BlogHer ’14 – Synopsis, Speakers, Sponsors & Swag

BlogHer '14

BlogHer ’14

This is a perfect example of the power of Facebook and more importantly the friends we follow for getting the word out about important events. As I was dashing out the door Thursday to a host of important meetings I noticed that Facebook friends and social media superstar Peg Fitzpatrick was coming to California. I sent her a quick message and discovered she was coming to my home city for BlogHer ’14.

She suggested that I attend. My day was already heavily booked with meetings ending at 8:30 PM and starting all over early morning on Friday. I did a little research and Tweeted my questions to @BlogHer and (Diane Lang) Momo promptly responded! I decided that BlogHer ’14 was an event not to be missed and I’m so glad I did because it was an incredible conference, here’s why.

Tips and Takeaways from BlogHer ’14

For starters, if like me you’ve been living under a digital rock and you don’t know about BlogHer you just don’t know what you are missing! As I read on their website:

“As Good As Our Word(s).

BlogHer is a platform for sharing great voices, stories and ideas. If you’re a creator, we invite you to share your voice with our community.

Welcome to BlogHer Inc., a new kind of media company, created in partnership by, for and with women, and men, who are leaders across blogs and social media and are passionately committed to quality content.”

And they are true to their word! I highly recommend that you check out some of the blogs, they will make you laugh and make you cry. They will empower and educate you. Their mission was spelled out in every aspect of their event. Here’s a peek inside BlogHer ’14 by our local news station 

BlogHer '14 App

BlogHer ’14 App


The BlogHer App

I have to say, I love the BlogHer App. I’ve always been a huge fan of those big bulky show directories yet they are heavy to carry and cannot be updated on the fly so changes made after they are printed require a separate printed addendum to be added later. More importantly the show directory can’t send you alerts to let you know what’s going on and what’s coming up. You have the entire show catalogue in the palm of your hand with the ability to get more information about the speakers and then rate their sessions. For those not familiar with the San Jose Convention Center there is a “locate me” geo-location button. I could write an entire blog on the app alone and I may do that at a later time. Stay tuned.

People Attending BlogHer ’14

One of the biggest high’s of BlogHer ’14 were the people both speakers and attendees alike. I can’t mention them all but here are a few of the highlights:

Peg Fitzpatrick, yes we finally met in person. Thanks Peg for the Canva shirt and hooking me up for the private Canva tutorial with Canva Founder and CEO Melanie Perkins.

Michael Stelzner, what an incredible resource this gentleman is. We talked for close to an hour and the takeaways are game changers. I could write an entire blog just on my time with Michael and I may still do that. Again, stay tuned.

**Here’s one important tip, if you aren’t listening to his Social Media Examiner Podcasts, you are missing out. They are available on iTunes and via the Social Media Examiner website

Guy Kawasaki shared some great tips and made some accurate predictions regarding his upcoming interview/keynote with Arianna Huffington, more on that coming up.

Canva Booth at BlogHer '14

Sharon Greenthal, Anne Paris, Peg Fitzpatrick, Heidi Garland

Just a few of the bloggers that it was my great pleasure to meet:

Sarah Fader of Old School/New School Mom and Stigma Fighters

Jodi Okun of College Financial Aid Advisor

Sharon Greenthal and Anne Paris of Midlifeboulevard

Aleisha McDaniel of “She Calls Me Mama Leisha”  – Clever Business Card with a mint and cute band-aid attached

Jordan Catapano and Jocelyn Dunn (win best business card) from This Girl Walks into a Bar

There were also celebrities in attendance, I met David Tutera Television Host – Wedding and Party Planner. Yes I had my picture taken with him. Khloe Kardashian was there for photo opps.

Keynotes from BlogHer ’14

Due to my schedule I only made it to a few speeches yet they were incredible.

From The Future of the Social Web:

I won’t go into too much detail but here are my favorite takeaways:

Melissa Barnes – Head of Global Brands at Twitter

Here’s my synopsis of Melissa’s talk.

