As a long-time Bravo fan — I was introduced into the Bravo world by Real Housewives of New Jersey in 2009, and the rest is history... — I have dreamt of attending BravoCon since its inception in 2019. But as someone who resides in Los Angeles, I simply did not have the financial resources or stamina to fly cross-country for the event that was held in New York City previously. So, since this year's BravoCon was in Las Vegas for the first time, I knew I had to make my way to the City of Sin and check it out. And I wanted to detail my entire experience so you all know what to expect should you ever want to attend in the future!
For those unaware — culture yourselves!! — BravoCon is a three-day annual event featuring Bravolebrities from across the expansive universe from your favorite shows like Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Southern Charm, Married to Medicine, Below Deck, and sooooo much more. In fact, per the BravoCon website, 150+ Bravolebrities were in attendance.
Here I am at BravoCon!
But, before we get into the nitty gritty of my entire experience, I know you guys are wondering what the hell all of this must cost. So, let's break it down. As mentioned, the entire experience is a three-day experience (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and for a General Admission pass for all three days, you would be paying $550 plus taxes and fees.
For the VIP pass (which gets you priority seating, shorter lines, and more opportunities to meet Bravolebs, among other things), you are paying $1,200 + taxes and fees for the weekend. This does not include hotel rooms or airfare.
But, they also offer 1-day passes! So for General Admission 1-day, you're out $250 plus taxes and fees.
And for a 1-day VIP pass, you're owing $475 plus taxes and fees.
There are also a ton of add-on events, like photo ops, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen tapings throughout the weekend that you can purchase in addition to your BravoCon passes.
As for me, I was lucky enough to get a press pass to write this very post you are currently reading all about my experience. We'll get into the full experience later, but I will say that the VIP option seemed to be the best option for fans by far, which is, of course, why it's so expensive. I do think you can still have a lot of fun as general admission, but if you're wanting the 1-1 fan experiences, you're more likely to get those through VIP.
I arrived in Las Vegas for a weekend full of Bravo activities on Thursday night. The actual BravoCon event was held Friday, November 3, through Sunday, November 5, with events starting around 10 a.m. each day and ending around 5 p.m. Of course arriving a day early meant securing a hotel room for Thursday night as well, aka an added cost, but I will say that it was definitely worth it for me to settle in and prepare for a full weekend. On Friday morning, bright and early (at 9:30 a.m., lol), I made my way over to the actual BravoCon event space which was held at the Caesars Forum in Las Vegas. I only got lost three to four times on my way over. My room was located in Harrah's which was approximately a 7–10-minute walk depending on how many half-naked men stopped me on my way to try and get me to pay for a photo with them.
There were three different lines for entry (General Admission, VIP, and Press/NBCU Exec/Guests) which included security and bag checks wherein they made everyone throw away their Starbucks, which, for the record, we all paid AT LEAST $10 a cup for because Las Vegas Strip up-charging is no joke.
Once I got past security and into the event, I was immediately greeted with this photo op, and a popup Studs piercing booth to the left.
And then immediately upon entry to BravoCon, I was then greeted with famous quotes from varying Bravolebs. Here's one from Captain Lee that I saw immediately upon entry and took a photo of. I love Below Deck.
As for the setup inside, there were two main rooms where BravoCon panels were held — the Gold Room and the Glam Stage. Here's the Gold Room, which was the biggest stage room and had a lot of fan experiences in addition to whatever was happening on the stage at any given moment. During this photo, it was an "Ask Andy" panel moderated by Jeff Lewis.
Here's the Glam Stage room:
The VIP room — which was sponsored by the Hiltons as in Kathy and Paris, duh! — was a room I wasn't able to get inside to see, but it also had its own bar setup + food options. And one of my favorite Bravo creators @Bravobravoduckingbravo shared that all of the food and drink cost EXTRA!!
The Bravo Bazaar (where merch was sold, more on that later...) and the "It's All Happening" room were the same room, which embarrassingly took me a solid 48 hours to realize. This giant-ass room was filled with a lot of fan events + merch + food and drink.
For the remainder of my experience at BravoCon, I have separated it into sections. First up, let's go over the panels!
And you could find all of the panels in the BravoCon app which was actually very easy to use and helpful? Love that!
I enjoyed both the Summer House panel and the Vanderpump Rules panel because I love both of these shows. The VPR panel in particular was interesting because both Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix shared the stage, and the tension was *obvious*. And, at various points, Tom Sandoval was loudly booed. For the record, I did not physically shout boo, but mentally I did.
More on the VPR panel: It was extremely clear that Lisa Vanderpump really wanted to move on from any mention of #Scandoval. And the crowd wasn't loving this. I do give major props to Lala Kent who said, while on stage, that while #Scandoval may be played out for the cast, this is the first time many fans have been able to discuss it IRL, especially with the cast literally right in front of us, and shying away from talking about it didn't seem fair to the fans who paid (literally) thousands of dollars to be here for this. That got a lot of applause.
As for the Summer House panel...it was slightly awkward at times because both Carl Radke and Lindsay Hubbard were present, and they both admitted it was the first time they had been around each other since Carl broke off their engagement in August. Lindsay actually said to the crowd, “I’m really nervous, I’m not going to lie. I’m shaking.”
As for my favorite panel? By far the Real Housewives of Potomac panel. It felt like I was watching a live reunion (which, hey, maybe next year at BravoCon, we could make this happen?). I was laughing, I was crying, I was having the time of my life.
