The BlogHer conference in Chicago just wrapped up, with over 5,000 women in attendance who blog and are active in social media. Brands had a variety of approaches to cater to and engage this influential audience.

Here is a recap of some of the BlogHer expo booths we thought not only had creative approaches to marketing to the BlogHer attendees, but also created the most engaging booth experiences:

The Kiss Products team was there to promote their imPRESS press-on manicure collection, hair appliances and other beauty essentials. The brand’s on-site team had stylists on hand to give hair touch-ups, and manicures.

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The stylists were very friendly, and engaged the women not only about their blog content, but also gave personal beauty advice. Appointments were booked at the booth and they were busy for the duration of the show. This was especially impactful because instead of handing a package of nails to passersby, the brand had a chance to explain application and give each attendee personal attention.

BlogHer is a chance to meet face to face with bloggers, instead of sending cold pitches via email. Having a few minutes with each attendee to make them feel special and beautiful was a smart move to building lasting connections with the brand.

Makeovers are also great material for Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest content. Kiss gained instant buzz as women shared their new look via social. Beck, a member of our social team is a fashion blogger who got this response to her Instagrammed mani:

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After their manicure or makeover each blogger was given a smartly packaged gift bag of Kiss products, they were one of the few brands on site to bag product. Most brands were disseminating loose product, with few brands giving out bags this year it was tough for some bloggers to carry their samples.

Something as simple as a gift bag shows bloggers your brand thought about their experience not only at the booth, but walking away from it.

Ryobi was a first time BlogHer exhibitor. The on-site team is also their in-house social media crew. The women running the booth were passionate about the products and very personable.

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The simple Ryobi booth had one goal: to get power tools in the hands of women and to get them comfortable using tools. The team was also connecting with bloggers for brand opportunities. At the end of the conference, the team raffled off the booth contents which drew a big crowd, and some very excited attendees who won lawnmowers, power washers and more, which lead to a lot of posing with tools for social media posts:

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While not a flashy booth, the Ryobi one was just really well executed by the friendly on-site team.

Windex was on-site to promote their new Touch-Up product. Instead of doing straight forward demos of the kitchen and bathroom cleaner, the marketing team executed a smart play on the brand name. A celebrity make-up artist and hair stylists were on hand to provide hair of make-up “Touch-Ups.” The brand also engaged in a sampling initiative, with full-size products available at the booth and through room-drops at the Sheraton hotel.

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Feeling pampered by a brand makes a lasting impression. Windex also has blogger brand ambassadors including Colleen Padilla, of the blog Classy Mommy, on hand for meet and greets.

Several brands wanted attending bloggers to create videos or step into photo booths and provide confession style content or instant, creative replies to brand questions. While these sound like great ideas for engagement, the audience was not as interested in participating in activities which they perceived as potentially embarrassing.

These also limited the participants to the most outgoing members of the audience, not providing a comfortable space for all. In several laps around the conference, our team noticed that the expensive equipment was standing empty.

Booth engagement isn’t limited to makeovers for this audience. Other great ideas we saw at this and other conferences include having a charicature artist on hand to create portraits of attendees children and/or pets, Plinko or Wheel of Fortune style booth games, and booth-based competitions between attendees to use product to complete a task in order to win a prize.

If your brand is interested in exhibiting at BlogHer next year, take a cue from the above mentioned brands. Creating a personalized, engaging experience goes a long way to building relationships with the BlogHer audience.

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