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Not everyone gets an invitation: She's Connected & birthday parties

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October 12, 2010

Not everyone gets an invitation: She's Connected & birthday parties

If you aren't into social media - keep reading anyway - because I'd love to hear your comments about how we live in a world where not every kid is invited...

This past weekend twitter was all a-twitter about the upcoming She's Connected Conference (a conference "connecting with 100 of Canada’s most influential women in a one day event" - for transparency - yes, I was invited).

The issue: there was a limit for 100 attendees. Digital peeps had to apply with their stats on connectiveness (# of twitter followers, blogs, websites, etc).

Popular digital lady - Cocktail Deeva wrote a post (which I agree with)about the conference and not feeling bad about attending (give it a read).

Brands are looking to get their message out to the greatest number of people. If you had the choice between someone who has two readers Vs. two thousand - wouldn't you want the one with two thousand?

We live in a world where not everyone gets an invitation. It's a fact of life.

Thing 2 is about to celebrate a birthday in 5 days. This year, we decided 2 friends could be invited for a cool outing (I'll share that experience next week). Only 2 friends. (budget limitations + I'm really, significantly pregnant and don't feel up to hosting a gaggle of screaming kids chez moi).

Apparently, only 2 invitations caused drama amongst the 'usual invitees'. Such drama - that the teacher had to have a sit down with the class and discuss the fact that not everyone gets an invitation - and that's OK.

Now, let's think of the She's Connected drama - grown-ups were getting upset because they weren't invited. Same issue. Different age.


Just because you aren't going to something doesn't mean you should call "UNFAIR" - get creative and act. For example:

Back in August, another digital lady - Maria, (amotherworld) was creative and hosted a twitter #NotGoingToBlogHer party because she (and many others - including moi) weren't attending BlogHer.

And upcoming, is Blissdom Canada (and again, for transparency - I am attending - thanks to sponsorship from Foundation Studio). Many aren't attending that event either - but are arranging to join in after-parties instead.

...those 10 year olds could call and have a separate play date with the birthday kid...those grown ups can have an #NotGoing event on their own.

Not every kid gets an invitation - it's a fact of life. Is this a teachable moment or a reason to make waves?

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At October 12, 2010 at 10:01 a.m. , Blogger CocktailDeeva said...

Hoorah!! Well said...We can all learn something from our children every day...

And yes..I am in the "Put on your Big Girl Panties" Club...

I have sat any of times reading my Twitter feed whilst others were doing something Fabulous that I wished I could do. But due to "life" I can't always participate or don't get invited...

It's all about supporting others, enjoying & sharing their fun and success...I LOVE seeing the Twitpics & reading the tweets about all the fabulous events...makes me feel a part of it...

Looking forward to seeing you at both SSCTO and Blissdom...


At October 12, 2010 at 10:02 a.m. , Blogger Lisa said...

Here, here. I agree %100! And on another, similar note,as an elementary school teacher, I resented the pressure I felt to give every student an "award." Praise should be given when it's warranted. What kind of message do we send when we bestow prizes, awards, praise when it hasn't necessarily been earned? Not everybody gets a prize or an invitation. Too bad, so sad. I think it makes the invitations and accolades sweeter when they do come. And for transparency, I'm not going to the She's Connected Conference but plan on joining in online! :)

At October 12, 2010 at 10:10 a.m. , Blogger Parent Club said...

I am, unabashedly, someone who doesn't think every child should get a medal.

At October 12, 2010 at 10:14 a.m. , Anonymous jennifer@nicolejanehome said...

You can't make everybody happy all the time. Where are the other parents? Why aren't they using this as an opportunity to teach their children about handling disappointment without taking it personally. Otherwise, they might grow up to be adults, who take it personally whenever they aren't invited to every exclusive event.

At October 12, 2010 at 10:48 a.m. , Blogger Amanda Kinnaird said...

I agree with you, with what you've said - along with a few others - but what I am terribly disappointed in *and for transparency I too was invited to attend the She's Connected and BlissdomCanada Conference* are how the very same women who outright dissed @Sheisconnected saying such things as 'not wanting to have companies 'pimp' their brands to them' - then jumped on the 'I want/need/have to go' bandwagon -as soon as the SWAG was announced... Some of them did end up getting an invite - while others (with more then 2 followers and yes, based on that alone are 'more connected') did not. That is a disappointment. Yes, everyone loves (and deserves!) 'free' stuff - especially really cool free stuff. I would be a liar if I said I didn't.

