BlogHer 18: Creators Summit
Two weeks ago I won a ticket to attend my first BlogHer conference. Funny enough, I had been contemplating for months if I should purchase a ticket. I even reached out to presenters to see if they needed an assistant. But with no success, I called it a loss and decided to save my coins. Then, one night I saw a post from BlackGirlsWhoBlog saying that they were giving away 2 tickets to BlogHer. I took this as a sign and went for it...and it paid off! I was fortunate enough to be selected as a recipient of the giveaway contest and within less than a week, I was preparing to attend BlogHer.
Now, y'all the commute was pure hell! My bus ran late, I had to stand in this heavy downpour of rain, my AirBnb host cancelled on me while I was on the bus and I had to quickly find a new place, once in Manhattan 7 Uber/Lyfts cancelled on us, and when we finally arrived to our new airBnb we were greeted by a vacate sign, a scorching hot bedroom, and leaking ceiling. To say that I was “ti-yaaaad” is an understatement.
Lucky, my “rollie” for these next two days was a blogger and soror from the DMV area, Tatiana.
On day one, Tatiana and I arrived at Pier 17 and completely fell in love with BlogHer’s flower wall. Before grabbing croissants and beverages sponsored by Pret, we had our own mini photoshoot. Once we entered the conference we listened to Samantha Key, the creator of SheKnows Media kick off BlogHer18 Creators Summit.
Now, rather than give you a play by play of this event, I want to talk to you all about my views on the event and my key takeaways.
This was BlogHer’s fifth installment and I was super excited to finally be able to attend. I’ve heard so many awesomes reviews about it, and I was pumped to experience it for myself. When the line up was released I honestly was not familiar with many of the presenters but I saw that Dayna Bolden was a guest speaker so that excited me. Also, closer to the actual event, Gabrielle Union was announced as a guest speaker. She’s my fairy godmother, so I that made me even more thrilled to go and hear what she had to say.
Gabrielle Union touched on many factors affecting women in today’s society. She discussed women’s equal pay, sexual abuse, and infertility. I highly suggested reading her new book, We’re Going to Need More Wine.
As the day continued, I was super excited to see which brands were there and hopefully make some connections. One of the main reasons why attendees come to BlogHer is to connect with brands. To my surprise, and disappointment, there were not many brands present. I talked to several other women who’ve attended previous BlogHer summits and they mentioned that over 50 brands and vendors would be in attendance. This year there were about 15 brands there, some of which were small businesses who only cater to the tristate area. Clearly, that’s not beneficial for people who traveled to network and pitch.
Outside of the lack of brands present, I also have mixed views on the workshops and masterclasses. Two reasons why I attend events like this is to learn and to network. On a positive note, I was able to meet a lot of Black female bloggers and form true bonds with them. One the other hand, I expected to learn more than what I did from the workshops. The sessions that I felt were the most beneficial are: the DIY Design School which taught us apps to use for content creation (btw, I’m super excited for Adobe’s new app Project Rush to be released to the public), Visual Storytelling, which taught us about video content creation, and A Spotlight on SEO mini workshop.
Overall, I feel that the keynote speaker sessions overpowered the “creators summit”. I enjoyed listening to these amazing women speak, I just wish that BlogHer dedicated less time towards this. I feel that this conference was based around women's’ health rights. There were many conversations about women’s health products, reproductive rights, laws etc. Now I am a woman, and I truly appreciated this, but I don’t believe BlogHer was the right place for the amount of topics discussed. This was a creators summit, not a wellness summit.
I did gain a lot from attending BlogHer and am truly grateful for BlackGirlsWoBlog for selecting me as contest winner. My biggest takeaway from this summit was to be yourself. Authenticity wins every time.
Check out some images from my BlogHer experience!