How to get into #BlogBash at #CPAC2013. . .

Blog Bash is the largest gathering of right-of-center bloggers every single year.  Our event typically lasts 4 to 7 hours and has more bloggers in attendance than any other political conference.  We achieved this by making the party for bloggers, by bloggers.

Here’s how you DON’T get an invitation-ticket to Blog Bash:

  1. You’re friends with Ali, Aaron, or Melissa, the Host Organizers of the event.
  2. You’re really good friends with Ali, Aaron, Melissa, or one of the volunteer staffers.
  3. You’re really really really popular… on Facebook and Twitter.
  4. You’re a beltway blogger. You’re a happy hour and reception veteran.
  5. You get paid to work in the movement, on campaigns, or with a political/civic-focused non-profit.

We value transparency and we’ve been consistent in our past 9 events going on 4 years now. Here’s the process all laid out again…

Here are the considerations on exactly who DOES end up getting an invitation-ticket to Blog Bash:

  1. We start with the fire code. We know we’re going to break that number, but try respecting it as best we can. Because… safety and the physics of timespace.
  2. We then have to add staff. The entire staff volunteers their time, energy, and a lot of times funds. We had 22 last year. There’s no party with no staff.
  3. We then add a filter. We take a look at who has been supportive over the years. We look at our Twitter and Facebook to see who is tweeting, hashtagging it up, liking our statuses, and participating with the brand.
  4. We work closely with the American Conservative Union (the organization that puts on CPAC). They’ve always been very open and cooperative with us. We work together to identify CPAC credentialed bloggers as a starting point. Unfortunately that number is always above the fire code, so we’re force to whittle down the pool. Bloggers must still apply for an invitation so we know they are interested. RSVP’ing on Facebook alone doesn’t ensure anyone’s attendance.
  5. We start with outside the beltway unpaid bloggers. These are people with jobs outside of politics. These folks aren’t able to make it to CPAC every single year like some of us. They get one night to be a star while we foot the tab.
  6. We then add our award nominees, past award winners, event committee, sponsors, and VIP guests. These people support the National Bloggers Club and Blog Bash throughout the year and are a necessary part of making Blog Bash happen.
  7. With a little wiggle room left, we add paid bloggers, beltway bloggers, and the folks who have been around forever.

It’s hard. I’m forced to leave out my colleagues in the consultant-world. Melissa is forced to leave out good activists she’s known for years. And we’re not “leaving people out” inasmuch as there’s no room. We do have a waiting list we add folks to. Last year, 75 folks made it on that list last year and we were able to let about 25 of them in during the second hour.

We had 505 folks pass through our event last year. We’re the largest invite-only party at CPAC each year and the largest gathering of right-of-center bloggers. We’re very proud of the brand and bash we’ve built where more than 50 groups can come together on neutral ground and all chip in so that bloggers can have an academy and have a night to honor our peers.

If you’d like to sponsor so you’re guaranteed a ticket, please act fast… we are picky and only allow a limited number of each level.

As we grow, we’re looking for new ways to include more good people. Please let me know if you have any ideas. I’m all ears!


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