My thoughts on BlogHer 2012

by Robyn Wright on August 9, 2012

in Social Media

BlogHer '12With BlogHer 2012* having ended just the other day there has been much discussion about what was good and what was not so good about the conference and surrounding events. I have mulled things over in my mind as well as participating in discussions in various private groups, Twitter, and even put up a survey. Today I’m going to bring it all together.

BlogHer conferences have grown at a phenomenal rate over the past several years. This can be seen in a really positive way – there is an audience for the conference and the media is also understanding that women bloggers have a powerful voice. This was my third year attending BlogHer and honestly it was too big for me. I do not plan on going in 2013, but that does not mean I suggest no one go. For any conference you need to decide on if it is right for you – at this point I just do not feel that it will be suited to my needs. BlogHer, as a brand, is still immensely important to the blogging community and I will continue to support them in that capacity. Based on my survey and what I have read it seems as though bloggers who have attended in the past really felt the conference was too large this year, those who are new to the conference did not seem to complain about the size as much.

So important, before I go into the rest of the details, is to note that I absolutely love seeing my friends and meeting new ones. The ability to do this on a personal and professional level is crucial to me and it is really something I love about any blogging event I attend. While I did see many, especially at the bar (yes, my peeps know that is where I hang out often), I was sad that I was not able to make nearly as many business connections this year as I have in the past. This dramatically affected my decision not to attend in 2013 already.

The sessions at BlogHer were an issue for many. Before the conference you do not hear a lot of talk about them, it is more about parties it seems, but the truth is people want to learn. Unfortunately, many of the sessions were totally over capacity and people, including me, were not able to attend them. BlogHer needs to address this issue before next year’s conference. Many others confirmed this and were displeased at the amount of money they spent to attend the conference and were not able to attend the actual sessions to learn. I would also like to see them provide some table areas in all session rooms for those who are using laptops to take notes or live blog/tweet. To be honest, I would love to see more sessions offered among more tracks and to see levels within those tracks. If BlogHer will continue to grow and attract so many they need to have sessions that more can use and take away from.

BlogHer decided not to mail out badges ahead of time this year. That was not a problem really. The biggest negative was that the conference swag bags (the official ones) were not given when you picked up your bag. Lots of folks never made it to wherever these were handed out. I happened to get lucky right at the end of the conference and ran into a worker who was moving them and he offered me one. I would like to see the official swag bag and registration check-in put all back into one time and place.

BlogHer provided meals seemed to be a huge problem this year. Apparently having several thousand people lining up to eat at once caused a problem. I did not even try to eat at any of the provided meals, but I heard lots of complaining during and after the conference on this matter. This needs to be addressed before next year.

For those that attended the Keynote sessions, they seemed to be well received by the majority. Once again, some rumblings about space and volume, but President Obama, Martha Stewart, and Katie Couric apparently were palatable to most attendees.

The BlogHer Expo Hall, sigh. I love that so many brands feel there will be value in spending their money to sponsor the convention and have a presence in the expo hall. However, I wish we could divide up the brands who are there to treat it as simply a consumer event as opposed to those who wanted to meet and develop relationships with bloggers to work with. There is a majority I think who like the consumer angle and love all the free samples, freebies, and such. Sadly some of them love it all a bit too much – we call them “swag whores”. Then there is the other group of us who may appreciate a free sample of a product, but we are not their for the swag – we are there to learn how brands will work with us and to develop relationships with them. It is so frustrating to ask “how are you working with bloggers” and get a blank stare or “we aren’t” in return. This seemed to be the sentiment of the majority of people working the booths this year – a big reason I will not be attending in 2013. The other big issue is that booths were closing up BEFORE 5pm – this is just wrong. Yes, we know you have had a long day, but you need to not start closing up shop until 5pm, it’s just rude.

