As the temperature hovers around 18 degrees outside, I’m sure many of you are just trying to survive winter—that is, unless you live in Florida, Southern California, or Arizona, because then the term “negative wind chill” probably doesn’t ring a bell. {Luckies.}

Despite the accumulating snow and freezing cold temperatures here in NYC, we are already thinking about July and everything that comes with it; open toed shoes, sunscreen, heat waves, and Blogger Bash. We are working hard with sponsors to figure out what you’ll see this year, working with the venue on what you’ll eat, working on the furniture on where you’ll sit, and so much more.

We have a lot to do between now and July. It’s work that most conference planners do behind the scenes that attendees never see. Before I became a co-host of Sweet Suite, and then co-founder of Blogger Bash, the only planning I did was my weekly grocery list. I never understood the details of planning a conference—until I stumbled into it.

So, I thought I might take up a bit of the Blogger Bash blog to share with you some of those details so you can, perhaps, have a better understanding of what we do. Thus, when you go to Blogger Bash or any other blogging conference or event, you can see that the granola on the breakfast table was agonized over by at least 10 people at least five times over the course of four months. (Somewhat kidding.)

behind the Scenes at BB

Shout Out to the Sponsors

If someone gave me a million dollars, I could totally rock a conference—however, that never happens. In fact, many sponsors don’t just walk in the door. We have to go find them, tell them how awesome you are, and get them to come be a part of this big event. It takes a lot of phone calls and e-mails. Not to convince them of your awesomeness, but to convince them to come to see your awesomeness on one day in one month in one city for a certain number of hours at a certain price point. It reminds me of those arcade games when you have to throw the ball into a little hole to get a prize. But don’t worry—if you remember from last year, we are really good at this game (your awesomeness makes it easy!).

Hi-Ho the Ticket-o

Once we have some sponsors secured, we have to turn around and ask you all to cough up some cash too, which—I totally get—is not easy to achieve. As you are finagling a weekend away, we are working with the venue to guess how many of you will be successful in your negotiation and/or fundraising attempts. The venue charges us a fee—even if you don’t show up—because they have to buy the food, get the furniture, turn away the bride who wants a wedding there, and more. So even though your cousin’s-bestfriend’s-brother’s-aunt’s-stepfather’s son’s school fair is the same weekend, and you can’t come to Blogger Bash after all, we still have to pay. So conference organizers, whether it’s us or at other conferences, we’re not trying to be a-holes when we can’t give your moola back. Look at your ticket like an RSVP—we just need to hold you to it. But, we truly do everything we can to make sure that we keep costs down as much as possible, while also giving you the best experience we can.

Making Bank

We are foodies. We love coffee, cupcakes, a good cocktail, and all of the munchies that go great with that cocktail. At Blogger Bash, we’re serving breakfast, lunch, snacks, and having open bar with food at two evening events. It would cost about $350 for each blogger to pay to cover the cost of the food alone, which is catered by Abigail Kirsch, the premiere NYC catering company. So, $350 just for food—that does not include the venue fee, the electricity, the Wi-Fi, the furniture, the lighting, the bags, the swag, the shipping of the swag, the list goes on and on. And our conference tickets are just $199– or as low as $99 for past attendees. There aren’t many conferences, especially in NYC, that are that inexpensive. Check this post from another conference, and know that we aren’t alone. So trust me when I say that the entire Blogger Bash Team has to keep our day jobs…for a long time.

Those Pesky Rules

Once we have emptied our pockets to fund this thing, we have to work closely with the venue and the sponsors to make them happy. What makes the venue very unhappy is to fix broken toilets and toilet rollers, and clean puke from the bathroom floor. I’ve learned that sponsors aren’t happy seeing pictures on Instagram of a blogger showing 50 stuffed teddy bears on a hotel bed. So, we have to sit down as a team to come up with rules, which we hate doing since it makes us feel like Moms. Yet, we have to come up with the rules because all of the above (and more) has been done before.

Rules help ensure that Blogger Bash is a fun, safe, professional environment for everyone in attendance. Keep in mind that there are lots of other people here along with you looking to make connections with brands, and while we genuinely want you to have a fun and exciting weekend away, we want you to do so in a way that is respectful toward us, the venue, the sponsors, and your fellow bloggers!

Are there times I wonder if perhaps just going back to worrying only about my weekly food planning might be the better choice? You betcha! But I believe in us as a profession. Not just as Bloggers, but Blogging Business Women and Men. You are all so amazing that the sponsors need to know you, and you need to see the amazing people that are behind the sponsors. In the process, if we can have a beverage or two, nosh on some cookies and cupcakes, enjoy some swag and a great soiree, and learn some new content while networking, well, I’m going to help make it happen.

Come Hang With Us

Whether you are new to the conference scene or a Blogger that has been to every blogging conference out there, but not Blogger Bash, give us a chance. Then check those spam emails, be nice to your fellow attendees, support the sponsors, and know that if the coffee is cold, we are trying to fix it.

Charlene is the Team Lead behind Blogger Bash. She wears many hats, like Communication Director, Sponsor Liaison, Event Manager, and Creative Director to name a few, while she juggles life as a Mom to two kids under five, as a Parent Advisory Board member to the Toy Insider, and writer for her own three blogs: CharleneChronicles.com, MetrowestMamas.com and CleverLuxe.com. You can tweet her at @CharleneDeLoach.