Updated March 4, 2016
Thank you to one of my favorite companies ever, Tiny Prints, for providing my business cards and stationery!
This upcoming weekend, I will be heading up to The Woodlands to attend Thrive Blog Conference. It will be my sixth blog conference (and my second time at Thrive), and I’m just as excited as I was for my first! I have been to one of the biggest conferences and also a few small ones. They are exciting, jam packed full of information, and they leave you inspired.
I think a conference is a worthwhile investment into your blog. Not only do you walk away with education and inspiration, you also walk away with new friends and even brand contacts! As bloggers, it’s important to invest in ourselves and our blogs.
It can be overwhelming, though. What to wear? What to pack? How do I get noticed? How do I remember everyone I talked to?
Girl, I’ve got your back! I’m covering everything you need to know on how to rock your first blog conference! Also, while you’re at it, go check out Michelle and Channing’s post on 5 Things to Bring to a Blog Conference – we’re here to make you conference ready!
What to pack for a blog conference
Minimal outfit options. My biggest tip here is to not overpack on clothes. I don’t know about you, but a full suitcase is absolutely overwhelming. I’m the kind of person who will not make a decision when given too many options. I plan every single outfit out for the conference. Sometimes I’ll pack an extra shirt/pants just in case.
Comfy layers. Dressing comfortably and like yourself is always your best bet during the actual conference. I also recommend dressing in layers, because conference rooms tend to get chilly.
Pen and paper. I may be in the minority here, but I find it a hassle to bring my laptop for note taking. I usually keep it in the hotel room if I’m staying on site, and take all my notes with pen and paper. It keeps me focused on the presentations. I’ll be bringing my personalized notebook from Tiny Prints (it’s my third one from them… they’re my favorite and I use them for everything!) along with a personalized note pad. And because the notebook says it’s my “brilliant ideas,” it means I am totes brilliant.
DSLR. This is not a must, but I am suggesting your bring it if you plan on going to a photography session. If not, don’t even bother with it! It’s one more thing to lug around.
An updated media kit. Definitely do not have this printed out in hard copy form. I have done this in the past and hardly handed them out. They get lost amongst a sea of paper. If you are going to a conference and brands will be present, hand them your card, then get theirs. Tell them you’ll be emailing your media kit, and then send the PDF ASAP. I recommend uploading your media kit onto Google Drive, then download the app on your phone. Then you can email it straight from the app!
Business cards. This is an absolute must! You will be talking to so many people, and business cards are a great way to remember others and for others to remember you. Let’s go over what should be on your card.
What to put on your blog business cards
Look! It’s my brand new shiny beautiful blog business cards! Aren’t they fun? I designed them myself and then had them printed by Tiny Prints on pearl shimmer paper. I absolutely love how they turned out. (Side note: I can help you with your custom blog business card design! Email me if you want to hire me!) So, as you can see here, I want to make a statement and have others remember me. My cards are bright, shimmery, and my photo is on them.
So, when you’re thinking about your business card, you may want to include:
- Blog logo
- URL (duh!)
- Full name
- Email address
- A headshot (makes it easier to put a face with a name!)
- Social media handles (I even included Snapchat!)
Making the most of the conference
Step outside your comfort zone. It’s easy to stay with one or two friends the entire conference, but putting yourself out there will help you network! Make it a goal to talk to as many people as possible and collect as many business cards as you can. We are all in the same boat. Everyone is there to talk and network, so it’s totally not uncommon to walk right up to a stranger and introduce yourself. The more you do this, the more people will remember you!
Make notes to remember people. It can be overwhelming to meet lots of new people. Even though some may have their photos on their cards, I like to make notes about conversations or important points that were brought up. I usually jot notes down in my notebook after networking breaks.
Talk to a speaker. Liked someone’s session? Let them know! Introduce yourself and tell them you got a lot out of their presentation.
Send a note afterward. Totally optional, but such a nice touch. I got these adorable notecards with my return address printed on the back, so I could use these for blog related things. I thought these would be perfect to send thank you notes to brands!
Most of all – have fun!
It’s hard not to have fun at a blog conference! You will rock it. I just know it!