With all the attention surrounding bullying with kids and this is what we see? A group of grown women - acting like is shameful! I’ve been given the honour of attending this conference - and able to say that I am a ‘connected woman of influence‘; yet If one of my clients read something I have said that, by all accounts, appeared to make fun of, talk down to, or bullied another woman - well I could not have any clients left.

At the end of the day - this (or any!) is their event - and they can invite whomever they choose. I know I do - and no, sometimes I don't spell out my reasons; it's my event. Sometimes regardless of how hard you try - you just cannot please everyone. The same goes for being included in or invited to events. Who doesn't love getting an invite - there have been many I've have the privilege of attending, and just as many that I've had to decline - and equally just not been invited. Yes it stinks - but I don't however make the ones that are going (or are not, which is key here...) feel bad.


At October 12, 2010 at 10:50 a.m. , Blogger Christy aka Freckles said...

great post. I know that it is hard to not join the fun. That is where I have been in the past but it is about celebrating with and for friends. This is just how life and business works sometimes.

cheers. I am going to She's Connected. The first conference I have gone to

At October 12, 2010 at 11:03 a.m. , Anonymous Gary Champagne said...

For the sake of transparency, I'm a man. (some may choose to stop reading at this point). What I find intriguing is the cross-business/social lines of this issue. And I'm trying to consider whether or where I may have encountered or seen something similar involving men only. To be clear, I am not a "well connected" male but the only thing that comes to mind is by-invitation-only executive men's clubs from the mid- to latter halfof the last century. A comparison of which is sure to inflame some people yet I'm try to reflect honestly here. If you buy that one such as me can draw this comparison, it's not out of the rhealm of possibility that others may as well. If you are still with me, now consider how that inclusivity was perceived both my men not invited to join and by many women.

To be clear, my goal is to provoke consideration...I'm not stating a for or against position here.

Regarding the comparison to a children's birthday party, I believe there to be some flaws in the argument. Being a dad of grown children, I have witnessed first-hand the "selection" process. And, in almost all cases, those chosen for invitations were not done on a merit basis, through no means of objective measures of their quality or performance, or through means of potential future gains by the birthday host. Most parents would be appalled at the prospect of their child doing any such thing. Instead, we as parents dictate the numbers and ask the child to invite within those numbers. They, in turn, apply a highly subjective social process of friends (who may even be of low objective "quality" in a parent's eyes), kids they like or want to get to know better. And, yes, even on occassion, kids of influence who have the potential to affect future reputation. All, highly subjective. Getting back to the comparison then, was the invitation process here highly subjective, or based on a formula of social reach, influence and effectiveness via objective measures as the web site would have one believe. If subjective, I'll support the comparison to a child's birthday party. If objective, my argument is clear.

My last thought concerns the host. Who the host is in this case is unclear. Is it the brands listed? To what degree did they control or have influence over the invitation process? If, they in fact had significant control, then their is a further issue with which to be concerned. I reviewed the list of companies, alcohol producers, cosmetics...are these the people that dictate which women in Canadian society are connected, influential, and effective bloggers and communicators? Personally, and I sincerely intend no disrespect to those invited, I think not. Certainly, an exclusive pack of 3-5 brand "types" will not be concern with digital women who are not good potentials for promotion of their products and industry. I have read a number of blogs and exchanged fun and informative info with women across the invited and not invited groups. There is a high caliber of quality communicators in both spaces that, I think, were one to try to measure objectively, it would be highly difficult to distinguish the two groupings. As such my concern then lies with the generalized statements of this conference targeting the top 100 digital women of influence. To do so with credibility would mean providing a link to their objective measure and subsequent results. And this, in my opinion, is what has caused the uproar of the past weekend. If you weren't invited you are NOT one of the top 100 most influential Canadian digital women. Sorry...I don't buy that.

If you want to compare this to something, compare it to a selection on a sports team. You are invited for targeted potential success at achieving the goals. And, even that has it's fair share of politics and biases.

