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BlogHer 12 (Not So Nerdy Trip)

BlogHer 12 (Not So Nerdy Trip)

By on Aug 15, 2012 in Not So Nerdy Trips, Presidents | 2 comments

Not our typical Nerd Trip, but I would count this guy as a “national figure.” The Jimmy Dean Sun guy was a great sport. I gave him a Nerd Trips card! Do you think he’ll check out our Facebook page? I felt bad calling him the Sun guy. I looked him up when I got home, his name is Haynes Brooke.

It’s the trip that combined President Obama, Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, the Jimmy Dean “Sun” guy, a vibrator giveaway and a Nerd Trip to Grant’s tomb! BlogHer12 was quite a weekend.

Before I arrived in New York City for this blogging conference, I did not realize how big it would be. This gathering of 4,000+ women (and some men) amazed me; there were people there from all over the world writing powerful and provocative posts on topics ranging from political oppression to health issues. Other bloggers took on lighter subjects such as fashion and sewing. Everyone had a unique perspective to share.  I felt a little overwhelmed with my small travel/history blog, but people generally loved the concept  (I assert that everyone has some nerd in them).

I was also amazed at the power and influence of this group. Seriously, these women hold some sway, so much so that President Obama addressed the group via satellite (the organizers said they also invited Mitt Romney).

President Obama video (replay) to the BlogHer conference

Makeovers on the vendor floor. The sponsoring company should love this photo, the product name is right in there.

Also, you cannot believe the number of corporations/sponsors courting these influential bloggers (I would say three-quarters were Mommy/ parenting bloggers). As someone who, in the “real world,” works in public relations, I was fascinated to see all this, and their marketing clearly worked because I am about to write about some of them!

My first encounter with the sponsors came when an older woman ran up proclaiming, “They are giving out vibrators!” Sure enough, they were.

When I got there, several environmental bloggers were scrutinizing the boxes, questioning the plastics and phthalates used in the product! My first thought was, “Seriously?! Are you also going to ask about the fabrics of the ‘discreet carrying case?'” But I give credit to these women who really “walk the walk” when it comes to the environment and I now follow some of their blogs.

These ladies enthusiastically shared the details of their product. What’s that guy doing there?

In preparation for National S’mores Day (August 10 if you missed it), two companies turned an entire hotel suite into an indoor campsite, complete with small toasters for the marshmallows – delicious and ingenious! I don’t think you need an official day to eat S’mores, but you do need a way to toast marshmallows.

Talk about going all-in on a campaign. Walmart and Hershey’s turned a hotel suite in a pseudo-campsite. The conference took place the weekend before National S’mores Day. Of course, I fall right into the marketing trap by posting about it.

There were also some big name speakers, including Martha Stewart and Katie Couric, who shared great insights, including their thoughts on women and the power of social media.

Martha Stewart during her BlogHer 12 interview. In response to a question about “what she’s terrible at,” Martha had a simple reply, “Probably things I haven’t tried before.” Martha was there on her birthday, so we sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

Katie Couric spoke about her talk show as well the current political climate and the lack of civil discourse (BlogHer found Lisa Stone asked Katie if anyone had ever called her a “policy wonk?”). Katie also talked quite a bit a the changing role of women in our society. Attendees tweeted questions about Katie’s “guns,” and her arm muscles did look good. Katie said she naturally has a more athletic build, but that she goes to a spinning class where they incorporate arm weights.

I had a great experience at BlogHer12 and left feeling energized/overwhelmed by all I had seen. (I also ate way too many samples from the food sponsors!)  I learned a lot from the session speakers, who generously shared their expertise.  I felt honored to be part of such a great community of women!

Grant’s Tomb, New York City, August 2012

Special thanks to my friend Diane who let me crash on her couch for two nights! Diane also went on her first official Nerd Trip,  a quick jaunt to Grant’s tomb! Look for a full post in a few weeks.

I am heading next to Charleston for a Girls Weekend to catch up with some wonderful friends.  While Charleston is a very historic city, we do not have a pre-planned Nerd Trip. We may get a “Bonus Nerd Trip” if we discover something nerdy on our walking tour.  Sometimes those are the best!

As always, I wish you loads of laughs, lots of learning and safe travels on your own Nerd Trips!



  1. Don’t feel bad for the sun guy. I can tell you as a prior inmate of the advertising world that he is making a bunch of money being the sun and is probably demanding more than scale at this point. It was great meeting you in our session!

    • I am sure a hefty bank account helps to overcome the odd feeling of having to walk around in a giant sun costume a lot of the time! I just felt bad that I didn’t ask his name. Maybe he would have said, “I’m the Sun.” I am enjoying the creative sleeping sites of Naps Happen!

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