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It’s Not About the Swag #Blogher

who is going to blogher BlogHer ’12 NYC is just around the corner. Can you believe this will be my first? When BlogHer was in NYC 2 years ago I was kicking myself for not attending. NYC is within driving distance or in my case train ride distance so there is now way I can miss it.

There is so much talk lately about the parties and swag and gifting rooms. I never understood it before this year. I watch my Twitter and Facebook streams go by and it’s filled with upset bloggers wondering why they weren’t included, how they can get on a list, who they should be contacting and most recently if they can get a goody bag even if they aren’t attending. I’ll be honest, I’ve been invited to a few events and parties and I was excited to be included but I’m not upset that I’m not included in others. I’ve seen bloggers get downright pissed they weren’t included for a few parties.  This kind of behavior gives blogging a bad name.
swag bags, fighting over swag, who didn't get invited
I’m going to BlogHer to connect, to network and to mingle with friends that I haven’t even met yet. The session line up looks amazing as well as the Blogher sponsored parties. I’m looking forward to meeting brands and bloggers that I’ve only talked to through email on social networks. I’m looking forward to the experience not the stuff. Don’t get me wrong, getting stuff is great but I’m sure that’s not why these conferences were put together in the first place.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Sk8Geek
I Disclose


  1. I’m going for all the same reasons as you. But I’ll say the same thing here that I said in the FB group – it’s fun to get excited about swag. It falls under the umbrella of a good thrift store find. Sometimes you walk away from thrifting empty-handed and seeing nothing but crap. Other times you find that holy grail of thrifting. I feel the same way about swag. I want to see what everyone has to offer.

    Unfortunately the first-timers to BH may walk away very disappointed if they are going for the swag. A lot of it is coupons, samples or stuff that will end up getting shoved into a closet.

    • i just cleaned out a tote bag that was shoved full of samples and coupons from a conference last year. At first I think, this is awesome, i’ll use it…nope. I’ll take business cards and shake hands all day but won’t do anything with a flyer or sample of leave-in conditioner.

  2. I see the same thing, Melinda. I’m glad I’ve gotten invited to a couple of parties, but honestly, I’m going to connect with the bloggers. I’m not even that concerned about swag. I just can’t wrap my mind around how upset some are getting. I’m almost 100% fine ditching ALL the parties. lol I hope we’ll have a chance to just say “hi”!!

  3. Wow. I have totally missed all the drama about the parties 🙂 I have been invited to a couple of parties and am excited about that but I am not upset about not being invited to all the others. I am looking forward to the experience and meeting other bloggers.

  4. Hope you have a wonderful time on your BlogHer trip! I haven’t ever been but would love to go someday. I live vicariously through other bloggers’ posts. I’m baffled at how seemingly normal people can go so crazy about swag and who got invited to what.

  5. I’m not going this year, and have never been. I’d think it would be more efficient for companies to email coupons to bloggers for their products so there aren’t coupons littering the floor and the coupons get home to be used. I know I hate carrying around all those bags of stuff! Do I like swag? Sure. But I’d rather have a chance to win a great prize than have everyone get a lot of ‘junk’ that will get thrown away. Maybe I’m in the minority… but usually you can take my swag! Too much of it is wasted.

    If you need to carry your purse, a phone to tweet and take photos, something to take notes on, your business cards, enough is enough. Another option would be those UPS boxes. But I’m sure not one to get bent out of shape over party invites etc. Maybe it’s just that I’m a relative newbie as far as conference going goes. But I want to talk to the BRANDS and BLOGGERS. And head to information sessions.

    • I get the excitement of free stuff, everyone likes free. I don’t understand the pity parties and begging for invites. BlogHer has so many parties that I’ve heard are AWESOME.

  6. I’ll come hang out with you any day at BlogHer! Swag is nice, it’s a bonus, and it’s not why I’ve gone to events. I like to support the other bloggers, plus have fun meeting new people and getting face time with the local peeps.

    Honestly, I don’t care that I haven’t been invited to parties. I’m sure I’ll have enough social anxiety dealing with the workshops and the BlogHer stuff.

  7. I’ve been to a ZILLION conferences. And everytime I empty my suitcase I’m ANNOYED by the extra CRAP that I brought home that we just don’t need in our house.

    I sure hope they aren’t paying to go to the conference AND the cost to stay in NYC ONLY for swag!!

    But yeah. I remember last year-it was BAD. I was in awe over all the crap offered.

    And most of it IS CRAP.
    xoxoxox – Joey

    • I’ve heard so many horror stories it scares me. I mean I like free stuff just like the next person but I’m not gonna deal with someone shoving and yelling to get their hands on a free lip balm.

  8. I know it’s not about the swag but I will be totally lying if I said I did t care about what my gift bag will look like. That said, I am overwhelmed by the seemingly endless posts about strategies for party invites, swag rooms and the like. I do plan to meet up with some online friends in real life and hope to be able to connect with them. I’m hoping to have a good time and learn lots of new ideas for my blog

    • i like stuff, i’m human 🙂 the “woe is me” crying and complaining is too much to handle for the uninvited. you bought a ticket, go to blogher and the blogher parties, I bet their a blast!

  9. We are thinking the same thoughts! My post could be considered a companion piece to this! LOL!

  10. Great post, Melinda! What I love about conferences most (other than the great seminars) is getting to know so many bloggers in real life that I either know from online or from reading their blogs. I’ve met such great people and formed friendships that way. To me that is priceless! (That being said, good swag is always a plus, especially if it is new, fresh, and “post-worthy”! But it should not be your focus!).

  11. This will be my first Blogher too and I’m looking forward to the same things you are. I’m so excited that I can actually say, yes, I’ve attended Blogher. 🙂 Oh and I am happy that (hopefully) we’ll see each other again!

  12. I went in 2010 and would love to go this year also. Like you, New York City is relatively close to me. (A 3 hour drive.) Unfortunately, various work and family issues mean that I can’t take the time off. Would have been cool to celebrate my birthday that Friday with a bunch of bloggers, though.

  13. I’m with you. Swag is great it’s fun and it IS excited to get free stuff, but I really want to make new connections and CONNECT with brands, not just be another face to the, It’ s my first time, too, so make sure we fine each other at some point! I’ll have a question for ya!

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