Johnson & Johnson is generously hosting their first ever “Camp Baby” event for Mommy Bloggers in early April. I’m thrilled to be invited and will definitely be sharing my take on the event with readers.
J&J’s outreach event to connect with Mom Bloggers has created a ton of drama in the blogsphere in the past week. If the amount of buzz this event is generating is any indication of how interesting and influential this Mommy crowd can be, I think Camp Baby will be phenomenal!
A quick google search will bring up all the buzz about “No Babies Allowed” at Camp Baby. In a nutshell, some very influential, connected and well respected bloggers were “disinvited” from the conference when introducing the unexpected variable of their plans to bring a nursing newborn to the event. It is tough to please everybody all the time so I feel for J&J as I think it is fantastic of them to reach out to us Moms in the first place. ( You can read Mothergoosemouse’s blog for her breakdown and check out Susan Getgood’s Marketing Roadmaps for a professional take on the entire deal. ) J&J has tried to reach out to everyone and I think they seem eager to learn from their mistakes as obviously this event was designed with the best intentions. Lori, from J&J, comments on the blogstorm, mistakes, and future learnings here on J&J’s blog.
And for the record, I am also a nursing Mom who has a breastfed baby just over “newborn” age (Kyle is 3 months old) and I plan to attend without the baby.
To be honest, I didn’t expect anyone to cater to the fact that I currently have a 12 week old baby who is breast fed. I guess given my past experience in Corporate America where a baby would never be allowed at a work conference, I didn’t expect anywhere in my wildest dreams that this invitation would include my child. Thus, I didn’t ask to bring the baby. I have little experience as an “invited” attendee to any corporate conferences outreaching to bloggers, and I’ve also never been able to attend BlogHer – and clearly this is a “different” culture than Corporate America. Hooray for that!
I’m optimistic that next year J&J will consider providing childcare for the toddlers/preschool set and letting nursing moms do their thing during the conference. The interesting thing is I think given their “corporate” perspective they never imagined “working” mommy bloggers bringing their babies or kids to an event. Clearly, the event planners didn’t quite realize what a unique group of modern moms we are – where many of us are home full time with kids but also running websites as is the case with me! Many of the invitees blogging on this debacle are applauding Graco for their previous blogger outreach efforts. I’d love to hear more about what Graco is doing as I haven’t seen any details in posts and personally I’ve not attended any Graco functions.
My husband is taking off and I”ll be dealing with pumping during the conference just like I would have if I had gone back to work full time when maternity leave ended. Truthfully, although I’ll totally miss the 2 year old and new baby – it will be liberating to attend without my kids as I’ll be able to spend 2 days focusing on networking, meeting new friends, learning about products in J&J’s pipeline,and hearing the opinions of so many other Mommy bloggers.
Planning an event is tough – and it’s virtually impossible to please everyone. I’m optimistic Camp Baby will be an amazing event and I feel privileged to be included. The event hasn’t even happened yet and already a ton of learning is taking place. Both the Mommy Bloggers and J&J definitely have tons of information to share with each other and both sides stand to learn a lot from an event like this so I can’t wait!