Last Sunday after Fro Fashion Week, I had some time to kill before my flight and so I decided to head on over to the Bronner Bros show, which was also going on. I finally got to check out something that I have been wanting to since seeing Good Hair: a styling competition!!! The one I stumbled upon was the Grab Bag Competition featuring 30 stylists and models on stage, styling for 30 minutes. It was very cool and very entertaining. Here’s a vid:
I also sat through a little bit of Taliah Waajid’s “No Two Curls Are Alike” workshop in which she discussed her product line and natural styles with attendees.
I had also wanted to go on the expo floor and cover the latest and greatest in natural vendors, but unfortunately Bronner Bros has changed their policy on media passes and bloggers no longer qualify to receive them. Last August I received a media pass to Bronner Bros show and used my pass to gain access to workshops and the expo floor. I ended up not writing just one but FOUR posts on the event. (Including making a sweet video featuring a house remix of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman). I found that the media pass was a great way to connect with other naturalpreneurs in the Great Sew-In Sea and I loved being able to promote these brands to their niche demographic.
This year, when Michelle Breyer of NaturallyCurly and Curly Nikki tried to get their media passes to the show to cover the event, they were at first rudely denied access because they do not fall within Bronner Bros definition of “professional journalists”.
Frankly, I’m not sure what’s unprofessional about having over 2 million viewers a month.
Eventually they DID get into the show after a lot of hemming and hawing and covered the show on their respective sites. However, when I swung through the show with Michelle on Sunday and I was not so lucky and did not get a media pass.
Am I salty that I didn’t get into the show this time around? A little bit, yes. Mainly because of the way in which the situation was handled by the Bronner Bros representatives. I didn’t end up buying the $40 pass because the registration lines were so long that I would have waited in line longer than I would have been in the show.
A quick Google search shows that the Bronner Bros show received four mentions under the news tab in the past week and under the blogs tab…wait for it…86! 86 mentions of the show in the past week alone on blogs! (Make that 87 now I guess…)
Bronner Brothers has every right to grant passes to whomever they please and I’m not saying that all bloggers deserve a pass. However, it seems to me that their media strategy needs to get with the times and recognize the power of the web to help their vendors get faster, more targeted exposure beyond the walls of the Georgia World Congress Center and traditional media to the greater internet-based audience.
All of that said, I didn’t have the worst time hanging out around the Bronner Bros Show. In addition to checking out all of the phenomenal and gravity-defying styles roaming the compound, I also spent a good chunk of time marveling at the thousands of cheerleaders swarming the other half of the convention center for the Cheersport National Championships. And like Bronner Bros attendees, they are also obsessed with their hair…just in a very different way.