The Private Party Predicament at BlogHer

by Janice

Are you feeling a little “unworthy” when your Twitter stream starts buzzing about private party invites at BlogHer’11???

Tweeting at BlogHer

There are lists and rumors and RSVP’s. The buzz before every BlogHer is what parties you are invited to and what parties you are attending.

It can literally require a spreadsheet to map out a blogger’s party schedule at a BlogHer conference.

And it can leave many bloggers overwhelmed and many feeling very, very insignificant if their inbox isn’t crammed with invites and RSVP requests.

But I am here to say, NO WORRIES my friends.
We will ALL have a blast and we are ALL very worthy!!!

You see, to enjoy BlogHer, a blogger must first and foremost RELAX.

It can be very intimidating walking into crowds of strangers and so, with the size of BlogHer, it can often be the most intimidating of all of the conferences. (Read my 5 Tips to Make Sure You have a Blast at Conferences!)

Add in the pressure of private parties, schedules, and not knowing who is going to be where when, it can get stressful.

RSVP Needed?

Personally, I haven’t mapped out my schedule yet. I have to figure out what I have RSVPd to and if there are any timing conflicts, (fortunately, there are two of us, so Susan and I divide and conquer.)

But I do know that I haven’t been invited to every party and I didn’t have time to go RSVP at the parties that require signing up ahead of time. I have been just too busy.

And that is OK!

It is okay to not be invited to all the private parties — or even ANY of the them.

Cause guess what? There are a TON of BlogHer parties that require NO RSVPs or invites.

The “private parties” that everyone talks about are usually brand sponsored events. They are often small and can be a fabulous chance for more intimate conversation and networking.

But they aren’t the huge BlogHer legendary parties – like The People’s Party, Sparklecorn, Cheeseburgher. Those everyone can go to — with no RSVPs! And there are tons of them!!! (Head over to Mom Spark for a list of Official and Unofficial BlogHer’11 Parties.)

BlogHer Parties

For me, I like to go with the flow. I am a spontaneous person who really hates planning out my fun. I like it to just happen.

So, while I will have a basic idea of where I have to be when, I will also be looking for YOU and for some unscheduled BlogHer FUN.

We will have a blast people — I promise you!

New York vs. San Diego

In New York at BlogHerLast year in New York there were TONS of private off-site events and while we were there we asked some of the attendees “What’s Your Opinion on Private Parties and Off-Site Events at BlogHer?”

I think this year in San Diego, the party scene might be different. New York was unique in that many brands and PR companies have head offices there and off-site parties and events could really take advantage of the New York location.

In San Diego, the conference is in the convention center and the BlogHer Official Parties do NOT require an RSVP.

Last year, you had to be organized ahead of time and get in your RSVPs in time to attend each official BlogHer party. I think that added to the official parties having fewer attendees which pushed more focus to the other off-site events.

It’ll be interesting to see the difference this year. There are still plenty of party and event invites hitting inboxes, but I wonder if it isn’t as many this time around.

So we’ve said yes to some extra parties and events, but we’ll also be spending lots of time at the BlogHer Official Parties… and we LOVE that we didn’t have to RSVP for those. Thanks BlogHer for making that change. (And, of course, a huge thanks to the official BlogHer ’11 Sponsors for supporting the online community and who allow BlogHer to throw big enough parties for everyone to attend!)

What About You?

What do you think about private parties and off-site events?
Do you think BlogHer San Diego will be different than New York?
Have you RSVP’d for any private parties or events for BlogHer’11?

Written by Janice, co-founder of the Mom Blog, 5 Minutes for Mom
We love to chat with you! Tweet with us @5minutesformom and find us on Facebook/5minutesformom.

Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chrysa July 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

This year it seems that many of the private parties are really “last minute”. Just a few weeks ago we were discussing that there were so few invites to ANYTHING private. Last year the invites started at least a month in advance. This year, all of the private events started popping up within the last week or so. It makes it much harder to plan and schedule when new things keep appearing so late in the game.

I personally like the off-site private parties because they ARE smaller and often more low-key with chances to actually talk with/hear other bloggers and brands. Of course, big parties are fun too, but it’s nice to have a combination! I still haven’t figured out my schedule because of all of the overlap, but the private parties will definitely be on it. (I just need to decide SOON so I can release invites I won’t use – please everyone please do that if you find you won’t be able to attend an event!)


2 Susan July 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I also LOVE the smaller, quieter parties. It’s great to have in-depth conversations with people.

And yes, I think you’re right… everything does seem more last minute… which works well for us b/c we are last minute on everything too.


3 Lolli July 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Boohoo! I won’t be heading to any of them….but last year at BlogHer, I really did enjoy the smaller parties so much more. However, after spending so much of my time running around to different locations, I might reconsider trying to go to all of them. :)


4 Susan July 20, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I am so sad that you’re not going to be there!!!

Yes, I did spend some time stuck in traffic in a NY cab.


5 Kate, aka guavalicious July 20, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Here’s the thing: I know it doesn’t make me any less of a person or blogger when I don’t get private party invites. But it does make me wonder what I am doing wrong when I get zero invites after having gone to BlogHer last year, having two active blogs, and a high level participation in social media. I have to reevaluate what I am doing.

Will I have fun at BlogHer? Yes! Are the public parties amazing and fun? Absolutely! But does it still sting a bit that my in-box is empty? yes. I think it’s only human. And the fact is these posts are almost always by people who ARE invited to private events. They are a fabulous chance to network with both brands and other bloggers and of course all of us want to be there. It gets annoying to be told over and over by people going to them that it doesn’t matter if you’re invited or not.


