As many of you know, I just got home from BlogHer 12 which was held in New York City. I’m still exhausted and so I apologize ahead of time if this post is more like a ramble.
This year, I did the whole conference differently than I had in the past. I just bought the Party/Expo pass. Which meant no sessions. Apparently, that was the right choice because if you didn’t get to the sessions in time, they’d fill up and you’d get locked out.
So, based on the fact that I only attended the Expo Hall and a couple of the onsite parties, I don’t have much of an opinion regarding the whole session fiasco. I just think it sucked for those who bought the whole conference pass and couldn’t go to the sessions that they were looking forward to.
I’ll tell you this much…I had a good time. I got to see a ton of NYC. The food I ate. The people I hung out with! The purses I bought, the jewelry I bought…success!
Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Awhile back, I read this article. Moms gone wild. 40-somethings trying to recapture a bit of their lost youth through excessive partying, affairs and etc. Well…that’s kind of what I witnessed AND heard about at the conference. While I don’t feel it necessary to go into details and start any drama, I will say this…BlogHer is a conference meant for learning the different nuances of blogging as well as creating relationships with other bloggers and brands. Acting like a “Mom Blogger Gone Wild” might not be the impression you want attached to you, especially on a professional level with THAT many people watching.
SWAG. Really? I mean, I have never seen so much greed in my entire life. I think there was froth coming out of mouths. The behavior exhibited when it came to SWAG was worse than Black Friday and women fighting over a sweater. Sure, it’s fun to get free stuff, I’ll admit it. I mean, I didn’t have to buy my son a single souvenir because of all the fabulous toys I received in my bag from Sweet Suite. That was awesome and he’s the happiest kid on the planet, although a bit frustrated while trying to put together his Kre-O Optimus-Prime dude. But REALLY? Seriously? I have no words.
I’m going to be brutally honest, I thought the onsite parties blew. The People’s Party was fun, I had a good time, it wasn’t as crowded and being the first party, there was nothing to compare it to. But it went downhill from there.
The room the parties were held in was NOT a good fit for such a large group of people. The repurposing food was kind of…um…gross.
I know that a whole big group of us only stayed at Sparklecorn for a few minutes. Too crowded. To ridiculous. Yeah, it was. The unicorn cake was mighty pretty though. But OMG…the drama over it being decimated? It gets destroyed EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to happen that way.
The parties that weren’t affiliated with BlogHer…those were pretty good. Especially BanShe. But then again, I was one of the hostesses so, there is some prejudice on that account. It was good though. No really, it was.
One the man thing…SO WHAT?! Every single BlogHer I’ve been to have had men there. Why does it matter? I just don’t understand what all the fuss was about. Can someone please explain to me why so many bloggers were offended by this? I can’t even write about it because I am at a complete loss.
On a whole, I had a great time. I really did. Because of not going to sessions, it left me some time to enjoy the sites of NYC and also,hang out with people without feeling too rushed. I was able to have REAL conversations, not just the high pitched “OMG, HI” of BlogHers past! Although, I’m really hoping I don’t do too much of the high pitched thing anyways.
Was the years BlogHer a success? I guess it depends on what YOU made of it. If you hated BlogHer, it wasn’t exactly completely the conferences fault. I can’t blame the conference for the actions of the attendees.
It’s all about the attitude you went in with and the attitude you carried throughout the weekend and how you chose to handle all the different stimuli, personalities, etc.
I chose to ignore all the stupid drama. Although, drama isn’t what makes me dislike the actual conference, with that many blogger type people crammed into one city, it’s to be expected. But, it’s the dramamongers that make me dislike being associated with the word blogger. I’m trying to ignore that, too.
Sure, it was WAY too big this year. Sure, things are bound to happen based on numbers alone.
Really, to each their own. Behave how you want to behave. Complain or praise what you want to complain about or give love to. Be a SWAG whore or be gracious and thankful…or maybe both. Play nice or be a snotty bitch. Decide you’re never going to another one or buy your Early Bird Pass for Chicago in 2013.
YOU do what YOU gotta do to make BlogHer work for YOU.
That’s what I did this year.
It worked for me.
Keep in mind though, for the future, people ARE watching and they ARE judging. Whether that’s something you care about or not, that’s up to you. But, just like we tell our kids to protect their online and real life reputation, as adults and professional or aspiring to be professional bloggers, we need to keep that lesson in mind too.
p.s…I’d just like to add that I’m SO grateful to my friends, both new and old. You, to me, are the main reason I go to BlogHer. To see you! I love you guys.