This post is sponsored. I was invited to attend and share my (delightful) experience as a member of the (totally awesome) NC Blogger Network in collaboration with The Southern Women’s Show.

I am not swayed by swag (thought I very much appreciate it), so you can rest assured that my opinions are my own, as always.

Let me just state for the record that I’m a newbie to the Southern Women’s Show. I’ve heard about the event, but I’ve never taken the time to explore what it was all about. It’s crossed my mind that it might be a fun day out with the ladies (I mean, I’ve heard the radio ads – haven’t you?!), but I never captured that idea to make it a reality.

And now, on the other side of this sneak peek event, I am here to tell you that if the thought has crossed your mind, you should act on it. There’s no way it will not be fun. There are so many great vendors, guests, activities, organizations and fatty-nibbles planned for the weekend. If I were to write them all down, you would not make it to the end of this blog. So, no matter whether you’re a girly-girl or a tomboy, you’re sure to find something to love and appreciate.

And don’t worry if you can’t find a place to stash the kids, just bring them! There will be some vendors and activities specially for the little ones, so consider this a family-friendly event. And yes, I mean that. If the kid wasn’t spending the weekend with his dad, I would bring him. He’d be mesmerized by the bling. (I can imagine his face now…chuckles!) We’d have to take breaks – with the event housed in two different buildings at the NC fairgrounds, there’s a lot of ground to cover – but I know that we’d have a lot of fun.

I picked up a few tips at tonight’s event, so take note and hopefully these will help you have an even better time this weekend (cause it’s already going to be awesome)!

Pace Yourself

There are over 400 vendors. In fact, I heard that this year’s event is pushing closer to the 500 mark. That’s a whole lotta awesome in just two buildings. I’m not saying have a plan per se, but you may want to to check out pages 4 and 5 of the program when you get there. Just take a look. Scout out which vendors you may want to visit first. If you like planning ahead, check out a list on the Southern Women’s Show website.

Look Up for the Signs

Lost? Look up to your salvation. The event planners have banners highlighting which row you’re on. Think of it like numbered aisles at the grocery store. If you’ve got a list of MUST-SEE vendors, note their location and use the banners to help you navigate the floor plan. It’s a darn big space, and it’s chock full of so many pretty things, it’ll be easy to get distracted and off course. If that happens, you can zero in on your location by checking out the banners above your head.

Find Food in the Expo Center

Looking for the fatty-nibbles? Just remember the words – Expo Center. There’s going to be yummy-goodness all over the place, so there’s really no reason to worry about it…but, there will be more food-based vendors at the Expo Center. The Food Lion Kitchen Stage will be hosting (blindfolded) taste tests, cooking demos and more! REMEMBER – EXPO CENTER FOR FOOD.

Stay tuned for a few more posts highlighting the Southern Women’s Show in Raleigh. There are a few additional stories that I would like to bring to your attention before the weekend is out to help enrich your experience, or entice you to get off your bum and go.

I’m planning on heading back to the event on Sunday afternoon. Tweet me and let me know if you’ll be there!