Well, welcome to the “Dolly Doctor” of Blogger Conference Tips and Tricks. Let us guess – you’re going to make Darren Rouse your first? Problogger is usually the first blogger conference Australian bloggers attend. If not Problogger, most blogger conferences have a few key, anxiety-inducing things in common. Let’s explore your fear!
First, it’s natural to feel nervous before attending a conference where a large number of people are expected to congregate. It’s exciting to think about the networking opportunities, but it can be also a little overwhelming if you only know the people at the conference by their blog. Will they be as approachable and friendly as they seem on their blog? What if they brush you aside? What if they don’t want to talk to you? It’s normal to think these thoughts and more. Here are some tips on what to expect at a blogger conference and why you need to hammer those fears on their head.
- It’s good to remind yourself that everyone at the conference is there for the same reason you are. To learn, be inspired and network with other like-minded people. Just remember your blog idol once had to man/woman up to their first conference too.
- There will be a lot of people. This is the first year that nearly 700 bloggers will be attending in the one venue. Go knowing there will be a lot of people you don’t know, but be excited by the opportunity to turn those unfamiliar faces into familiar ones.
- When you meet someone for the first time, they will most likely look at your lanyard to see if they recognize your blog name. Put your business card with the logo facing outward so that those you meet can recognize your brand instantaneously. And even if they don’t, it will help those that do interact with you to remember your brand.
- You may have a conversation with a blogger who expects you to recognize them. This is normal and something to laugh about later. At the time, have the courage to admit you don’t know who they are. It’s better to ask than look dumb and assume you know who they are.
- There will be information overload. Sometimes it will be hard to write it all down. Follow the conference hashtag #pbevent on Twitter to get the gems of wisdom that other bloggers have caught hold of.
- You will need some quiet time to contemplate what you have learned and who you have met. As an extrovert who has been to Problogger in the last two years, I have found this to be the case. The quiet time has been wonderful to gather my thoughts and prepare myself for more learning and networking. It’s ok to take a breather from the conference.
- You may walk into a session and find it isn’t what you thought it would be teaching. It’s ok to walk out and attend another session. You’ve paid good money to attend the conference. Don’t waste your time learning something you already know or won’t put into use.
- Be open to new ideas. You may disagree with what is taught but respect the person speaking at the front and determine your own path from what you’ve listened to.
- Every blogger’s story is different. Don’t feel inferior about your blog compared to someone else’s. Take one note away from what they’ve shared and see if you can apply that tip to your blog.
- The morning tea and lunch breaks are very filling. Ensure you top up with necessary fuel to get through the afternoon sessions.
What Should You Pack For a Blogger Conference?
- Pen and Notebook. I’m a bit old school and enjoy writing down what I hear. But if you prefer to type and hear, then, by all means, bring a laptop. Make sure your laptop has a full battery. Nothing worse than turning on a laptop with little juice.
- Mobile Phone. This is essential for tweeting during the conference. Here’s a tip – if you are particular about meeting a certain blogger at the conference and are overwhelmed by the sheer volume on bloggers in one location, tweet your idol and find out where you can meet them. They will be chuffed that you asked to locate them and you will avoid having to do weird giraffe neck extensions to look for said blogger.
- Transportable charger. Your phone will die after all the tweeting and selfie taking with your favourite bloggers. It will be hard to find a spare power point and it will be a pain in the butt to go up to your room to charge your phone. Taking a cordless charger will ensure your phone is always charged and no need for wasting time looking for an available power point.
- If you want to get good pictures or are learning about how to use your camera at the conference, you will need to bring a camera. You can always rely on your mobile phone to take pictures if you aren’t doing a camera tutorial at the conference.
- Business cards. You will want to exchange business cards with other attendees at the conference. The question is what do you do with all the business cards that you receive at Problogger? Simply download the app ABBYY Card Holder and take a photo of said business card. The app will hold the details of the business card for you so you can retrieve the bloggers details later on. Alternatively, you can add the bloggers’ details to your Iphone Contacts. Or like their Social Media pages.
- Small handbag or manbag. Bring a handbag that is big enough for the essentials. In previous years I have brought a massive handbag and I have nearly knocked out attendees while getting meals during the breaks. Isn’t great for first impressions.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Don’t worry if style bloggers are the conference. They are more concerned about their outfit than yours. 🙂
- Jacket or cardigan. It can get cool in the conference rooms, so be prepared to layer if you feel the cold.
- Mints or chewing gum. Fresh breath is essential when meeting new bloggers. No one wants to breathe coffee breath.
What you will be given at the conference:
- A notebook more than likely. Most blogger conferences give their participants a branded notebook.
- A lanyard with a summarized program of the conference. Here’s a tip, place your business card in your lanyard to make it easy for other attendees to recognise your brand.
- A bunch of stuff more than likely. Most blogger conferences have sponsors lining up to give you free stuff. Some of it is useful. Some of it is crap.
- Inspiration – so make sure you’re ready to listen and write down what resonates with you and your blog.
What to wear at a blogger conference
Walking into a room packed with fashion influencers can be a bit unnerving. So what do you wear to a blogger conference?
1. Find out the dress code for the conference.
If you attend a business conference, suit attire will be expected. If you’re attending a blogging conference like Problogger, the dress code is smart casual.
2. No matter what the dress code is, make sure your outfits are comfortable.
If you’re going to be sitting for a long period of time, tight pants or jeggings may not be a great idea. If you want to show off your figure, wear well-fitted clothes – not tight fitted.
3. Comfortable shoes are essential
Seriously! If you need to walk between rooms during the conference, high heels may not be a great choice for the ladies. Try a wedge or smaller heel if you really need to add height to your frame.
4. Can’t decide – Have the best of both worlds and go smart-casual
A blazer is a great way to dress up a smart casual outfit into a semi-professional look.
5. Wear what defines your style
If you blog about vintage fashion, you may choose to wear vintage or upcycled outfits. If you blog about fashion, you may choose to wear some of your favourite labels.
6. Don’t stress about your outfits
The style bloggers will only be worried about their outfit and not yours. Of course, don’t be afraid to wear something that might inspire a style blogger.