6 Susan July 20, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Kate, I hear you… Janice and I also feel a sting when we’re not invited to stuff… it’s human nature. We all hate to be excluded from anything.

If it makes you feel any better, there were TONS of parties and events that we didn’t get invited to last year and the same thing this year.

I think that the invites often get sent to bloggers that brands have already worked with. That’s our experience… when we have an existing relationship with a PR company or a brand from doing a giveaway or ad campaign, if they are holding an event, then they’ll likely invite us. It’s not usually from companies we’ve never worked with.

But honestly… I think this year you will see much less emphasis on private parties.

I hope I haven’t been extra annoying now. LOL


7 Kate, aka guavalicious July 21, 2011 at 12:01 am

I was totally out of the loop last year (had only been blogging two months) but it actually seems like there are more events this year, especially private breakfasts and lunches. Of course I could have been so clueless that I didn’t notice they were going on. I still had an awesome time which just proves the point that you can have a great time.


8 Susan July 21, 2011 at 1:22 am

It’s so true that you don’t even realize nor need to realize what other events are going on.

In fact, when I was talking to Janice as we were working on this post together, I said I didn’t even realize that we’d been invited to very many extra events. Janice is much more connected than I am and reads more of our emails, so I didn’t even notice there were many extra events scheduled.

And when I looked at Mom Spark’s list of parties, I was surprised b/c I hadn’t heard about lots of them.

Last year there were tons I never knew were going on. The thing is there is sooooo much happening and you can only be in one place at a time anyway, so it really doesn’t matter.

You have to just be in the moment and enjoy the party you ARE at and don’t worry about what other people are doing.


9 kim/reluctant renovator July 24, 2011 at 12:38 am

This will be my 4th BlogHer since 2007. I took last year off because I felt the conference got so large and (to me) overwhelming with such a focus on outside events. This year, I joke that I’m going “with blinders on.” I plan to focus on what will make it a great conference for me and not get distracted by who is going where with which brand.

You point is right on! There is SO much going on that no one can do it- or even be invited to it all. I like what you said about enjoying the party where you are.

10 Kate July 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Thanks so much for posting Kate (love your name btw). Im a newbie this year at BlogHer and the party scene was starting to stress me out. From hearing how NY was last year I am VERY grateful for the no RSVPs and fewer parties in general. It’s hard to schedule when you have no idea what to expect or which of the people you know go to which events. Im hoping I can just chill and have a good time this year. Maybe next year I’ll be cool enough for actual invites. ; )


11 amy aka Ms Paperlicious July 21, 2011 at 10:12 am

It sounds like the kinds of private parties we used to have at music conferences when I was a publicist at a record label. And as a former planner of such private parties, the guest list was more about the budget of the party than trying to make it super-exclusive. Obviously anyone marketing anything would love for everyone and their mother to be involved, but sometimes it’s just not possible when purse strings are tight. Especially since the places where the parties take place usually see a corporation and hike up rates so it’s realllly hard to make it work.

I say YOU are the party, so no matter where you are, that’s the right place to be!

Have fun ladies! Maybe one day I’ll make it to Blogher.


12 Louise July 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I love this shot of you guys! So when is the street party again? 2:00 AM on Saturday night?


13 Laura July 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I couldn’t agree more with Kate above. I went to Blogher last year and have a decently performing blog and have only been invited to ONE private party in San Diego. While I’m forcing myself not to sweat it (really), it does become hard to hear people say they don’t matter then tweet how awesome an event was.

In the middle of the conference it really DOESNT matter, but before and after, when the analysis sets in, it’s all very baffling.


14 Jen-Eighty MPH Mom July 23, 2011 at 12:25 am

The party invitations seem different this year. I am happy that the BlogHer parties don’t require an RSVP, but the private ones – I think it is frustrating the way they are being done. Most are requiring you to email them first. Then you wait…and wait. You either don’t hear back at all, or they release tickets. If you don’t get to the link right away, they are sold out.

I think I would prefer that they just send invitations to who they really want to be there, rather than getting everyone’s hopes up. It has been constant ups and downs this year, and that also makes scheduling VERY difficult.

Also, the invitations are coming in much later this year.


15 Susan July 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm

You’re right that the party invites are very different this year. Our inbox is a crazy place and we are often so late replying to emails so events that required we RSVP before it filled up, we’ll likely not be there.


16 Average Jane July 23, 2011 at 7:01 am

If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been blogging for a bazillion years and I’m a longstanding BlogHer veteran, but I’m invited to far fewer private parties this year than usual. I think it’s just that there are so many of us that the brand-sponsored parties hinge a lot on who you know (and what PR people you’re worked with in the past). The only private party I’ve been to consistently is one where a friend always invites me as her +1.

I’m really trying to take it easy this year and try to hang with individuals and small groups as much as I can. Otherwise, my inner wallflower starts to come to the fore.


17 Cecily July 24, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I generally prefer to have a small dinner with folks and maybe drop in the official parties later rather than bother with the private events.

Also, something that REALLY bothers me is the private events that are scheduled DURING BlogHer sessions. Uncool.


18 Ana L. Flores July 25, 2011 at 12:44 am

I agree that the invites have been coming in super last minute! I haven´t had a second to put everything into my BlogHer calendar, so I hope I´m not double booked at this point. I´m not fretting it because I know that at the end of the day I will also just go with the flow and enjoy the connections and conversations I´m having at the moment. That´s really what it´s all about.


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