by Janis Brett Elspas
Who says being a Mom has to be all work and no play? The answer is ChildsPlayPR, for one, which hosted Southern California's top 50 Mommy Bloggers to its first-ever Bloggers Brunch event in the Los Angeles area.
How fortunate we were to be invited to this opportunity to meet an assortment of consumer vendors as colorful as the brightest rainbow and to see and learn about some innovative new products that enhance living for the entire family. That's not to mention how wonderful it was to finally chat with Child's Play Communications President Stephanie Azzarone, the award-winning dynamo who organized this event, up close and personal. Another side benefit was getting to catch up and mingle with my blogging friends -- almost all busy moms and bloggers -- whom I don't often get to see since we are spread out throughout the metropolitan five county Southern California area that encompasses hundreds of square miles.
The best things about this event were many -- here are but a few of the highlights
- It was an intimate gathering, not a mega conference with hundreds or thousands of attendees like Blogher or the Consumer Electronics Show -- two other important industry events that mommy bloggers like me should attend.
- The brands displaying their wares and who were answering our questions at ChildsPlayPR's Brunch may have been few in number but so was the ratio of brands to bloggers. In fact, this mom personally feels that we received much more attention than we're accustomed to from all the top-tier vendors in attendance. In just a few hours all of us had the opportunity to talk one on one with representatives ranging from Pottery Barn Kids, Summit Toy, Nickelodeon, Coldstone Creamery, and Toyota to Bandai, Pajama Jeans, Temptress, and Dyson Vacuums.
- In contrast, the blogger raffle prizes supplied by these companies were plentiful, totaling thousands of dollars in value all tolled. I wasn't one of the lucky ladies to take home one of those really big prizes though. But, don't worry, I didn't go home crying either. That's because woman who joined this meet-up received multiple gift bags, one from each of the brands that participated. Watch MommyBlogExpert for a separate post soon with additional photos from the event as well as details on all the goodies that were gifted to us bloggers.
- From the moment of arrival at the seaside Manhattan Beach, California's boutique and trendy Shade Hotel outdoor atrium where the event was held, ChildsPlayPR and the consumer companies pampered us guests. We were greeted with Mimosas in champagne glasses, followed by a lovely light brunch - lunch of salads and omelets made to order, and finished off with some really scrumptious Coldstone Creamery ice cream sandwiches for dessert. On top of it all, all ladies attending received makeovers by Temptress Cosmetics.
- Most importantly, many new business contacts were solidified between bloggers and the brands who attended that day. For example, thanks to the connections made at this particular gathering, I've already worked with Nickelodeon's The Fresh Beat Band twice, having been invited to their Paramount Studios set to interview the entire cast of the show as well as to conduct a back stage interview after the group's live musical performance last weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I'm also talking with other family shows at Nick for future posts, too. Also, my work is cut out for me in the months ahead as I've also lined up a number of product reviews with other brands I met at this ChildsPlayPR interactive event, all of which will eventually be published on this blog.
Child's Play Communications, hosts of the 2010 Child'sPlayPR Bloggers Brunch in L.A., held similar events in New York in for the past two years. The company specializes exclusively in public relations, social media and word of mouth for products and services targeting moms. Based in New York, this is the first agency ever to focus on that market niche, connecting companies with moms for more than 20 years. Stephanie Azzarone, president of Child's Play Communications, is pictured at left. A video of the ChildsPlayPR 2010 Bloggers Brunch in L.A. can be viewed here.