Note to readers: I was hosted by P&G (Proctor & Gamble) for this blogger conference. Accommodations and travel expenses were paid for by P&G. I am so appreciative that I was able to attend Access P&G and have recapped my visit to the P&G headquarters in Cincinnati for you below.
I was thrilled to be invited to attend P&G’s first Access P&G Blogger Conference this summer, in Cincinnati Ohio. I have used P&G products since I can remember and enjoyed learning more about the brand who brings consumers so many fabulous products from shampoo to mascara and dog food to Tampax. I left the conference feeling more knowledgeable about P&G, Cincinnati Ohio, and social media.
When I arrived at the airport I met a fabulous blogger named Alyson Labarge who writes on Mom Start, and enjoyed talking to her during the car ride to the hotel. That was a great start to the trip!
This post will take you through the Access P&G conference in the order things happened. If you want to jump to the conference sessions scroll down.
21C Museum Hotel & Cincinnati
Speaking of the hotel.. we were taken to the 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati where we would stay the next few nights. 21C Museum Hotel is a gorgeous contemporary art museum and boutique hotel. When I walked into the hotel I wondered for just a moment if I entered through a museum entrance. I know.. the name of the hotel is 21c Museum Hotel. I should have known. The lobby of the hotel consisted of one check-in desk and open beautiful space otherwise. The check-in desk neither cluttered with papers, computers, printers, or other gadgets, allowing for a simple, elegant guest check-in experience. That was perhaps the most enjoyable hotel check-in experience I’ve ever had.
I said hello to a few other bloggers who I recognized in the hotel lobby then headed up to my room. Entering my room was like entering a museum. Imagine that. The pristine decor, white bedding, and art on the walls and even the pillows gave me the peaceful retreat I needed before a night out with bloggers and P&G PR. Imagine my surprise when I walked into my bathroom and took a look at the shower only to see an ear protruding out of the tile as if it was there to catch up on the latest gossip. I made sure not to sing in that shower. 😉
But, lucky for me, a blogger from Canada named Jody, who’s blog is Mommy Moment, and I met up and took a walk to the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge where I was in awe of the design of the bridge as well as how much Cincinnati has embraced the importance of green space inside the city. Did you know that when the first pedestrians crossed the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge on December 1, 1866, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 1,057 feet? Imagine being one of those people in 1866, crossing the longest suspension bridge in the world!
Yoga, Lessons from Twitter, and How Strong is Bounty DuraTowel, Really?
The first morning, after a great yoga session, J.B. Kropp a Strategic Partnerships fellow at Twitter talked to us about Optimizing Your Blog through Social Media. I learned things like what days and times of day are best to tweet, how to effectively use hashtags, and he even presented some great Vine videos to us. I couldn’t have been more pleased with J.B.’s session at the Access P&G Conference.
After the great forum with J.B. Kropp we moved on to the P&G Headquarters just a few blocks from our hotel.
There, we kicked off our visit to the headquarters with a cooking demonstration and lunch with Bounty and Top Chef Stephanie Izard. Stephanie created a couple of beautiful dishes for us and a fabulous chocolatey goodness desert. That ensured that we all had the energy we needed to continue with the day. Not like we needed any more energy. I think all the bloggers and I were so thrilled to be there, talking to each other and learning more about P&G that we didn’t need any more energy.
Before lunch we watched a demonstration during which two paper towels were secured by clamps hanging from a bar as seen in the photo above. Each paper towel had a weight added to the bottom of it and was sprayed with water until the paper towel ripped and fell. We counted the seconds until the first paper towel ripped and fell from the rod. Several of us held our breath because watching the DuraTowel paper towel hang from the rod with weighs on it while it was being sprayed continuosly with water, was one of those situations when you are nervous that things aren’t going to turn out as you hope, but the DuraTowel paper towel held strong and didn’t tear like the other paper towel did. Hooray! You can read my review of Bounty DuraTowel here.
Perhaps my favorite part of Access P&G was our visit to the P&G Archives Room. Walking into the archives room was like walking into a time machine dating back to 1837! We were surrounded by some of P&G’s most well-known products including Vicks Vapor Rub, Tide, Downy, and Ivory and saw how the packaging has changed over the years. To be honest, I like the old Ivory bar soap packaging better than the current. We were given a wonderful overview of P&G’s history. We were not allowed to photograph many of the products but some of those that we could photograph are shown below.
We had a special guest around mid-day. His name is Pawl Griffin and he is very hairy, slobbers, and practically convinced me that getting a dog might not be so bad.. one day. Maybe 30 years from now. Pawl Griffin, the face of IAMS, is a super sweet dog and very tolerant. You wouldn’t believe how people coo over him. The IAMS representatives that spoke with us were not only animal lovers, but know just about everything there is to know about a dog’s digestive system, hair coat, and breeds. I got a tip or two about what to look for if we ever decide to get a dog.
Hair and Makeup
The last stop of the day before dinner was to the hair and makeup ‘studio’ in the P&G headquarters.
Oh my goodness, talk about fun! I have never been confident with applying eye liner and makeup in general. That all changed, thanks to celebrity makeup artist and Olay Skincare Ambassador in attendance, Bruce Grayson. I now know the correct way to apply eyeliner and foundation, even without using an official primer like I’ve done for years. We used Olay Regenerist as a sort of primer then applied P&G’s Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation. Click the link to read my review of the foundation.
Next, we got a lesson in hair styling from the fabulous David Reposar, hair stylist extraordinaire. One thing I learned from him is that it doesn’t take an hour to create an amazing hair style… little did I know. He sat me down in a chair, sprayed a heat protecting spray on my hair then went at it with a curling iron. How fun!
Balancing Blog and Home
This was the topic of our final conversation as a group, moderated by Danielle Smith, Access P&G attendee and author of Social Media Engagement For Dummies. We shared stories about how we balance our blog/business and home life.. or don’t. I shared a few of my secrets to balancing my business and home life.. shut the office door, don’t work at the kitchen table, give the kids the attention they need and deserve, and set boundaries.
The night of our arrival we enjoyed dinner at Contemporary Arts Center, next door to our hotel, where P&G “Have You Tried It Yet” program spokesperson Vanessa Lachey spent the evening with us. Vanessa is down to earth, nice, fun, funny, and of course.. gorgeous! But what impressed me the most about her is that she spoke about her husband (Nick Lachey) and son just like you and I would talk about our husband and kids, with pride and humor. She even suggested that she does her own laundry. Huh? She sat down at our table and told us about her son and showed us photos. It was adorable, really.
I hope you enjoyed this recap of my trip to Cincinnati Ohio for the first Access P&G blogger conference!