook, “Back to the Kitchen.” When it was my turn he shook my hand said, “Hi, I’m Freddie.” Then my inner fan girl came out, “I’m Dia,” I exclaimed as he signed my cookbook, “You are so awesome, Sarah was so awesome! You both are awesome.” You could say meeting Freddie was…awesome! He told me a quick story about his child’s nanny having a similar name, then he handed me my book addressed to “Dea” (I don’t care I’m never getting rid of it).
After my life changing moment with Freddie, I decided to talk to the lovely Ursula from, Garden of Life (A company I’ve had the pleasure of working with more than once, you can read my product review, here and here) and who would walk up to the booth but Kathy Kinney! Her long life of work in television and book publishing and what do I talk to her about? The Secret Life of the American Teenager (yeah she was on that).
Afterward, I decided that I would go check into hotel #3 the hotel where blogher was actually taking place and take a break before the voices of the year ceremony. I’m walking down looking at all the blogher walk of fame stars and think, “I should take a picture of Aisha Tyler’s star,” I look up and she was literally standing 4 feet away. I walk up to her, “Can I take a picture with you?”
“I’m running late but if you can take it while we walk.”
So I go to take a picture and she scolds me, “That’s a picture of me, not with me. Come here.”
So I ran up to her, she slouched down and we took a selfie. Then I proceed to thank her for being so awesome and such an inspiration.
This is always one of my favorite parts of Blogher because it really showcases the human spirit and what we as humans are capable of emotionally. There were so many beautiful speakers and highlights from the past year. I also really love the reception because there is more free wine! I’m just kidding, I mean there is and it’s great but I love it because we actually get to talk and mingle with the winner and tell them how much their work touched us. Check out the video above if you’ like to see some of the winners.
Thankfully breakfast didn’t have any special celebrity guests so it wasn’t insanely crowded. During breakfast they held the Pitch. The pitch is a competition where some amazing female entrepreneurs present their idea and brand to the conference and a host of judges. I love this because all of these women have an idea that started as a passion or a need they saw in the market. After the different contestants do their pitch we have the rest of the day to hop online and vote for our favorite. This year’s winner won $10,000 and $40,000 worth of marketing to help grow their dream. There were some really great pitches, this year the winner was Zahra Aljabri and her company Mode-sty.
Session: Podcasting best practices
As I mentioned in part 1 I decided I wanted to start a podcast. This was super informative and dug deep into the particulars of podcasting. The host of this event included my new podcast crush and cohost of She Podcasts, Jessica Kupferman. So many programs and processes I had no idea about. I am so glad I went because this will come in handy very soon!
Lunch/ Mayim Bialik
Some of you know her as Amy from The Big Bang Theory, other’s may know her as a young Bette Midler in Beaches but for the rest of us, she will always be Blossom! All of her acting credentials aside Mayim is sort of an amazing woman! Not only is she an actress, mother, blogger and founder of GrokNation but a neuroscientist! Mayim was inspiring, funny and really just a badass. Coming on stage in a flowery dress and pink converse, she just made you feel like you were listening to a friend talk to you about her interests and plans. She is a strong advocate for getting girls interested in math and sciences. I loved her as much as I expected to.
Expo Break/ The freckled fox
After lunch, there was an extended break where my friend, Elizabeth from Single, Not Sorry, and I decided to hit some of the sponsor suites and do a final loop at the expo. On the way, I ran into Emily, from The Freckled Fox. I may have fan-girled hard when I met her. She was so nice and actually wanted to have a conversation. If you haven’t heard of The Freckled Fox or Emily’s story, you should really check out her website. As I don’t want to try and tell her story, I’ll keep this short, Emily is a mother of 5 who lost her husband, Martin in June to a very aggressive battle of cancer. Since Martin’s passing, she has continued to be a source of inspirations for others. If you would like to help Emily and her family, you can make donations here.
I seriously don’t even know where to start with this because this keynote was super inspiring. Hearing from Matt McGorry (How to Get Away With Murder, Orange Is The New Black), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Full House, Eve’s Bayou, Cosby, Friday Night Lights, Temptations: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, Parenthood, True Blood, Underground) and Heather “The Heat” Hardy (#1 Female boxer in the country, #2 in the world) was so inspiring.
To hear about the current feminist and race issues from 3 very different people who all are fighting for the same purpose was inspiring. You have Heather Hardy, fighting for the world title and hoping to get $7,000 and some television coverage, while men competing for the same title in their arena are making millions. Heather informed us she does her own fight promotions and still has to work a day job to support her daughter. Then you have Matt McGorry a young white male who refuses to ignore the issues anymore and is doing his part with the platform he has to stop ignorance and injustice and spread tolerance and understanding. Jurnee Smollett- Bell has been acting most of her life (remember Michelle’s friend on Full House? That was her.) and instead of just taking roles that might be “hits” and enjoying her success she is an advocate for AIDS and a vocal supporter against race crimes in America. I left this keynote wanting to be more vocal about my beliefs.
Aside from the super inspiring conversation, this keynote was special because all 3 of the keynotes stayed, took pictures and had conversations with us. It wasn’t just one and done. They actually wanted to hear our stories and learn about our causes.
So if you can’t tell from the two 1,000+ word posts I had an amazing time. I think it was really what I needed to get out of my blogging fog.
I got to remember that this is my platform, these are my words and this is my time! So what can you expect? I am still going to be writing on a bit of a restricted schedule because I am working on my new E-Course! I also have 2 webinars in the works, am working with some new affiliates and companies, putting the finishing touches on my e-book and working on an audio blog component. It sounds like a lot and it is but it’s all really been in the works for some time and this conference/ the blogging step back I decided to take in July have really given me the motivation and drive to make a game plan and hit the ground running with it in a way that won’t induce panic and blogger burnout.