Back From BlogHer 08

21 Jul

Back in the office, digging out, after being gone for only one day. I had a great session on “Taking Care of Business” at BlogHer 08 where I spoke on how to figure out how to make money from blogging. The session was very well attended and I had a great time. I shared the spotlight with 2 great speakers, Linsey Krolik who spoke about legal issues and blogging, and Kelly Philips Erb who spoke about tax issues and blogging.

I know ‘Chelle Parmele, my social media manager at Palo Alto Software, had a great time and felt like the conference was invaluable – especially on Sunday.

There are a few things I would have liked to see done differently:

1. There were no feedback forms at my session or any other session. I think getting immediate feedback is critical to running a better conference next year. If I had known there would be no feedback forms I would have brought my own to my session, and my take away is to ALWAYS bring my own feedback forms. I think getting information about what attendees liked, disliked, and how useful the session was, immediately, is invaluable.

2. The conference, I think, has gotten too big for so many volunteers with very little training/knowledge. BlogHer is a very big, very successful conference. I think next year the BlogHer folks should contract a professional event management team to run the conference. I think the number of attendees is a testament to how successful these ladies have been (they just raised $5 million dollars!!). But when that many people come together at a conference you need a little more infrastructure.

3. I attended a session (well unfortunately I got there late – as I had a meeting with journalists for an interview) about entrepreneurship that I think was poorly managed by the moderator. It seemed like it turned into a b***h session about men and how women must have “balls” to make it in the start-up world. I would have much preferred a practical session where people talked about real practical things that worked — or did not work — when starting their companies. I personally do not get that much out of a b***h session and I don’t think they belong in serious conferences.

4. I would love to see a place on BlogHer right now to fill out a feedback form. But I can’t find one.

But overall I am really excited for the BlogHer organization and the fact that they can pull together so many fabulous women in one place. Hurray!

-Sabrina Parsons

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3 Responses to “Back From BlogHer 08”

  1. Jen @humanfolly July 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    Great summary of the event – I really wanted to go to your panel, but got caught up in some networking.

    Overall, it was a fantastic event! I only wish I had gotten to go for all three days, but I split my time between Netroots and Blogher….alas – next year!

  2. The Write Spot July 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    Sabrina,

    Points all well taken. In the past, BlogHer has asked for feedback after the conference with an online survey. I expect they’ll send an email out soon to everyone. However, having an online survey available as soon as the session was over would be ideal.

    Part of the “down home-ness” of the event has that there has always been volunteers doing the mike wrangling and live blogging. I think some of the bigger rooms needed two mike wranglers this year. I understand your desire for more professionalism, and that will come now that BlogHer has paid staff members.

    Still, being able to volunteer to help to defray your conference costs is important. So many women cannot afford to come otherwise.

    I’m interested to see what happens next year as this grows and grows. Will they try to limit the size to keep the intimacy or will they encourage growth to have as many people participating as possible. Time will tell.

  3. Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama July 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm #

    Your panel was wonderful not only because I got to reconnect with you after so many years but also because the content was so well done. I have to agree that each session should have had feedback forms! I hope BlogHer staff sees your post and seriously considers each of your suggestions.

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