Thursday, August 18, 2011

BlogHer and BrandHer

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Each year after BlogHer (or any conference, really) I intend to share a little blog love with the sponsors, but I rarely get around to it. By the time I return home I'm some combination of exhausted and overwhelmed from 3 overstimulating days of conference fun.

This year, I'm driven by a bag of blogworthy swag that I swore not to put away until I blogged it. And I reaaaaaalllly need to get that bag out of my already full room.

I spent more time than I ever expected in the expo area at BlogHer. It was very social and I ran into so many friends that it took me a while to work my way around the room. Speaking of which, special shout-out to The Mother Company for hosting an informal gathering of my Yahoo Motherboard friends and I and for not kicking me out when I spilled a grande latte all over their floor. Their products skew a bit young for my guys, but I'm going to watch the award-winning DVD they gave me and then find a good home for it.

I had a few brand conversations, too. I have to be honest, though. I'm not one for deep engagement with brands on the expo floor. Perhaps this is largely because I don't imagine deep relationships with most of the brands.

This is not good or bad. It just is.

That said, here's what caught my eye and a bit of commentary. If I had a name a theme for the swag that came home with me, it would be PRACTICAL.

Glad's new "To Go" line. BPA free containers with a little cup for dressing or dip that snaps into the underside of the lid. It's different. It's practical. We'll see if they're a hit once school starts.

Centrum vitamins. The free bottle saves me a trip to the store, FTW! On the downside, their ingredients include artificial food coloring. Also, why can't adult vitamins be smaller? I'd rather swallow two small pills than one giant horse pill. I often skip taking my vitamin just because of the thought of having to swallow those honkin' big pills. The travel packets of Advil are also a hit.

Lindt chocolate bars. I think they knew I'd eat of every last Lindor truffle if they put them on display, so they brought their new line of intense dark chocolate bars instead. Nom nom. I blogged it, now I finally get to eat it.

My tool belt! D'oh! I was wondering where I'd stashed that. No wonder my swag bag seemed so heavy and full.

Also, the wood. Yes, I brought home some leftover pieces of wood and an unopened pack of shims from the swag exchange room (left over from Lowes) because I'm a total nerd practical like that. Who doesn't need shims, especially when their entire house is being gutted?

3M not only hosted a fine party, but handed out all manner of practical items at their booth. I happened to stop by with my friend Deb who raved about the Command line of products in a more convincing and authentic way than any official brand rep could. 3M is all excited about their new line of full adhesive "super sticky" Post-it notes, but my tween son is less enthused because he loves to turn regular old Post-it pads into cute animated shorts. I should post a video on YouTube.

More likely to be a hit with him is the new Next Generation 20Q! An electronic, handheld version of 20 Questions.

Another hit: Arm and Hammer toothpaste. Between this and the vitamins, I figured I've saved about $15 and a trip to Target.

Did you know that the company that makes Mega Blocks also puts out the Rose Art line and a brand of pens called "The Write Dudes"? I did not. These bright, shiny pens are sure to be a hit with the same boy who makes the Post-it animations. Though he also does this thing where he turns pens into mini-cross bows, so no one can really predict whether he will actually use these to write.

My biggest surprise on the expo floor? Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt. I love it!

What did you think of the expo area this year?


carmen said...

I loved the Oikos yogurt as well. I now have a shelf of it in my fridge.

Elizabeth @ My Life, Such as it is... said...

This was my 1st BlogHer but I loved the Expo. I'm a bit of an office/school supply addict so 3M on Sat. night put me in high cotton. If I could've convinced 3M to give me a box (or more) of tape & post-its I would have shipped them home. Most of what I got will be donated to the PTO for door prizes, etc.

Allegra made me very very happy with over a month's supply for my allergies too.

I'm still sorting through swag but am almost done. I need to write about it as well.