“Twitter is where stories start.”

“Don’t be boring, don’t repeat, have something to say, offer a unique point of view.”
The way to be successful on Twitter is to add value don’t simply share. Have a unique voice, a unique view and most importantly a voice that resonates with others. Discoverability of things that are going on that people want to hear about.

Kara Swisher Co-CEO Re/code

OMG did she make me laugh! Some of Kara’s quotable quotes:

“I’m a bitch who can be hugged.”

“Bossy has worked for me Sheryl Sanberg” on the topic of Lean In – Sheryl’s book

“Rupert Murdoch is a whole gallon of crazy.” On the topic of Rupert Murdock being successful on Twitter. Others were referred to as being a ‘whole cup of crazy’.

Nellie Bowles – Re/code Reporter

On the discussion of building brand advocates:

Figure out what your fan’s need. Be the pathway for the next generation. Women should learn from and support each other that’s how we can make money. Nellie went on to say, “Women just have to be loud, bossy and assertive.”

Richelle Parham – CMO eBay North America

Ecommerce is a $10 Trillion industry. Interactive channels are blending online and offline sales activity. eBay has 150 million active users. eBay is unique in that they have micro affiliates known as their Heroes and Stars – everyday people who are paid to drive traffic from micro endorsements. When asked how to successfully monetize the social web Richelle said:

  • Be an expert.
  • Create a point of view
  • Hone and nurture your audience
  • Have a voice
  • Know who’s listening, know what they need and nurture that.

The high point of the morning keynote was the interview between Arianna Huffington and Guy Kawasaki

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington and Guy Kawasaki BlogHer ’14 Keynote

As Guy pointed out, Arianna said everything in sound bites – 140 characters or less.

When discussing her new book “Thrive Redefining Success Creating Well Being” (which I highly recommend) #HowIThrive

Guy asked what is the #1 thing you can do to thrive? Answer: Get more sleep!

In business – Short answer emails

“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” {Isn’t that cool?}

The importance of a digital detox:
“Want a digital detox example? Look at God, he took the 7th day off.”
You need to disconnect with the digital world and reconnect with the real world.

“We all have a place of wisdom, health and peace.”

“Multitasking does not exist.”

“Stop glamorizing being busy.”

“NO is a complete sentence.”

“The best networkers are givers.”

“You are bigger than your circumstances, you can always give more.”

Then came the rapid fire this or that questions asking which of the two things mentioned resonated with her. She could answer “both” if she had an advertising conflict such as the question: iOS or Android = Both, Twitter or Facebook = Both.

The biggest laugh came when Arianna was asked:  Jimmy Choo or Manolo
Answer: Manolo – “Jimmy Choo’s are shoes made by men who hate women!” (YIKES)

Breakout Sessions Brief Recap – Only sharing the BEST breakout session.

Social Media Optimization (SMO) and Social Advertising

Peg FitzpatrickCanva Head of Social Strategy and

Maribel Lara of Vayner Media and

Peg kicked things off by telling everyone that they need to let Social Media be the wind beneath your wings!

Be social to build your network and grow your blog – Use SMO not SEO.

  • Spend time creating beautiful, interesting posts for your blog content
  • Share, share, share! Don’t publish and ignore it
  • Be creative with your content and interesting graphics.
  • Provide value. Quality counts more than quantity!
  • Create, Relate and Contribute to Communities.
  • Find and reach out to the influencers.

**This is really interesting: There are reasons why Google doesn’t share their algorithm. They want people to be genuine, to be yourself and be unique.

Great Tips:

Make sure you add every blog to Pinterest first because Pinterest has the longest lifespan.

Use TwitPic to upload photo’s to Twitter that way your images will be full-size.

Maribel took over to discuss with Social Advertising – Social isn’t small! To reach scale and increase the number of people your content reaches and expands your audience beyond your followers and fans you need to advertise. You need to get your content in front of the right audience to get better results.

