2010 Blogher Conference FAQ: NYC edition
Only this year it's amplified because it's now closer to 1500 people freaking out instead of 400 and because it's in New York ohmigod NEW YORK and what will I wear and what if a homeless guy pees on me and OHMIGOD NEW YORK and hey, is that Kathie Lee?
This is now my fifth Blogher conference (I expect my commemorative watch, Lisa) so coupled with the fact that I'm one of those rare 8.3 million New Yorkers, I believe I have the basic qualifications to answer a few questions about the weekend.
Wait, you live in New York City? I thought you live in Brooklyn.
Both are true.
Is it true that New Yorkers all wear black?
Wearing pastels in New York is like taping a sign to your back that says mug me, please. Wearing white is simply a gift to the dry cleaners of the world.
Should I wear my comfortable shoes?
We don't do comfortable because we spend all our time getting in and out of our cars and not actually walking anywhere.
Oh no, wait...sorry, that's LA. So then, yes, by all means wear your comfortable shoes.
How do people dress for the cocktail parties?
The PC answer is wear whatever you want. You will see that answer all over the place.
The real answer, that everyone is afraid to tell you, is MAKE AN EFFORT, PEOPLE.
If you're dressed in New York, you'll always be ready for anything--or anyone--you encounter. There are 362 other days a year that you can sit home braless and unshaven in your khaki shorts and stretched-out tank top.
Do people really get mugged? Will I get mugged on the subway?
Definitely. 4.8 million people a day ride the subway because they get mugged. Here's a picture of my daughter on the subway only seconds before a guy in a Yoda suit and a ski mask swiped her lollipop.
What do I do if forget to pack something?
We now have stores in NYC! It's one of Mayor Bloomberg's greatest legacies. What do you need? Mascara? Flat iron? Doughnut maker? Spy equipment? Edible pasties? We've got it.
Also, there are people at Blogher who allow you to borrow things. I've borrowed deodorant. It's true.
Will I see a celebrity?
Not at the Hilton.
Let me rephrase that - where can I see a celebrity?
Ree Drummond's room.
I'm shy - what can I say to my absolute most favorite ever blogger when I meet her?
GOOD: I'm so happy to meet you - I really like your writing.
BAD: I am your stalker. Come to my room later and I'll show you the shrine made out of Jell-o and barbed wire.
Why didn't that big blogger talk to me?
There are a few possibilities:
-You introduced yourself as her stalker and talked about your shrine.
-You're giving out "I hate the world and have a huge chip on my shoulder" vibes.
-She's overwhelmed at this particular moment because she's human too; try her again later.
Whatever the reason, if someone doesn't talk to you it is probably not because she is "popular" and you are "not popular." For further elaboration, please refer to my 2009 Bloggers v Popular People Field Guide.
Every year there is that one blogger who writes a big angst-filled post-Blogher tell-all piece of link-baiting garbage on who didn't talk to her at Blogher. Don't be that person. Focus on the people you like, who like you back, and go have fun. I'd hate to think you left your family and friends for three days and risked being mugged on the scary subway just to dwell on one person who you didn't connect with.
Do I need business cards?
It depends whether you want to give your contact info to people you meet or not. Maybe you have one of those secret password protected blogs and a pseudonym from the Witness Protection Plan. In that case, business cards are not for you.
What if I don't like one of the sponsors?
Ignore their booth and don't take any of their freebies. Not everyone's politics are your politics and it's bad form to stage a sit-in on the conference floor.
What if I really really don't like one of the sponsors?
Write about it thoughtfully on your blog.
No you don't understand, I have inside information about one of the sponsors that involves embezzling, illegal off-shore funds, an arms for hostages deal and a dog-fighting ring.
Get a book deal.
What is the real scoop on the behavior around conference swag?
You know those old ladies who take all the dinner rolls from the restaurant and put them into their handbags and then ask for more? Some of them will be there this weekend, only they're disguised as 28 year-olds. And really, they're only asking for more so they can host a dinner roll giveaway for their readers to drive more quality traffic to their blogs.
Like them on Facebook to earn an extra entry towards a bonus loaf of pumpernickel. Then give them a big hug.
What do I do if there's a party I'm not invited to?
May a free night in Manhattan be the biggest problem of your weekend. Grab a friend and go explore!
Suzanne Reisman has a smart post on NYC attractions off the beaten path. And Genie of The Inadvertent Gardener suggests some great dinner splurges in New York with fantastic suggestions in comments too. I can personally vouch for that $26 Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger; Nate used to make them for a living.
Oh my gosh, are burgers really $26 there?
No, some are as low as $22 if you know where to look. In fact former New Yorker Julie Marsh suggests you hightail it out of Times Square and walk two blocks west to 9th Avenue for some affordable, fun dining options with more local character. You didn't come all the way here to eat at the Olive Garden, right?
I still don't know where to eat or what to do in my free time.
You can always ask some of the locals and former locals who will be at Blogher. New Yorkers loooove giving advice.
Look for Anna of Mommy Poppins, Isabel of Alpha Mom, Kim of Mom in the City, Doug of Laid-off Dad, Beth of Role Mommy, Vera of I'm Not Obsessed, Elina of Mamaista, Carol of NY City Mama, Kelcey of Mama Bird Diaries, Torrie, Metalia, Melissa Chapman, Marinka, and plenty of others.
They'll be the ones wearing black who talk really fast.
What is your least favorite part about Blogher?
When I get home to a post from someone saying, "I saw Mom-101 and wanted to say hi but didn't have the nerve." Please say hi? I won't bite. I might even hug you.
What is your real very best single most important tip ever about Blogher?
This one also from Julie: Be sure your Spanx don't show above your waistband when you lean over. Someone will take a picture. We've seen it happen.