  • Lysol did a great job with their booth where we could charge our devices and relax. We got a tiny pitch about their new product. Sadly they included a full size product in official swag bags which many of us left behind – they are heavy – a coupon for a free product would have been a better choice. I totally loved the singers they had at the booth who did improv songs about bloggers – very fun!
  • Verizon, this is tough for me. Most of you know I write for the Verizon Insider blog and do the #VZWBuzz Twitter parties each Friday. I was devestated that so many people came up to me personally (at other events) to tell me they had a negative experience at the Verizon booth. Most said they were not engaged with bloggers at booth or felt they were treated a bit rudely even. The booth was primarily just a store display. I promise that I have passed along the feedback from everyone I talked with to the Verizon people. I am hoping they will take this as an opportunity to learn and go back next year with a clearer understanding of what the BlogHer attendees want.
  • Kikkoman did something fun by offering soy sauce ice cream, sadly the booth attendants were quite rude when asked where we could discard our cups/spoons and they were there to seemingly only buy their products, not to work with bloggers.
  • Canon had a rough time it seems – so many bloggers rudely asked for “samples” of nice cameras to keep and the poor rep was just exhausted. I applaud them for coming to the conference, but I think maybe sponsoring a session on photography might be more effective for them.
  • Pfizer helped us all share our voice about getting old with an interactive wall full of Post-It notes. Very clever.
  • Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farms once again provided plenty of food to grab on the go in the Expo Hall. They seem to be there strictly as a consumer effort which is fine, we know where they stand at least.
  • Samsung did an “experience” booth where you could see many of the categories of products they offered. The Smart TV was the most interactive section and very cool, so many of us just drooled over the amazing refrigerator and the washer/dryer. We saw their phones and tablets and even a great app to share between devices live. Lots of giveaways throughout the conference as well as a big giveaway for those that had their cards stamped as they made their way thru the booth (by the way I won this and will share more later).
  • Wells Fargo was clever in putting door tags on hotel room doors about a contest they have going on for bloggers.
  • Energizer did the only room drop this year – a flameless candle and batteries. Loved this! I wish there would have been more room drops – I love the surprise when I come back to my room!
  • Eden Fantasies and Trojan both supplied “adult swag” which is always a hot item
  • Zeo was one of those brands who told us about the product but then said “we aren’t really working with bloggers”. They seem a natural fit to work with us – but seem totally put off by the thought even.
  • Windows was there with a fun style event and announced their makeover winners. I must admit I am a little partial to them because I am such a fan and part of the Windows Champions team.

Official BlogHer Parties – I did not attend any, my choice. I heard from more than a few that they were too loud. We appreciate the music, but just turn the volume down a bit please. I think the majority of people who attend the parties though really enjoy and appreciate the official parties just as they are. It is a time for women to let their hair down and just have a good time.

Private events – official and non-official. So many totally got it wrong this year. I can appreciate that they want to include as many people as possible, but when you invite hundreds and hundreds to a private event the original premise of inviting a smaller group of bloggers who you had already done some background on to talk more in depth is totally lost. What I am looking for at private events is not a huge crowd in a packed room and waiting in line for ages for free stuff generally. I would really like to have small groups under 25 or even one-on-one meetings. I want to know more about the brand, more about upcoming campaigns, more about how you want to work with me. Please keep the music low so we can talk to each other. If you are off-site, include transportation to and from the event. If you want to give items to us, consider shipping them to us. Have a purpose to the event and give as much detail as possible. If you are having a specific presentation or activity let people know or if it is just a casual get together and people can pop in or out as need be, tell us that also.

  • Land’s End – This event was talked about a lot. The number one reason being that while they get a plus for providing transportation to the private event, it was on non-air conditioned school buses and in a rather iffy location, again without air conditioning.
  • #CleverTech Brunch – I attended this myself. Again props to them for providing transportation to and from the event. The brunch was at a nice place, although we were packed in a tad tightly in the room – but it was a sitting thing so it was ok. We had a nice brunch and fabulous talk by My Go To Mom, a bit about the sponsors, time for attendees to share any upcoming events or business they were excited about, and a nice take away bag with surprises that are going to be shipped to us.
  • Hasbro Event – I was invited to this by a PR firm that I love. However, it was not until the day of the event that I heard rumblings about “only the first 300 people to attend will get a swag bag”. Sure enough, I checked my email and that is what it said. I was not going for swag, but just the mention of that was getting folks worked up. I contacted my PR person and asked if a friend could take my place, yes. Sadly, upon arrival bloggers found a line wrapped around the building all waiting to get in. Once people got in there was no opportunity to talk to reps about the products. I did hear some say that the games they had for bloggers to play were fun, but also heard that people were told to go to the back of the line and try again for prizes – just give everyone a t-shirt for trying and move on. Oddly enough, I have yet to hear anyone praise or insult the contents of the swag bags.
  • Getting Gorgeous – I attended this event (see my story You Took a Cab Where?) and liked it. I think most did, although I did hear a few rumblings about it being a bit crowded. Yes, it was in some areas, but overall I think it was nice and we did all know it was a big group event. The people staffing the booths were also very knowledgeable about the products and very friendly.

