This is the third year in a row that I am involved in the planning of a private party during BlogHer.
The first year it was all fun and games with BarHer, a fabulously relaxed event where the point was to get drunk and nothing was free to attendees.
I joined forces with Melissa from Rock and Drool and Lauren from Lauren Blogs.. Sometimes when we were communally bitching on Twitter about how we had nothing to do on a Saturday night during Blogher 2010 because we weren’t “cool” enough to get invited to any of the private parties. It was at that moment we decided to take matters into our own hands and BarHer was born.
Last year I took it up a SINGLES notch with the The Kiss Our Sass Party. While it turned out to be an AMAZEBALLS night and I’d like to think I pulled off one of the most epic parties in BlogHer history, I quickly realized how much bullshit is involved when planning a real deal, sponsored, private event during BlogHer. It’s stressful, time consuming and there is also a whole lot of bullshit you have to deal, including bullshit from bloggers who either lash out at you when they don’t get an invite or attempt to lie to you to get one.
Sometimes you spend weeks negotiating with sponsors, invest your time in them developing plans on how you’ll showcase them and write them a detailed contract, only to have them steal your ideas and throw their own BlogHer party.
The Kiss Our Sass Party was four months in the making and I poured my heart and soul into it. Kiss Our Sass wasn’t about making money; it was about treating my fellow single mom bloggers to a night they so deserved and would not soon forget.
It was only Single Mom Survives and I planning and organizing that private event from across the country (which is no easy task, let me assure you) for over 100 bloggers. We begged for sponsors to cover all of our costs, we negotiated pricing for drinks and space and whored ourselves out to fill our ginormous gift bags with swag for women who deserved it.
By the end we were completely exhausted.
Truth be told all the bullshit that went on during the planning of that event ended a friendship.
I really don’t think most people get how much goes on behind the scenes when planning these private BlogHer parties. I wish some of these bloggers understood how hard the organizers work to treat them to these experiences. Maybe then they wouldn’t be so bitchtastic before, during or after.
I had no intentions of throwing another party this year. I planned to bow out gracefully and just enjoy BlogHer and let everyone else stress themselves out with the epic party planning while I sat on my ass enjoying their cocktails as an attendee.
But then fate stepped in a few months ago with a new job for me, and as it turns out my amazing boss was already at the beginning stages of planning a BlogHer party with two bloggers so once again I found myself helping with the event planning process. I figured because I was not hosting myself and in no way in the spotlight that things would be less stressful but it turns out they’re not.
Don’t get me wrong, I live for this; but as I’ve been juggling the fun, hard work and bullshit that has gone into the party planning process I’ve witnessed bloggers acting a fool on the internet as they’ve lashed out at event organizers when they didn’t get a ticket to a private BlogHer party. I’ve also seen them shamelessly begging for invites which truly makes me sad that anyone would feel the need to do so.
The truth is private event organizers would LOVE to let everyone into their party during BlogHer and be done with it. Trust me, it would make our lives a lot easier and would cut down on all the bullshit, but when you’re working with sponsors who are investing thousands of dollars (Yes even a two hour event usually costs upwards of $5,000) they want those costs justified and want assurance that the bloggers in attendance fit a certain criteria and are worth them spending their money on.
Every sponsor is different and targets a different demographic and event organizers need to be sure that the bloggers they’re inviting have an audience online that fits that demographic.
In most cases this is not high school and it is not about which bloggers organizers like best. It’s a case of them working for a client to throw this party for you and needing to meet their client’s needs.
If you don’t get invited to any private events during BlogHer, don’t sweat it; and certainly don’t get your crazy on and lash out at event organizers. These women(and men) have had enough bullshit to deal with and they don’t need yours.
Besides, there are a bunch of official BlogHer parties to attend that are open to everyone, which is really pretty awesome when you think about it. If I’m being honest, most of my favorite moments from BlogHer 2011 happened at official BlogHer parties, or at the parties my roommates/wingbitches and I made ourselves with massive amounts of booze and misplaced bras in our hotel room.
If you’re coming to BlogHer this year, leave your crazy at home and just get crazy!