BlogHer ’12 in New York was completely different than the previous conference in San Diego. First of all, there were a ton of bloggers! Over 5000 attended and the keynote speakers (Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, and Barack Obama via satellite) caused even more congestion in the conference space. Tweets and Facebook posts were flying left and right with hashtags abounding – oh the power of social media!
This just proved how much of an influence women have on commerce and some brands are finally starting to ‘get it’. Other brands still take advantage of what they call ‘mommy bloggers’ and think a $0.25 coupon will make us jump through hoops just for the chance of working with them (I’m talking to you Jamba Juice – I didn’t walk over 16,000 steps to win a beach towel and ball…).
I didn’t make it to any of the sessions (only two interested me anyway) and skipped the parties (I wasn’t there for drinking and dancing). My main purpose was to network with brands and other bloggers. I was able to do so but only at smaller, more intimate events. Here are some points gleaned from those that you might find interesting:
Thanks, Valerie, for the pic of me in the Ticket Blaster and the one with the four of us!
- Boks is a free before-school PE curriculum to get kids moving and is mom-driven. We had a chance to meet the Founder, Kathleen Tullie, who told her story and had us do a mini-workout with the help of her own two children. This great event was organized by The Moms.
- Hallmark has a ton of great stuff coming out. My favorite items were the new story buddies (so cute!) and the interactive books that respond to your children’s replies. Textbands, wristbands that kids can use to send short messages to each other, will be released with interchangeable bands.
- The Sharper Image Multi Blender System I got from the Iconix event is the best! It’s perfect for making individual smoothies, is dishwasher-safe, and so much easier than dealing with a whole blender or processor. Definitely one of my favorite items.
- Thanks go to my Hansen’s peeps for getting me into the StyleSuite event by MomTrends. I LOVED the jacket and shirt by CAbi – can’t believe I found something that looked good on me! Oh, and how have I not heard of Makeup Forever before?! The products are great and the lip color stays on all day!
- Highlights shared the first issue of their new Highlight Hello. These small booklets are made for children 0-2 years and are basically indestructible. Even a beginner ‘hidden picture’ is included.
- Dessert After Dark featured many brands. One of which was Cents of Style, an online company with affordable accessories like purses, jewelry, shoes, and more all with free shipping. A review is coming up on this. I also discovered YoCrunch (yogurt with topping such as granola or Oreos) which are pretty yummy.
- MomTrends worked with Lands’ End to hold a Night School. They had backpacks/messenger bags displayed for every size child, jeans with reinforced knee areas, and a great collection of clothes for kids and women. The backpack I got for my daughter is very well-made and will last her the year. I’ll have to get a ‘large’ on for next year though.
I’m not sure if I’ll attend BlogHer ’13 as it’s just getting too big. I may try to attend one of the other conferences such as Type-A Parent, Evo, Blissdom, or Reviewers’ Retreat. Still, I’m glad I attended and feel it was well worth it. The highlight of my trip, though, was when I actually met someone that said Cookies & Clogs was one of the first blogs she started reading! That was like my ‘ah-ha’ moment since I remember saying that to other, more established bloggers last year!
Thanks again to Sunnyside Car Service for taking care of my transportation to and from the airport, as well as lending your support as a partial sponsor.