BlogHer: Parties

Note: If you’re not interested in the upcoming BlogHer conference, please skip today’s post and come back tomorrow.  Sorry.

There is angst in the blogosphere surrounding the matter of private parties at BlogHer 2010.  It’s not like me to write about blogger drama — but the pleading in the #blogher10 and #blogher tweetstreams is making me wonder if perhaps it’s time to stand up and speak my piece about this.

I’m not suggesting that anyone do anything drastic, but here’s how I planned my BlogHer trip last week.

1. Made a schedule.  I took a look at all the sessions, the rooms of your own (ROYO), the birds of a feather meetups (there’s one for health bloggers! for moms of kids with special needs! for so many other things!) and the evening events and highlighted where I really wanted to be at any given moment. 

2. I looked at the events I RSVP’d for in early April.  Carefully.  Was I overcommitted?  Was I really going to attend two or more events in the same evening time slot?  Would I really still be awake for CheeseburgHer at 10 p.m. Saturday night?  Was I really going to be up for dancing Friday night after speaking at our Room of Your Own (ROYO), reading my post in front of thousands (eek!) at the Community Keynote, and raising a glass with friends at the BlogHer Voices of the Year Gala and Art Auction?  Was I really ok with missing a session Saturday morning for a sponsored event?

3. I cancelled my RSVPs.  Not all of them.  But some of them.  I decided that for me, it didn’t feel right to attend so many parties when so many new bloggers found out about the parties when they registered for the conference — after the parties were full — and were relegated to the waitlist.  I did keep my RSVP to the People’s Party, fwiw, because I adore the organizers and the sentiment, and I’ve had a good time there the last two years.

4. I kept my schedule close by.  When I was invited to private events that conflicted with my priorities, I said NO.  No thank you, that is, and please invite another blogger instead.

They will.  The parties and events will be packed.  They always are.  We’ll have a good time – and so will you, whether we’re at That Fancy Party, soaking up knowledge and laughing together in the sessions, or just sitting together in the lobby.  We will.   And I’ll try to remember that.  I’ll try to remember exactly why I made these decisions, keeping my head, even if I get swept along with a group here or there, and not be envious of blogger X who got into event Y.   

As I see it, BlogHer isn’t about exclusivity.  It isn’t about who got invited where, or who’s wearing what, or how busy we can make ourselves, seeing everyone and being the life of the party.

BlogHer is about forming and reinforcing a community among women of varied backgrounds, with varied priorities, and with varied lives, and seeing the beauty in community.

BlogHer isn’t about “me.”  It’s about “us.” 

I can’t wait.

20 Responses to BlogHer: Parties

  1. Niksmom says:

    Sounds like you have a good strategy which works for you. This will be my first time at BlogHer; I’m not a big party person so I haven’t really been all that interested. I do have a ticket to the People’s Party and one other but, really, i’ts just because i want to spend more time with the awesome women I will finally get to meet in person!

  2. Amen! My best memories from BlogHers past stem mostly from the relationships that were enriched standing in a hallway or hanging out in the lobby. Swag is just more stuff to carry home. Friends weigh nothing.

  3. Sunday says:

    Oh I so wish I was going! But I have promised myself that I will go to BlogHer 2011 even if it is held in Hawaii.

  4. Thanks for the good levelheaded advice. This is my first BlogHer but I’ve been to many a crazy conference (Sundance & SXSW for many years) & can well remember the most wonderful times were spontaneous adventures with people I met in hallways. I’m sure Blogher will likewise be full of unexpected magic, can’t wait!

  5. You are a wise, wise woman!

    And I’ll be glad to hang out with you no matter what parties you attend or do not attend! I just found out I’m going to BlogHer, so I’ve got exactly ZERO parties lined up!

  6. Christina says:

    I’ve been doing much the same thing with my schedule. I’ve canceled some RSVP’s and mapped out which sessions I want to go to and which sessions I can skip entirely and hang in the lobby.

    And it’s always important to remember not to be too rigid with your schedule, because moments will happen – moments that you don’t want to pass up to have fun, talk to friends, have a great opportunity fall into your lap – and sometimes it’s OK to alter the schedule and go with the flow.

  7. marty says:

    I disobeyed you and read this post anyway. Nyah.

    What I hope people remember is that “private parties” are not exactly parties. It’s like someone inviting you to their house for a Tupperware party. Or a Pampered Chef party. Dude. Not really a party – because you are pitched the whole time. No matter how subtly it’s done.

    While you might have fun, there is still the bit hanging in the atmosphere that you should like their stuff. Or their website. Or their whatever.

    Not my idea of a great party. Nothing is ever free, by the way. Not even SWAG. (Which if you are reading this and don’t know – stands for “Shit We All Get”)(Which is funny since it’s not usually shit we ALL get).

    And none of that is meant to be negative – I’m sure the parties are lovely. I just wonder if people think about them the same way I do some times.

  8. Aw you gave me warm fuzzies!! I concur. And will be assessing my RSVPs tomorrow😉

  9. magpie says:

    can’t wait to see you, and to give you a (tiny gentle) hug.

  10. C. Mom says:

    You are such a wise woman!! Since I have had a ticket for oh what…one day now, I only have one party invite…and I am ok with that. I can’t wait to hang out with you!! xo

  11. ella says:

    Wise words.

    I won’t be there, but I hope to make it one of these years! I hope you have a wonderful time.

  12. Melissa says:

    Another BlogHer newbie this year (with a total of zero party invites and RSVPs) chiming in. You’ve said exactly what I’ve been feeling this week. Thank you.

    Looking forward to the possibility of meeting you there.🙂

  13. Stimey says:

    I agree with this. Sure I’m excited for the parties and events and grateful to be invited. Yes, I’m going to have a wonderful time. But I would rather be making great connections with other bloggers…anywhere…than going to a party just because it was supposed to be fancy. I’m totally there for the people! SO excited!

  14. Krista says:

    If I ever get to BlogHer I will totally do this! (not that I will have to worry about being invited to all the parties, but anyway…) I’m such a schedule person!😉 I hope you have a great time!

  15. jodifur says:

    Great, great post.

  16. Miss Britt says:

    *sigh*

    You are so lovely. Really. I love your intent behind canceling RSVPs.

  17. Colleen says:

    Very well said… and such good points. It’s my very first time at BlogHer (or at any blog conference) and I rsvp for tons of stuff. I’m not feeling so overbooked… and reading this has made me feel like I really need to sit down and rethink my schedule. Thank you!

  18. One more reason I love ya.:)

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