When I joined BlogHer in November of 2011…
…never did I think I would be attending the highlight of the BlogHer.com 2012 social season, the BIG conference in New York City, BlogHer ’12
But, little by little the pieces fit together and there I was, last week and over the weekend, sleeping in the Hilton New York Hotel on 6th Avenue with the best of them. For a blessed five days, Frank Sanatra’s New York, New York was my playground and 5,000 BlogHers were my best friends. I couldn’t have been happier, so I am counting the days until I can register for BlogHer ’13.
Main Entrance Rotunda of the Hilton New York.
In my professional lives, I have been to many such gatherings throughout the years. For big and little conferences, conventions and national meetings, I have traveled the country. Delighting in posh circles, I have selected watercress sandwiches off silver trays decorated with live waterlilies at a National Gallery of Art reception where black tie waiters set the exclusive tone in Washington, D.C.
But, never, ever, EVAR have I attended a gathering on the grand scale of BlogHer ’12. For that reason, as I notice some negative blogs are being posted about inconsequential details, I would like to to hold up my index finger, wave it back and forth and say, “HUH Uh! Don’t you say that about MY BlogHer.”
The Gate to BlogHer ’12, New York City
Was everything perfect? NO! Was it a beyond incredible experience? YES! Would I do it over? Without a doubt. Will I go next year? Just try and stop me. Would I encourage friends to go? I will threaten them until they agree. So, yes! Count me in, but because others feel so inclined, let’s just chat a few minutes about planning BIG events.
Have you ever planned a dinner party, just one meal, for thirty guests? Pretty big headache, huh? Picture planning the guest list, finding a space, coordinating the food and beverage menu, securing entertainment and then, charting the seating arrangements. Lots to do, wouldn’t you say? And, lots of ‘To Do Lists” to pull that off with gusto.
Now, let’s gear that migraine way up by adding five days worth of activities for 5,000 more guests and, just for an added challenge, let’s put on a blind fold and guess how many people will want to attend, NOT NOW, but in two to three years?!?!
Delicious, healthy food for all disciplines and dictates.
Yes, it’s true! Many large conference events have to be planned two to three years ahead of time. And remember, in planning this event, you’ll have to negotiate the prices according to anticipated attendance and pay a sizable deposit based on how many people will day trip the event compared to the number sleeping over, paying for rooms. Did you know that fees for use of meeting rooms, conference rooms, ball rooms and lounges are all coordinated with attendance numbers and the number of sleepover guests?
But, wait! There’s more! Let’s say you are planning a multimedia event that not only encompasses a two floor Industry Trade Show, but also on-site educational classes, discussion panels, lectures, hands on demos and Whoops!, how about six parties back to back? Should we throw in a top-of-the-line fashion show with drinks, finger food and runway complete with audio and lighting? Need we mention the make-over and training of inexperienced runway models? Sure!
Glitter and Light Sticks at the Sparklecorn Party,
one of six BlogHer ’12 parties.
Why not!?! Why, that’s nothing compared to enticing five big name celebrities AND PRESIDENT OBAMA to drop by and share their lives as if we’re all drinking buddies. And how about the food? BlogHer ’12 seemed to have the most expensive food, drink and break set-ups possible. The quality of the buffets, the vast quantities and the sensitivity to culture and diet dictates were obvious, noteworthy and appreciated.
And how about reaching out to all attendees with love and affection coupled with a sincere desire to promote everyone’s careers and financial welfare? Are you starting to get the picture of what the BlogHer administrative staff accomplished last week? I mean seriously, is the glass half empty or half full?
Well, to me the glass is full to the brim. Was I irritated as a Newbie that I didn’t get to sit down for my one-time Newbie Breakfast to hear Deb Rox’s welcome? Yes, but I’m over it. Was it irritating to sit at the very back of the Grand Ball Room unable to hear Martha Stewart and stare at a black marble pillar where her face should be? Yes, but Scarlett, forget the orange shoes; tomorrow’s another day!
Do I feel that I attended a fantastic gathering of women whose love and energy was enveloping and high minded? Yes, I do. I believe all members of the BlogHer ’12 staff gave of themselves physically, emotionally and intellectually above and beyond their job description, in order to further everyone’s conference experience.
Bottom line? It was a tremendous undertaking and it was well worth minor irritations and inconveniences. These shortcomings will be forgotten as the returning rewards of education, networking and sustaining friendships carry us into more secure futures as a result of attending BlogHer ’12. So while we critique to make things better for next year, let’s say, “Huzzah!” for this year, never forgetting the work that went into it.
Here’s to you Lisa, Elisa and Jory! Kudos for a job well done!