Last-Minute Her Conference Packing List

On Friday afternoon, I’ll be hopping on an Amtrak and heading to New York for Her Conference 2015!, a site I wrote and edited for in college, launched the conference four years ago and it’s my third time going! It’s geared towards collegiettes (i.e., college women) interested in the media industry as well as bloggers. This time, I really will feel like a post-grad (the last time I went was in 2013, a couple months after graduating Fordham), which is crazy! Since it’s not my first rodeo, I thought I’d share some tips I’ve learned from past conferences.

Let’s start with your supplies (besides your smartphone, of course!):

Her Campus Her Conference Essentials

Pen & Notebook: Chances are both will be included in your goody bag, but if you have a dedicated blogging notebook (I actually use this one from Poppin), don’t forget it!

Portable Phone Charger: Tweeting and Instagramming is definitely encouraged at Her Conference, which means a lot of time on your phone! There’s only so many outlets and charging stations available at in the conference space, so a portable phone charger or power bank is clutch (especially if it’s cute too).

Mini/Disposable Toothbrush: Her Conference is a long day. Fun and empowering, but exhausting! Breakfast, lunch and snacks are served to help you power through, but a quick restroom stop to brush your teeth will help you feel refreshed!

Blotting Papers: You may not use blotting papers throughout the day, but when you arrive at the conference after a long walk or sweaty subway ride, you’ll be glad to have them on hand (plus they won’t ruin your makeup). Also useful if you have post-Conference plans and don’t have time to freshen up. New York in July is no breeze!

Business Cards & Case: You put lots of time in perfecting your business cards (I actually just got my newest ones from MOO on Monday — highly recommend them!), but the presentation isn’t complete without a classy case to hold them in.

Some other tips:

  • Dress for fashionable functionality. It’ll be hot outside, but the room temperature can definitely fluctuate, even from room to room. Layers are a must! I recommend a cardigan or blazer, depending on your personal style. Also, consider flats. When I wore heels, my feet were definitely sore by the end of the day. Keep it collegiette chic!
  • Review the schedule beforehand. There’s only so much room for each session, so a quick look at the schedule will help you prioritize. If you’re part of the Her Campus team and can attend the conference on Saturday and Sunday, some of the sessions do overlap, albeit with different panelists.
  • Pack light. This isn’t just referring to what you bring with you (besides the above, you really shouldn’t need too much extra!). You will be acquiring stuff, from goody bags to potential giveaways, so make sure you leave room to bring everything back home with you!

Have you been to any blogging conferences? Share your essentials in the comments! If you’re going to Her Conference, don’t forget to say hi!

~ Sarah


How’s this for crazy: I published my first post here on Shades of Sarah five years ago. Five. Years. Ago. I was still a teenager! Twitter was just starting to become a mainstream medium, and Instagram and Snapchat didn’t exist yet.


Shades (as my college friends lovingly refer to this space) was not my first foray into blogging. Back in eighth grade (which, oh my goodness, was 11 years ago) I started a Xanga because well, a friend I met on a cruise had a Xanga, so obviously I needed a Xanga to stay in touch with her. My theme colors were hot pink and lime green because, duh, I still worshipped at the alter of Lizzy McGuire. (Really feel like I’m aging myself here.)

I guess I’ve always been a new media geek. Along with Xanga, I participated in a few online forums, like Craftster during my pre-Pinterest DIY phase. I remember being part of another independent forum where teen girls chatted about boys, shopping and celebrities after YM (now I’m really dating myself) folded its own forums.

Oh man. I even had a Neopets account. (It was the best, but if my full on geekiness has overwhelmed you, it’s okay if you close your browser window.)

I rediscovered what I would say are more contemporary blogs (because this medium is always always changing) my second semester of college. I remember Googling what to wear to class on cold, rainy days, because as a Floridian I was (and remain) fully unequipped to deal with the weather in the northeast. I landed on, and it was like a whole new world opened up.

After a few months of reading CF and a few other personal style blogs, I decided I was ready to throw my proverbial hat in the ring. When I was home from college, I brainstormed names and registered on WordPress while watching Roy Halladay dismantle the then-Florida Marlins. My first header was an image of lavender fields pulled from We Heart It.

My, have times changed.

The first summer I blogged, I wrote about anything and everything: politics, baseball, the World Cup, the environment, shopping, movies, Colombian candy. Some of those early posts are still some of my favorite. Now the ideas behind my blog are slightly more in focus (see the tagline above), but I still love all those things. I have Frunas on my kitchen table and I get excited when I get home in time for the evening news.

And offline? Wow. I did my first internship (serendipitously, at Xanga, and partly thanks to my blog) and too many more after that, but at some of the coolest places. I acquired like 12 roommates (not all at once). I fell in love. I wrote a thesis (for a degree) and presented my own research (on bloggers!) to an audience (for fun). I volunteered in San Diego and the Dominican Republic. I graduated college. I moved to a new city. I started over. I got my first part-time job, and eventually a my first full-time job. I adopted a dog. I was a bridesmaid. I learned (a lot) and I grew up (some).

Five years is a long time, but one constant has been this space. So thank you. Thank you to my real life friends, my online friends, the lurkers, and the friends that are all of above. Thank you for reading, commenting, emailing, favoriting a tweet or liking an Instagram, telling me you liked that thing I wrote and not making fun of me (to my face). To be honest, I do this for myself, but you guys make it even better.

So I propose that on this rainy Monday (excellent start to June, right?), we all treat ourselves, whether it’s to some wine or gummi bears, because you rock just for reading this. I treated myself to this pretty new online space (and maybe a chai latte), so I say it’s only fair.

Thank you,

Pardon The Interruption

Whoa! Sorry for that unscheduled interupption in posting! My family came to visit for the long weekend (hope everyone enjoyed theirs!) and I completely lost track of time getting ready for them (not to say my house was neat when they came, but you know). Some recent highlights:

  •  seeing a former Florida Marlin pitch a no-hitter against the Phillies
  • watching the Heat take control of the Eastern Conference Finals
  • buying matching elephant tees with my mom at The Gallery
  • finding my bridesmaid’s dress for my bestie’s wedding
  • wearing my new Hunter rain boots on rainy days
  • prepping for a blog collab with Katie and Liz
  • remembering my blogiversary is Sunday!!

What have you all been up to?

~ Sarah