10 Tips For A Successful Blog Conference

Last weekend, my dear pal Katie Clooney (aka Preppy Empty Nester) and I traveled to Richmond, Virginia to attend the Focused Blogging Conference. The days were filled with laughter and learning – all in all, a great success.

So that you might have an equally successful experience when you attend a blog conference, I present:

10 Tips For A Successful Blogging Conference

1. Research Your Options

There are dozens and dozens of blog conferences out there. Many are devoted to certain blogging niches (food, fashion, travel). Some are small or by invitation only. Some are enormous and potentially overwhelming. Find one that suits you.

Google “blog conference schedule” and you will find lists of conferences to choose from. The Blogger Network includes a comprehensive list in their Blogopedia, although they acknowledge that the 2016 calendar is still being set.

We chose the Focused Blogging Conference because it was smaller, promised “hands on” time to implement what was learned and the dates worked for us.

2. Plan Ahead

Many conferences offer early bird pricing which can save you money. Also, conferences usually arrange a group rate at a hotel for attendees. Book your room early so you don’t lose out on the reduced rate.

If you are interested in trying to secure sponsors for the conference (someone who will cover part or all of your trip), start planning your strategy as soon as possible.

3. Bring A Friend

Let’s face it, it’s not easy to walk into a room of strangers all by yourself. A conference is much more fun when you have a partner in crime.

#3 Bring A Friend

Also, when you are old of a certain age, two heads can absorb the lessons better than one.

4. Follow Social Media

If there is a Facebook group for attendees, join it. Follow the conference and the sponsors on social media. Follow the other attendees, especially the ones in your niche. It is quite likely that lots of valuable information will be shared via these channels. Don’t expect to get conference details in an old fashioned way like email.

5. Come Prepared

In addition to the obvious things like a laptop, business cards and lots of adorable outfits, remember to bring things like chargers and an extension cord, water bottle, note taking equipment, etc. Because I am an office supply loving nerd who is obsessed with her label maker, I assembled a conference notebook in which I put a copy of the agenda, course list, mentor bios, and list of attendees. It worked for me.

6. Choose The Right Path

Study the list of available workshops. Be sure to sign up for the ones suited to your level of expertise and interest. If you are just starting out and you need help with blog design and social media, sign up for workshops that can help you with that. Leave the “50 Ways To Boost Your Monetization” class to someone else.

7. Make New Friends

Position yourself at a table with people you’ve never met. Introduce yourself to as many folks as possible. Connect with as many new friends as you can. There is a lot to be learned from your fellow bloggers, even if your audiences do not overlap.

Katie and I connected with these adorable young things and had a blast. Alicia (Vibrant Home Schooling), Jennie (The Diary Of A Real Housewife) and Jennifer (Organized Home, Organized School) took us under their wings and with their help (and social media adeptness), our table won prizes every night.

Conference Dream Team

#DreamTeam

8. Take Advantage Of All Opportunities

Keep an eye out for special events offered by the conference, instructors and sponsors. These might be things like one-on-one time, study halls or other chances to pick the brain of experts. Even though a nap might sound very inviting, push through and keep learning!

9. Show Your Appreciation

Take the time to thank the presenters and sponsors. Let them know the ways in which they have helped you. Show them some social media love. If someone has been particularly helpful, you might just express your appreciation by treating them to a glass of wine or a Bailey’s nightcap.

10. Most Importantly, Have Fun!

All work and no play makes for a cranky blogger. Approach the conference as an exciting adventure but take time to have fun with your new and not-so-new friends.

Have fun at the conference

Clearly we could have used help from the dream team to get the numbers in the right order.

What would you add to the list? What is your key to a successful conference? Do tell!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Comments

  1. Great tips, especially the “get to know new folks,” or however you worded it! The only type of conference I’ve been to was great, but the best info I gleaned was from picking the brains of other bloggers who really knew their stuff. I love how (most) bloggers are so friendly and willing to help those just learning.

    So glad you had a good time!
    Leslie Anne recently posted…Comment on “THE” book and another “new” book by Leslie AnneMy Profile

  2. Well done, my friend. So happy that you took the time to watermark pics of us. I don’t want
    them to end up on some porn site. Hope you’re having a great week!

  3. You two are too cute – sometimes I do feel the the oldest blogger on the Internet and am so happy to have some like minded blogger friends like you and Katie. Now I just need to get to Chicago and meet you IRL 😀

  4. Grinning over Katie’s watermark comment. Gather that was a gem learned along the way … So glad you were able to hook up and do this. The only mistake? I wasn’t there. Ha! Looking forward to seeing how you use what you learned.
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…The Bike Ride From HellMy Profile

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