Conference Corner: You're Invited! BlogHer '11 & 9 Open-to-All Parties

BlogHer Original Post

After a long day of education and inspiration at BlogHer ’11, we know that a lot of you are looking to unwind. For some, that’s dancing. For others, that’s chilling on the sofa. And for still others, it’s mingling and mixing with bloggers, networking to your heart’s content. But ... where do you go to do all that? BlogHer has the answer for you: Each night (Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 4-6), we’ve got three fun parties lined up, just for you! PLUS, if even the word "party" makes you shudder, the Serenity Suite (which is exactly what it sounds like) will stay open late on Saturday night.

When planning our annual conference, BlogHer takes a lot of steps to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, everything from student pricing to low-cost blogger pricing (that hasn't changed since 2005) to moving the host city around from year to year to last year's totally fun addition: community parties! Last year was the first year we brought community parties under the BlogHer venue roof so you would know: If something is going on at the BlogHer site, it is an official BlogHer event.

Last year, since it was an experiment, we tried a process that was open to any attendee but still involved RSVPs and capacity limits. "Open" doesn't feel as open when you get that "out of capacity" message, so this year we are determined to avoid all of that noise.

What does this mean for you? For BlogHer '11 all official BlogHer parties each day are open to EVERY BLOGHER ATTENDEE with a badge for that day. (And Thursday parties are open to all attendees, all badges.) Official parties (listed in our agenda), which is fancy-speak for any party ON SITE, are open to every single attendee, no RSVP required.

We want you to meet other bloggers, and we want you to have a great time! If a party gets crowded, we may hold on letting new folks in for a bit (nobody wants a mosh pit, right?), but with two additional parties going on each night, we're confident that there will be plenty of "flow" and plenty of fun for everyone.

So, now that we've got you pumped up, let’s talk about what helps make the above plan possible, because it needs to be said: We could never host open parties, ready for 3,000 people, no RSVPs required, without the support of BlogHer's official conference sponsors*. These are the sponsors who are on site and listed on our sponsor page, and their sponsorship helps reduce the cost of the entire event for everyone, every single attendee, whether you like to party or not. Your ticket price covers only about a third of the cost to host you for this extravaganza, and it's our sponsors who make up the difference.

Every sponsor at BlogHer is supporting every single one of our attendees**, not just a select few. And we cannot thank them enough for that. We hope you'll take a minute to thank your favorite sponsors too.

So ... are you feeling up to speed? Are you ready to let loose with BlogHer? Are you anxious to find out more about the parties at BlogHer ’11? Below is a quick list of each event, or you can read more about each of them in the announcement post.

BlogHer '11 Thursday Parties

  • 6pm – 8pm: Evening at the Expo: Uninterrupted time to visit the Expo, without worrying about missing sessions or meals
  • 8pm – 11pm: The 5th annual People’s Party: Every kind of blogger is welcome to chill and connect in a low-impact environment
  • 10pm – 12am: The 3rd annual Queerosphere Party: A great way for the LGBT community and their allies to connect pre-conference and associate all those clever blog names with faces

BlogHer '11 Friday Parties

  • 6pm – 8pm: Voices of the Year Reception: You'll have seen 15 of your fellow attendees lay it all out there on the stage during the Community Keynote. Tell them if they made you laugh, cry, think, etc.
  • 8pm – 10pm: Listen to Your Mother/Letter to Your Mother Open Mic Salon: If the Community Keynote inspires you, throw your name in the hat to read *your* post out loud
  • 9pm – 1am: The 3rd annual Sparklecorn: Unicorns, dancing, glow sticks. What else needs to be said?

BlogHer '11 Saturday Parties

  • 8pm – 10:30pm: The 2nd annual Social Fiesta: Celebrating Latin culture ... in San Diego ... imagine the food alone!
  • 9pm – 11pm: The 2nd annual Aiming Low: Perfect for the kinds of conversations only box wine can facilitate ... yeah, we're fancy
  • 10pm – 1am: The 5th annual CheeseburgHer: It's hard to explain, but now BlogHer can't really be over until you've worn a bag on your head

(And if you see me, please introduce yourself! I’ll be the one eyeing the dance floor.)

* To be totally explicit: If you're hearing about parties that are offsite, private, often invite-only, and only open to limited numbers of attendees, these are not sanctioned by or in conjunction with BlogHer Events.

** You will see attendees this year with badges indicating they paid the "Self-Sponsored" rate. We we happy to add this option this year for attendees who do not feel comfortable being subsidized by all of the official sponsors and preferred to pay the actual cost of their ticket.

If you’re a newbie, what would you like to know about BlogHer events before attending your first conference? If you’re a veteran, what do you wish you had known beforehand? Or, perhaps you’re an introverted veteran attendee ... are there are things you *still* wish you knew, despite the number of conferences you’ve attended? I’d love to know!

About the Conference Corner: The Conference Corner is a weekly series about BlogHer events. Whether you’re a BlogHer newbie or BlogHer veteran, we hope you’ll gain some new insight in this segment!

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