BlogHer 17: Newbie Preparation Tips
I can’t believe that I will be attending my SECOND Blogging Conference this year, BlogHer 17. However, this will be my first time attending the very popular BLOGHER conference.
Now, at first, I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to attend. We just recently relocated to the Orlando area from Louisiana. I really didn’t think I would have the time to attend because of all the unpacking and adjusting. Honestly, even though the conference is THIS week, I am having second thoughts about going.
I think it is because I am a NEWBIE and I can be an introvert in large crowds of people. It makes me really uncomfortable. To top it all off, I don’t know anyone in the area to ease my mind about going all by myself. lol!
So, I want to share 10 tips that came up with that I feel is very helpful in my preparation for the BLOGHER conference:
Tip #1: Join a “NEWBIE” Facebook Group.
One thing I loved, as soon as I purchased my BLOGHER17 Conference ticket, I was invited to join the private Facebook Group. Once a member of the group, I found a lot of people just like me with the same interests and fears (newbie syndrome) I felt so relieved knowing that I am not the only freaking about everything.
Tip #2: Plan out your outfits
Now clearing it’s a blogging conference so everyone is going to be rocking their own individual style. I am a planner at heart, so I wanted to make sure I planned my outfits according the the schedule of events with a close eye on the weather. Y’all, it has been raining everyday here and I need to be prepared. I can’t be walking around in sandals and end up with wet feet because the rain shows up out of no where! (ugh)
Tip #3: Download Conference App ( if available)
OMG! I am loving the BLOGHER17 app! It has everything to help put a newbie like me at ease. This app has features like, schedule of events, conference floor plan, expo vendors, biographies for all keynote and speakers, it even has where you can set up your own profile and make it visible for other attendee to see. If you have connected with other newbies you can find them in the app, add them as a friend and when you finally meet them in person you can make note of it in the app! Can you say….AMAZING! I have already connected with a few attendees that I am excited to meet in person.
Tip #4: Update profile picture across all of social media
If you are really look to connect with others at the conference be sure to keep your profile picture consistent across your social media platforms. This will make it easy for those attendees to FIND and RECOGNIZE you, who have may added you as friend or who are already following you on your social media platforms
Tip #5: Bring Plenty of Business Cards
I know business cards could potentially be very pricey depending on where you order them from. Keep in mind you the goal varies from person to person. For me, my goal is not only to network with other bloggers and attendees but to network with the brands that will be attending as well. So you want to be prepared with enough business card to pass out while meeting others. Rule of thumb for large conferences is to bring at least 200 cards (minimum) I know it seems like a lot, but if you are really networking you won’t return home will all 200 cards still in your bag.
Now, some people feel more comfortable preparing a media kit and business cards. That is totally up to you. I will not be bringing a media kit, just my business cards. I ordered 2 different styles of cards. The first style is perfect for conferences because they are small but still contain all the important contact information. The second style is just cool and I love how they are very different from your traditional business cards. I ordered my cards from MOO they have some of the most creative styles and designs I have seen!
Tip #6: Bring EXTRA bag for the SWAG
Although this is my first BLOGHER Conference, I know how most conferences work when it comes to giving out goodies. There will be a lot of brands present at the conference and that means a lot of FREE goodies to test and try. More than likely there will be a SWAG bag given upon arrival and registration. There may even be give-a-ways going on during the course of the conference, so be prepared. Bring a extra bag or suitcase to tote all of your goodies home.
Another great idea for unwanted SWAG bags is donating to the local domestic abuse shelter. So if you don’t want all the goodies or the headache of packing it all up and risking an overweight bag, I am sure someone will be happy to take it off your hands and put it to good use.
Tip #7: Work out your conference schedule
Like I stated earlier, I am a planner. I have to plan a schedule or I will be all over the place, especially with an event this big. I took the time out to sit down and look over the list of events for the week to see which ones would be beneficial for me and my brand. I made sure to select sessions that I could giant the most from.
Also, I since I will be driving in for the conference I didn’t book a hotel room. I made sure to input the address into the GPS early so I can time the drive accordingly. I also made sure to check the rules and prices on parking. I am not a fan of driving around hoping to snag a parking spot, so I am willing to pay the Valet fee for the event. There is also a Self-Park option that will be available but I like the hassle free option of Valet better. (that’s just me)
Tip #8: Connect with Bloggers/Brands before hand
Be sure to reach our and connect with other bloggers and brand before you arrives to the conference. Just knowing a familiar face will make it much easier to interact and feel comfortable. No one wants to be or feel lonely at a event that is designed for networking and making new friends. If you are attending solo this small thing will make a world of difference!
Tip # 9: Follow the Conference HASHTAG
As you know hashtags can be very important. I find them to be super helpful at conferences because if you are looking for certain things, or just want to connect with other attendees searching the hashtag makes it super easy! So be sure to FOLLOW and USE the hashtags your next new contact may be waiting for you to connect!
Tip #10: BE YOURSELF & Have FUN
THIS ONE RIGHT HERE! This is the one tip that will challenge you but in the end be the MOST rewarding. Remember there will be all kinds of people at the conference, some you share common interests with you, and others who come from difference walks of life. Just remember to be yourself, although you may be tempted to do what everyone else is doing. If you be YOURSELF, and HAVE FUN you will leave with long lasting memories and relationships that will last a lifetime!
Thanks so much for reading, if you have any other NEWBIE TIPS you would like to add/share please do so in the comment box below!
See ya at BLOGHER17!