Her Conference LA 2019: My Experience

I’m not going to lie, I was a little intimidated about going to Her Conference. First of all, it’s the first official conference event I’d be going to in my life, second of all I knew there were going to be tons of amazing women there and I was worried about making a good impression, and third I was in the middle of a nasty cold. However, I’m so glad that I went because it ended up being an inspiring and empowering experience, which is what they were aiming for.

Her Conference has been going on for 8 years, and it’s the biggest gathering of college women globally. Here’s how the website describes it:

“you will experience up-close interaction with industry leaders and badass keynotes covering everything from media, marketing, and entrepreneurship to entertainment, tech, social impact, leadership, and more.” 

It was truly all that and more. It lasted from about 9am to 5pm, but went by fast because of all the interactive activities, socializing, picture-taking, and listening to keynote speakers and social media influencers. There must have been a couple hundred college-aged women there, all with similar goals in mind. Everyone was dressed in cute business-casual outfits and we all received goodie-bags full of fun things from all their sponsors. Check out this YouTube haul to see what was inside!

Image via it'skaylahere

The venue, Wanderlust Hollywood, was immaculate and there were “instagrammable” stations set up everywhere so you could take the most aesthetically pleasing photos. As social media influencers, what more could you want? The first keynote speaker of the day was the one most people were excited about, Jessica Alba. She spoke about her journey as an actress and businesswoman and how she created her company Honest Beauty. I really loved hearing about her company because she thought of the idea after realizing how many harsh and damaging chemicals there are in the products we use daily, such as laundry detergent. She wanted to create a line of products that are made from 100% honest ingredients that are safe to use and cruelty-free, yay! 

Here’s Jessica and the outfit she wore for the conference, looking quite business-chic.

She also talked about how getting to where she is now hasn’t been an easy journey. She faced rejection upon rejection, and had to learn how to navigate through difficult situations and discouragement. She emphasized that you just have to try stuff. Even if it fails over and over, pick yourself right back up and keep trying, especially if you know what you want. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from her during the conference:

“If you have any ambition to start a career, force yourself to go into difficult situations and figure out how to survive and stay afloat.”

“The best people are the people who get shit done.”

“It doesn’t matter what the outcome is if you’re not enjoying yourself along the way.”

And everyone’s personal favorite:

“I think you start giving less fucks as you get older.”

Amen to that. Jessica definitely inspired many of us to pursue our dreams and to be confident in who we are and our potential to be successful. I personally felt inspired to continue supporting cruelty-free makeup & skincare and who knows, maybe I could create my own line of products one day? After her keynote, we got to hear from a panel of young social media influencers who talked about how they got started with creating content and shared their best advice for engaging with your audience. I personally enjoyed this because one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram, Jaci Marie Smith, was on this panel and I also had the pleasure of meeting her afterwards.

Jaci is a photographer/influencer, YouTuber, blogger, has her own Podcast, and is only 23 years old. She’s also married and her husband helps her with her content and editing which I think is really great because they work as a team. She had a lot of solid advice for us, and here are my main takeaways:

  • No one can replicate your personality, so just be genuine.
  • Be aware of your mental health. It’s okay to take social media breaks when you feel like you can’t handle it that day.

  • It’s important to choose products and companies you truly believe in to promote. Be selective.

  • It’s helpful to collaborate with other creatives.

“Be whatever real means to you”

I’m always listening to Jaci’s podcast, “What We Said” on my four-hour long drives from school to home and vice versa. She and her friend Chelsey Jade Curtis talk about social media, relationships, family, being married at a young age, health & lifestyle, and they have humor segments in which they tell embarrassing dating stories their followers send them. If you’re looking for some entertainment, give them a listen. They’re both honest and hilarious. I was so happy to have met Jaci at Her Conference and to be able to tell her how much she inspires me! I think that's what really makes this conference worth it; you get to meet your favorite influencers. 

Throughout the rest of the day there were more inspiring keynote speakers such as Bethany Mota, Gabi Gregg, and Stassi Schroeder as well as more panels including “What Brands Want: How to Succeed at Sponsored Campaigns” and “What is a Career in Marketing + PR Really Like?”

I really loved how supportive, encouraging and inspiring the environment was. The room was filled with women of all different sizes, colors, and backgrounds from all over the country and we all came to be inspired and learn about being successful at whatever we aim to do. How cool is that? I may not be entirely sure what direction I want to go in or where to start, but Her Conference gave me the push I needed to keep going after what I’m passionate about and what I’m good at and to not be afraid of failure. If you’re looking for a place where you can meet like-minded women, get a boost of confidence and inspiration, network with influential entrepreneurs and learn about your possible career path, I would absolutely recommend Her Conference. It’s especially useful if you’re already a part of Her Campus because many of the national editors and chapter writers from all over the country are there, so you really feel like you belong and can easily connect with people. If you aren’t affiliated with Her Campus, that’s okay too! They’re welcoming of anyone who is interested. Their main purpose is to have a community in which women support other women in achieving their goals, no matter what those goals may be. Talk about #girlpower!