Blissdom Bound | Preparing for a Blog Conference

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.
I’ve started preparing for a blog conference!
Which one you ask?  BLISSDOM ’13!

Watch out Dallas, here I come!  I’ve heard some fantastic things about this conference and one of them being that you feel like your hanging out with all of your girlfriends.   You know, like a big, happy family?!?!  That is music to my ears.  So, I’m aniticipating GREAT things at Blissdom… and if you’re going to be there, let’s plan to meet!

Before I get into the fun of what my conference preparation looks like, I wanted to thank my Blissdom sponsor, Rug Doctor, for allowing me the opportunity to represent them at this conference!  I absolutely {love} this company.  As I said in my post, Rug Doctor | The Inside Scoop #RugDocTour, they are incredible people who are dedicated to their product and their employees. I’m also honored to be a part of their Roundtable.  I will be sharing some additional Rug Doctor love in the near future, so stay tuned!

Alrighty, let’s get to the details on preparing for a blog conference!

blog conference

::Business Cards::

This is probably a big fat, “DUH!”  Ha Ha.  However, be sure you have plenty of business cards! I think 150-200 is a good number to take a long.  These will be your primary tool for networking. The last batch of business cards I had made, I worried more about design and flair and squeezing as much information as I could in one place. This time I’m going for a little more basic and let me tell  you why.  I {love} when I can jot down notes (aka: my first impressions) on a business card, so I’m leaving the back of mine blank this time.  When I used to recruit, I networked with lots of other recruiters and keeping track of everyone and remembering who was who when I got back to the office could be hard, so I made notes on the back of the business cards.  Things like:  works two jobs, super nice, has a dog too, follow-up, could be a great resource, etc.  It’s something to think about.  I honestly wish everyone would this, but they won’t.  PLUS, I believe in leaving a little mystery.  Why tell your whole blogs story on your business card?  Get them to jump on-line and check you out, so they can fall in {love} with all the fun, incredible, inspiring things you do!

business cards

Here’s a hint for the newbies.  Be sure to take a couple book rings and a hole punch for easy storage.  It will also ensure that you don’t lose any of the cards you round up. I usually did this at the end of each day.  It’s also a super fun way to keep your conference cards organized by event (if you particular like that.  I am, hee-hee).

::Back Up Power Supply::

Of course this one depends on the size and length of the blog conference you’re attending; however, I did not have this when I went to BlogHer and it created a few challenges.  Remember, there will be hundreds to thousands of other bloggers at some of these conferences, all fighting for the same plugs {cheesy grin}.  So, try to plan ahead on having a back up power supply.  This year, I will be taking with me the PowerTrip by ETI Ecosol Technologies Inc.  This is a lifesaver!  It comes with three connectors to charge most popular cellphones, PDA, MP3 players and GPS devices.  Recently I put it to the test and it provided me two and a half full charges to my iPhone!  That my friends is exactly what I need when I’m on the go and particularly while I’m traveling.  This device costs around $100; however, they have other chargers starting as low as $34.  It’s an impressive piece of equipment.  Be sure to check them out!

preparing for a blog conference

::SWAG::

This is by no means why I attend a conference, but some bloggers do.  You will get soooo much swag from the vendors, sponsors, and the conference that you will need to either pack an extra bag/suitcase -or- plan to ship one home.  I’m not a collector of all things swag, so I use moderation and only keep what I will use; however, even with that in mind, I shipped off TWO boxes from BlogHer.  So, be prepared and plan ahead.  Consider what would be cheaper, paying for a second bag (if you fly) or shipping a box. Plus, if you do any local shopping or if they host handmade markets — you’ll most likely have some extra goodies from there too.  Be prepared. You’ve been warned {giggle}.

::Camera and/or Video Camera::

Whether it be your point and shoot or an SLR, be sure to have something ready to capture the memories!  You will meet some bloggers you’ve anxiously awaited meeting and make some new friends that you may have never expected…just be prepared.  Capturing the memories is all part of the fun!  Check out some of mine from BlogHer {here}.  I tend to over pack, so I usually take my point and shoot AND my SLR.  HAHA!  I know, overkill.  Depending on the events, sessions, speakers — one is usually more appropriate than the other.

Preparing for a blogging conference....