And finally, poorly behaved people. We are all unique and different. We all have different values. We all have different ideas of what is right and what is wrong. I get that and I’m all for that. But honestly there was some behavior that just made my jaw drop. That takes a lot. Even worse was that the most offensive behavior came from those definitely in the “professional” category as it relates to blogger, promotion, and social media. I will not be naming names or sharing these stories as it does nothing to improve the conference in the future.

Whew. There is still much more I could say. Yes, I named names (brands) here and I’m ok with that choice. My blog is always about being honest with my readers and any brands that I have worked with have always known me to be equally as honest with my feedback to them. I’ve left out some things I am sure, but it is a lot to cover. If you have questions I am happy to answer them. If you have your own wrap up on the event on your blog please feel free to leave a comment and include the direct link as well.

DISCLOSURES:  *BlogHer is the registered trademark of BlogHer, Inc. and is used for reference purposes only. The thoughts in this post are my own and those of other bloggers who have agreed that I can share their ideas in this post also. This post in no way affiliated with or otherwise associated with BlogHer.

Other brands mentioned here are also not affiliated with this post. Again, the information shared is based on feedback from myself and others who attended events at the conference and surrounding private events during the same time period as the conference.

© 2012, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.


1 Jennifer James August 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Blogher had a really weird vibe this year. I think it was a lot of bloggers looking for stuff. I even saw one steal items from a brand’s display. I couldn’t believe it! More than likely I won’t be going next year. As always – it was wonderful seeing you!

2 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

So glad I got to see you too Jennifer!

Yes, I had a couple of booth folks complain that people had taken the display items also. L

3 Courtney Rix Velasqu August 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Robyn…excellent recap of BlogHer 2012! I was hanging on every word! It was just as overwhelming as it was when I first attended back in 2009. I just seemed to run into more people I knew this year vs years past. This year I was very selective when choosing what events to attend, I seemed to go for the smaller, more intimate events, attending only one “official party” and deciding I couldn’t handle another. You are right…too loud! It was too hard to hold a decent conversation! I tried meeting up with people during an official event and they could never find me because of the shoddy service and it was just too crowded and dark. Overall, my favorite part was connecting with new and old friends and getting one on one time with brands at the smaller events. I also enjoyed the time in the Hilton lobby talking to YOU!

4 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Thanks Courtney – yes I loved being able to talk to you in the lobby area too – you can hear people out there (most of the time).

Maybe we are all just getting too old for the big stuff LOL

5 sarah peppel August 11, 2012 at 5:09 am

Here, here! I was definitely exhausted at the end of each day. I have heard for years that the whole thing was overwhelming and people were obnoxious about the swag so I knew going into it that it would probably be my first and last. I appreciate your boldness here because people need to hear how to improve. Personally, I really enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones but spending quality time was definitely out of the question and the parties were fun for about 30 seconds and it was the same party over and over. Thank you for your genuineness!

And, Courtney – great to see you too – for a brief fleeting moment.

6 candy @ mommypalooza August 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm

What an awesome post!! Thank you for your candor!

7 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Thanks Candy!

8 Cathy H. August 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

This is a really great and thoughtful post, Robyn. I’m so relieved to hear that my throttling you with a crusty roll isn’t the reason you won’t be attending BlogHer next year. I will say this, I think you would have enjoyed Queerosphere – the music was relaxing and laid back and a good atmosphere for conversation. I too saw some behavior (from some that I thought were *friends*) that left me losing respect. Overall I had a good experience, but that’s because of the things I did while in NYC and the time I had with friends and sadly less to do with the fact that I was at BlogHer.

