Earlier this year I undertook a rather epic adventure, all so I could attend the inaugural GirlBoss Rally.
I read GirlBoss back in January (you can watch my video review to find out what I thought of the book!). After I’d finished it, I stumbled upon an advert for the upcoming GirlBoss Rally in LA, and realised it coincided with a trip I’d already planned to Las Vegas.
I was in Las Vegas in March with two of my closest girl friends, to go watch Backstreet Boys in the first week of their Las Vegas residency. By complete fluke, I had nothing booked for the Saturday, and wasn’t flying back to the UK until the Sunday, so I booked a pass for GirlBoss, and found flights from Vegas to LA at 6am, getting me back to Vegas at midnight.
Bearing in mind I didn’t get to bed until 3am on the Friday night (the night of the Backstreet Boys concert!) you can probably imagine what state I was in!
Looking back, I still can’t believe I commuted to LA from Las Vegas, as if that was my normal every day!
But I made it, and I made it to the inaugural Rally.
It was a really interesting day – GirlBoss has a great following and the founder, Sophia Amoruso has basically become a celebrity in her own right. She leveraged her network to have a whole host of women speaking – everyone from Lily Singh – YouTube’s ‘Superwoman’, to the token man of the day – Instagram founder Kevin Systrom. There were break out rooms, where dating app Bumble offered to do our hair and make-up and take our LinkedIn profile photos, and in another room SquareSpace were chatting about their blogging platform.
So what was it like?
The whole vibe was definitely NOT your normal business conference. For a start, it was like a fashion show! I have never seen so many incredibly well-dressed women. I literally texted Caroline to say ‘I am wearing a dress which cost £200, and I feel underdressed!’. The event was in a warehouse, which had been specially painted / graffitied with GirlBoss logos and inspirational quotes. We all had smart branded laminates with details of which sessions we were signed up to, and everything was branded – from the cloak room tickets to the hand towels in the bathroom!
Salad specialists SweetGreen were the official food sponsors. Which was great if you like salad (which I do!). Others were less impressed! I can’t count how many people I heard moaning about ‘the rabbit food’!
One of the speakers was Brit Morin, founder of Brit + Co, and during the lunch break we all sat on the roof of the warehouse making jewellery from craft packs designed by the company.
The talks themselves were really varied. From topics I wouldn’t necessarily align with business and starting your own company, to people promoting their own books, to interviews by Sophia where actresses and comediennes described their lives and inspiration.
The attendees were a real mix – from established entrepreneurs, to fashion bloggers obsessed with Sophia’s brand NastyGal, to women with business ideas who had flown in from all around the world to attend.
It was a LONG day – things kicked off at 8am, and when I got in my taxi back to the airport at 8pm, the cocktail party had only just begun. I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth – the day was crammed full of sessions, and there were heaps of freebies, including incredible stylish goody bags.
It will be interesting to see when the next GirlBoss Rally takes place, and where …