July 23, 2009

Mom Central Sorta Sucks.

Seriously. They suck. But wait. Do not take my word for it. I will let you be the judge. Won't that be more fun?

On July 6th, I received this email from Stacy DeBroff:

Hi Mother Talkers,

Are you going to BlogHer in Chicago? If so, we would love to invite you to our second annual Have a Drink on Us cocktail party. Along with our friends at Johnson & Johnson and Hasbro, we are throwing a welcome party to give you a chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones!

Our party will be held Thursday July 23rd in the Chicago Sheraton at the Java Bar from 4-6pm, and we would love to see you there! Please click here to add your name to our guest list. Please RSVP by July 8th so we can send you a drink ticket before you head off to Chicago. Space is limited, so please sign up as soon as you can!



Stacy DeBroff
CEO, Mom Central Inc.

I RSVP'd and made flight arrangements to arrive early enough to attend this and even arranged for our babysitter to come in today since I was leaving earlier than originally thought. As I thought I would be attending this party, I did not RSVP to anything else at the time and thought this would be my social engagement before the People's Party. And that is where I was wrong. So very wrong.

Yesterday evening, I received this from Ashley Tedder:

Thank you so much for your interest in our Mom Central BlogHer cocktail party. We had an overwhelming response from our blogger community and unfortunately have to keep the guest list to only those bloggers on our Mom Central and Mother Talk Blog Rolls. If you are interested in becoming a Mom Central blogger, please click here to sign up.

Thank you again for your interest in our Mom Central party. We are so sorry we will not be able to meet you at our event – but please look out for us throughout the conference. You won’t be able to miss us....we’ll be the ladies wearing the bright orange “Mom Central” buttons! If you see us walking around, please stop us to say hello as we always love to meet new bloggers!

If you have any follow-up questions on our Mom Central Blog Roll program, please do not hesitate to let me know.


My response? Glad you asked!
Thank you for the notice. I have to say that I am very surprised in the lateness in receiving this. I decided against doing something else to attend this and it would have been more convenient to have been notified of being uninvited earlier so that I could have made alternate arrangements. Furthermore, I made travel arrangements to work around being able to attend this. I understand this event must have been popular, but I RSVP'd two weeks ago. Again, I am very disappointed in the lateness of this notice.


Listen, I am nobody's fool. Wait, do not answer that, I am probably somebody's fool. In this case, most definitely Mom Central's.

I am not living under any delusion that I am a high-traffic blogger. Just don't invite me in the first place. Don't be rude. Canceling someone's invitation the day before the party is simply bad manners. Good grief. Truly, I find it impossible to believe that Mom Central just "discovered" their "overwhelming response" early yesterday evening.

So. Yes, I am sad that I do not get to schmooze with Hasbro, the home of Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers - after all, I have an entire closet devoted to boardgames. No worries, though. I will still have a great time at the Blogging-Conference-For-Women-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named. And hey! What's this? I see here that the Art Institute of Chicago has later hours on Thursdays. How very convenient for me.

Still, I am most certainly not impressed with a so-called "professional" group acting like this - uninviting someone at the last minute.

Particularly, when that someone is me. I sorta like me, dammit.


Unknown said...

Morning!! Wow- so sorry to hear about this- and vast apologies for Ashley on our team's profound mistake- not personal at all or intentional. She should have known you were a Mother-Talker and double-checked. How embarrassing for us- and my personal apologies. Honestly- not meant! Please come as my guest tonight!! Stacy, CEO Mom Central

CPA Mom said...

I was so glad to see Stacy's response above because I've never had anything but GOOD to say about Mom Central - they've always treated me right and I have always loved how completely accessible Stacy is to me, a lowly blogger. I hope you still go Kelli and get to meet them all - I am very envious as I would have loved to meet the Mom Central chicas in person (which I doubt will EVER happen given that I'm, well, too POOR to travel and not a "superblogger" so I'm not ever going to be given a trip of any kind.)

