I feel like I’ve said this before, but I guess I say that after leaving a lot of conferences because when you choose the right one’s you leave feeling uplifted, inspired, and rejuvenated. And that’s the way I felt after leaving the Blissdom Conference this weekend.
I have so much to process and think through (which I’ll share in later posts), and hopefully implement in the future! But for now, the one thing my brain wants to process first . . .how does Blissdom compare to BlogHer?
After working through some of my mental notes, I realized there are 4 major differences, and I’m not quite sure if those differences are good or bad. So you tell me!
BlogHer and Blissdom both begin with registration and sponsor booths on Thursday with the actual conference kicking off on Friday and running through Saturday.
Both start with a breakfast; although at BlogHer some of the breakfasts are “by invitation only” or for newcomers only. Blissdom provides breakfast on both days.
BlogHer is very intense with sessions running back to back with very few breaks. There’s usually a short 30 minute break in the morning, a short break in the afternoon while they set up for the Closing Keynote, and of course a longer break for lunch (which is provided both days); however, there’s usually a notable keynote speaker during lunch so although you’re “resting” you’re still processing.
Blissdom is the opposite of this. Blissdom classes only last an hour. With fewer, shorter sessions, they allow for longer and more frequent breaks. Meals are done on your own; with the exception of lunch on Friday.
The benefit of Blissdom is there’s more time to visit the sponsor booths, meet new people and have conversations with other bloggers, and enjoy some down time before heading off to the next session or event. The downside is there can often be too many breaks.
By the end of the day Saturday, the breaks seemed to get longer and longer; especially once all the sponsors had been visited. This might discourage people from staying as there was a lot of sitting around waiting for the final Keynote.
BlogHer and Blissdom are very similar with how they run their sessions. Both have “tracks” that you can choose to follow.
Blissdom has 4; Photography, Writing, Life Development, and Business.
BlogHer gets a little more specific with The Personal, The Political, The Professional, The Technical, The Writing, and The Visual; plus a few other “personal” tracks like The Geek Bar and Room of Your Own.
Both bring in experts of their fields to speak in these sessions; however, BlogHer chooses to use a panel of experts in most of the sessions rather than a solo speaker like Blissdom.
Blissdom offers time to process in each session with handouts and Q&A, where as BlogHer plans in Q&A, but length of content sometimes doesn’t allow for it.
This is where I discovered the drastic difference between the two conferences.
BlogHer attendees are very introverted. Although you’re among thousands of women who do the same thing you do, you’ll often find it difficult to meet other people. In my opinion, the atmosphere of BlogHer is every woman for herself.
Blissdom is not this at all! From the moment I walked through the doors of the Newcomer Meet N’ Greet, I felt welcome. There were community leaders there to make me feel at home and wanted, and that lead the way to an amazing weekend. Women walked up to me to introduce themselves, and these women introduced me to others.
During breaks as I was meeting new people, I felt that women were open and honest and supportive of my goal and saw the benefit of communicating with one another.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the parties of BlogHer! Well, what you’ve heard is true! BlogHer parties are hoppin’ . . .IF you’re invited to them.
BlogHer after hours parties are all exclusive with the exception of the few parties that are hosted at the hotel/convention center by BlogHer.
Huge brands like Hasbro, Mattel, Bravado, etc. will all rent out large facilities and event centers to host “by invitation only” breakfasts, cocktail hours, and dance parties where they’ll throw amazing swag at you; so much you’re expected to bring an extra suitcase to ship everything home. The more brand parties you’re invited to, the more popular of a blogger you are!
Blissdom, once again, does the opposite. They don’t believe in segregation. Brands throw parties . . .but they’re for everyone. Sponsors will have suites during Blissdom, but they’re not private. Everything is designed to make you feel like you’re important and not a nobody.
In the End. . .
Both conferences are beneficial and helpful to bloggers, but what expectations you go in with are different. I, personally, was looking for in BlogHer what I found in Blissdom.
If you want to attend a conference and be with some of the best in their “blogging fields”, BlogHer will get you there. With amazing and informative sessions lead by some great speakers, you won’t be disappointed in the knowledge you’ve gained.
If you want to attend a conference to feel like you’re a part of a loving community, Blissdom is the place for you. You won’t have as focused tracks (or a suitcase of swag), but you’ll leave feeling inspired and important.