6 Things You Should Know about Blogger Bash NYC (2017)

I've been blogging for 10 years, but I had never been to Blogger Bash. Perhaps it was the locale -- NYC -- that had put me off. While I love the people of New York, I am not a big city fan, and the thought of the expensive lodgings and transportation had kept me away from applying for this conference.

The newest toys for Ben 10 fans - Blogger Bash, 2017

But this year, I was willing to step out a bit, take a leap of faith, and put in the application for Blogger Bash NYC. The process was easy, and I met the requirements for a blogger with enough reach to attend. They also sweetened the pot a bit with a reimbursement program: bloggers who attended the Sweet Suite event would get $100 back on their ticket cost!

I redeemed some airline miles for a free plane ticket, carefully planned out my meals and activities, booked the cheapest hotel that had a block agreement with the conference (the Yotel), and headed off to NYC from July 11 - 14.

Blogger Bash was a bit different than other events I've been to. Here's what you need to know if you plan on attending in the future:

1. Bloggers mean business

Because there was a vetting process for attendees (minimum blog or social reach required), it meant that more established bloggers would be there. Now, I love conferences that are open to everyone. I think it's great when new bloggers can get advice from the more experienced ones, but this was a very unique opportunity for me to chat business with fellow career bloggers and get the connection to brands that you can only get when everyone in the room has the same level of experience with at least one form of digital publishing.

A view from above - Babypalooza, 2017

2. Less chat, more action! 

Do you know what I hate MOST about blog conferences? All the yammering. Yes, I know that many people love listening to infinite sessions on following your dreams and being the next big thing. But I really just want actionable tips and face-to-face time with the companies that will help me meet my goals.

Many blog conferences put a bunch of popular bloggers on a stage and allow them to give some very generic advice -- followed by a prompt to buy their next course, book, or experience. Blogger Bash had one nice breakfast, sponsored by Armitron, where successful women in the publishing industry gave very good, actionable tidbits that were actually useful. No fluff here.

Armitron Breakfast, 2017

3. Brands were on point. 

Not only were the brands at the Sweet Suite event ones that deserved attention from bloggers, they really knew their stuff. I have been to endless events where the exhibitor booths were powered by interns who really didn't know anything about the brand (how sad.) Sweet Suite brought out the big guns with owners, CEO's, Marketing VP's, and inventors available and happy to explain their products and answer any questions you may have. I really felt like I got some great behind-the-scenes info from my favorite (and soon-to-be new favorite) brands!

Some of the fun games now available from KOSMOS - Blogger Bash, 2017
3Doodler awesomeness - Sweet Suite, 2017

4.  Follow up was perfect. 

Lose a brand's business card? No worries. I opted in to allow my info to be shared, and most of my favorite brand reps were in touch within a week with opportunities to work together for future gift guides, reviews, and sponsored opportunities. No other event has been so fast-paced in moving ahead on partnerships after the fact.

The Fizzics team - CE Week, 2017

5. Friends were there

Some of my best blogging peers were at this event, which was awesome! Since it was a smaller venue, I was literally rubbing elbows with the brilliant minds behind blogs such as The Rock Father, Ben Spark, and Pea of Sweetness. I met so many new bloggers, too!

The event also put together a very handy Facebook group for attendees. This was invaluable. Not only did I use it to prepare and connect before the event, we used it coordinate shared rides and even find my cell phone. (I had dropped it on the sidewalk in NYC and someone was kind enough to bring it to me!)

Friends are better with food around! - Sweet Suite, 2017

6. I was inspired. 

While many people measure the success of a conference with "deals made" -- I tend to go for inspiration. Blogging and freelance writing for over 10 years has left me with a bit of the wind out of my sails. Many of the bloggers who started with me a decade ago have left. No one feels on fire after all that time.

But going to this event gave me so much time to connect with others, ask questions, and listen! I also enjoyed that they coordinated tickets for select bloggers to go to Get Geeked's CE Week and an event for moms and dads. There was also a partnership with BabyPalooza for all the great gear your littlest ones are sure to enjoy!

I learned about so many new products, trends, and story ideas that I can now use on the blog and when pitching editors for freelance work.

I also had so many conversations where I clarified a vision I had for a book I have been wanting to write. After coming back, I threw together a proposal, pitched it to my agent, and now am looking to move forward on that book! How amazing!

It just shows that a change of scenery with some great people around you really can inspire new ideas and push you to the next level -- if you allow it.

I will not hesitate to attend Blogger Bash again next year, especially if most things remain the same. I was super happy with my experience and would recommend it to anyone.

Note: We also received a GIANT swag box at our house after the event. I'll be sharing the detail on that in a separate post!

Have you heard about Blogger Bash NYC? Here's the real truth about this hyped-up event.

Be sure to stop back for some awesome reviews and giveaway opportunities that have come from this event. I hope you like TECH and TOYS!

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