I sorta like you too (have a great time!!!)

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I think it would be better if I did not attend at this point. I really do appreciate your apology, though.

Erin said...

These parties sound like so much angst and drama. Is there really a door person checking names and URLs? Whatever happened to everyone just grabbing drinks at the hotel bar like other professional conferences? The exclusivity seems a little strange ... it's a blogging conference, not Greek Week. I thought online self-publishing meant the gate keepers were obsolete? I guess not in the social life surrounding the industry.

Maybe the conference's sponsor culture will saturate so thoroughly that by 2011, bloggers will wear jumpsuits plastered with logos, sort of like Nascar driver outfits. Key sponsor space reserved for butt and laptop case!

stephanie said...

While it was thoughtful of Stacy to invite you as her personal guest, is she doing that for ALL of the people who were disinvited at that last minute? Because that is truly the only way to begin to make amends for the poor manners and business judgment of disinviting people who had already RSVP'd. It is one thing to let someone know as soon as they RSVP that the slots unexpectedly filled up too quickly; it is quite another to not let them know until the day before the event.

MomCentral should have either (1) not invited people they didn't have space for without alternate locations possible to accommodate everyone, or (2) disinvited those who RSVP'd last, regardless of whether they were bloggers on their Mom Central and Mother Talk Blog Rolls. Their favoritism to late RSVPers who are already one of them sure undercuts their statement that they "always love to meet new bloggers."

zoot said...

Stephanie hit it perfect:

"While it was thoughtful of Stacy to invite you as her personal guest, is she doing that for ALL of the people who were disinvited at that last minute?"

You weren't upset b/c you're a Mother Talker on the Blogroll and Ashley didnt know that. You're upset because you were UNINVITED. No one should be Uninvited in that fashion. At the last minute.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Why do marketing types seem so disorganized about marketing to bloggers? This is not the first we-want-you-no-we-don't "disinvite" snafu I've read about on the internet. It must be the 20th, at least.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

And word to what stephanie said. If you advertise it as "first come first served," stick to that rather than later disinviting people with the "only our besties get to come, so sorry!"

Erin made me snicker, as usual.

pinkunicorn said...

I think blaming her employee was especially classy.

Moderndayhermit said...

How fucking lame. Who does that? Unbelievable!

meno said...

This is the reason i don't go to the not mentioned event. Too much drama.

The gift shop at the art institute is wonderful. Have fun.

The Gori Wife said...

Sorry to hear you were uninvited. And then reinvited. Because it turns out you are special enough after all unlike all those other uninviteds. I hope you have fun regardless. Me, I'd go anyway. From uninvited to special guest of the CEO? There's bound to be some kinda good appetizers with THAT kind of VIP treatment. I could never turn down a crab puff.

aibee said...

Such bad manners. SUCH.

I'm a total bunnies and kittens kind of gal, and ordinarily would be all "oh how nice an apology!" to see one offered. First comment, no less!

Thing is, I'd be MORE impressed had the comment been a PERSONAL email and NOT all publicly posted here as an ode to Look At How Great Mom Central Is.

I'm feeling then, that it was offered more because Mom Central got called out and less because you got dumped.

You handled it well, cagey. Well done.

*round of applause*

Me said...

Man that sux. After all the planning you did around it. I'm glad you're sticking to your guns though. They don't deserve your sparkling presence at their shindig - and I agree that the public comment appears too much like PR damage control to be taken at face value. I hope they are truly standup gals and have conveyed their apologies to you and the others they snubbed in private as well.

I hope the Art Institute was AWESOME.

Mom101 said...

Particularly after the Camp Baby fiasco, you would think that these folks have learned their lesson about setting up guidelines for invitations at private events - and how bad disinvitations are.

Actually I'm fairly sure J&J knows. It seems to be their expert consultants who don't. And that is pretty damn bad.

Magpie said...

Wow - I can't believe they disinvited you. Big mis-step.