I've mentioned how I pulled out all the stops this year traveling around the country--from L.A. to North Carolina to New York (twice)--to attend design extravaganzas and blogging events. I've come away feeling . . . dare I say . . . a bit manic: high from the substance, but low on occasion from the atmosphere. There is abundant information out there about design and plenty to go around. But I've perceived at past events a bit of rivalry and oneupmanship among some design bloggers that feels petty and a bit like high school.
Not so Blogfest. Imagine 168 design bloggers (many of whom also are designers) from 28 states and 4 countries. Imagine hosts and sponsors who value bloggers, and with grace and humility let you into their world. Imagine 3 days of seeing some of the best design that New York City has to offer at that moment in time. And there you have Blogfest. By being gracious hosts and tremendous event planners, the Kravet team leveled the playing field. We all could partake in the same events. The only limitation was time: time to meet everyone, time to take it all in.
As we check in to receive our name badges and materials on Day 1, we are personally greeted by Cary, Lisa and Ellen Kravet. Siblings Cary and Ellen are the fourth generation to run the Kravet brand. They escort us through all of the Blogfest events, and with their team, insure that our needs are met (for example, snacks and water on the buses). (Note for next year: flip-flops or slippers for women would be nice!)
Our three days are filled with show house and showroom tours, panels with designers and editors from the leading shelter magazines, food and beverages served by the most handsome wait staff of male models in the city (thank you, Kravet!) and intimate peeks into the workings of the Kravet brand studios. I came away feeling camaraderie with my fellow bloggers and respect for our unique voices and individual talents. All of Blogfest was a showcase -- for the equanimity of the Kravet family and staff, for the candidness of the panelists who shared personal stories and professional secrets, and for the collaborative spirit of the attendees. I can't wait to go back.