It's taken me a few days - a month to be exact - to finally go through all the background material, samples and coupons that I received at BlogHer 11.
For someone that has gone to plenty of conferences, workshops and mixers, this was probably one of the largest, if not the largest gone to-date.
The absolute beauty of it was the amount of women joined together with one commonality: blogging.
Unfortunately, that was also the reason that it was probably one of the hardest events to go to - because of one singular commonality.
Let me explain as to why:
Although we were all happy to be part of the larger blogger movement, so were the brands that were giddy in their seats to present their latest toy, gadget or paper product to all the "moms" in the room.
You heard right (err - read right), the "moms" in the room.
But what about us - ehh - the non-moms, the single ladies, the step moms, the childless or child free?
Well, very little was done to grab our attention - and once they had it - very little was done to keep it. Most brands and booths focused heavily on the "stay-at-home" married woman with one, two or more children that had a budget to manage, cooking to take care of, and clean - ohh, the cleaning!
I was not only met with wide eyed surprise when I told a fellow conference goer that not only was I recently married (I am now 40), but didn't have kids - and didn't know if I wanted children of my own after having two adult step daughters.
I didn't know why this sounded so odd - well, at least in Los Angeles, this is pretty common. But this blogger had not only been married for more than 10 years (she was -maybe 35), but also had seven children. You read right - SEVEN children. And wait for this, not one was a twin. They were all single births!!
I couldn't help but stare - really? Seven kids!!
But any who, going back to the conference...
Yes, I did meet plenty of bloggers that were moms - but I met more so that were single, or married without children. And it was disappointing to me - as it was to them - that brands, booths and vendors didn't seem to care about us.
Last time I checked, I also cleaned my home, cooked dinner and definitely managed to buy a gift, or two for my nieces and nephews. From what I could tell, I probably had more of a (disposable) budget that many women that were there. But why didn't anyone - not a single brand - cater to us?!
It seems odd, at best, that brands couldn't figure out that I tend to be the one that buys the $100 Nordstrom's dress for my one-year old niece, or buy two, maybe three toys valued at more than $50 each for a kid's birthday party.
I hate to tell you this, but it isn't just the mom's that buy these family-friendly toys, kid's crafts, cook and clean!
And although I can list the brands that made me roll my eyes while I stood in disbelief with both dollars in my wallet, and credit cards at home, ready to buy - and not ask for free samples - I rather highlight the top five brands that didn't make me feel any less womanly or that my dollars are less important, because I am not a mom:
Philosophy: I loved your products even before I ventured to your booth. But I love you more for inviting me to your very fun photo section and inviting me to share my opinion with your PR reps. Which, by the way - were friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming!
Hershey's Chocolates: I loved your suite - LOVED the concept, and loved that I figured out, and made my own smore's in front of your make-shift living room!
Best Buy: Who knew that electronic stores had a heart? LOVED that very REAL employees shared your corporate empowerment program and got to know me...not the blogger, but me. And, when I returned the day after, they remembered me and my name. How's that for a fabulous first impression?!
Hallmark: On my way back from chocolate bliss, I stopped by what I though was a wall display of cards. What I found, instead, was a welcoming suite with a wide array of Hallmark cards - that get this - I could send to my blogger friends while at BlogHer AND mail to anyone in the U.S. This started a chain reaction of sentimental and thought provoking cards sent on behalf of my BlogHer roomie and other women I admire. As well as a very happy and smitten hubby receiving his card a few days after BlogHer. Bravo Hallmark - you got my attention and my business!
Boiron: I believe in and purchase natural remedies when possible. And when I do, Boiron is my brand of choice. But my love of this brand is much stronger after engaging in a conversation with the brand reps that had so much knowledge and helpful advice. I'm also smitten after winning a gift package that introduced me to a wider range of the product line.
And to everyone else not mentioned - don't forget that women, whether or not we have children, may purchase your product. Don't dismiss us, the non moms, because we don't have a five year old at home - because you never know how many nieces and nephews we have, or how much more we have in our pocket to spend.