The Big Trip Report

Shines like the top of the Chrystler building
I have so much to tell you but honestly I’d rather just ask you for a band-aid. My feet are SHREDDED from all the cute shoes I’ve been wearing around the city. It seems that everything less than 5 miles away in New York is considered “close” and people just View from my hotel room2hoof it all over the city to save on cab fare. This would have been fine if I’d stuck with the white tennis shoes but I swapped them out for heels, heels, heels and I’m paying the price for my fabulousness. Mir hooked me up with several band-aids this morning but they’re failing miserably at this point. I’m not sure what kind of adhesive they use in Georgia but it doesn’t adhese as well as I’d like.

Still, I’d rather wear a non-sticky band-aid from Mir than a proper Northern band-aid any day. She is that rad. The first time I met her 2 years ago, I was providing her with a band-aid to help with what I believe was an unfortunate shaving incident.
View from my hotel room
Speaking of shaving, when I asked the lady at the deli next to our hotel if she had a razor for sale, she said, “Like for shaving?” and pantomimed running a razor across her chin and cheek. “Yes,” I replied. “Perhaps I didn’t pluck well enough,” I mused.

My blisteringly fabulous shoes were a topic of discussion at the closing keynote session today. Earlier in the day Elisa Camhort Page (who needs to stop adding names) commented on their cuteness and like any savvy shopping woman I smiled proudly and told her, “SIX BUCKS!” These little babies were on clearance at Fred Meyer and I liked them so much that I picked up an extra pair in a random size to give away to the first lucky size 10 Cinderella I came across.

So during Elisa’s closing session interview of The Budget Fashionista, she shared my story and I got to stand up and show off my bargain to a room full of bloggers and business people. Sweet. You’ve got to love a women’s conference. And I did. I loved the conference.
What a lovely panel
I was speaking on a panel with Method and A Squared Group about their Detox Seattle program, coming soon to a city near you, and I didn’t know quite what to expect from a blogging business conference. I blog but I’m not a business, although I do work with them from time to time in my blogging endeavors.

The conference was much more intimate than BlogHer’s main event and I felt like I really got to spend time building relationships that I had started with waves in passing at other conferences. The pace was good and there was a ton of information to absorb about good blogging practices, building buzz, working with marketing firms and businesses and what kind of wipes to use for your potty-training toddler.

My cousin says the kid of Sleepless in Seattle would have frozen at the top of the ESB on Valentine's DayMy panel went really well, a case study on using social media as part of a successful marketing campaign. (Click here for the live blog. I’m case study #4) Method really did everything right in Seattle, a personal, sincere, respectful pitch, a great product, something valuable in exchange for my time, and excellent relationship building and follow up. Besides all that, every person we’ve met from Method and their marketing firm have been amazing people, people you want to hang out with, people you want to stay up all night giggling with and braiding each other’s hair while dancing to Milli Vanilli cassette tapes. (If they ever ask you to engage in those activities, accept their offer without delay.)

The Empire State Building is a freezeI had fun up there because I had a positive topic to speak on, my fellow panelists were rad, and the attendees were intelligent, positive, encouraging and engaging. (If they ever ask you to speak at BlogHer Business, accept their offer without delay.)

I got a brief chance to experience the city, crazy cab drivers, touring Times Square with Gabby’s too nice relatives, visiting the Empire State building with my cousin who lives in New York and didn’t act at all annoyed to be briefly tour around with me. She even humored me by taking one of those little bike trailers back to my hotel when we had a tough time hailing a cab. For 10 dollars, a very friendly and superhumanly strong man Strong biker shuttle manshuttled us for 10 blocks, being careful to swerve too close to moving vehicles and laugh at our reactions. I suppose near-death is part of the fun of the experience and he expects a bigger tip for taking you to the edge of safety without dropping you off the cliff.

In an attempt to increase the frequency with which I invite strange foreigners to my hotel room, I had a nice chat with Sarah, whom I see becoming a great friend and collaborator. She is really someone worth knowing and not just because of the accent or the fact that I’m hoping she’ll show me around next time I’m in London.

Too embarassed to exit this thing at the Affinia, we got out accross the street at Madison Square GardenThe main message I’d leave with marketers is that bloggers write about experiences. If you can give them a great experience with your product or service, chances are they will write about it because it’s part of their life and they want to talk about their life. By in large they do not want to talk about your potato chips or premium shoe laces. They want to talk about their life. If you can find a creative way to make your brand a part of their life in a mutually beneficial way with an experience attached, chances of getting your message out are greater. If a blog is a representation of me, then I’m not going to write about something unless it reflects who I am and what I want to be associated with. So choose carefully who you market to and find a way to partner with them, rather than expecting complimentary advertising.
Big Fat City
Now I have one last thing. As I was walking through the airport this afternoon, I caught my reflection in a mirror and noticed that the back of my skirt was caught in my laptop bag and my back-ish half was hanging all kinds of out. I don’t know how long I’d been like that, but I’d been walking around for at least 10 minutes with my bags before I noticed it. For the love of human dignity, if you see someone walking around like that, let them know, I BESEECH YOU!

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