I write this post a little over a month in advance to attending Blog podium, because if you’re heading to a blog conference now is the time to prepare.
You need to prepare WELL IN ADVANCE.
I’m such a hypocrite saying that because I’m totally the stress myself to the max the two days before leaving, but now is the time you should be putting some valuable thought in to how to approach your blog conference so you get the most out of your conference pass.
So you’ve bought your ticket and registered for a conference, now what? (If you haven’t signed up for Blog Podium you can do that here, you don’t want to miss out!).
Some of these tips you’ve probably already thought about, but I hope to light the fire and get you going in the right direction!
5 Must Do Things BEFORE attending a Blog Conference
- I’ll start with the most obvious. Get business cards. It is a terrible feeling standing beside the mailbox the day before you leave hoping your business cards are inside. Plan them well ahead of time, you will need them. Check out this post at I Heart Naptime for some amazing ideas. You can see my business cards from last year here, and the fun adjustment I made to them when I went to SNAP.
- Same goes for your media kit. You may not need them at the conference (although some pass them out) but they are important for afterwards when you want to pitch a brand. A quick snapshot of what you do and your reach is important. You can see 20 wonderful media kit examples over at the Blog Maven.
- Make connections with other bloggers, pre-conference socializing is a must. Most conferences have Facebook groups and Twitter parties before the conference which is a perfect way to get involved in the conversation. Unlike me a lot of bloggers a introverts and might find it harder getting out there in a crowd. Do it behind the comfort of your computer well before you get there. If no one is speaking up about a conference a simple “who here is going to Blog Podium?” question in a group can get the convo going, you might find a roomie, a flight partner, and definitely some people to meet up with for meals. Who knows, you might just be starting to build your own little tribe! If you’re a Canadian Lifestyle/decor blogger be sure to PM me for info about our fun group.
- Go get a pen and paper, here is my biggest suggestion… stalk the sponsors. Ok, maybe not stalk, it might be hard to work with them if they have a restraining order, but make yourself comfortable with their brand so you know if they are a good fit for your blog. Here is how I handle it–> Visit the Conference website where they will usually have a list of sponsors, if not check on the Eventbrite page. You can find the sponsors for Blog Podium under the Agenda tab, then ‘sponsors’ just above the schedule. Be sure to also check the exhibitors tab for additional conference brands. They’ve made it easy for you. These are brands that want to work with bloggers, no hunting necessary! Now follow them, add them to a sponsor list on twitter and engage with them (you can even make a colum just for them in Tweet Deck), pin some of their photos, like and comment or share some of their Facebook content. This will ensure you’ll have something to build your conversation on when you do meet face-to-face. For instance “I seen on FB that you just launched a new flavour of bubble gum, I’d love to work with you on promoting it” or “I see that your pinterest following is a bit lower than the rest of your social media accounts, here are a few ideas of ways I could help to amplify it”. Those examples are totally random but by doing your ‘stalker homework’ you’ll be informed about the brand long before you get there.
- I haven’t done this one before but a friend has and I had wished I did it too. Come up with a few project ideas to pitch brands on the spot. You don’t have to get something in writing, but you may be able to burn your name in their brain amongst a sea of other bloggers if you have a few ideas how you can promote their brand. Then when you get in touch post conference you can say “You may remember me as…” I guarantee when you get home from a conference you’ll feel like a super blogger and want to get right to work on putting your new blogging power to use. Already having some ideas to go on will have you one step closer to putting your plans in action.
If you are still trying to decide if a blog conference is the right thing for you, be sure to check out my post on 5 Things You’ll Gain From a Blog Conference There is more value in a conference than you realize!
Plus also check out this resource on Everything You Need to Know about a Blog Conferences from Top Bloggers from Reasons to Skip the Housework, there is really everything you need to know!
Be sure to get your Blog Podium Ticket, I’d love to learn with you!
Do you have any suggestions to make a blog conference a success? I’d love to hear your suggestions and tips too!