Tonight I'll be at the kick off party for my first blog conference! When I was full-time in the marketing and fundraising world, going to conferences was my favorite part. I LOVE continuing education and learning new information about my craft and hello - as en extreme extrovert I'm happy to network all night long! While this is my first blog conference, this is about the 50th conference overall I've attended, so I'm sharing my 5 necessities for attending a blog conference based off my 11 years of professional experience.
These necessities will help you successfully market yourself, your blog, and your brand as well as better prepare you to get everything you can out of the conference!
1) Your fashion sense. Seems silly, but if this were a post for
marketing professionals I'd say the same thing (but alter it to say wear
a full business suit). Dress for the job you want! Your look is
the first thing people notice about you. If you're well groomed and
dressed in an outfit that represents your blog, you're presenting your
brand well. People will want to connect with you, and sponsors will take
note of you. You don't need business professional wear for a blog
conference, but keep it upscale and classy and representative of who you
2) Your laptop. And a power cord. Blogging is tech-based, so come prepared with the tools you need to do on-site work or implement new HTML codes. Can you image getting the code for a widget or plug in that could drastically improve your site, and have to write it down because you didn't bring your laptop?! Yeah. No.
3) Business cards. Sound old school? Perhaps, but it shows that you're serious about your blog and your brand, and it gives people (and potential sponsors!) a take-away with your information on it so they can easily look you up after the conference. Make sure to have your logo and/or head shot on your card - preferably both! - because people remember faces and images much more than names and this will help them connect you to your contact information.
4) An open mind. Sounds dumb, but here's the truth: There were
sessions on the agenda for Blog Elevated that I immediately thought
didn't apply to me or wouldn't be helpful. Jaelan (my conference buddy!) and I decided to split
up to attend as much of the conference as possible, which means I'll be
attending one of the sessions I immediately dismissed. In other
conferences, the same thing has happened and boy, was I glad I was
"forced" into the session! Sometimes what we don't *think* we need to
hear is EXACTLY what we're missing.
5) Your planner and a notebook. Keeping it old school here, but just in case
you can't find a plug in or there isn't room/a table for your laptop,
have a notebook with for notes. Your planner is essential to schedule
new ideas/posts you want to implement or schedule further networking
dates with other attendees. You'll meet a ton of people and have a ton
of information thrown at you, and these items will help you keep track
of and manage it all! Don't forget some pens, too.
Linking up with Amanda, Karli, April and H54F - check them out for other Friday Favorites lists!
If you can bring these 5 necessities with you to a blog conference, you'll be in good shape to get the most out of it and market your blog and brand successfully!