So you’re going to be hosting Blogher at your hotel….

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.

Oh.

Oh my.

Taken from Sheridan website

Taken from Sheraton website

So Sheraton Chicago? This is for you.

And you’re welcome.

 

 

Thank you Melissa

Thank you Melissa

 

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?

Thank you Lady

Thank you Lady

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.

 

Thank you Sili

Thank you Sili

 

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.

-Jen
_________________________________
Bloggers:

The Chicago Sheraton has their own app

141 thoughts on “So you’re going to be hosting Blogher at your hotel….

  1. In threatening the hotel with their social media blowing up, you’ve created an article that itself is blowing up. Textbook definition of irony. Also you should be ashamed of yourself. Grow up.

  2. Do you realize you told, not asked, but told your readers to “thank you later” multiple times in this post? Seriously, you aren’t as witty and intelligent as you make yourself sound. If anything, this post made you sound like someone with an artificially inflated ego and no manners or class. You probably chased away some readers by speaking so pretentiously as if you are coaching a group of mentally handicapped people new to the blogging world. Take a lesson from this and stop trying write for your ego and start writing for your readers.

  3. Some of the most diverse women they’ve ever met? Who are you kidding? This is Chicago and there’s nothing diverse about privileged, middle-class, mostly white women.

    I worked at a conference hotel in the most popular tourist destination in the WORLD and let me tell you, bloggers were on the bottom of our “to please” list. When you’re going up against Fortune 500 companies and celebrities, nobody cares about bloggers. We were actually happy when we were black listed by C-list bloggers because it meant we didn’t have to deal with them the next year! Pawn them off to another hotel.

  4. Jen, I think you are totally freaking awesome, and I know exactly where this is coming from because I was right there with you at the hotel last year in New York. I think this is actually some pretty good (tongue in cheek) advice, especially if this hotel has no idea what’s coming or if you’ve never been. It is kind of hard to imagine what it is like being somewhere with 5,000 women in one place. I would use the term cray-cray to describe it. See you in a few weeks!

  5. People were sending this post to the people at Sheraton and did you really call them? If all of this is true them it pretty much made you look like a redneck. Are you even the person hosting blogher if not who are you to call? I would be embarrassed to even go now if I was you.

    • You people are killing me! If you don’t even know what BlogHer is, then why are you commenting? And your reading comprehension skills need some work because the post clearly says she called the Sheraton to upgrade her room, after receiving an email from the Sheraton, and during small talk the person there indicated she didn’t know what “BlogHer” was. The post also states that she lives in Chicago so I don’t think she qualifies as a “hayseed.” SMH

  6. Ugh I am cringing reading this. I am so glad I’m not a blogger because I would be so embarrassed at this image this gives them. Hey, I get that this is supposed to be funny, but it totally missed the mark and made everyone attending Blogher look like assholes, which is misrepresenting them. Seriously, you are threatening to try and ruin a hotel’s image before you even get there!

    Please don’t act like the hard working people at the Sheraton have never hosted a large event before. This is their JOB, what they do for a living. You guys are no more important than anyone else. Acting like they don’t know how to handle a large conference is insulting. Seriously, threatening to ruin them via social media if they mess up in the slightest? I can’t stress enough how insulting this comes across. It seems like a majority of bloggers are always looking to be slighted and act like everyone is out to get them. Not to worry if that happens, their loyal fans will be their to comfort them and shame whatever company it was along side of them.

    I honestly laughed at the part where this might be some of the mommies’ only vacation time. I haven’t taken a vacation in years, but when I do go on them? I expect to be treated like everyone else at the hotel. I seriously feel so bad for the people working at the Sheraton during this.

    Just a little heads up on how you are coming across. I’m sure you can see how this post missed the funny/cheeky tone.

    You’re welcome.

        • “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. -” -this is my she called the hotel.
          Reading comprehension 101.

    • This. Besides, I’m sure the Chicago Sheraton has seen their fair share of “big events” before, no? If their staff can manage the meetings of CEOs and international diplomats, surely they can handle a group of people who write about their minutiae of their lives on the internet.

  7. It’s the Sheraton. The second-oldest hotel brand in the world. With hundreds and hundreds of locations worldwide. What exactly makes you think they don’t know how to run a hotel and deal with a convention? Do you really think they’ve never had a convention before? That they’ve never met a woman, a coffee drinker, a blogger before? The self-aggrandizing notion that they need to “know what to expect” implies that your convention is somehow unlike any other guests the hotel has ever experience. And its not. This is what these people do for a living.