Now for the food. Which, I'm warning you now, was NOT GOOD.
I quickly learned that Las Vegas, and specifically food establishments on the strip, were not what I would refer to as "affordable." So, on the first two days of my Vegas experience, I ended up at In-N-Out Burger (which was right outside the event space!) to get a grilled cheese animal style and French fries for a whopping $6. Highly recommend!
On day three of BravoCon, I braved the actual food for sale at the con despite my better judgement (and warnings from at least three different attendees that the food — and in particular the chicken nuggets — were not good). As you can see below, I ordered chicken nuggets and a Diet Pepsi. These two things cost me $21. The chicken nuggets alone were $16.
Is it my fault for choosing chicken nuggets from this menu? Perhaps. But I truly didn't think someone could mess up chicken nuggets. I was wrong.
The drink prices were just as bad, which kept me from drinking a single sip of alcohol at the con all weekend. And honestly, I was probably better off for it. $12 for a Coors Light? How dare you.
They also had various bar stands throughout the different rooms at BravoCon which featured speciality cocktails for $18, and glasses of wine for $16. As mentioned above, I did not partake in any alcoholic drinks, but I do think it's worth mentioning that they had mocktails available throughout the event as well at different booths.
Now, let's get into one of the reasons I had so much fun: the personalized fan experiences!!
I did not even get to experience every single fan experience — there were a lot! — but the ones I did were great. Completely personalized to Bravo fans and experiences that we will not get anywhere else. Like this re-creation of the SUR alley from Vanderpump Rules. Having been to SUR in West Hollywood more than I'd like to admit, I can vouch for how accurate this recreation is.
There was even a fake cigarette on the table... I am shaking at how real this is...
There was also a recreation of the dinner table from the Real Housewives of New Jersey infamous table flipping episode...
Tamra Judge's (former) breast implants...
A cutout of Ariana Madix's iconic Season 10 Reunion revenge dress which I obviously had to pose with...
A full-on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City photo op, featuring a bathtub, if you know you know...
And all kinds of iconic Bravo outfits on display, like Jessel's gifted lingerie from Real Housewives of New York.
There were also two massive fan experiences that featured two of BravoCon's biggest sponsors: State Farm and Lay's. First up, we have the Something About Her popup fan experience.
This experience was a personal favorite of mine because it had FOOD! And the food, unlike the cursed "chicken nuggets" I tried to eat, was sooo good.
Each item of food was legitimately delicious, but the chips and the tomato soup and grilled cheese were a personal fave. Or maybe I was starving after surviving solely on In-N-Out for three days.
There was also a Summer House-themed fan experience which allowed fans to create their own BravoCon friendship bracelets. It was cute!
And there was a beauty booth where fans could actually get their hair styled! The line was too long when I checked it out, but it was a really nice setup.
And, finally, there was also an Ultimate Girls Trip-themed booth where fans could get massages and nail decals. Again, the line prevented me from waiting because I wanted to see as many panels as I could, but massages for fans who are walking around Vegas for three days is welcome.
And, btw, the bathrooms were a full-on fan experience, too. You could take selfies with mirrors that had iconic housewife quotes on it, and each bathroom stall door had a Bravo-related trivia question.
And finally, the MERCH!!
The Bravo Bazaar featured tons of booths with merch of all kinds. And, it was also where you were likely to spot actual Bravolebrities if you weren't VIP. They would randomly appear at their merch booths throughout the weekend.
And yes, Tom Sandoval was attempting to sell Tom Tom sweatshirts for $110. For the record, both Lala Kent and James Kennedy were also selling sweatshirts, but they cost $65. The audacity of this man once again.
Brynn Whitfield of Real Housewives of New York had some of the best merch in my opinion...
And the Loverboy merch setup was by far the prettiest!
I ended up purchasing two different items on my final day: a "Send it to Darrell" sweatshirt from Lala Kent for $65 and a Loverboy hat for $30. I don't even know. BravoCon got to me.
All in all, I had a pretty amazing experience at my first ever BravoCon. At times, I was completely overwhelmed, but by day three, I didn't want it to end.
I think if I were to go to BravoCon without a press pass I would do my best to splurge for VIP. Being able to cut lines and be closer to the Bravo stars would be ideal, but honestly I think general admission could work as well as long as you have a plan going in! Know which panels you want to see and be sure to get to that stage with time to spare so you can snag a seat.
A couple of other things: I really expected to randomly bump into Bravolebs like Danielle Olivera or even Brian Benni in the hallways and after a solid 72 hours roaming the BravoCon hallways, that never happened! It was definitely less up close and personal with Bravo stars than I expected. In fact, I only ever saw Paige DeSorbo and it was because she was filming a promo in one of the booths. It can happen, but it's rare.
The worst part: Fan questions during panels can be kind of intense lol. I totally get we all have our own opinions on these shows and these stars – trust me I have THINGS to say to Kory Keefer of Summer House and Winter House fame — but watching Bravo fans occasionally get in front of the mic only to call Teddi Mellencamp boring to a chorus of cheers was WILD! Dare I say I felt bad for Teddi? (I did.)
But the best part: Ultimately, being in a room of thousands of people who understand why I love Bravo so much was very meaningful to me. It really is a community and it is our escape. *Lisa Barlow voice* I love that!