As you all know, I was in NYC last week, attending BlogHer12 – a HUGE conference/expo for bloggers. I was there for 5 crazy days and can honestly say, i’m glad to be home. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED networking with my fellow bloggers (as well as PR reps), but NYC was too much for this girl to handle. Let’s just say that my feet/ankles are STILL swollen and I am COVERED in bruises (huge ones) lol
All of the bloggers and PR reps were extremely friendly. I made connections that I feel will last a lifetime. We shared information, laughter and even a cocktail or two.
Inside the expo hall (which was 2 levels btw), were brands like Samsung, Wholly Guacamole, Chuck E. Cheese, Dole, Pfizer, and hundreds of others. I was able to get a real hands on look at what their companies had to offer to the public, as well as to a blogger such as myself. I left BlogHer with a TON of business cards for various reps. I sure have my work cut out for me as I will be emailing every single one of them.
Several brands had their own private parties (Iconix, Hasbro, CVS, The Big Toy Book, etc), where we (the bloggers) could try out new products that aren’t even on the market yet. That was extremely exciting. You guys are in for a world of awesome, come Fall. Toys, electronics, food, you name it. There’s so much in store for the public!
Some of the highlights for me were:
- Meeting Badgley Mischka (iconic couture clothing designers)
- Playing with lots of new toys, that aren’t even available yet. Some are just prototypes!
- All the bear hugs I got from my fellow bloggers – and now long time friends.
- Meeting some of the PR reps face to face, that I work with on a daily basis – and strengthening those connections.
- Learning new ways to grow my blog
- Ray’s Pizza (just saying) lol
- and of course… the swag (seen below) – and yes.. there WILL be giveaways so stay tuned!
On that note, I want to send a HUGE thank you to Colgate Mattress. Without their amazing generosity, this trip wouldn’t have been possible. Not only are they amazing people who truly care about their consumers.. they also make phenomenal products. I should know, I have one of their organic crib mattresses in my youngest daughters crib. She sleeps…well… like a baby lol
There is a downside though….
The hotel I stayed at (The Hilton in Manhattan), was terrible. There is no way possible for me to sugar coat it – so i’ll just lay it out there. These rooms are normally $400 a night. That is a LOT of money. They claim to be a 4 star hotel but unless that’s 4 stars out of 100, I don’t know how that’s possible.
For starters, the a/c in my room did NOT work and we were dealing with HORRIFIC humidity. I literally showered 3-4 times each day. That really put a damper on my already hectic schedule.
There was also wallpaper that was peeling off of the walls. Something you don’t expect in a high priced 4 star hotel. Am I right? One thing I did expect though, was a coffee pot. Even the cheapest places offer a coffee pot. No such luck. I did inquire about it with the concierge and he said I would need to upgrade to an executive suite to get a coffee pot. Seriously?
Then there’s the issue with the elevators. It was rare to get an elevator when you needed it (and I was on the 36th floor). For the most part, it was a 20 minute wait – if I was lucky. Sometimes an elevator would open before then, but usually it was so packed, I started to panic. I am claustrophobic. I can’t be in a tight space with 15 other people. That’s just scary for me.
The worst part though, is the greed and rudeness that I witnessed. I saw hotel staff, taking advantage of fellow bloggers. They were DEMANDING money for things that were included in your stay, and then demanding a tip of top of it. One woman I spoke with, said the bell hop REFUSED to let go of her luggage cart, until she gave him $20 for the (free) service. She gave it to him just so she could hurry along, but then he demanded a tip. All she had left was $5 but she still gave it to him. You would think that would be enough but nope. He literally said to her “that’s not enough”.
Are you kidding me? When did people become so rude and greedy? What’s sad is, this wasn’t an isolated incident. I witnessed this a few times. I was very fortunate that my bell hop didn’t do that to me, however, I did give him a $20 tip anyway because he deserved it. He was very helpful and kind.
Next year, BlogHer will be held in Chicago. I’m really hoping that the “stay” there will be much better than it was in NYC.