Blogger Prom Started Out As a Joke

You wouldn’t have known it, but we had just tasted Macallan 10 year Fine Oak as well as 18 year Sherry Oak and they may have very well been a source of inspiration. I put together a tasting thanks to Macallan’s PR company in Manhattan and invited some friends and bloggers (some of whom couldn’t make it but mostly everyone on Blogger Prom Committee were invited) to partake in the joy that is single-malt scotch. But I was glad Caroline on Crack, H.C. of LA OC Foodie, Julie Wolfson of LAist and Maya of ShopEatSleep were able to be there. The tasting was a really enjoyable and even educational experience.

But we weren’t done yet. We left The Viceroy for the Phoenix-based La Grande Orange, which coincidentally was having its soft opening the very same night across the street at their Santa Monica mainstay.

Ballroom

My non-blogging friends went home and fellow bloggers (plus captainsean) and I had decided to stay. We were waiting for our 6-person table while giddy on fine spirit. The topic of high school, formals and ultimately prom came up and how important that rite of passage was – at the time – for us. Well, and how silly it seems now that we look back. The truth is, I had never been to prom. As far as formals, I had been to one homecoming in high school. What a geeky time in my life – which I am sure is what most say. I had limited interaction with my peers outside of school due to overprotective parents. Recollecting on that, I remarked how fun it would be to do it over again the way we wanted with “just us nerdy bloggers.”

I continued in my comic relief: We’d dress up in sea green and salmon cummerbunds, matching dresses, corsages, boutonnières and dyed-to-match satin shoes. We’d take funny prom photos, complete with guy standing behind girl and hands clasped in front. Braces showing and bangs sprayed to stand straight up. We all laughed at the idea. Exactly how much fun would that be?! Silly bloggers!

Or not.

Or yes.

Wait. Hold on a minute…

Just us blogging geeks? With our PR contacts?

*Cough* It would be stupid not to do this.

While we were seated and subsequently satisfied by food that was actually decent for a resto’s opening day, the idea would not leave my subconscious. My conscience. The next day, Caroline and I conversed via Twitter DM and text messaging.

Me: “No, really. We should totally do Blogger Prom.”

Caroline: “Totally. Let’s chat later.”

Me: “Yes.”

Yes!

And there it was. Because Caroline had had her Blogiversary party at Bar Lubitsch and is tiiight with Jared, the owner, naturally we were inclined to have it at a place whose owner we were familiar with. And then an opportunity presented itself.

The very next Friday, I had done an open call for a recommended happy hour in West Hollywood over Twitter. My Tweeples (yes, I did) didn’t disappoint – and I went with Maya’s suggestion of happy hour at RH on the bottom floor of the Andaz Hotel, formerly the Riot House. After a bad experience, I complained and recommended against said happy hour to my followers on Twitter. The next Monday, there was an email in my inbox expressing a desire to rectify my experience by the Andaz rep. So we scheduled a weekday lunch since I work nearby and brought my coworker and girlfriend C since she was also at that *meh* happy hour. Long story short, at the end of our meal I told Andaz’s rep about the Blogger Prom Caroline and I were going to put together and offered the positive PR opportunity to give out a couple free room stays as raffle prizes.

After a bit of back-and-forth, Andaz offered the entire rooftop space as well as RH catering in exchange of the honor of hosting our event there. We were floored, so to speak.

Members of the Blogger Prom Committee and others who caught wind have wondered why this wasn’t done sooner. We all have our contacts – why not freakin’ pool them, baby? DUH. From the food, to the pool deck view, to the furniture set-up, a DJ who came to us and offered his what-turned-out-to-be extraordinary services (wut wut, DJ Wmdeez), to the extraordinary plethora of sponsors from which to pick, choose and refuse the goodie bag items we wanted and didn’t want … nothing here was left up to chance. Luck, maybe – but it’s an amazing thing to have to say no to sponsors (complete list) because there isn’t enough time in the night to dedicate to all of them! Oh, and by the way – do you have 200 of something to offer everyone?

Marni was our tickets hookup, H.C. and Caroline hooked it up with blinged-out gift certificates, Tara was our big-time corporate and sweets hook-up, Maya hooked it up with the most slippery goodie bag item of all, Lindsay and Caroline were organizational wizards, H.C. was our in-house graphics designer and Natalie was our in-house mixology expert. We had every corner hooked up and I cannot take for granted that this idea just took off on its own – there was nothing short of an incredible motley of talent I am so honored to have been a part of.

Pauly

In the end, it was all about the bloggers. To this effect came our no signage policy. Everyone hates a blog color scheme that makes your eyes bleed or is inundated with ads; we designed Blogger Prom in the same vein. It’s all about content, baby – and your prom outfits made for the best décor and expressed your personal style. Or, what that would be if it were 20-years-ago…today? I wore a sleeveless purple velvet and gold number with long sleeves (apparently it IS possible to be sleeveless and sleeve…full at the same time). Okay, first of all, I didn’t know if I wanted to serve pancakes more or put on ice skates. And geez was that dress hot!! I was sweating bullets.

And I heard RH did an awesome job with the food. If I wanted to do a food post here, I wouldn’t be able to since I was running around and escorting Pauly Shore to the mic to announce The Comedy Store’s raffle prize, announcing raffle prizes myself or checking people in. But adding to RH’s magic were Barrie Lynn of Cheese Impresario’s demonstrations, mini Polkatots cupcakes and dipped-on-a-stick Pure Cheesecakes. Verizon even gave us a computer lab and gave away a MiFi via a Twitter contest! Imagine that.

And we can’t forget Natalie’s signature cocktails, the Flor de Maria with Rosangel Tequila and Prom Punch Jungle Juice with Pinky Vodka. They were absolutely delicious and on-theme. And thanks to Martin Miller, Newcastle and Fresh & Easy for providing top-notch gin, brown ale and wino. And we couldn’t have a prom without an official photographer!! Special shout out goes to Claire Barrett, who shot some amazing photos all night. Also to the rep(s) at Andaz West Hollywood – we were in contact a gabillion times the past two months to make sure things were coordinated with the fabulous venue.

Goodie bag

The goodie bag? Would it be bashful of me to say that I don’t remember a better blogger goodie bag , ever? My favorite items were the mini bottles of Pinky Vodka and Martin Miller’s Gin, plus a free pass to The Viper Room, a bottle of Pepsi Natural, a Pinkberry parfait coupon (tip: they expire soon, everyone – so use them soon!), and the box of 4 Charles’ Chocolates. I can’t wait to wear my Born to Blog tee with pride!

It was so good to meet the faces behind the blogs and see old friends. And like other prom committee members, I do wish I got to meet more bloggers. Many more bloggers! While a rewarding experience to have conceived and executed an event – I’m almost content to leave all the attendees reap the rewards. Almost!! This event is no joke any longer…it’s for serious.

Can’t wait til next year (well, maybe a little)…

For now, I’ll leave you with the recaps (and please do comment if I’ve unintentionally left you out). 😉

Also remember to check out the Blogger Prom Flickr Pool! Join if you haven’t already – pics are still coming in daily. All photos in this post except top credited to Claire Barrett.

LA Weekly

Lalawag

BlogHer

Caroline on Crack

Tara Met Blog

Happy Go Marni

Shop Eat Sleep

Franklin Avenue

Foodwoolf

Diana Takes A Bite

Eating LA

The Slackmistress

JolieNadine

Kevin Eats

All the Days of my Life

The Real Nanciful

Julia’s Mexico City

Confessions of a Fat Girl

Los Angeles Story

South Bay Foodies