Just one day before the start of Sweet Suite and Blogger Bash, someone told me that these two events were going to fail. That I was set up for failure because I had no conference experience, and I was way over my head.
Trust me, this was not the first time I felt that doubt from other people in the months leading up to the fifth Sweet Suite (and my 2nd co-hosting it) and the first ever Blogger Bash; one that we aimed to be not your traditional conference.
I knew that there were going to be mistakes, but I also knew it was going to be how we handled them. I knew that things were not going to go smoothly. How could they when Blogger Bash is all about separate events with their own party hosts, under the umbrella of one event? It wasn’t my job to run each individual party, but to make sure that each individual party had what they needed to run. Of course it wasn’t going to be easy!
We knew there would be issues about waiting, sitting and furniture swaps. It was thoughts that I spent months worrying over, but, in the end, decided that the space, and how we transitioned the spaces, were going to be raw and real. We wanted people to see how much work it takes to put on an event – especially one with 11 parties and 100 companies in less than two days.
What blogging ‘conference’ have you been to that has over 100 brands that you can see in less than 36 hours? We wanted to be different in having so many opportunities in such a short time for people to play, to party, and to pitch. It was not going to be slick and pretty, but spectacular and professional.
We had low cost tickets, and free tickets, for a blogger conference that aimed to give back more than the price of the ticket. It was not easy putting on an event of this scale on such a tight budget. It was not easy to convince brands to participate, physically and monetarily, in a concept that had no point of reference. But we attempted to make it work on a shoestring.
Behind the Scenes
It is not easy being the person behind the scenes. I knew there were amazing bloggers outside the doors to my ‘headquarters” in Studio 2 at Location 05. I knew there were great brands talking about great products steps away from the mountains of boxes and furniture we were processing to turn over 9 events in just 12 hours on Friday alone, and over 65 sponsors in 5 hours just the day before.
I couldn’t mingle and say hi. I couldn’t sit and talk. But that is not what I was supposed to do. It was my job to make the entire Blogger Bash and Sweet Suite experience happen for over 400 bloggers, 100 traditional press and 100 brands…..in less than 36 hours.
And it happened.
But it meant that I didn’t get to be behind a mic. It meant that I did not get to chat with you on a couch. It meant that I didn’t get to mingle with you at a party. It meant that many of you probably didn’t recognize me when I ran by you, or perhaps even know my name or knew I existed.
There were a team of us. The visionary (Laurie). One who managed the checkin and Facebook page (Stephanie). Another that managed getting bloggers and brands to come (Joey). More that managed the giveaways and fabulous websites (Ali and Marissa), so you could see what was in store for the event. And even more that executed the flow, the materials and the installation (Tina).
I did the rest. The unsponsored food, the furniture, the layouts, the process, the schedule. The decor, the design, the dictating, and the delivery. The coordination, the costs, the communications, and the contracts. But it all worked because we were a team that complimented each other. It was a complete honor to work with all of these women.
I may not have event experience, but I am a professional woman who works hard. Who believes in mompreneurs and blogging as a profession. Who believes in trying something different and challenging oneself. Who believes in expanding horizons and testing the limits of what one can do.
I may not have event experience, but I have the skill set to make an experience. And that is what I did.
Was it successful? Did it fail?
That is not something I can answer. It’s only for those that went.
Will I be the co-host of Blogger Bash 2015? I don’t know yet. Ask me when my whole body stops aching, when I am able to catch up on my own, personal business clients, when I can hug my kids and spend a day with them without having a meeting or checking my email, when I can clean out my inbox, get more than 4 hours of sleep, and can follow back all of the amazing people that went for this crazy Blogger Bash ride with me.
Even though you may never have saw my face, and that we didn’t get to meet in person in these packed two days in New York City,…..I believed in you, and what you can do in the blogging space. For those individuals that personally believed in me, and Blogger Bash?
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