9 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Oh shoot! I forgot to include the roll incident LOL. Seriously though that was more funny than anything and I am now officially healed from that.

10 Cathy H. August 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I’m so glad you’ve healed. Really, we should blame the catering team for providing weapons as food. ;) Also? I loved chatting a bit on the couch in the Expo hall.

11 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Yes – we shall blame them!

Agreed – Lysol couch was fabulous!

12 DebNg August 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

This is the first time in about five years that someone from BlogWorld/NMX didn’t attend BlogHer but that wasn’t beccause we didn’t want to. We had our first ever, entire team meeting in San Diego that week. However, if it’s ok with you, I’d like to play Devil’s Advocate for a moment.

Now, as someone who works for a conference, I often wonder if it’s out of line for me to comment on posts such as this. However, I do want to point out that all conferences want to get big. When there are 5000 people or more it means more sponsors, more booths and more money. Without more money conferences can’t pay for meals or provide really great parties, trips and special programs. So I get that people thing BlogHer has grown from the intimate conference it once was, but it’s a business first and formost and that business has to grow.

Also, I think it’s a testament to our space that BlogHer is getting so big. New Media – blogging, podcasting and WebTV is coming into its own and that’s a very good thing. That a conference for woman has gotten so big is just the gravy on the proverbial potatoes.

I do get where you’re coming from, but BlogHer is a business and businesses have to grow.

13 Deb Ng August 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Holy cats I need to proofread better. Sorry, Robyn.

14 Jennifer MomSpotted August 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I don’t think anyone has a problem with the amount of people if you can accommodate 5000 people. The Hilton could not. It was a mess and the fact that people paid for a ticket and couldn’t get a single hot meal or get into any sessions is ridiculous. Also if it’s so big these companies should be sending informed staff not 19 year old booth sitters.

15 Hanan August 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm

This, exactly!

16 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I agree with you 100% Deb and am glad you commented! Like I said BlogHer is going to remain very important and it is good that it grows, but just not for me personally in the way I pick my conferences out. That said I am coming to NMX (honestly not knowing the size) and CES which I know is HUGE and a different beast all to itself. I think with BlogHer it is only that it felt ‘comfortable’ the first few years that it was a shock this year for me and coming off the heels of Type-A the difference really stood out as well.

I do truly hope BlogHer continues to grow. And, if I was working more the brand side of things I would truly think about BlogHer as an important part in my clients strategy also if the needs met.

17 Jacqueline Cromwell August 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

DebNg, I totally get where you are coming from but (there is always a but and I hope it isn’t me;).. As it grows in size it needs to grow in form & function too. I think the call for different level classes is a huge one! Also if companies who are there to actually work with bloggers could do something a little different I think it would benefit both the companies and the attendees.

The size isn’t purely the problem (I am going to CES again;) but making sure that the experience isn’t a 1 size fits all would go a long way!

In my humble opinion.

18 Jennifer MomSpotted August 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

This is seriously the best and most honest post I’ve read on BlogHer! There is so much of this I agree with! Don’t get me started with Verizon. I stood within 3 feet of all 3 staff waiting to discuss the tablet and the guy wouldn’t get off it and the two girls wouldn’t stop talking to each other-about another blogger no less. Unprofessional completely.

I would have loved to see more of a set up for Canon. I would love the opportunity to work with them. I would love even more to take a class on my DSLR from them to finally understand it and get out of “Äuto”.

I wanted so bad to go to several of the geek sessions but they all sold out practically immediately.

I only ate one “hot” meal and it was freezing and I was like 10th in line.

My favorite parties were from Mom Trends and I TOTALLY appreciated the fact that she provided transportation. No doubt the hot school bus sucked but it was better then no hot school bus. Plus, they were going with their ‘back to school report card’theme. Too hot but cute idea (and I love my backpack).

The actual BlogHer bag in that back room was a pain I agree. I almost missed the 2nd floor expo room and don’t understand why they didn’t leave it upstairs like 2010. Instead we threw all the parties up there.

Oh and I paid an $800 ticket.

19 Jennifer MomSpotted August 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Sorry that turned into a short story lol

20 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm

LOL – I understand – you see how long my post was and I still had plenty more I could have added!