::Laptop, Tablet and/or Pen&Paper::

Of course you don’t NEED to bring your laptop or tablet; however, sometimes they are very resourceful for note taking, keeping your e-mails manageable for your return home — and any quick posts you might want to put up.  I tend to take notes with the good ole’ pen and paper, but I always have my computer in my room for some social media catch up and e-mail filtration at the beginning and end of the day… I guess that’s how I decompress.  I usually carry my ipad in my bag with me (just in case).  Whatever works best for you — do it!  If you want a break from the computer and all the work that is associated with it, leave it at home.

::Start to Network NOW!::

Find out whose going!! Start networking with bloggers, speakers and brands BEFORE the conference.  I’ve already started a list of bloggers I know who are attending and I hope to meet up with.  There’s also a brand in Dallas that I’ve worked with that I’m hoping to meet for lunch before the conference starts.  Relationships are an enormous part of the blogging industry, with bloggers and brands alike.  So take advantage by starting to work your magic now!

When I went to BlogHer, I tweeted a lot of the brands I had worked with and/or wanted to work with to let them know that I was excited to meet them at the conference.  It was super fun to put a name with a face when you do get to finally meet and exchange business cards.

And that’s about it!  Of course there’s some shopping that needs to be done for some new outfits, but that’s another whole post in and of itself. {giggle}.   So, will you be at Blissdom?  If not Blissdom, any others?  I’ll be at SNAP! too.  Do you have some additional tips to share for preparing for a blog conference? I’d {love} to hear them.


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A complimentary PowerTrip was provided for review. Opinions are 100% my own

 

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Comments

  1. says

    looks like you’re prepared :) I wish I could go to a blog con… but they’re always so far away and I’m always very broke. There was one by SITS that came to Philly (across the river from me) and I couldn’t go :( Made me sad. SOMEDAY THO!! :P

    Hope you have fun! Enjoy your trip~

  2. says

    I’m going to go to Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte this year and it will be my first conference. I’m curious what you think is the right info to put on a business card? I’d love to see yours! Thanks for the tips….Happy Monday!

  3. says

    After just attending my first conference this past week this is SO right on! Fortunately it was only a 4 hour drive for me so I was able to get all of that great swag home. Some of it is targeted at Home Educators (which is not me) so instead of leaving it, I am going to do a great giveaway to introduce some of my readers to those Brands. If I had been flying, it may have gotten left behind! Can’t wait to meet you there! :)
    xo, Claire

  4. says

    Great pointers, Kelly! Congrats on heading to Blissdom. I daydream about attending conferences like this one and Influence, but living so far away makes it a little more tricky & a lot more $ to work out. Hope you have a great time!

    • says

      Hey I’ll be at Craftcation and Snap as well! We should definitely have lunch or something since we will be conference buddies! Message me via whatever social media you like it’s all on my website stunninglystrange.com

  5. says

    I’m going to BlogHer this year and am super excited. I haven’t really started preparing for it except for cringing at flight costs and doing some Cabi clothes shopping.

    • Sara at Saving For Someday says

      Type A Parent blogging conference will be in Atlanta this year. You should check it out.

  6. kristine says

    Exciting stuff! I’m not a blogger, but I know what it’s like to prepare for an event relating to something your passionate about. :)

  7. says

    This sounds great. I went to Blogworld 2011 in Los Angeles and I enjoyed it a great deal. I totally agree with you about business cards that are blank on one side. I tend to take a lot of notes on the ones I receive from others and I assume others do the same.

  8. says

    I’m headed to Blissdom!!! I’m just a little excited. This article is super helpful. It’s my first conference. I would love to connect while we are there. Thinking it might be cool to gather other “women of God” together at the conference and connect. Jodi @ http://www.meaningfulmama.com

    • says

      YAY! So glad you’ll be there and I hope to meet you as well. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this conference, I think you’ll love it. Hugs!!

  9. says

    Hey! I am actually revamping my business cards for SNAP! right now which is how I stumbled across your blog post! How fun! Anyways thank you for this post. I didn’t think I’d get nervous about the conference but apparently I am. I’m also going to be a vendor for the Queen Bee Market so on top of my normal conference list I have my craft show to-do list as well! I’m so excited to learn so much and meet so many new and wonderful people such as yourself at SNAP!. See you soon!
    Kaitlin @ stunninglystrange.com

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