After reading the fascinating Wall Street Journal article about mom blogger conferences (alternate title: Mommy Bloggers: They’re Just Like Us! Only They Binge on Chips When No One is Looking!), I learned an incredibly important lesson.
It wasn’t that once again, journalists omit facts that get in the way of the condescending story about moms they want to write; cherry pick quotes from well-respected publishers out of context; entirely omit interviews with successful publishers who plainly described the professional benefits of conferences and the secondary benefit of socializing; or even that there remains this weird cultural bias against businesses with “mom” in the name that makes it easy to sling silly insults.
Nope. Not even close. What I did learn is that as it pertains to such events as professional development and networking conferences like Mom 2.0, we’re being robbed.
A 50s-themed beach barbeque at night? A trade show floor with a sense of design and flow to it? Professional networking luncheons? Mini-bars for fuck’s sake?
Those are our greatest, most enticing reasons to escape the horrors of school bus drop-offs and nutritional meals and the rest of our tedious, unfulfilled family existences for sometimes three whole days?
Fuck that shit.
I mean, look at some of the offerings from other business and trade conferences:
Well of course if you happen to work in the fashion industry, you will be privy to much sponsored fabulosity every day of the year–er, after all the important work is done. Take NY Fashion Week for example. I can’t say for sure what’s happening here on behalf of GRANDLIFE but I think mom blog conferences are missing a tremendous opportunity with mask sponsors and feather distributors.
For you professional media types, the New Media Expo party will be held at db’s Pong & Pool in the Planet Hollywood Hotel, Las Vegas, featuring a “kicking country music showcase.” Guinness Black Lager and u4rik Vodka are providing beverages until 11:00 p.m., but you can stay and play pool and ping pong, and dance until closing. I have never played ping pong at a conference until closing. Another big miss for us.
The Cannes Lions Advertising Festival galas include yacht parties, pool parties, beach parties and hot tub parties. None of which even require you to take vacation time off from work. Hey, it is work! You’re there to uh…well…you know. Work stuff.That’s why you get to expense your $900/night sea-view room at the Intercontinental while doing stuff like this:
Damn, conference organizers: take a cue from Winter Music Week in Miami. (A very very serious place for very serious business.) Then, we would have the opportunity to attend something called Caligula and Lazerdisk Party Sex. Suddenly I’m feeling a little disappointed about the sad little Kentucky Derby themed cocktail party at Mom 2.0. I mean, they have CALIGULA.
SXSW Interactive, one of the grand conferences of them all, is of course is attended first and foremost for its valuable skill-building seminars and panels. Occasionally there might be something “exciting and fun” or even vaguely social, if you look really hard in some back alley somewhere. Maybe something with a petting zoo. Or a mini-conference that discusses hard topics like all things starting with the prefix, uni-, from unicorns to unibrows.
Of course once in a while, if you’re lucky, you can stumble on events like this big fabulous exclusive, packed-to-the-gills pool party which doesn’t even seem to be at night. How come we don’t get to have big parties during the day? How come we’re focused on panel discussions and keynotes and workshops? Big miss, mom blog conference programmers.
But wait one sec. This big pool party looks like it’s hosted by….wait. Could it be?
Oh my gosh, it’s the Wall Street Journal.
Parent bloggers: You are wasting your energy writing impassioned blog posts defending your public speaking careers, brand relationship building, business skill development, and deal-making opportunities that can pay the mortgage for a year.
There are wayyyy more debauched, more elaborate, and more spendy social events to be had while we neglect our children. If only we had joined another profession.
Still, we do have mini-bars.
Sometimes. Unless you’re at Blogher in the NY Hilton.
PS I’ll be speaking at the Mom 2.0 summit next weekend on The Power of Saying No: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Paid What You’re Worth. I’ll also be attending panels, taking notes, seeing business colleagues, making friends, hugging people I meet, sitting down with brand directors, and probably eating something in the evenings, if that’s okay with the Wall Street Journal. I will not be wearing a feathered mask.