So, we love providing suggestions for creative play. We want to offer resources to enhance your child’s natural curiosity. We look to educate on homework solutions, learning toys and family learning moments. We can’t do all that without embracing our own network and strengthening our business.
Recently I attended the Blogger Bash 2015 conference at Pier 60 in Chelsea Piers of New York City. (And what a venue!!) I felt like royalty walking into this beautifully decorated space… with floral elegance touching every detail. But wait…
A story wouldn’t be a good story without the up and DOWNS. I’m skipping ahead a bit… as my Blogger Bash story actually began with 5 missed trains, a tow truck and an empty tummy. Excited that I was making good time, I jinxed the situation and lost a belt under the hood. Before the tow truck came I had already missed three trains to Penn Station. Boo. By the time I got a rental and parked it, I had missed another two trains but did finally make it in time for the Blue Man Group. #MyDayWasSaved
Here’s me bummed out… although I didn’t know it was going to be another 45 mins before being back on track or perhaps I would have cried again.
Anyway, back to happy. The Blue Man Group was exactly what I needed after arriving to Penn Station and running (yes, actually running – well partially – most of the way and for anyone who knows me… I don’t do marathons. Ever.) to the venue for registration. “Please God, don’t make me miss the bus!” I missed the bus but really no biggie with a quick cab ride and in the end the performance was soooo well worth it. Refreshed and collected, after the show and Q&A, I grabbed a snap shot… look I’m even posing silly. It’s starting to feel like the Big Apple, starting to feel like blogger heaven.
The Blogger Bash team did an incredible job with the agenda… there was something for everyone. Oh and did I mention the decor. Seriously. Memorable.
From the Blue Man Group straight to SweetSuite. What is SweetSuite, you ask? Specially arranged brand expo area specific to toys, games and learning fun. And sweets but honestly I only got a small nibble because I was so excited and focused on visiting the many many brands that are interested in working with bloggers. I couldn’t tear myself away… not even for a free cocktail.
Check out some of my photos below.
Only when things died down, did Karen (AMagicMommy) and I take a break to sit. At this point, it’s been a long long day. The vendor in front of us representing Disney Princess Palace Pets was packing up and kindly offered me a cute, talking plush kitten for my daughter. (And since it isn’t exactly a fit for our educational blog… the least I could do is give her a quick shout out and BIG thanks here. And yes, I was the coolest Mom returning from NYC with Aurora’s pink kitty. #Squeals. And yes, this WILL be on your child’s holiday wish list – not available until Fall 2015)
And then Yotel, the hotel… with a most amazing view.
Day two of Blogger Bash was certainly no disappointment. Again a full agenda with
break-out sessions and an expo. Breakfast sponsored by Disney Infinity provided insight to some super cool coming-soon pieces. Their Disney Infinity 3.0 version will offer characters in Marvel and Star Wars worlds… how exciting!!
I jumped in and out of the Expo… meeting some excellent brands like the philanthropic Art Ware For Good, where I got to decorate materials that was later transferred to tile to create a literacy wall in Rwanda. They sponsored a kit for each blogger to participate – how cool. I got to make a cute cloth dollie and even sneaked away to the Rite Aid Lounge for a super amazing chair massage. Feeling relaxed just thinking about it.
I found my way to Baby Palooza – a showroom lined with brands that focus on baby and motherhood. Anne Geddes joined us for a second year. I was fortunate enough to receive a complimentary copy of her newest book… and this time I’m keeping it, Mom. (LOL) Homeroom At Home doesn’t write much when it comes to babies… but can I just say, there is some really neat technology out there!
Off to another sponsored meal… and let me tell you, this one took me by surprise. I grew up with Snoopy and the gang, the holiday specials, etc. Good times but I wasn’t drooling over the idea of a new movie… until I met the adorable cast and previewed the trailer. Classics are classics for a reason… and usually I say don’t mess with them, don’t compete against them… but in this case, from what I’ve previewed, I think the director did an excellent job of preserving the classical elements of the Peanuts and introducing new features/story. Well done… I can’t wait to see it.
Through out the day I hit a variety of panel sessions. Speed dating with brands (which was super amazing), Creating Branded Video, Brand New You, Social Good and Bloganthropy Awards (where I shed a tear… ok a few – it was touching). And then to end the night with the party of all parties… OMG I kid you not, this carnival was decked out. Sponsored dinner carnival event by Canadian Lentils was just super cool to walk into. Jugglers, dancers, live music, carnival games… which I still suck at, photo booth, adult beverages, carnival food… AND campaign poured by a lady hanging from a chandelier.
It.Was.Amazing. I was so impressed.
So what does any of this have to do directly with you… my parental audience? Working with sponsors and networking among peers is essential in growing our business. And while many of the reviews are not currently sponsored, working with sponsored brands will enable us to get more and/or better information to you. The time spent networking among other bloggers afforded me many ideas AND know-how on things like running better giveaways and issuing holiday guides, newsletters and surveys. I’m equally excited about the these conversations as I was in speaking with the brands.
Blogger Bash 2014 was incredible but unfortunately left me quite overwhelmed on my return. I had lots of contacts but little confidence. One year later, stronger than ever. Equipped with great connections, fabulous friends that double as social media/tech experts, and creative content… we’re ready for the next chapter. I hope you are too.