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Top 5 Takeaways from BlogHer 2011

I had a wonderful time attending BlogHer 2011 conference in sunny San Diego, California this past weekend from August 4 – 6, 2011.  There were so many take aways from the conference sessions, events, expo and people I came into contact with.  Here are the top 5 takeaways from BlogHer conference:

1. Brands Get it & want to get to know YOU better :  Walking through the Blogher 2011 Expo, I realized that brands get it.  They realize that women bloggers are huge influencers and they showed it by displaying elaborate booths and setting up multiple brand sponsored events and providing lots of SWAG.  Thankfully I didn’t go over the top in my collection of products to take home.  My favorite booths were the Hershey, Hallmark, Sesame Street, Dove, Sears, Samsung, Knorr, Ivory and Twizzlers.  The recharge rooms by Hershey, Tropicana & Hallmark were fabulous!  I enjoyed Sesame Street so much I went there twice.  I had alot fun making Smores at the Hershey’s recharge booth.   I also really appreciate the brands that provided the FREE coupons and made the 4 bags of products  I collected a better experience.

I attended a couple of invite only onsite and offsite events.  I learned that these events allow leading brands to get to know bloggers better in one on one settings for future campaigns.  Several brands also put together events specifically designed to reach out to Latino community.   My hat goes off to all the brands for the effort in putting spectacular lunches, meetups & events.

2. Support & Collaborate with other Bloggers:  The biggest tip shared in the Diversity Matters sessions I attended is to support & collaborate with other bloggers within your community and outside your communities.  The feedback was echoed throughout the entire conference.  I was able to build new relationships with bloggers,  other mom community blog founders and several non-profits I  look forward to collaborating with on future projects.

If you are not already collaborating with other bloggers I encourage you do so.  You can get a lot more done by being supportive of others.   This may lead to opportunities with other bloggers, companies or future leads.

3. Meeting Twitter & Blogging friends in REAL life is FUNtastic: I had the pleasure to meet several bloggers in REAL life including many of the Latina Mom Blogger members and building relationships with many of the brands attending the conference.  The best part of meeting bloggers is that by following their blogs I felt like I already knew them.  The breaks were just not enough time to catch up and meet. All my twitter and blogging friends are even more beautiful in person.

4. BlogHer can make your dreams come true: I was part of a FlashMob at lunch on day two and was able to check off another item off my bucket list.  The best part of the day was that I was able to keep the big secret from all of my friends until the event.  Being part of the FlashMob also gave me the opportunity to make new friends and build relationships with new communities.

5. Always walk away from a conference with Goals to improve Your Blog, Yourself  & Others:  This was the biggest takeaway for me.  The sessions showed me how to be a more professional writer, how to use my blog for business, how to create more creative content  and also provided tools that we’ll be adding to our blog to develop a community atmosphere.

I was also able to meet many beautiful women from as far away as Sudan to as close as local bloggers.  Each and every person I met had a gift that they are sharing with others through writing in their blogs.  Most of these relationships were  not created during the sessions, but built while walking back and forth to events and having conversations in between breaks.  I also found that it is very important to continue to shine the light on nonprofits and be supportive of people and organizations helping local nonprofit organizations.

Let’s talk about it: What were your biggest takeaways from the BlogHer conference?  How are you going to improve yourself , your blog or others?