Monday, October 10, 2011

What to bring to a blogging conference

With BlissDom Canada just days away, it's time to start thinking about what you need to bring to this totally awesome, totally Canadian blogging and social media conference.

What I've learned from blogging conferences (having attended BlogHer twice already, and BlissDom Canada last year) is that no matter what you wear, you will most likely have a blast. If - and this is a big if - you're wearing the right attitude.

The most important accessory, truly, is your personality - and attitude. It's also important to step out of your comfort zone and do things that might scare you.

Like going up to that blogger you've always had a crush on and introducing yourself, even though you're usually not that brave. I did this at BlogHer in New York City with Miss Britt at the Nikon party, and we hit it off right away. I believe my first words to her were: "Oh my GOD! You're Miss Britt!" (And this was after we'd shared a few drinks together.) Nothing embarrassing, right?

Blogging conferences are also about sometimes doing things alone. I've arrived at parties solo, leaving with friends. I've walked around on my own, exploring a new city, like I did in San Diego. And I hung out well past my bedtime with other bloggers in my lulu lemons, ordering pizza at 2 a.m. to the hotel lobby.

Sometimes, conferences can be overwhelming. And stressful. It's hard finding the time to connect with everyone you had intentions of hanging out with. You might spend all your time with the same two or three people, or you might float around from group to group - whatever makes you happy, go for it.

The best piece of advice I can give? Be excited, but don't have high expectations. That way, you won't be let down.

The truth is this - it doesn't matter what you wear or what you weigh, or how bad your roots are. If you're not smiling, if you're not welcoming, if you're not friendly? You probably won't have a great experience to go home and write about.

Also know why you're going. These conferences are a great place to meet up with old and new friends, and have a great time, but they're also a great place to learn something new. Attend the sessions that you think are interesting. Ask questions. Network! And don't be scared to hand out your business cards. That's why you got them, right?

Just remember - smile! And don't be nervous. We all attend these conferences for the same reasons.


Nenette AM said...

OMG, I really wish I were going to BlissdomCanada! Another lost opportunity to finally meet you in person.
Then again, I just know I'll make a total fool of myself by running up to you, accosting you, and screaming "OMG LOUKIA!!!" LOL And I'm not even kidding a little bit. ha! :)

ModernMom said...

Such great advice! Last year at this time I was terrified:) This year umm a little less so. I have no idea what to do for a Halloween costume!
I hope to meet some new faces and get caught up with old friends. See you soon!

the mama bird diaries said...

Sounds like so much fun! Have a blast.

The Empress said...

Oh, I love canadians.

You're so funny, and down to earth and just don't care what people think.


melgallant said...

You're exactly right - a positive attitude and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone is all you need. And maybe an awesome pair of shoes to party in. ;)

I met so many great people at last year's conference. Looking forward to more of the same. For example -finally meeting you in person!

See you in TO!

Brittany {Mommy Words} said...

Great advice Loukia. I would only add to take a break when you need it. I can sometimes get overwhelmed, and this really helps.

I so hope I see you again soon! said...

ONE of these days i will get myself to a conference!!!

blueviolet said...

So very true! It's terrifying at first, and even now after having gone to oodles of conferences, I still hate when I walk into a room without knowing anyone. The more I go, the more people I know though, so it does get easier.

Jessica Heights said...

My best tip is to plan to meet up with a "conference buddy." That makes things much less intimidating! :)

Shell said...

Great advice! Hope you have a blast!

tracy@sellabitmum said...

Oh I love this so much - you summed it up so perfectly. Have a blast! xo

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Have a wonderful time! I've always wanted to go to Blissdom (US) - but of course it takes place right during my husband's busy season (he can't take days off and we don't have family nearby to help)

So glad that I get to see you at BlogHer. You're coming to NYC right?

Avitable said...

I wish I could have made it to Blissdom Canada this year, but I guess there's always next year. It's a different environment than BlogHer because it's definitely more intimate and easier for newcomers, so it might be a better first step for a blogger to attend.

Healthy Mom Project said...

Good tips. Hope you had a great time at Blissdom - sounds like a lot of fun!

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