I was pretty excited to attend Blogworld (the biggest new media conference) this year, for a number of reasons. For one, I was seeing some old friends as well as both Chris and Mary Jo from the Value Luxury Team. Secondly, I was speaking again this year. And we were all excited to take a peek at downtown LA, which itself has experienced a growth in tourism in recent years.
Here’s a bit of a trip report about this year’s event.
VL Involvement at Blog World
We had a number of roles to play in this year’s travel track, including:
- Mary Jo: travel track leader, which included organizing speakers and sessions, as well as some moderation duties in the sessions, and talking with sponsors before/during event.
- Chris: Chris spoke on the “going pro” panel, and talked about her story about how she started as a print journalist, ended up in a traditional 9-to-5 job, and then left to launch her booming entrepreneurial endeavours.
- Andy: I spoke on the panel about collaboration , specifically talking about the business aspects of collaboration, and then followed that with a presentation with PR pro Meg Paynor about PR-blogger relationships. Many of the attendees said this was one of the best sessions on the track – thanks so much, folks!
There were a number of tracks this year – fitness, real estate, etc. – which meant time felt stretched too thin, but you couldn’t deny every hour of the day was packed with content.
I was also particularly impressed with the exhibition hall, where I met some great companies, such as Livefyre (helps make blog comments better/easier to manage) and YouCast (connects brands and publishers). I was also glad to meet with one of my advertising partners, Media.net. The exhibit hall was bustling this year and lots of business cards being traded.
Exploring Downtown LA
Downtown LA is rocking – I was so impressed, and really eager to go back. A few highlights….
- I stayed at the downtown Westin, which is huge! I love the Westin’s health and fitness focus, so appreciated the free water, the quality toiletries, and the nice gym, which was always full.
- Mary Jo stayed at the Biltmore, and I spent a couple of nights here in the cocktail lounge, which is gorgeous (but loud during live music nights). I had no idea this hotel was so historic – very cool.
- One of my clients, Ross Borden from Matador Network, wanted to go to a famous nearby sandwich shop, called Philippe’s. He invented the french dip sandwich! It was so delicious it inspired a whole feature about world famous sandwiches.
- Another must-do is the Old Pantry Cafe, which apparently never closes, as evidenced by the fact that there is no lock on the front door. The line around the block (literally) on Sunday morning is the clue that this place delivers the goods.
Visit Philly served us some fantastic “philly cheesesteak eggrolls” during one of their sponsored evenings at Blogworld. I have no idea if that was an LA thing or a Philly thing, but if they have those in Philadelphia, I am on a plane right now.
- There’s plenty to see in downtown as well. One thing is simply to walk around and look at the architecture – there are a lot of historic buildings downtown, not just the skyscrapers you see on TV.
- You might want to see what’s playing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is downtown. Or at least stop by for a photo stop.
- Lastly, you must check out “LA Live” and the Staples Center. I couldn’t believe how busy they both were, packed with folks enjoying the bars and restaurants. The venue is just adjacent to the LA Convention Center.
We’re all hoping for more time to explore downtown LA.
Until then? You’ll see us in New York for Blogworld 2012.