21 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Thank you Jennifer – I’m glad you like the post. As I said I did pass along feedback to Verizon for sure!

I hope when you got back home you finally got a real nice home-cooked hot meal J

22 Jenni E. August 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Nice post Robyn! I agree with you on alot of these topics. It was my first year going so I had nothing to compare it to but I do plan on going next year. I hope that many brands read your post and have a nice game plan for next year. Yes, I did love getting some of the free stuff but more than anything I wanted to attend to meet and begin building relationships with brands. I feel confident that I did so with a handful, but there were many more that I would have liked to but was just unable to do so either because of time, feeling like I was being pushed along my way, or even just that the rep there was more interested in selling me something. It was so awesome to get to meet you and I hope we get to meet again soon. I would have loved to have spent some time “in the bar” with ya ;)

23 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Thanks Jenni – whenever you know I’m on a trip, look in the bar – I’m not a lush – just a nice neutral spot to meet usually.

Make sure that you do try to reach out to those brands that you weren’t able to at the actual conference. Let them know that also.

24 Lori Falcon August 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I couldn’t have said it any better!!! This was by far my least favorite year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

25 Winnie August 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

It was my first BlogHer. I had lots of great moments, and some awful ones. I think it crowds were a major problem for me. I couldn’t get into basic classes I wanted to,and one I was wedged up standing against a water cooler. I LOVED Pathfinder day as it was a more manageable size and the classroom atmosphere was perfect for me. Hated the LOUD music at the parties..Had to RUN out of Sparkle Corn as it was earsplitting loud. The lunch on Martha Stewart day was a free for all. I didn’t bother to eat that day, went back and sat down, and got food outside after. The vendors were nice to me, with the exception of Kikkomann ladies. I went on Friday and asked when the Kikko-man was going to be there (never heard of him before) and they got flip asking why they weren’t good enough for me to talk to and did I realize he was a man in a suit? Seriously… I never went back.. All the others were nice and polite to me. Voices and Open Mic night were both favorites of mine as I got to enjoy the writings of bloggers and that is why I was there. Thanks for sharing your experiences…

26 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I love that you enjoyed the Voices and Open Mic – I wish I would have attended those myself. Just not enough time for everything. Sad that the Kikkoman both was like that with many of us.

27 April August 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

It seems like 2010 was the first year that it really started going downhill and I stopped caring about it. Kind of disappointed to hear that they haven’t learned from their mistakes. (And by “they/their”, I mean the PR people as well as the BlogHer people.)

28 Robyn's Online World August 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

And blogger people too – mistakes from all angles. I think growing pains must be tough but I know that BlogHer has some fantastic people working for them and they are going to make adjustments as needed at future conferences

29 Kathryn Lavallee August 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Thanks for sharing this, Robyn! I have attended Canadian blog conferences in the past and BlogHer has kind of been “the dream” for me, but I have heard some similar sentiments from Canadian bloggers that attended. (I never knew there was such a thing as Swag Whores! LOL) I have to say, your post took me from being disappointed I didn’t go to feeling okay I missed it and, more importantly, better prepared to attend next year and make sure I get real value out of it. Thanks again!

30 Anne Parris August 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Good post, Robyn. This was my first BlogHer, so I feel like I was just getting my feet.
I very likely will go next year. Pathfinder Day was excellent. I was extremely disappointed that I got shut out of almost every session and had to sit on the floor when I did get it. Thank goodness for the Live Blogging!

31 Hanan August 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm

What a very thoughtful post! I agree with almost all of it, which has leered me to not going next year. Instead in going to Type A, and maybe another smaller one.

32 Sarah Pinnix August 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Great post Robyn. Any brand wanting to sponsor a conference should read this.

33 Kerri Jablonski August 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I’m actually pretty sad about BlogHer 12 this year. I love getting away for a weekend to see my bloggy buddies, connect with brands and grow my business. This year was a real disappointment and had it been my first year, I would not be going back. As it is, I have little faith that BlogHer 13 will be improved enough. And that’s sad, because the mission and vision behind BlogHer is not what I saw last week.

One of the things I LOVED about San Diego was walking by all that amazing lobby seating that was EVERYWHERE and catching up with friends. It was wonderful.

