I had the pleasure of attending my first Blogger Bash last week! And although it took a bit of schedule rearranging, scrambling for babysitters and train and cab-hopping — it was definitely an event not to be missed.
While I’m certainly not a newbie to the whole conference thing, this was my first real networking with the big brands experience.
Throughout the two-day conference, there were various opportunities to meet with brands, play with the hottest toys coming to shelves and connect with fellow bloggers. There was plenty of food, giveaways and swag to go around. The organizers did such a lovely job!
I didn’t get to check out every single event due to some of the time conflicts and traffic jams, but from what I did experience, I found these to be some of my favorite moments and also top reasons for bloggers to consider Blogger Bash in the future:
Sweet Suite: Meeting the brands
I was bummed to have missed the opening Care Bear brunch, but I was thrilled this busy momma was able to make it for what was coined, “the biggest night of play” otherwise known as, Sweet Suite.
Sweet Suite was hosted by the Toy Insider, a website dedicated to reviewing toys year round, providing kids, parents, and other gift-givers with all of the information they need to choose the right toys.
Sweet Suite offered the perfect opportunity to get a sneak peek into the hottest toys big brands are unraveling for the holiday season.
We got a chance to test them out and really feel like a kid again…as you can see!
But most importantly, as a blogger and work-at-home mom, Sweet Suite made it possible to meet the brands or agencies showcasing the products face-to-face and learn about how they are working with bloggers.
I was beyond excited to connect with some of my favorite brands to collaborate with in the future!
BabyPalooza: Niche-specific events
As a parenting blogger, with a large focus on expectant moms and moms of little ones, I found the Babypalooza portion to be a must-see! Not only because the renowned photographer and philanthropist Anne Geddes was speaking ;), but also because it was another chance to meet with brands that have a strong relevancy to my blog niche.
There were familiar brands like, Earth’s Best, Fisher-Price & The First Years…and then there were new baby brands that I got to learn more about (baby buddy, bambinos & boon).
It was sorta like a mini Sweet Suite so I found it very beneficial for networking with the brands.
It’s always a bit intimidating to attend conferences or blogging events solo. It’s tough when others are traveling in groups and already have a tribe to connect with on arrival. Plus, you never know how bloggers are in real-life. Some can even put on a facade when dealing with big brands or those they deem important and then act completely different in front of others. It can be a nasty, competitive field.
But luckily there weren’t too many of those, which is always a breathe of fresh air.
You never know who you’re going to connect with (besides the brands) until you approach people. Smile, extend a hand, strike up a convo and connect. Because isn’t that what everyone is there for anyway?
I didn’t meet tons of new bloggers, but I always say quality over quantity. I was thrilled to meet a few friendly ladies, like Gan from Day to Day MOMents. She was very genuine and easy to connect with – we hit it off instantly during breakfast. Plus it didn’t hurt that she brought her adorable baby that practically stole the show with his hair :).
We had a blast at the closing Lentils Carnival!
So if you are considering attending a conference like Blogger Bash, to build quality relationships with brands and bloggers, what’s stopping you? The conference price will pay for itself in the connections you make.