One: We hoped to meet and talk with executives from HBO, Target, and Fortune. Our hope was to talk business - get Chris (HBO) to shake our hand and listen to our great idea for a new HBO show; to get Minda (Target) to give us suggestions on how to get our books into Target; and to charm our way into the pages of Fortune magazine.
Here's what happened: Nothing. We got to hear these folks speak - and speak well, but ... there was never an opportunity to actually MEET them and shake their hands. We're not exactly sure why - after all, every one of them said *over and over* that the customer is king, or queen - worthy of a handshake, surely?
Make no bones about it, we liked what they had to say - especially Minda, she just glowed on stage, all the while explaining why Target isn't like other discount stores - that Target actually got its start as a high-end department store, recognizing that "design matters." A quality that holds them in good stead, even now. (fie, fie, we say - on the Walmartians! We're Target girls to the hilt!)
While each of these executives mentioned leadership accepting the challenge of being "bold" as opposed to "risky" - we didn't feel they demonstrated any boldness on stage. It would have been bold, and appropriate, to get down off the stage and meet the audience!
Two: We'd hoped to chat up our sponsors - give them some verbal promotion.
Here's what happened: We succeeded in showing probably a dozen executives the flyer we brought. All of them congratulated us on our innovative nature (especially Scott Cook from Intuit - he seemed more interested than the others, though we're not sure why) and tucked that flyer away in their suitcoat pocket. Okay, one person left it on the table. <sigh> We considered chasing him down and insisting he take it with him, but - decorum got the better of us. We left it on the table, too. If you wouldn't mind, dear readers, please check out our sponsors. We'll tell you more about them later this month.
Third: We'd hoped to rub shoulders with other bloggers. To find some interesting people with stories to tell.
Here's what happened: We rubbed shoulders with a lot of others at the Forum, we chatted with a most delightful woman from HP, a manager at Eli Lilly, and a delightful young woman (named Maryanne - NOT our sister) taking pics...but, we didn't explore the 'stories' to tell angle. We were too busy explaining what a 'blog' is. No, seriously. Every time we said we were one of the "select group of bloggers" the other person's face would light up and he or she would say, "Ah! A blogger. So, what is a blog?"
A blog, just one more time, is an easily updated website, with content offered in reverse chronological order, based on a particular theme, focus, or industry, and offered as an interactive connection to like-minded individuals. There.
Unfortunately, we did not meet the other bloggers. Fortune did nothing to bring us together. More's the pity. It would have been fun to see who the other bloggers were. And yes, we're big girls but really now, how hard would it have been to send us a note identifying the other bloggers?
Fourth: Ibid. Which means: that which went before, or something like that. Third and fourth actions work together. They both involve blogging and the discussion of said. We were quite successful at that part of our goal.
Fifth: Forging friendships. Smiling a lot. Building community.
We think we did that. For what it's worth, there wasn't a lot of time for getting friendly. When we did have a chance to engage in conversation, we did so. We were approached by others more often than not, and since our nametags sported an orange ribbon that said "press" we are pretty confident those who approached us wanted -- press. Therefore, we're giving them what they wanted - right here.
And, that's the way it was. On Thursday, December 1st, 2005. In NY, at the Time Warner building.
What's not to like about that?
p.s. There's more - we have our overview of the whole event; our pluses and minuses...coming this weekend. Check back - often. It's marketing to women online, at its best! Good stuff.