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In 2012 I attended #BlogHer12 - a blogging conference for female bloggers - and wrote all about it here.  This past weekend I attended #BlogHer15.  In some ways it was a very different conference than it was three years ago.  Of course, I am a different blogger and a different person than I was three years ago.  And blogging is very different than it was three years ago -- particularly in the art & craft realm.  

Here's a quick run down of the experience:

I brought a friend.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: #BlogHer15

I convinced Nathalie to come with me.  It was great to have a friend along.  We enjoyed the times we were together and shared notes for sessions where we separated.  I would definitely take a friend along if I went again.

There were big keynote sessions with big names.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: #BlogHer15

This is not a comprehensive list.  There were so many amazing speakers (and some boring ones), but tons of great information.  There wasn't much that related directly to the kind of blogging I do (most of the conversations were about social and gender issues), but I learned a lot as a person.  And who knows, maybe some of that knowledge will find it's way into my artwork?

There were also small sessions that were more instructional.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: #BlogHer15

Personally, I would have preferred more small information-packed sessions (there were only 4 over the 3 days of the convention) and fewer huge keynote speeches by famous people.  Of course, that's based on my personal preference for useable "takeaways" rather than general inspiration.

There was also an expo full of vendors.  I didn't take a lot of photos but I sure ate most of the samples that were handed out!  

from the Balzer Designs Blog: #BlogHer15

The top photo of the guys offering naked chest hugs is from a booth that specialized in nipple covers for nursing mothers.  Rather clever at a convention for women to have half-naked men.  

The bottom photo is probably the coolest washing machine I've ever seen.  It has a drawer at the bottom for delicates so that you can wash them separately at the same time as the regular load in the washing machine.  I aspire to own a washing machine some day.  Can't imagine I'd ever have enough space for something this large, but a girl can dream, right?

As you can guess from the two examples above, most of the expo catered to Moms and had a lot of home-related stuff.  Of course, there were also lots of yummy food samples -- ice cream, smoothies, candy, chips, etc.  I ate a lot.

Meals, in general, were generous.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: #BlogHer15

Shelves of mini desserts, people.  Shelves.  Of.  Mini.  Desserts.  Yum.  

Without question, my absolute favorite event from the entire conference was the closing party.  

from the Balzer Designs Blog: #BlogHer15

I'm such a snappy dresser, right?!  ;)

All in all, it was an interesting weekend.  I definitely came away with some ideas on how to be a better blogger, some ways to get better at using social media, and some general food for thought.  I've been blogging since 2006, but there's so much to still learn and improve upon!  And though it wasn't intentional, I also came away with some thoughts on being a good presenter (or teacher).  It really is all about checking your ego and sharing useable take aways.  

I'm glad I went.  I wouldn't go again if it were in another city and I had to pay airfare and hotel.  I think the conference is probably most useful to beginning bloggers and/or those in the lifestyle (especially Mom-related) sphere.

Have you been to BlogHer?  What did you think?

Thanks for stopping by!