Rohit points out that it’s more than moms and that’s always been the case. I often tell the story about the final general session in ’06 when a women stood up and literally declared, “I’m not a mommy blogger, so quit calling me one, who is with me?” and half the hands in the room went up. Perhaps then all those brands courting mommy-bloggers realized they may have been alienating half the audience.
Granted, moms are a big part of the conference, but one of the big discussion points in one of the sessions is that there are varying definitions for mom: married, single, working, stay-at-home, etc. But even within those broad segments there are further subdivisions. The end result? You can’t generalize or assume, you need to learn who they are, almost on an individual basis.
There is not one specific thing that unites all of them. You could say, they’re all women, but some men do attend……and I mean those that aren’t working in a PR/marketing/sponsor capacity. BlogHer has always been one of my favorite events because it focuses more on the users, not the tools. And the users have hundreds of different reasons they do what they do. If you don’t want to spend the time learning who they are, why should the spend the time on you and your product?
Jeremiah wonders about the brands trying to reach out and perhaps over-saturate the marketplace. There has been an interesting shift here. In ’07, in Chicago the Momosphere session was rather hotly contested with discussions of bad PR pitches and the attempt of PR and marketing to ‘influence’ the mommy-bloggers. Was it ok, were you selling out were the questions asked.
This year, walking out of the Commercializing the Momosphere session I almost felt things had flipped. The moms know brands want/need them, and they’re using it to their advantage. One panelist discussed receiving a pitch from T-Mobile, and then responding, ‘sure, what will you pay me?’. Yet another panelist discussed how she doesn’t wait for pitches, she directly contacts companies asking for product. Then you have all the disclosure issue, which wasn’t talked about that much.
Another aspect of the over-saturation was all the side events. It seemed like every sponsor has something going on, then a whole other set of brands not represented at the show also had a party, or suite or some other event. You could literally have gone to BlogHer and spent all your time with things other than the sessions.
Then the schwag, all two tons of it. At least Zwaggle was on hand with a schwag recycling program. Next year I think I’d advise a client to do one of two things:
1. Give away free rolling suitcases for attendees to pack and take home all the items they receive
2. Provide free boxes and shipping for them to FedEx all the schwag home.
I’ll have more thoughts soon, plus some things I took away from the sessions.