The title is a lie, friends. There is no reel, it was all one big happy amazing thing. It wouldn’t be fair to shove only a few things into a reel so I’ll just sum it up the best I can, which I guess is a reel. But it’s not. It is a compilation of different favorites in no particular order and everything that isn’t mentioned is still a favorite. They’re all favorites. Oh, how I loved BlogHer, let me count the ways.
Take over 2,000 women and put them in sunny Orlando, Florida for a few days and powerful things will happen. People will be moved and each of those people will return to the places they came from and move the people there. That is how the world changes, my friends.
BlogHer was filled with inspiring women. From the keynotes to the panelists, to the SheKnows Media team and all the way down to the attendees. We’ll start with the Keynote Speakers. First, Gina Pell, who removed the scarlet stamp of “millennial” from my generation and instead of dividing us by a generational stretch of birth years, she groups the driven, curious, blooming, and enduring into one massive group called the “Perennials”. Thank you, Gina, for addressing my continual frustration with people stereotyping and dumping on my generation. I am a perennial, you are a perennial, your parents are perennials, your kids are perennials. Let’s bloom, baby.
Then the STUNNING Serena Williams who preached that “pressure is a privilege” and Ana Navarro who pressured us to realign our beliefs and to continue the pursuit of truth. And I can’t forget the sweetheart that Chelsea Clinton is for taking time to come up to us in the back hallway we had to duck into when Kate didn’t know how to follow social cues and stop clapping (thanks to Celine Richards for hilariously pointing it out during her panel and being such a doll about it, seriously it fit perfectly and was cute). Who better to embody the privilege of pressure, hard work, and the pursuit of truth than the PITCH ladies and the panel of judges, the HatchKids who are absolutely brilliant, confident, and inspiring children, Samantha Skey, Margaret Cho, Luvvie Ajavi, Elisa Camahort Page, Cat Cora, and Carla Hall. All inspired people who work hard, knock down barriers, and come out on top. Followed by Maria Bello and Yasmeen Hassan who have changed the world.
There was also an air of honesty about the conference. Including the Poise event with Melissa Gerstein, Dr. Jessica Shepherd, and Sarah who spoke with candor about light bladder leakage an issue that many women face. As well as MEinEndo company and the Be Vocal Speak Up documentary that was shown and shared at the expo to bring more awareness and understanding to issues like endometriosis and mental health.
Speaking of the expo, this was no ordinary expo with “take a sample the size of a sugar packet” this was THE bees knees. Best Buy showed up with the Geek Squad heroes, LG refrigerator (with real edible food, I checked), and gift cards for everyone. WordPress was there to provide help for users and even kind of babysat Kate for a few minutes. Bob Evans passed out Mashtinis and changed my world when they showed me that you could pour ranch dressing onto mashed potatoes (Moose, you’d LOVE it). CHI showed me a steamer that will change my life, the Medieval Times King was there (Kate tried to eat his falcon), and the star of the show was Air Bud Entertainment and their star guest, Tiny, who Kate and I were privileged to interview about his upcoming film (she also tried to eat Tiny, no offense).
The most impressive of all, was the SheKnows Media team. Amandalyn, Lori, Erica, Carmen, Samatha Skey, Melissa, Kate, and so many others that I could spend forever naming, a MASSIVE team of INCREDIBLE people. These aren’t just people, they are family. It didn’t matter if you were meeting them for the first time and hadn’t yet said hello, or had met them several times before, they would greet you with a smile, a hug, and so much love. They are my family now. I am them and they are me and we are all one big happy family.
The attendees were no different. Kindness overflowed throughout the conference so aggressively, that there was no room for the competitive or snotty stereotype placed on women. Everyone there was there to build up one another and to be built up. Everyone was an instant friend, whether you knew their name or not.
Women are powerful. Women change the world. You can change the world.
Sincere thanks to Amandalyn and SheKnows Media for inviting me to be a part of it all. Thanks to my sweet mother for joining me and for all of her help and Susan Marinello for the photos! Be sure to follow BlogHer and catch the conference next year!