I did it. I went to Blogher. It’s always interesting to do something you said you were never going to do. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Blogher, their conferences, or anything like that. I think they are great, and I respect them. I said I would never go, because of the crowds. You couldn’t pay me enough money to go to Time Square on New Years Eve, let alone any other day of the year. And ask me to hop on the subway with you – no way. Not happening. I am 5’2. I know what it feels like to be a ping pong. The idea of being under one roof with 4,500 women with a similar goal, not so appealing. However, I had sooooo many reasons to go this year, I sucked it up and went. It went from “great!” to “bad!” to “get me out of here!”. Let me explain….
Found me a few bearded men at Smith Brothers. Took it slow. Hung out at the Expo. Spent a ton of time with each company in sincere and unrushed conversation. Was picky about the swag handed to me. It was nice. It felt organized. There were a lot of people there, but not an uncomfortable amount. When my friend and I picked up our passes, there was almost no line, and the people were friendly. The little lounge areas were a calming place. I did see a handful of greedy ladies clearing out shelves of swag, etc, but nothing really bad happened at the Expo.
After that we left the Hilton to go grab a meal and meet up with another friend, and then headed back to catch a few of the People’s Party. For someone who’s been in bed at 8:30 every night for months, this was a super active day buddied up with a late night. I handed over my drink tickets and we entered the party. It was a good vibe with tons of food and drinks. It seemed way more people were at the party than the Expo, everyone must have just been showin up. It seems the parties are the place you want to meet up with people. Tons of ladies drunk and dancing. Thursday, yep, Thursday you were a pretty good day.
It was crowded, but I expected it to be. We had breakfast off site, and then headed to a session. Welp, this is where it all kinda goes down hill. We sat in a room NEXT to the room where the session was taking place. They were only able to push sound into the room. Keep in mind this room was packed with people sitting on the floor and standing in the back. I am pretty sure we got the last two seats. After sitting though the session for a while, we decided to leave. As did about 20% of the room. I later found out every session was pretty much the same story. Fail. I came to learn.
I had a few meetings between session/lunch. Here is where we go from down hill to bad. Martha Stewart was the lunch guest speaker and 4,500 women on level two needed to get to level three to get lunch, sit, and be in the presence of Miss Martha. Welp, we got on the escalator and we bottle necked. I was pushed into people and the people in front of me had nowhere to go. It was super scary. Ladies were all screeching and freaking out. I immediately took the empty down escalator back to the second floor. I don’t like being pushed in general, but I REALLY don’t like being pushed while pregnant. A cheap deli sandwich and some dry vegetables and dip is not worth pushing and rioting over. Either is siting at a table watching Martha. I just couldn’t identify with the sense of urgency.
This was kinda the theme after lunch. You can tell people were tired and worn out from carrying their swag around/being lost/not getting to do what they want. Four oversized rude women literally pushed my friend out of a room and me up a wall to they could leave a room. Once again – PREGNANT MUCH? That was my sign to just leave. None of this was worth the stress or the risk.
We went to lunch off site again after this. We chatted about all the positive stuff and planned out what we would do different next year. If HALF the people were at the conference, I think it would be way more confortable, meaningful, and independently successful. OR if the rooms were twice the size. OR if the sessions/lunch/breaks had multi-time slot options.
I don’t plan on going back. I may peek in to say “hi” to some people, but I am going to avoid the crowds, pushing, shoving, etc. I have been using the day to reply to emails and catch up. Plus my body actually hurts! I really enjoyed meeting a bunch of new companies and speaking. I got to accomplish a lot of what I wanted to, but am bummed I didn’t get more time in the sessions. I am also so disappointed at how people were acting. Shoving for a sandwich, or a bottle of lotion is insane. Pushing others out of your way, taking handfuls of stuff while the staff has their back turned, etc, etc…It can make you feel icky just being in the same room. I expected more of a sisterhood vibe, instead I got shoved by some middle aged women so she could get her hands on a vibrator. Brilliant.
I will do a post about the swag at a later date because it involves me getting out of bed to take photos, and I can’t move. Swag is good. Some brands did a great job, others – not so much. A few stand outs were Michael Angelo’s! I met the owner Joe. My dad was the one to into me to the brand down in FL, and they have pretty insane Eggplant Parm, in the freezer section. Yep, this italian girl is approving some frozen Italian food. They gave out coupons for a free box (Fairway, Stop & Shop, get with it!) and had the place smelling of glorious Italian food. Well played my friends.
Johnson and Johnson did it up with their AR bandaids, and full size samples for both baby and mommy. (Lady, I saw you clear the shelf on Thursday, and assume that’s why their were body guards on Friday!). They also had refreshments and a place to sit.
Tria did an awesome job as well. I am super excited to tell you more about them and how your life can change. Seriously.
Energizer was another noteworthy brand. They had the sweetest team and the battery operated candles are a score in my book. With baby on the way, I have a feeling I am going to have to stock up on these bad boys.
I promise to go into more detail soon. Right now I need to refresh and come back down to reality. If you are still there today, have an amazing time and BE NICE TO EACH OTHER! No pushing. It’s not worth losing your classy self over.