On the food note – I saw a lot of mislabeled food – which could be deadly for someone with food allergies. This happened at private parties as well, not just with food but alcoholic drinks being served and guests weren’t told they were alcoholic. Serious fail.

I’m glad that I get to connect with you online Robyn – and I really agree with this post!


34 Kia S. August 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm

yes i was at a private party where they did not say the drinks had alcohol in them you knew by tasting them. And the person who handed it to me said they had no idea what was in it just what it was called.

35 Caroline/SmartyPantsMama August 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Fantastic recap Robyn! I attended in 2010 and then this year. I was very disappointed. The expo hall set up was the pits. The food was even worse. I never got a bag because I was too darn tired to figure out where I needed to go to get one. No plans on going in 2013.

36 RoundRockGal August 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Robyn, I know you aren’t trying to unsell Blogher 2013, but you might have just convinced me to attend Blogher Food 2013 in Austin, and skip the one in Chicago. I hear it is smaller and more intimate. I am not a food blogger but I feel I could probably get a lot out of it anyway. I’m one of those people who just doesn’t like LOUD music, so attending one of those parties would probably not be my cup of tea. I will have to think long and hard about this. Do you think Blogher would ever get to a point where they would limit the attendees, or is it as another poster said, a business who wants to rack up the the numbers? Also – as a person who attends a lot of conferences, do you think you would consider writing up a brief recap of all the ones you attended this year? I’d love to read it.

37 tannawings August 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Non blogger here….. but I follow a ton of you! It seems as you said up there that the ‘veterans ‘ enjoyed the conference much less than the new folks going. It’s too bad you all didn’t have more classes or connections, I mean thats why someone would go to something like this. I would think too the sponsors would also want you to make it more a business/connection type thing and less of a weekend of disappointments.. My only suggestion to the ones going is also to take devices away when overindulging – friends dont let friends tweet drunk :P

38 Kathy K August 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Robyn I so appreciate your honesty! I was at home and followed the tag on twitter and from Day 1 I hear nothing but bad rumblings. Honestly, those rumblings made me feel better that I was home and not missing out on too much. There are a handful of bloggers I’d like to put a face to a name (You, Jean, Rachel, Audrey, Amy, are among them) that’s what made me sad was missing the chance to meet all of you! I did hear it was a lot of new folk that acted with wrong or bad behavior. I also heard the call from a ton of freebie sites alerting people to “Free Swag” and that is why everyone and their brother who isn’t a blogger, but a swag whore was there. Maybe an idea in the future is to verify you have an active blog before being allowed to purchase tickets? I could have pitched companies to go, but honestly I’m glad I didn’t. I’m the type that one bad incident and someone aggravating me I’m in the car and on my way home. I’d like to connect more with companies, products, and brands – I kind of feel that’s why I follow certain bloggers heals. How do you get invited to the parties? Was it if you’ve worked with those brands? I did see a ton of twitter parties giving away party passes… I really would like to go to Chicago next year, but I’m also “maybe”ing it all after hearing all the negative about this year’s

39 alas3lads August 10, 2012 at 3:53 am

I’m glad to hear your perspective on BlogHer. I’ve never been and have always wanted to go, but to be honest, it all seems very overwhelming to me. I probably would not go unless I had a seasoned veteran blogger to tag along with who knows all the ins and outs. It sounds like some of the brands could really take some tips from your suggestions. Thanks for sharing!

40 Tiffany Winner August 10, 2012 at 8:21 am

I would think that they would have planned better for the amount of people there

41 Doodle741 August 10, 2012 at 10:59 am

This was a lot of information – I will probably read it more than once!
1. I haven’t been to Blog Her, but I would love to go at least once. $300 tickets (+ expenses) put me off a bit.
2. Congrats on your Samsung win! I can’t wait to hear about it!
3. Who/what is Zeo?
4. I love (and agree with) your take on private events!

Thanks so much for sharing your perspective! I appreciate it!!

