Tags: anti-swag, blogger events, crocs, Cybermummy, Cybher, Duplo, huggies
So, we’re less than a week away from Cybher now, and it’s set to be a new dawn in the female blogging revolution. And swag free too.
For those who attended CyberMummy for the last two years, you’ll know what incredibly exciting, inspiring, rewarding, entertaining and enlightening events they were.
You’ll also know that in year two in particular, we were greeted by a barrage of promotional activity and goodies on stepping through those grand doors. Now I’m not disputing that there is a place for brand and blogger engagement, I’m currently a Lego Duplo Mum and have been a Huggies Mum too. Plus I’ve reviewed many (relevant) products in my time. But these events are a rare opportunity for people to come out from behind their computers and interact for real – yep, real people all in one room at one time, actually talking to each other.
There are people I became very close to via Twitter like Susan Mann, who I went on to meet in person at CyberMummy two years ago. And last year, as I prepared to take to the stage for my crowd sourced speaker slot, she was my supporting arm, willing me on.
So back to that barrage. I will never forget the scenes surrounding the Crocs stand last year – rows of frantic mums sifting and flinging shoes from bins organised by his, hers and kids. Now forgive me but Crocs are actually just moulded plastic shoes right?! And considering most of the women breaking out into a sweat trying to find the right sizes for themselves and their offspring were very well dressed, high-heel wearing lasses, I doubt very much if they’d wear them if they weren’t being given away.
Whilst the draw of free stuff was too much to resist for many, with bloggers being pulled in as if there was a magnetic force under the branded t-shirt of each cheerily faced PR person, others stood nervously in the background, feeling slightly overwhelmed by the chaos. ’Shouldn’t I want a free sachet of that, a taste of this and a goodie bag containing mystery things?!’ These were the people who had come to talk.
At CyberMummy year one I totally confess to bringing home such a huge bag of swag that I had to drag it along behind me. The bottom of the bag was totally shredded by the time I got to my destination. A fellow train passenger tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a Vodafone frisbie – ‘you lost something’ he said. I was mortified. I felt even more embarrassed by my haul when I saw others tweeting photos of their mountains of stuff, equal in size to mine. We could argue that if brands want to give it away then why not take it? And I confess too that the Garafalo Pasta was some of the best I’ve tasted. Random for a goodie bag, but I tweeted my love for it.
The real arguement for me is, why put 400 bloggers in one room who would maybe never get a chance to meet otherwise and take away from valuable talking time with bargain shoe buckets?
That’s why I think it’s fantastic that Cybher has taken an anti swag policy this year. The event is totally dedicated to talking, learning, laughing and hopefully a few drinks too. I’ll be there with bells on – if you haven’t read my Meet & Greet yet, pop over; you need to know I’m little so you have to try extra hard to find me.
See you at the weekend. You better all talk to me now I’ve said all this…