  8. First time here, landed here from the scathing article and had to read the actual blog post. As I finished reading I was genuinely confused. Why the outrage? Why do people keep taking about “entitlement attitude”? I did not get that at ALL from this blog post! I think most of these points are pretty accurate, just exaggerated as you often see when using sarcasm. And if other bloggers actually think the Sheraton is going to take this as anything other than a “cute” post, then they are taking themselves WAY too seriously! Glad I’m not going to BlogHer because I really don’t want to be around people like that.

  9. There is sarcasm and biting humour. And then there’s this sort of crappy attempt at humour with unstated subtext. I find it incredibly sad that you are being applauded by some of your diehard fans rather than ostracized by them and especially, by the organizers of BlogHer. You are doing neither yourself or them a favour by hijacking what is mostly a positive experience for many women and behaving like an entitled child. As several folks have stated, the mom bloggers have worked hard to shatter an undeserved reputation and in one fell swoop, you have misrepresented the masses.

  10. You do know that you are addressing the very people who will be preparing your food, cleaning your room and handling your billing, correct? If you think your article is funny, you are sadly mistaken. Hotels such as the SHERATON handle thousands of events a year – there is absolutely nothing “special” or different about your event.

    If you want to be perceived by the public and other businesses as professional, you should work on your writing skills, grammar, and spelling (the “Sheridan” link at the bottom of your article is laughable) and your sense of entitlement. Professional businesses do not go on the internet and post this kind of drivel. If you want to be a pain in the ass, I am sure the hotel will deal with you in the manner you deserve.

    You are delusional if you think you are any better than some 12-year-old kid who blogs about his favorite video games. Something tells me that kid knows more about being a professional than you do.

  11. Conferences can be fun, sure. Many of them are. That said, they’re still business events at which people aren’t expected to behave like self-entitled children. And I think the post’s attempts at “humor” (most of which miss the mark), add up to little more than a very thin veil over the writer’s expectations of how she should be treated at this event. Pretty much what I’ve read through the lines here is “kiss my bum or I will rain a sh*tstorm of vitriol all over your social media presence.” There is nothing respectable in handling business that way. As far as I can see, all that’s been accomplished here is to reinforce every stereotype of “mommy blogger” that the people in that community have to fight continuously to dispel.

  12. I’m confused. Don’t hotels like the Sheraton regularly host big business conferences, weddings, professional events and the likes? I would assume they understand how to treat their customers/guests, what makes bloggers any more special?! This just comes off as bitchy and entitled, sarcasm or not. I’ve spent years working behind the front desk of hotels — if I read this I would seriously dread the arrival of the bloggers, which isn’t fair to anyone because I know how fun bloggers can be IRL.

  13. Good lord, people… this is humor. And it’s not far off the mark.

    This is great advice for anyone that’s never hosted a blog conference, especially BlogHer. I used to work at a hotel and we tried our best to get information like this from previous hotels. Knowing how to staff properly and what we would need to do in preparation for a large convention made us do our jobs better. The housekeeping, wifi, and social media advice here are priceless.

    And before getting your panties in a wad, read Jen’s books or her blog. I’ve been reading her blog since I met her at another conference and I’ve read three of her books. She’s HILARIOUS. Taking things we all experience and saying them in her bitingly intelligent way is why she is selling books like hotcakes.

    This isn’t obnoxious or insulting. Move along citizens…

  14. There’s a fine line between “sassy” and “self-delusion”, and I think it got crossed here in spades. I know several women (and one guy) who go to the conference, and I know they’ve found it to be a really positive (if slightly overstimulating) experience. I haven’t been interested in going, but I respect how they choose to spend their own time and money.

    However, there is an undercurrent of “spoiling for a fight” in how some of the women approach the conference and the service around it, and your post seems to fit squarely in that category. Why would you preemptively threaten a business with social media hackery before you even set foot on their property? Why would you act pre-offended about things like breastfeeding facilities? Why is it the hotel’s responsibility that some of the attendees don’t get a lot of vacation time (are they expecting a scene out of “Pretty Woman”? Some sort of special treatment for not getting out much? I haven’t had a vacation in ages. When I do, it won’t be the hotel’s responsibility to do anything except render the services promised to all guests.)

    Honestly, you’re grownups going to a conference, not the biggest bachelorette party in the world. And if you treat it like the latter, I hope you don’t expect to be taken seriously on a business level.

    • They do, but they don’t feel the need to talk about it anymore. BTW bloggers, if you say things like “well known in the blogosphere,” please stop. You don’t hear the rest of us saying “well known in the brushourteethosphere.” There’s no such thing as a blogosphere – it’s a made up word in an attempt to create celebrity.

