Saturday was the last day of the conference, and despite only attending half of the seminars, it was probably the longest day for me.
I had a hoot and a half at Sparklecorn with Jenn (and omg, I can’t wait to see the pictures), and even met Chelsea of the Paper Mama. Just as an aside, please stop looking so flawless all the time ;). Some of the quotes from the night are just coming back in flashes to me AND Jenn now, and they’re doozies:
That was a very polite request from Sarah.
My personal favourites were “stall beers” (“HEY KYLIE. THERE’S A BEER IN THIS BATHROOM STALL. WANT IT?”), “floorsticks” (glowsticks that we found on the floor, then I put one on my head, ew), and pretzels that tasted like hot dogs (very, very stale).
After a night like that, it was hard to get any sleep. But, the first morning session was easily the one that I learned the most from, and I’m glad I was able to learn the ins and outs of SEO. I’m glad that real content and social engagement are starting to matter more than keyword stuffing and questionable link-backs. Good job, Google!
Jenn and I met up for the Google Analytics session, but it was more basic than either of us were expecting, so we both peaced out in search of swag (Jenn) or quiet (me). I checked out the Serenity Suite and had some time to relax — thank you to BlogHer for thinking that far ahead, honestly. That room is a valuable place and space to have.
Then it was the Katie Couric keynote lunch. Just like Martha, I didn’t know a lot about Katie before I went in to hear her speak, other than she was a journalist and someone who has made an impact on the industry, two things I respect a lot as a fellow female writer.
She. Was. INCREDIBLE. As much as I didn’t enjoy Martha’s talk, I loved Katie’s that much more. She’s so down to earth, humble and intelligent. If she can do what she’s done with her life and circumstances (widower, two daughters, news anchor, show host, etc.) and I can achieve 1/10th of that, I’ll have lived a satisfying and fulfilling life. Seriously, she was such an inspiration to me.
After lunch, I tried to grab a few zzzs before the closing plenary. Ended up wandering around aimlessly, slept on a table in the main ballroom, and got a free manicure. Grabbed a couple of books too!
Because the timing of my flights was so ridiculous, I needed to get back to the hotel early and miss some parties in favour of packing and sleeping before the 6:15am flight to Minneapolis. I did manage to get some New York pizza with Jamie, Suzanne, and Sarah before buying souvenirs and going back to the hotel.
Oh, and then I grabbed one last hot dog at 10pm after packing and the vendor asked me if I was German. After we talked about travelling for a little while, he asked if he could take me out before I left for Canada again. Definitely flattering
Going back to Edmonton then driving to Calgary sounded so daunting, but it was a breeze! I coasted on adrenaline the whole way back.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m so freaking happy I have the day off tomorrow and can work from home the rest of the week. The unpacking still has to be done here and it would have been impossible if I was going into the office all week!