Thanks for the opportunity to voice my thoughts. I, for one am glad we live in a place where we can do so freely with respect :)

At October 12, 2010 at 11:21 a.m. , Anonymous Rebecca said...

I wasn't sure if I was going to comment on this but then I saw Gary's well articulated post and wanted to share.

Disclaimers: I am going to the conference. I was selected before a lot of the uproar occured.

Full disclosure, I considered not going. I am disappointed in how the conference was promoting the swag rather than what appears to be a wondreful agenda with intellegent women presenting and those attending are, no doubt, of excellent calibre.

In addition, as I stated publicly on the weekend and as others have echoed, the lack of transparency is the issue here. Selection criteria, aside from stats, was far from clear and invites rolled out in a non-consistant manner.

I don't think it's wrong for any of us - going or not - to recognize this and suggest that it could be improved upon in the future.

Having a conference where brands pitch
to me and give me product and send me off to do their bidding is not my cup of tea - I am not paying to fly there for some freebies. But this seems like more. However, the way the agenda is set, and the fact that I can hopefully learn to improve my PR relations with brands, plus the chance to connect with other women, is what drew me there.

Sure, Coke is there and since I promote healthy eating on my blog I likely won't be adding a Coke promo anytime soon. but the Egg Farmers? Or Look Good Feel Better? Let's talk.

It is extremely disappointing to see the 'going' camp being dismissive of those who might fairly have an argument against the process, and just as disappointing to see those who aren't going throwing the conference and those attending under the bus.

This conference is 1 of many that will come in our online lives. It does not define us and while it's great that I was selected - it doesn't make me better. But I do like to think I am connected. If you asked me, I would make an argument that yes, I am! I won't apologize for working hard to promote my own brand - via Twitter and my blog and that success is hopefully why I was chosen.

Also, let's do ourselves a favour everyone - let's stop talking about the swag and start talking about connecting.

I will gladly, post-conference, report back on things I've learned that will help my blog grow and share that with those who couldn't attend.

**note, since this became longer than I thought I may be copying this comment on my own blog ;)

At October 12, 2010 at 11:26 a.m. , Blogger Parent Club said...

Jennifer - good point about adults taking things personally.

Amanda - I hadn't thought of the client aspect or bullying. Thanks for sharing that!

Christy - Everyone knows how it feels not to attend an event - but your comment shows you can still celebrate (and move on with life).

Gary - your comments are thought-provoking and welcome. And, the birthday party comparision is subjective ;-)

At October 12, 2010 at 11:38 a.m. , Blogger Karma & Adam said...

Everyone has already added a lot of great commentary on this, so mine will be short and sweet. I think people have a right to be disappointed and express that. I also think people have a right to promote their excitement at being invited to an "exclusive" event. I think the conference coordinators could have done a much, much better job at explaining the criteria - why not give people as much information as possible? That way they could have decided whether applying was even worth it, and some of that disappointment may have been avoided. Regardless, I think it's all been blown WAY out of proportion, on both sides, but I do hope those attending get a lot of value out of it.

At October 12, 2010 at 12:27 p.m. , Blogger Somekindofmom said...

As someone who didn't go to Blogher and who isn't going to Blissdom, but who was selected for @shesconnected I completely understand how some people would feel left out. All I want to say is that there will be more opportunities. This won't be the only conference. There will be more promotions on twitter, more Tassimos and Make-overs to be had. Eventually everyone will have a turn with something.

At October 12, 2010 at 12:37 p.m. , Blogger ♥ Bonnie ♥ said...

I agree, but the one thing that makes me a little steamed is when everyone BUT one person/child is invited. Otherwise everyone needs to pull up their big boy/girl pants and move on. :)

At October 14, 2010 at 11:02 a.m. , Blogger ModernMom said...

Well written post!
I too am one of the ones invited to ShesConnected (also attending BlissdomCanada) and have to say I was a little shocked at the negativity that ended up being thrown at the organizers of this event. Just as with a child's birthday party, it is there event. They can choose to invite whom they wish, for what ever reasons they choose. They even went public saying they wish they could invite more then 100 people....perhaps next time!
I'm excited to go and know it is part being connected and part luck.


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