  15. There is some good advice in here….but I found this post to be really obnoxious. And I am really hoping that I’m missing the joke. I’m a long-time reader (and will continue to be one), so I get you. But if you were going to for tongue-in-cheek here, I’m afraid you missed the mark.
    That being said, there is some helpful advice here and I hope the Sheraton can see that. But unfortunately I think you only served to make BH attendees look like entitled, obnoxious assholes. Didn’t that NY Times article (which I actually found hilarious) do that for us already? Hell, don’t some people in our community do that for us?

    Like I said, hoping this was meant to be cheeky. And if that is the case – you may want to be a little more transparent about it. I have an awesome sense of humor and love a good snarking. But this post only left me feeling embarrassed for the bloggers, the hotel, and the organizers of BH (and after last year’s conference, they don’t need more help being embarrassed).

    Looking forward to the next post so we can forget about this one ;)

  16. I think parts of this had some great deprecating humor, but most of it missed the mark. It comes across as a letter to the little people who need to be apprised of your very special needs as a very special person. The hotel business has been around longer than BlogHer; these workers know what industry they are in-service is their main product.

    How about you just don’t take swag you can’t carry home? Why should the hotel have to deal with your excess? Also, I hope any Tweeting you do about customer service troubles occurs AFTER a chat with the appropriate management person. Give the hotel a chance to address your concerns before you ‘blow up’ their Twitter feed.

    And please remember that you will not be the only one counting on this vacation as your only one for the year. Please let other hotel guests have a pleasant weekend as well.

    • Why can’t it be both? Where is that written? I’ve attended nursing conferences and education conferences, and there was plenty of built-in time for “girl time” with these professional conferences. If industry conferences weren’t allowed to have any fun included with them, no one would attend.

      And I think your “girl time” might also be called “socializing” which is another name for “networking” in groups of people working in the same industry. Which means “girl time” is totally legit for businesswomen at an industry conference.

      • They can be fun, duh. I never said it is written somewhere. However, it is not a white trash bash Las Vegas or Cancun weekend. Networking is not getting wasted, running around “SQUEEING” and leaving 3 ft piles of garbage in a hotel room. Thanks for playing, Christina.

        • Well, kehillamonster, if that is your real name, your reply makes me question if you read this post. Where was getting wasted mentioned? Where was it suggested that women planned to run around having a Las Vegas or Cancun weekend? BTW, if you wanted to see a conference that really felt like a Las Vegas weekend, you should have been at BlogWorldExpo IN Las Vegas – where was the outrage when some men doing exactly what you just mentioned in your last comment? Oh, that’s right – there wasn’t any, because they were just professionals at an industry conference.

          You must not go to many conferences if you think swag overload is limited to this one. Granted, some conferences often have a different type of swag – like books and pens and notepads that are practically forced into your hands or handed to everyone as they walk out of a room – and some of that swag is even less likely to make it home. Books are heavy, and that 50 lb weight limit on suitcases for airlines is strict. There are recycling suites for swag at this conference, which is more than many conferences offer.

          “Squeeing” happens to be one way that women can greet each other when excited (OMG, do I really have to explain that?), and doesn’t have to be as dramatic as you’re making it out to be. It’s no different than two men in business suits arriving to a conference and excited to see each other, with one waving an arm and yelling, “Hey, man! How’s it going?” and the other yelling back, “Hey! What’s up?” No, 60 year old men don’t do that so much, but I can name at least 40-50 instances of seeing encounters similar to that between younger (20-40yr old) business men.

          So is it OK for two men to interact like that? If so, I’m getting the feeling that there’s a sexism issue at play here – women’s interactions with each other are considered childish and immature, while men can act in similar ways and still be considered professional? Hmmm…that doesn’t seem right. I won’t even go into details about the drunken adventures I’ve seen from male “professionals.” I do hope you’d go immediately condemn any conference where a male blogger might have a drink, or hell, go play a round of golf, since that’s just “guy time” and they have to choose between being businessmen and having “guy time,” right? If they’re being boisterous and having fun they can’t possibly be doing any legit networking.

          There will always be a small percentage of people who behave badly at any conference. But it’s a small percentage, and I don’t think Jen was at any point claiming to be someone who would be in that small percentage.

  17. This was painful and sad to read. This is part of the reason I DON’T spend my hard earned money on BlogHer. Don’t get me wrong I have good kind and thoughtful friends who go to BlogHer who I love dearly. I just don’t like a whole lot of attitude I see from BlogHer attendees.

