I’ve never been on The Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune, but after my whirlwind experience at BlogHer, I think I’ve had enough “brought to you by…” to last me a lifetime. Last time I went to BlogHer, there were sponsors and swag to be found, but this time around it felt more like a game show than a conference.
Fortunately, there’s only so much swag a pregnant achy back can lug around, so I mostly ignored all the “paid for,” “sponsored by,” and “here here take my business card and my giveaway from my sponsor,” chatter. Of course, like she said, not all bloggers are like that, and not all parts of the conference were like that. And the time I spent away from the Expo Hall in the hallway outside of the actual sessions with my blog BFFs and at the two parties I went to made all the crazy sponsorship-advertisement-self-promotion hell disappear like all my business cards did in those giveaway bowls. (I didn’t say I didn’t want to get some free shit.)
And of course BlogHer wouldn’t be BlogHer if there wasn’t some controversy over something. Put thousands of women together and the claws come out. This year, it was bringing babies to parties, bars, events, sessions, what have you. Of course, the only baby I brought was the one that was pressing on my bladder the whole time and well, I don’t think it bothered anyone except the hotel bathroom which I visited too many times to count.
Speaking of people, because I was a lame-ass attendee who couldn’t drink and a D-List blogger (don’t worry kids, I haven’t forgotten about you), there were so many people I wanted to talk to but didn’t get a chance to and those I got to talk to but not for enough time. (Wow, that’s a lot of linking for a D-lister.)
Ok, now, back to the swag and all the crap I tried to avoid but nonetheless acquired in less than 24 hours of schmoozing and not boozing at SponsHer. Like back in ’07, I set out not to accumulate things I didn’t need, but somehow I ended up with two huge vinyl bags of stuff that was mostly for girls. I left too early to donate it to charity like she suggested, so it ended up in the wondering hands of a three-year-old who thinks there are actually presents sitting in such bags that he’s actually going to like and use. Oh, how naive he is. If I was richer, I’d give it away to the D-listers, but really, I’ll end up losing my savings in postage fees.
But I’m not down on SponsHer. I get why they need the sponsors, I can see why some events didn’t want babies, and as a former event planner, I know how hard it is to pull something like this off. Plus, I heard the keynote was kick-ass and I’m kicking myself for missing it. Maybe next year I’ll skip the sessions, the swag and just hang out in the lobby the whole time. And call it BlogHer once again.