42 Jean Parks August 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm

The Kikkoman people were kind of abrupt with me, but then, I’m the village idiot & think that “ice cream” & “Soy” are two words that don’t belong together in the same sentence anyway :) I loved the Ladies who Tech brunch, the Clevergirls always throw a nice event, I also loved Getting Gorgeous as I had a nice chance to connect with CVS and it was so close to the Hilton. Btw, your post about taking a taxi over there cracked me up. Another great party was the Bloomers event held by boombox network, it was far from the Hilton but totally worth the trip, they had actual comfortable sofas to sit on, the sponsors were good brands & the reps were delightful.

43 Andrea B August 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Robyn, I think that this was a wonderfully written post. I have a lot to say myself but my first post that I seriously just published was about two peeps I got to meet for the first time. :) I appreciate your candor, and I am truly sad I didn’t get to see you in NYC this month. Major boo on that but I hope we will connect in ATL for TypeA and I’ll try to make dinner plans. Miss you already!

44 Ravzie August 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I really appreciate your candor. Not everyone is bold enough to call a spade a spade. I’m not a blogger, but I would like to go to get all the stuff – being candid also!!! I hope you did have a good time in spite of the problems.

45 CandaceApril August 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

I had a great time at Lands End …maybe because I’m a NYer the laack of A/C didn’t phase me. I appreciated how interactive it was…although they did pack too much in. I agree it is weird that brands are there without a blogger strategy. Why spend so much without any goal? Same goes for the private events that seemed to have no measurable goals.

At least the Canon guy said they were there to figure things out. He did look exhausted! I, too, told him they should host a photography class. I also told him I was on FB and Twitter deciding between Canon and Nikon and went with a Nikon…a social media presence might have educated me and led me to a Canon. As a craft and activity Blogger, I would love tips!

46 Robyn's Online World August 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

Several folks did like the content of Land’s End event once they got past the a/c issue. You NYers are tough cookies J

I am hoping to see Canon get some direction from bloggers and get a plan into place that helps them establish themselves within the community of those who already own their products or are seriously thinking of it – not just the “gimme” folks out there. There is such huge potential for them to step up their social media game.

47 KittyBradshaw August 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I had more positive moments than bad ones. I think the most extreme thing that happened was when I went to have lunch and had to sit on the floor and their was no water available- only coffee or tea. I was told that the Hilton ran out of water.

I stated on Twitter that although I love BlogHer, the conference should not return to New York. I live here in New York, and it is already extremely crowded on a light day. Adding 5,000 Bloggers to the mix made the situation worse. Elisa said on the BlogHer site that next year’s conference will be more like last year in San Diego, in which it will be held in a convention center. I am confident that Team BlogHer is istening to all of our comments, and making the necessary changes for future conferences. Robyn, I hope that you reconsider and come to BlogHer13… it won’t be the same without you.

48 Julia August 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I agree with you on the Canon booth. They were worn out, didn’t ness. know the cameras and didn’t really seem interested in talking to me when I passes by. I think a session would be a much better way to go or a suite like Starbucks did.

49 tamaraben August 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

WOW what a great post it brought to light what really happens at a BlogHer event! I agree if I was a blogger I would love to attend so I can learn not so much the partying aspect. So happy you wrote this!

50 Robyn's Online World August 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Now granted that was my take on things, everyone walks away with something different.

I’m always happy to share my thoughts on blogging events though.

51 The Rose Run August 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Robyn, Thank you. I’m currently writing my recap of Blogher12 (My second conference) and I must say that I have many of the same opinions as you do here. I had more fun in NYC with my travel partner and in depth conversation about being a mom, being married and staying creative!

52 Robyn's Online World August 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Please make sure you let me know when your post is live – I would love to read it!

53 The Rose Run August 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Will do!

54 Angela England August 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Great recap. It’s interesting to me that there were sponsors there that stated they didn’t want to work with bloggers…. I’ve never been to BlogHer because the huge size makes it seem too impersonal to me.

55 Shannon Whitfield September 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Great post! I’m a non-blogger (and to be honest this is the first site I’ve actually been reading on a daily basis as far as blogs go, I’m just becoming interested in it and the culture surrounding all this..) and a conference such as BlogHer sounds so overwhelming. I can see how something like this would have just exploded in growth over the last couple years. Some of the events sound interesting, though.. and soy sauce ice cream.. I’d give it a try!

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