Social Advertising

  • Primary Goal – Just 1 goal per ad
  • Identify the best social channels
  • Determine your budget – If you have $2 a week? You can advertise.
  • Develop your ads
  • Select your targeting
  • Review your performance
  • Plan Ahead – If a post or tweet takes off be prepared to promote it.

Where should you advertise?

Most economical – Facebook

Moderately expensive – Twitter

Most expensive – LinkedIn

Ads: Great images and great copy make great ads.

Lunch and Keynote Conversation on Saturday with Author and Blogger Demetria Lucas and Actor and Activist Kerry Washington

– YES I was there for the selfie! The conversation was fun and compelling. I think I’m the only person within the continental U.S. who hasn’t seen the television show “Scandal” so hearing that Kerry knew “where the plane was headed” wasn’t as exciting for me as it was for others.

Sponsors and Swag:

BlogHer '14 Show Swag

BlogHer ’14 Swag

Another EXCITING extension of BlogHer ’14 was the exhibition and the swag. Let’s start with which booths I found most compelling. They also had GREAT SWAG!

Canva – Amazingly simple graphic design for blogs. Love the shirt! Best Photo Opp! Canva, I’m your new biggest fan!

You Are Enough – The Mrs Band – BEST SONG! You need to watch the video to fully grasp the mirror in this booth, it will explain everything. Make sure you buy the song “I’m Enough”! I still have loads of the huge stickers with inspirational sayings like “I’m Enough” or “You’ve Never Looked Better” or “You Look Amazing” if you’d like one! Let me know in the comments below.

The Timeline Project – A place and a community where you can think about your future and visualize your dreams. I was lucky enough to speak with an incredible life coach Dan Negroni, Chief Launch Officer for Launch Box. He made some unique and empowering recommendations that I’m implementing.

One Day App – Free App that is an Instant video collage, moviemaker. You are prompted with questions while you are filming, example, your grandparents, then the app creates a memorable video.

Skype – Great Swag – jacket and phone charger. To get the swag you were encouraged to write your “Pledge” to put more passion in your life on a card, take a picture and tweet it with the hash tag #PayWithPassion.

WordPress – Great technical assistance and advice. Fun swag sunglasses, pins, stickers.

GoDaddy – Took me step-by-step through my account to clarify an issue. Their swag? Really nice bags and pens and car phone charger.

SCHOLARSHARE (California 529 College Saving Plan– I WON 2 Movie Tickets

Count Us, Know Us, Join Us (Novartis Oncology) – They bring awareness for the advanced breast cancer community. They encouraged people to spread awareness on October 15th, Metastatic Breast Cancer Day.

High Points (OK and 1 Low)

I’ll start with the 1 disheartening event first. As many of you know I’m a breast cancer survivor and driven cancer advocate. I am the Social Media Strategist for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Silicon Valley. Novartis Oncology had a closed event on Metastatic Breast Cancer. I know people with Metastatic Breast Cancer, it’s not a cancer with a long life expectancy. I arrived just in time to hear the speakers. At several points during the presentation they made mention of the ‘Rah Rah Pink Ribbon Contingent’ those who had early stage breast cancer not end stage. I would never diminish anyone else’s breast cancer journey, nor should they.

The bloggers that I met were a broad spectrum of incredibly dynamic women and of course Michael Stelzner who seemed to be the lone man at the event.

The Timeline Project

#TheTimelineProject BlogHer ’14

The “Time Line Project” had some of the best Trade Show elements including an astrologer, tarot card reader and Dan the life coach. There was an artist painting the entire time that the exhibit was open, and they had manicurist doing mini manicures, applying decal’s to encourage you to tweet out your aspiration and remind you to do something. Mine? Sleep more – see my white and purple nail?

I’m Enough was empowering. Looking into the mirror with the headset listening to someone say wonderful and uplifting things to you.

In Short: BlogHer ’14

Best Speakers

Best Sponsors

Best Swag

Best Song


I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

BlogHer ’14 – Synopsis, Speakers, Sponsors & Swag was last modified: September 9th, 2015 by Heidi Garland

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