By Nancy Johnson Horn, Owner/Editor
It’s been an exhausting and exhilarating past fews days! This week I started a new job (which is part-time until September — more about that in another post), so on Thursday, I worked the full day and then went over to Blogger Bash’s Sweet Suite at 6pm.
Now, this is a little different than past years. Sweet Suite was an independent event. This year, it was under the umbrella of Blogger Bash, which I did pay to attend. KidzVuz also had a Back to School event (disclosure: I worked for them for 6 months in 2012), under the Blogger Bash umbrella.But this post is why I am so glad I gave Blogger Bash a chance (My Little Pony and Skylanders pictures are coming). The reason why I said yes? Joey Fortman. Like several others, I had been on the fence. Why would I pay to attend events that had been free before? As I read a facebook discussion thread on why it was worth it, I decided take a chance and spend the money. I know event places in NYC are NOT cheap, plus even adding food to the space rental was going to be expensive.
Blogger Bash had so many different events going on in such a short period of time, I was exhausted just from attending. But I was impressed. The staff never stopped smiling. I got to spend time with Pam from Joovy and Kate from Britax/BOB. I met them as brands and they became friends. I was in the room during panel discussions and Anne Geddes! But the real value, excluding the swag (which there was tons) and building relationships with brands (which I really value) was this: Each other.
Blogger Bash honestly reminded me why I am in the blogging community. The people I met between Thursday night and Friday night — and spending time with old friends that I don’t get to spend enough time with. I’ve been in this space for a while. I started working for the Celebrity Blog in Feb of 2007 (under then- owner Danielle Friedland) and in June of 2007, started writing pregnancy reviews for Whitney at Mommies With Style. While I attended two or three events back then, it wasn’t until 2009, at a HIT Entertainment event that I met Kimberly Coleman, Cecily Kellogg, Carol Cain, and a few other bloggers. Then I met Monica Storch, Issa Mass, Lisa Perez, and even more bloggers. I met Ciaran Blumenfeld online, when we both worked for Celebrity Baby Blog and our paths have crossed many times. I also met Nadia Carriere online before I met her in person.
I met even more women (and men) in the blogging community and attended my first BlogHer in NYC in 2010 (when I was 9 months pregnant with my third child). I giggled with Victoria Pericon on the expo floor, had Suzanne Chan and Kristen Ryan following me around to make sure I didn’t go into labor, and had my last hurrah before I gave birth. Somehow I met Esti Berkowitz (who became a good friend) and in the next year, I met Divina Rodriguez, who also became a good friend.
This need to connect used to be filled by BlogHer, when it was in New York City. I went to Chicago last year and really enjoyed myself, but everyone wasn’t there. I met some cool people, but Blogher in San Jose (next week) wasn’t going to work out. But I got it at Blogger Bash. I had authentic conversations with women I respect and admire. And I met some new women that I instantly clicked with. I live a lot of my life online, but in-person connections are invaluable.
Now, I did take a lot of pictures and tweet up a storm, but during these conversations, I didn’t snap selfies, I didn’t tweet about being with that friend. I put my phone down and had a real conversation. Well – here’s one good pic that I took during the Element Associates Event.
So, thank you Laurie Schacht , Joey Fortman, Charlene DeLoach, Stephanie Glover and everyone else who worked on Blogger Bash. Your job wasn’t easy and I am sure people are not going to appreciate all of your hard work. But I do.
I know how hard it is to plan events, but you had so many in a shorter period of time and still pulled it off well. You gave me so much than the price of my ticket, you gave me the priceless time with current and new friends.