    • They were at the W Hotel for BlogHer 07/Navy Pier, I think. :) The Sheraton is a great hotel, and I remember they had the most comfy hotel bed I’ve ever slept in.

  18. I always find it so silly when there is a piece that is obviously sarcasm as this one is, and people start freaking out. I love that they keep telling her to “get over” herself and yet, they are the ones who are highly offended by her highly sarcastic post and should probably take their own advice. This post isn’t setting bloggers back, it is blogging in the way that Jen blogs – with humor and sarcasm and a dose of reality. You can’t deny that some of that is true.

    • I missed the sarcasm. When I originally saw the headline I expected something funny and amusing. I wanted to read about tweeting selfies from the lobby and instagramming dinner. However, all I read was entitlement. I didn’t find any humor at all.

      What bothers me isn’t that the humor isn’t apparent, however. It bothers me that mom bloggers have been fighting to NOT have this very image of them. They don’t want to be seen as swag whores or people who are demanding, but this post comes off as proving that very thing.

      There are ways to be funny, and this wasn’t it. If bloggers don’t want to be seen as entitled, swag grubbing, partyers, they can’t write posts like this. They won’t break out of the stereotype no matter how much their trying to come off as funny.

      • I find this reply more egotistical than the actual content itself. Getting obnoxious and self important is not the way to respond to a post that you think is obnoxious and self important – it kind of brings Jen’s commentary full circle enforcing stereotypes and the like.

        It is time for the blogging community to breath and reassess.

        • That’s fair, Adam. I stand by what I wrote 100% but I appreciate your comment and will think about my tone moving forward. My intention isn’t to come off as being self important, but I do think bloggers have to be aware of what they’re putting out there and how others will see it.

          • Deb, Have you been to blogher? While there are a number of professional bloggers there, there are also some who will cut you for a coupon for a free Kit Kat.

  19. This will be my 8th BlogHer conference (holy ancient blogger!), and honestly? It’s good advice for the Sheraton, looking beyond the humor. The humor is good, too, don’t get me wrong. But there’s valid advice under it. Of course, they’ve hosted us once before (BlogHer ’09 – good times) so hopefully the Sheraton is on the ball for this unique group of conference attendees.

    For those getting bent out of shape, I don’t then Jen was encouraging people to pitch a social media fit when they don’t get their extra towels or have to wait in line for check-in. She was just pointing out the inevitable, and from my experience, I can assure you that with 5,000 conference attendees, it WILL happen at some point. Whether it’s a blogging conference, a plumbing conference or a library conference, a small percentage will behave badly. The difference is some bloggers jump to social media to complain.

    There will be bloggers with a bad case of entitlement there. But the vast majority will be professional women (and a few men) who are there to learn, network, and even hang out with friends. They’re not the ones the hotel will have headaches about after it’s over. I didn’t see Jen promoting entitlement behavior here, just pointing out that it’ll happen and be prepared. (With humor. Which was apparently lost on some.)

    And finally? We will definitely crash the wi-fi by Friday at 9am.

    • Thank you.I am not one to jump to the company’s social media to “twitter bomb” them with complaints. That was not my goal of the “warning.” Is there some truth to the fact that some % will do that? Yes. But I’m poking fun here people. Unless you think I can #KillYouWIthMyHashtags

  20. I would be entirely surprised if they don’t put hair in your food. This is a very self-entitled piece. Bloggers are pretty much anyone with time and a computer. Let’s all just remember that.

  21. This is why people think mommybloggers are jokes. If you think your ire at anything hotel related will impact their bottom line, you’re seriously way too high on the smell of your own farts. Get real.

    • Courtney, please let your staff know that not all bloggers are as egotistical and entitled as this one. Most professional bloggers are working hard to show the world we are NOT like this; it’s sad this blogger had to paint such an ugly picture of a group of people who want to be taken seriously as the social media powerhouses we are.

  22. I think good advice to them is that REGARDLESS of breastfeeding laws, they should just provide adequate, no, really NICE space for it, period. I don’t even have a kid, but I get it! Or of course like you said, they will suffer the social media consequences!

    FTR, I’m not a squealer, but I resist the urge to roll my eyes at it at BlogHer. I totally get it. Mostly because I tend to travel with you and EVERYONE squeals when they see you. It’s like traveling with Justin fucking Bieber, and I’m the nameless roadie tagging along hoping to not get crushed by your fans. But it’s worth it

    :-P

  23. I love this almost as much as I love you. And that’s a lot. You always find a way to provide a different perspective. You’re one in a million, friend!

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