Formalizing Our Kitchen Cabinet: The BlogHer Sponsor Advisory Board
Since its inception, we've called the BlogHer Annual Conference "the conference the community built." The sessions, the parties, the spirit, even the swag policy have all been continuously developed (and improved) through an ongoing community pulse-taking process.
All this time, as we've worked with our community of influencers to grow and develop our event, we've also established a strong tie (and feedback loop) with another community—our sponsor partners: brand marketers and agency management who are leaders in influencer marketing. Some of these leaders even lead a double life as part of the influencer community themselves, and certainly they've engaged with the BlogHer community for so long that they’re an integral part of the relationships we’ve all built there. They are welcomed every year at BlogHer, just as we welcome any of our bloggy peeps, and they participate in the community experiences, keynotes, and parties. They read our posts; some even cry at the Voices of the Year Community Keynote.
Over the years, a core group of these thought leaders from sponsoring brands and agencies emerged and consistently counseled me, Elisa, Lisa, and the conference team on what would make a difference to their respective organizations. They've invited us to their companies to speak and share best practices, and we've come to rely on them for ongoing dialogue about how digital influencers can best team up with brands. They've helped make us smarter and helped sustain our mega-event by keeping it relevant to the brands that make it possible. They want us to win, not just for their brands' success, but because they truly believe in our diverse community and want to see it thrive.
Last year, when we decided to finally share with you the negative impact that unethical practices like outboarding and suitcasing have on our event, the BlogHer team also decided to address the issue by turning to this valued community of thought leaders and asking how we could remain connected to the sponsors that support our events. We have now established our first-ever Sponsor Advisory Board, to formalize their roles as truth-tellers and champions. We want and need both!
We were proud to announce the board earlier this week. We know you’ll agree they’re an impressive bunch, and they might just be some of your favorite people to see at BlogHer events!
- Stephanie Agresta, Global Director, Social Media and Digital at MSLGROUP
- Christine Cea, Senior Director, Marketing Communications, Unilever
- Gemma Craven, Executive Director, Head of Social Customer Engagement, Ogilvy One Worldwide
- Christine Garboski, Head of Test Kitchens, Nestle
- Jennifer Little, Senior Vice President at MWW Group
- Blake McKinney, Principal at Latitude/The Richards Group
- Kelley Skoloda, Partner/Director, Global Brand Marketing Practice, Ketchum
- Stephanie Smirnov, Managing Director, Consumer Marketing at Edelman NYC
- Irana Wasti, Chair, GoDaddy Women’s Initiative Network and Head of Product, Productivity Applications
- Karen Wickre, Editorial Director, Twitter
- Rick Wion, Director of Social Media, McDonald's Corporation
This team has agreed to help us innovate on behalf of sponsors, as well as play to our strengths. Lisa, Elisa, and I could not be more grateful for their partnership and years of support.
We hope you’ll like what we collectively cook up.