What an amazing experience BlogHer ’11 was. I’m so gratefully to have gone and even more grateful to be able to represent the SPDBN Community. I met a variety of women from all walks of life at this conference. If you are a blogger, mom, business owner, artist, or writer, it’s a wonderful experience to attend just for networking.
My three days were filled with some amazing sessions learning more about self-esteem, brand management, blog platforms, social change and special needs blogging. I’d have to say besides the special needs mini-conference (more on that) the best part was just networking with other women at the event. Breakfasts and lunches were fast paced and full of lots of informal meetings. I met so many great women and what I discovered is almost everyone is either personally impacted by “special needs” or knows someone impacted with special needs; particularly sensory challenges and Autism Spectrum Disorder. It made it easy to get out the message of our wonderful SPDBN community. I passed out 100 business cards and about 40 brochures.
The Special Needs Mini-Conference was very cool. It was a room full of about 200 parents (90% women and 10% men). The panelists and speakers were Kathryn Stone and Debbie Bookstater. Kathryn is a prominent advocate of postpartum depression awareness and Debbie Bookstater is the founder of Bloganthrophy. In this conference I discussed how my children have special needs (very different), shared a special story about Roan and made sure everyone knew about the SPD Blogger Network. When I mentioned our community name the whole room started clapping, which was incredible.
In addition, in the three day conference I had the opportunity to meet some women from our own SPDBN community. We shared hallway conversations (Varda & Maya), sat in sessions together (Shannon & Cheryl) and shared some intimate floor time (Caryn).
It was such a wonderful experience to connect with our community and reach out to many others to invite them to our community.
I want to thank the SPDBN team for preparing me for the conference. Hartley passed on her tickets to me, Alysia prepared my business cards, and Karla hand crocheted the cute purple Otto I kept on my purse the entire three days. The numerous amounts of tweets and coordination they did helped connect me with hundreds of other women.
Most importantly I thank all of you for getting your very personal stories out there and for all the future stories we hope to share as well.