I have to admit I’m not big on conferences. In fact, BlogHer was my very first conference. I don’t exactly know when it happened but somehow my little blog, has become a brand unto its own and by no way attributed to any strategic planning of sorts. Everything that has happened to Mom Confessionals has been incredibly organic. I do admire the ambitious bloggers out there and marvel at how they build relationships with brands and cultivate their own name in the blog-o-sphere. Very much like my own life, I start to get into it but really I prefer the more laid back approach. I am never one to get upset about not getting invited to an event and I refuse to be a swag slut. I mean my life is already full of clutter thanks to a house filled with kids, so really… I don’t need more. My blog is my life, but my life is not my blog. I don’t get upset about not getting invited to events for the mere fact that I have other things to do… like enjoying my children. In fact most days I’m battling to find my voice in the blog amongst the many reviews I have written. I’m still struggling with how much of my persona to reveal and how much to contribute. That said, if its of interest, I’ll be there to hear what you say, support my friends and cultivate relationships with brands I really care about and resonate with my family and our life.
So while I bought a full pass to BlogHer, I didn’t stress it. I attended many amazing events and I couldn’t even begin to cover them all but here are some highlights:
- Loved the Swag Swap Suite… I visited it only once but regretfully wished I could have gone back to ask where the countless Walmart notebooks went after BlogHer because I knew of a school in Guatemala that could have and would have gratefully used them. Felt bad for all the Jimmy Dean clocks that got left behind and felt for the marketing exec who thought it would be a cute gift, cause it was, but I hate branded merchandise. Couldn’t believe I snagged another Filtrete water bottle because really they were really nice, clean and simple.
- Met some incredible people who I’ve been following on Twitter or reading their blogs. While some of them were so gracious to think I’m on the same level as they are, I felt incredibly humbled to be in their presence. Even attending some events where they called the attendees “cream of the crop” or “key influencers”, they had me looking around thinking they made a mistake in inviting me. I mean for goodness sakes I was standing in a room with @BostonMamas, @MommyNiri @AudreyMcClelland @MomTrends @MomBloggersClub @ResourcefulMom @XiaolinMama @DuongSheahan… and there I was… in awe and completely perplexed…
- Here is the only time I’m a slut for swag… I was giddy to get Dora and Swiper the Fox shirts for the toddler and nephew… if they had something in the infant’s size, you bet I would have gotten him one too. The toddler loved the shirt so much she wears it all the time and when its in the hamper, asks how long it will take to wash and dry… and if she’s audacious enough, she’ll even ask why we’re not washing it RIGHT now. I was happy to grab some tubs of Playdoh for the toddler and was thrilled to see the duffel bag in our bag cause nothing is a sure fire hit at a play-date than a box full of Playdoh fun.
- Oh the greenie in me definitely came out at this event. I was sorting and swapping every chance I got. I didn’t take anything that couldn’t be used or given to someone I know who’d appreciate it. I loved learning about brands and their environmental efforts. Some of my favorite included Filtrete’s Water Station which would solve my family’s addiction to bottled water in very sleek container. I even loved the plant-able wild flower seeds their message was printed on to add to the toddlers growing garden. While I wish my fancy kitchen faucet could fit Pur’s new one-click faucet filtration system, I loved their involvement with P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program which has provided 2 billion liters of clean drinking water to children all over the world and hopes to provide 4 billion liters by 2012.
- Loved putting faces to brands I’ve been electronically in contact with and learning about their newest products. Juno Baby is our new brand obsession in our house. Quality music played by real orchestra musicians and my Jay Sean-loving child is tapping her feet right along. Fisher Price introduced us to the must have iXL Learning System and I am happy to put at bay for another few years, handheld video games. Kodak Gallery’s soon to be release PYNK system is sheer brilliance! What wonderful gifts they will make for sure. The amateur photographer in me can’t wait to have PYNK frames all over my house.
- Loved meeting Nate Berkus at his launch party for the Nate Berkus Show which debuts on September 13th, because I love design, but of course was too shy to say anything other than ask for a picture. Since he wasn’t a mom, I didn’t have my mom confessionals opening to work with — what’s your mom confession Nate? — sigh! Doesn’t matter, as one of the mommy bloggers on his panel of real moms, once I get over being star-struck, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with him.
- All the amazing parties I went to which, just to name a few, included the Getting Gorgeous event held by my favorite @VeraSweeney and @AudreyMcClelland, Summer Sizzle by @MomTrends, the HP Aiming Low EzPz Party which brought me face to face with the ever so enchanting @AngelaatHP and the Taste of Loews by the amazing @NYCityMama
My experience with BlogHer wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to my constant companions and hand-holders @Nancy_Horn of MommieswithStyle and @About_Toys. I can’t wait to attend BlogHer ’11 in San Diego!