This was my first year attending Blogger Bash NYC. I’m currently living just outside DC so it was just a quick and easy train ride for me to get there. Before the conference, I did everything I normally do to rock a blog conference, and I still feel like I didn’t rock it. Blogger Bash was different from other conferences I’ve been to, and a few weeks after the conference, I’m still trying to figure it out.
As a newcomer and a Blogger Bash first-timer, these are five things to know before your first Blogger Bash.
5 Things to Know about Blogger Bash
#1 – It’s exhausting.
I’ve been to a lot of conferences, including ones where I’ve stayed up all hours of the night with my blogger friends, but I’ve never been more exhausted than I was at the end of the day at Blogger Bash. There is a TON of networking, a lot of standing, and a lot of carrying bags of stuff. It’s both mentally and physically exhausting. I was in bed by 11PM every night and getting eight hours of sleep and still didn’t want to get up in the morning.
Takeaway: Don’t think that just because the schedule’s light that you’re going to have time to do other things. I was thinking I’d head back to my room when things ended at 9PM and get some work done. And I got nothing done. Zero. Zilch. I sat in my bed and passed out.
#2 – Sweet Suite isn’t actually a night of play, it’s another night of networking.
Okay, so this was probably just me not understanding anything going into it all but when I hear a night of play, I think actual playing. Like playing board games, playing video games, playing something. Sweet Suite this year was three huge levels of toy/game sponsors with products they wanted to show you and talk about.
Takeaway: Bring lots of business cards and be picky about the swag you accept. Don’t accept the swag just because they’re giving it out. It gets heavy by the end of the night. Oh and be prepared for a night of networking and talking to brands, not a night of play.
#3 – It’s okay to skip things.
Blogger Bash is full of fantastic events including everything from character meals like this year’s Care Bears Brunch, Kate & Mim’s Breakfast, and Peanuts Lunch to celebrity keynotes like Snooki. You don’t have to do it all. And you probably won’t want to.
Just to give you a little insight into the character meals – basically the brand’s team talks, often they tell you about something new coming up, and sometimes even highlight what’s happened the past year. Oh and you get more swag. Like at the Care Bears Brunch we went home with a bag full of Care Bears goodies including a limited edition sparkling Funshine figurine. And there’s food, tons of food.
Takeaway: Pick and choose what you want to attend then use the rest of the time to either have more time to talk to brands, to rest and get off your feet, or to sort through all of the cards and swag you’ve already received.
#4 – All swag isn’t equal.
I’ve never come home with so much swag in my life and to be honest, I wish I hadn’t. I was a newbie and kind of just accepted whatever people wanted to give me.
There are two things wrong with this. First, it felt like brands at Blogger Bash who handed out swag were actually expecting me to write or post about it. And a lot of the swag I was given, I probably will never write about because it’s not a great fit or my son opened up the box (like the tsums tsums) before I could get even get a picture. At other conferences, it doesn’t feel like there’s that expectation – swag is just swag. At Blogger Bash, swag felt more like provided product than swag.
And second, swag is heavy and a pain to get home. I took a train and had a full-size suitcase that was absolutely loaded down with swag. On day two I was much pickier than on day 1 and next time I attend, I’ll be much pickier from the start.
Takeaway: Be selective about your swag. Pick what you really want and will use and know that the business cards and connections you make are much more important than the swag.
#5 – Blogger Bash is a great investment.
Blogger Bash tickets are super cheap, especially if you use a coupon code like I offered in my tips to rock a blog conference post. Hotels in NYC aren’t cheap, but they aren’t too bad if you book in the main hotel block provided by the conference.
But the number of brands I met, the business cards I received, the swag that they sent me home (in the form of the Sweet Suite box), and the friendships I made during the conference – totally worth the price. And then some.
Takeaway: Go if you get the chance. Meet the brands you’d like to work with and skip the ones that aren’t a good fit. Hang out with some awesome bloggers. Hug Peppa Pig. And enjoy yourself while reveling in the fact that you’re making a huge investment in your blog by being there.
Blogger Bash Goodies Giveaway
Want to get a little taste of what Blogger Bash is all about? Enter below for your chance to win some amazing swag from a couple of the coolest Blogger Bash sponsors – JAKKS Pacific, VTech, and Skylanders!
Three winners will win one prize pack, with the total prizes worth over $275! Giveaway is open until midnight EST on August 10th, 18+ years or older, and US only.
I attended Blogger Bash as an ambassador for Acorn Influence and by doing so received a free ticket to Blogger Bash.