This will be my 4th Blogher experience and I’m lucky that my hometown is hosting this year.
I saved airfare so I decided that upgrading our room would be a great idea after I got an email suggesting doing so for a fairly reasonable price.
I called the Chicago Sheraton and spoke to a Ms. Victoria (who was very helpful and nice btw) and though small talk realized that she (and others at the hotel) didn’t know what Blogher was.
So Sheraton Chicago? This is for you.
And you’re welcome.
1)What is Blogher?
Short? It’s a collection of online writers (blogs and otherwise) who gather to learn more about the art of blogging. It’s about 99.8 percent attended by women. The few men can be found carrying a flask to offset the estrogen hurricane they just entered. The Blogher conference covers many different aspects of blogging including writing, photography, technical, design, and probably lots of other stuff that I don’t do or understand.
It’s also so much more. For me, it’s the annual pilgrimage to meet online people that I read all year round. I can get my geek on and have not a single person think I’m strange. And I am strange.
2) What do one of these “bloggers” look like?
You can tell a blogger by the technology. Look for smart phones, iPads, Apple lap tops, and lots of texting and SQUEEING when two women meet. Bloggers are squealers. Get yourselves some ear plugs now and thank me later.
3) What should I expect from bloggers?
You should expect from them as you would any other customer unless you piss them off. Then? Expect your social media to BLOW UP LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. You should warn whoever* runs the twitter and or Facebook page now. Really. And buy them a bottle of vodka for each of the 3 nights that the conference is going to be there. (*feel free to tweet me @thenextmartha to say thanks for the vodka I just got you)
4) Why should I care about these bloggers?
You don’t have to but I can guarantee that they will be one of the most diverse groups of women that you’ve ever hosted. If you just take a moment to talk to them you might find yourself inspired, in awe, laughing, and better just for meeting them. You’ll meet writers who talk about humor, loss, love, family, crafting, food, technology, politics, their spanx and their lady parts.
Other stuff you should know:
-Many bloggers bring children and some of them are babies who are breastfeeding. Hell, you might find toddlers breastfeeding in your lobby. Get to know Illinois breastfeeding laws before this group enters.
-This may be the only 3 days a mom gets out of her house from taking care of kids for the whole year. She chose this conference to spend her money on. Your hotel may be the only hotel she stays in all year. Please don’t judge a mommy blogger by her cover. Give her the same service that you would of any customer. Again, if you don’t? You’ll pay social medially.
-Swag. What does that mean? It means that there are corporate sponsored parties that donate items to get them into the hands of this shopping powerhouse of the family. How does this affect you? Housekeeping. At the end of last year’s conference my room had ½ a closet stacked 3 feet high with stuff we decided to not pack and bring home. We left a note explaining that we were leaving housekeeping with any of the stuff we left. A lot of this stuff is NOT junk. It simply cannot all be taken. Please come up with a policy for items left behind in the room for housekeeping if you don’t already have one.
-Expect your Wi-Fi to be taxed more than you think is possible. We may just break it.
-Don’t water down the coffee you serve us. Don’t. We’ll hunt you down and kill you with hashtags. #WheresTheCaffeineSheraton?
There is probably more but I think I’ll let you chew on this for now. As for myself, I thank you for hosting us in advance. It’s not going to be an easy or low key weekend for either of us.
And when it’s over? You can thank me for giving you a heads up.
The Chicago Sheraton has their own app