5 Ways to Rock your First Blogging Conference
One of my goals for this year was to go to a blog conference and I couldn’t believe my eyes when the perfect one fell right into my lap a week after I had made that goal! Someone had posted in Blog Passion Project (the facebook community I help run) about a mini-conference happening in South Phoenix and I bought a ticket within minutes of reading about it!
So, on the 3rd Friday of January, I got in my car and drove myself down to Gilbert, AZ to attend my first blog conference, put on by SayHi Society! I learned SO much while I was there and have several blog posts coming in the next couple of weeks detailing exactly what I learned because I know not everyone has access to these kinds of events!
However, I wanted to first share the 5 things I learned at my first blogging conference (because I made a couple rookie mistakes) so that anyone who does get to go to one later this year is prepared!
1. Get There Early
And don’t forget to plan around traffic! I somehow thought that my 45-minute drive wouldn’t be affected by the 5:30 rush hour traffic on a Friday and barely arrived on time. I was so bummed because everyone had already been seated and had time to meet and network with each other and I had to sit at the only table at the front where no one else was sitting! Yes, I was totally embarrassed and felt like everyone was staring at me!
I found it hard to talk to people during the breaks after because I hadn’t been able to meet anyone before the conference started, but I moved tables between speakers and got to talk to a few other bloggers. Still, I definitely will plan on getting to my next conference EARLY so I can scope out the good seats and meet people ahead of time!
2. Bring Business Cards
Because I attended my first conference a couple weeks before my rebrand launched, I decided not to buy more business cards with the Life with Rosie logo on it because that would have been a waste of money. However, I still wish I had whipped up a couple business cards for HTC before going! Everyone was trading business cards and I didn’t have any to give out! I missed out on a couple great opportunities to network because of it!
You can bet your bottom dollar I am ordering some new ones now that my new design is finished! I’ve had many reasons to give out some business cards in the last month, so having some one me will be super helpful!
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3. Prepare your Elevator Pitch
One of the first things out of someone’s mouth at a blog conference is: “What’s your blog about?” Be prepared to answer that question! The first few times, I stumbled across my words and said something like: “oh, I write about makeup and fashion…sometimes my dog…” and awkwardly would trail off. I knew I needed to work on my elevator pitch so that I would come across more confident and professional when describing what I do here at Hey There, Chelsie!
An elevator pitch is basically a brief speech that sparks interest in your company or blog! So, instead of saying “Oh, I blog about makeup” I am now prepared to say: “I encourage women to love themselves through makeup and fashion and teach them how to take empower themselves with that love and chase their blog dreams.”
Yes, it’s kind of a mouthful, but it sounds more professional, interesting and knowledgeable. I want to sound sure of myself when networking, so that brands and companies know I take my blog seriously!
[Tweet “Going to a blog conference this year? Have your elevator pitch prepped so you can be confident when talking to potential clients!”]
4. Be prepared to learn!
SayHi Society was a mini-conference and had two speakers, but I learned SO much in the 3 hours I was there. It’s important to go to these conferences prepared to learn! Research the speakers before hand and have a list of questions for them that you could ask. I got to learn from a campaign manager from Social Fabric and a Pinterest Ambassador! I had a list of questions for each girl so I could listen specifically for the answers or ask them during their Q&A time. It’s the worst feeling to be driving home from a conference and think of a question you wished you could have asked when you had access to someone with knowledge!
Have a notebook and pen ready to take notes! Write as much as you can so you can remember it! Or, consider recording their lecture on your phone so you can go back and listen to it again.
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5. Reach out to the speakers a week or two and thank them!
I was so grateful to be able to learn from such knowledgeable ladies and wanted to reach out to them a couple weeks after the conference to let them know that! I sent each of them an email that simply thanked them for being at the conference. I think this is a great way to network with them without being pushy!
So, in conclusion, don’t be a ninny like me and make all of these rookie mistakes! Show up early, make friends and be prepared to learn!
Are you going to a blog conference this year? Or have you already been to one? What would you add?
If you are interested in reading more about what I learned at this conference check out this post: