Making the Best of BlogHer

For those who market to moms – and those who want to – there is no experience quite like the BlogHer annual event.  Now in its eighth year, and taking place in New York City August 2-4, BlogHer is the largest conference for women bloggers in the world. With 3,500 attendees, last year’s BlogHer was huge, noisy, busy, crazy and even more fabulous than usual. For 2012, 4,000 guests are expected.

If marketing to moms is your sport, BlogHer is the Olympics. You’ve gotta be in it to win it.

Having attended four national BlogHer conferences, as a blogger, speaker (BlogHer 2011) and publicist, I thought I’d share a tip or two on how to make the most out of this annual adventure, where moms break loose, babies and boas are abundant, and swag rules. Today’s post is designed for companies and agencies. Following soon will be a guest post featuring tips for bloggers, written by a mom blogger.

Plan ahead. BlogHer is BIG. There are bloggers and booths and workshops and keynotes and parties and more parties. You can’t be everywhere at once, so identify your key objective. Is it to see how competitors are marketing themselves? Meet as many bloggers as you can? Connect with moms you work with all the time? Plot your day accordingly.

Work the social network. BlogHer is ideal for networking with blogger moms. Get to know the speakers, especially – they’re often the real influencers. The best locations for connecting with guests: the sponsor exhibit area, the hallways between sessions and the (many, many) parties.

Learn something. Go to the workshops most relevant to you. And don’t miss the big events – the talks with celebrities, including, this year, Katie Couric and Martha Stewart.  Those keynotes not only provide insight into the individual behind the public persona but the speakers’ success can sometimes sow the seeds of your own or that of your company/clients.

Check out the research. Typically, BlogHer presents the results of its latest social media survey. If they do the same this year, don’t miss it. The research provides a real understanding of  mom power in social media.

Offer more. Sponsoring the show? At your exhibit area, don’t just sell – you’ll get a better response by engaging moms with something fun to do, involving them in a cause to which they can relate, or making time to discuss how you can best work together.  Offer them a chance to meet a celebrity, win a contest or drawing, get pampered, or simply get off their feet.

Follow up. If you promise a blogger you’re going to send information or product samples after the event, be sure to do it.

By the way, if you can, stop by the Bloganthropy session on Friday, August 3, at 2:45 pm, which I have the honor of introducing. The Child’s Play team would love to meet you!