What’s Your Opinion on Private Parties and Off-Site Events at BlogHer?

by Susan

robyn susan louise

There was something different this year at BlogHer 2010

And it was happening next door, down the street and a 20 minute taxi ride away…

Yes… countless Private Parties and brand sponsored Off-Site Events!!!

Janice and I went to several of these events and, we admit, we loved them. It was such a treat to get outside the hotel and meet up with blogging and PR friends in smaller settings.

On the flip side we missed out on lots of what was happening back at the hotel at the actual conference. Also, since some of the events took time to walk to or take a cab it was hard to hop from one party to another and see as many people as we’d want to.

But… some of the most fun we had was walking the streets of NY going from one event to another. The photo above is off the hilarious walk back from the Hallmark event. I’m laughing and posing with Robyn from Robyn’s Online World and Louise from Mom Start. That stroll home was one of the highlights of my trip.

In the last hours of BlogHer 2010, during the CheeseburHer party, I asked around to see how other bloggers felt about these events.

What About You?

Were you at BlogHer? Did you go to any off-site events? What did you think?

Do you like the idea of Private Parties and Off-Site Events at a blogging conference?

Thanks to Our Sponsors

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Written by 5 Minutes for Mom co-founder Susan.
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Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Loralee August 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I’m torn on this. I can see why BlogHer made it this way BUT…as an organizer and attendee of these events, man…what a pain.

I am mostly worried about when BlogHer is held in San Diego for example. There are not usually sites as close and accessible as New York. You can’t just hop on the subway or hail a cab or rickshaw there. I am sensing potential nightmare next year. UGH.

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2 Tauni August 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I loved the private parties. While the Expo hall was nice, it really was too loud, to large and to difficult to distinguish yourself and connect with the right people.

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3 Rachel August 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I have mixed feelings about the offsite parties. I went to two, and skipped a couple more just because I didn’t have time, or they were held at the same time as the others, etc.

First of all, it’s fun. The events were great and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I don’t mind that some were at the same time as the conference, because I went this year knowing that getting “My Money’s Worth” out of my trip was having a great time, not necessarily attending every single conference event. And I liked that strategy a lot better – I didn’t stress about wanting to take a walk around NYC instead of attending a session that didn’t really interest me anyway.

BUT the downside of all of the exclusive events is that they definitely add to the whole “cool kids” feel of Blogher. You automatically feel left out if you hear someone was invited to something you weren’t, and it makes everyone feel like they’re on a caste system – you’re as important as the number of party invites you got. I personally didn’t feel this way because I didn’t decide to come until 3 weeks beforehand, so I gave myself a pass on feeling left out of anything, because all the invites had already gone out way before that. :)

So all in all, I think they’re fun, add to the excitement, and nice to go to. I just wish they didn’t make it feel so “exclusivey”

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4 Grateful for Grace August 27, 2010 at 9:33 am

I’m hoping to go BlogHer someday, but this exclusive side is a downer. I think part of the draw of going to the conference is connecting and getting known. Having exclusive things is fun only if you are on the invite list. I can see how it would help too, though. I think if they held the ‘invitees only’ parties at different times and not during the conference sessions, it could help some. BUT it would still feel weird.

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5 Adrienne August 26, 2010 at 1:40 am

I work conventions for a living. No I am not a call girl, I am the nice lady who hands you your badge and/or bag and tells you to have a nice day.

Private parties are a part of EVERY convention. Brands do it ALL the time. However, most convention organizers try to work with the brands to ask them to only hold their parties AFTER any classes/courses are complete for the day and definitely NOT during any Keynotes. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend BlogHer this year but from what I have heard this was not the case. Brand partes were being held not only during Sessions but during Keynotes as well. That is Bad Form.
Next year in San Diego, it may actually be easier since the Conference will for the first time be held in the San Diego Convention Center and not in a hotel. Therefore any brand parties that are to be held “offsite” just have to not be at the convention center, but in actuality BlogHer can pull their Clout badge and say “Hey Brand X, if you wanna hold your party at the convention center, we will reserve your room/hall and sublease it to you for a cost and on these conditions.”
Let’s hope everyone gets it worked out.

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6 Brandy August 26, 2010 at 5:55 am

I really didn’t get invited to any events, I went to Hanes and Team Moms dinner. They were both very close and easy to get too. So it wasn’t to bad. As far as brands having private parties, it was kind of a bummer that majority of parties had all the same bloggers and didn’t invite people who they never had worked with to try and connect with others.

the same time, i don’t see Blogher11 being as bad in San Diego, because a lot brands are based in NY so they have their own venue or were close by. I do like that the entire confrence was in one hotel (not brand parties) compared to next year, where we will have to back and forth between the hotel and convention center.

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7 Musings of a Housewife August 26, 2010 at 6:30 am

Great topic Sue! This was my first BlogHer, and I found the off-site events exhausting. However, the ones that were close by and provided an intimate setting to visit with friends were really great. The ones that required you to move around the room(s) and do different activities and listen to pitches were not so much fun. And the ones that required a cab – not worth it, even if they were fun. Just too stressful. The thing I didn’t like was that I feel like I missed SO MUCH of the conference itself. I literally went to 15 minutes of one session. Wish I’d just bought the party pass.

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8 Michelle August 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I think the fact that there were so many events over-lapping made a hectic event even more so. The elitism of the invite only parties doesn’t do anything for the building the blogging community, although I can see the allure of being invited, and of course I can see the benefits to a brand hosting the parties. In the end, I attended one, one hosted by a brand with whom I have a relationship. Other than that, I decided my time was better spent in the BlogHer events/atmosphere, which is the reason why I went in the first place!

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9 Jennifer(Savor) August 29, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I loved all the off-site events that I was invited to although some took much more time to get to than I expecxted and yes, I did miss a lot at the actual conference. I was okay with that this year though as I was able to accomplish my goals….and spend more of time with you (a 2 yr goal)

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