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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Silicon Valley Moms Event

About a week and a half ago I was lucky enough to attend a fantastic blogging event thrown by Silicon Valley Moms Group (who also run Chicago Moms Blog) and Chevy. Held at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago the purpose of the event was to bring mom bloggers and brands together and help them learn more about each other.

I started my day at Hard Rock Hotel's Base Bar where I met lovely bloggers, Melisa of Suburban Scrawl and Michelle of Honestly and Truly. There we tried the DELICIOUS Lavender Tonic Lemonade. Have I mentioned it was delicious? Because it was!

Melisa & Lucy

Michelle & Lucy
After our delicious (have I already said that?) drink we headed upstairs to a round table discussion between bloggers and brands about how we all want to work together. Being fairly new to this whole mom blogging thing I sat quietly (those of you who know me are thinking "WHAT? She was QUIET?!?) (Shut up.) and took it all in. What I got from the conversation is that basically we all want the same thing. Bloggers want the brands to understand who we are before they pitch us and brands want to be able to understand who we are too. Anything we bloggers can do to help the brands learn about us (an About Me page, clear format, etc.) ends up helping us because then we only get pitched by the brands that gel with who we are. Makes sense to me.

Following the round table we made our way to the ballroom to meet and mingle with the other bloggers and brands. Each brand had a table set up and we had the opportunity to speak with each of them and learn about their products. Besides being amazingly informative the brands were also amazingly generous! Check out my swag! Now I know what the stars feel like during Oscar season!
In case you can't tell from the picture, I received...
  • 2 gift baskets from 1-800-Baskets (which will be the death of me--SO! MUCH! CHOCOLATE!!)
  • a yummy cupcake from Cinnabon (which did NOT make it out of the ballroom!)
  • a label maker from ebay Classifieds (the OCD freak in me was THRILLED!)
  • coupons and a bib from Stonyfield Farm
  • a pen from the Oprah Store (yes, THAT Oprah!)
  • a bag of the "mix" from Garrett's Popcorn (which my husband ate. Bastard.)
  • a Busy Body Book (another thing to warm my organizing heart!)
  • a $25 gift card to Peapod (LOVE and use Peapod on a regular basis! In fact, groceries are being delivered tomorrow!)
  • an IGo Charge Anywhere Charger (how genius is this??)
  • a keypad entry lock from Schlage (another genius product!)
  • Bit Defender internet security software
  • Energizer batteries and charger
  • as well as a lot of great information on brands like litl (an awesome computer!), Army of Women and MORE! (I know I'm leaving folks out. Many apologies--there was just SO much information!)
(I will write in more detail about these brands and products later. This was just a teaser!)
Little Ricky's favorite item out of all of the swag!

Little Ricky LOVES Stonyfield Farm YoBaby yogurt and now he has the bib to prove it!

By the end of the day I was happy, tired and overwhelmed. I had met a lot of great bloggers, a lot of great brand representatives and learned a lot of great information. But what to do with it?

I don't know. I know I learned a lot during the round table discussion, but I also felt that my little ole blog wasn't really at the grand scale so many in the room were. Would I like more attention from both brands and readers? Heck yeah. But how do you fit that in and not let it affect your time with your family? How do you appeal to brands and not lose some of your voice, your originality that brought people to your blog in the first place?

These are all questions I will be pondering for a while. I hope I can take everything I learned and become a better blogger whether brands are interested in working with me or not. I hope I can build on some of the great relationships I started at the event whether it brings more traffic to my blog or not. Because for me that's what blogging is all about--good writing and good relationships.

Disclosure: All of the items received were given with no expectation of me writing about them.

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