It’s totally normal to feel anxious when you’re going to an event. But here are 7 simple steps to make sure you have your best ever Blogger Event.
If you are going to your first blog conference, it’s totally normal to be feeling a little anxious. Actually scrub that – even if you’ve been to blogging conferences before, it’s normal to have some nerves!
I’ve been to several conferences now, and still get that familiar feeling of butterflies when I walk into a venue. It’s very exciting, and I know that I’ll enjoy the day once I get in there. But it doesn’t stop me feeling anxious at the start of the day.
And I’ve even known some big bloggers confess to exactly the same feeling – so it’s not just the newbies who feel nervous!
You probably already know the kind of things that help to settle your nerves. Get a good night’s sleep, don’t drink too much caffeine, that sort of thing. But here are a few extra tips that may help you to feel more relaxed on the day.
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Network before the event
One of the great things about blogger conferences is that pretty much all of the attendees will be online ahead of the event. You’ll often find that the organisers will set up a Facebook group for discussions about the event. Or there may be a Twitter chat or list that you can use to find your tribe on Twitter.
If the thought of meeting a lot of strangers makes you feel anxious, then getting involved beforehand can help to make you feel more at home when you get there.
Top Tip: Find out if there’s an official hashtag for the conference. Then you can send out some tweets in the days before the event to find out who else is going.
Dress for Success
By that I don’t mean dig out the Dynasty style shoulder pads and 6″ power heels. But pick your outfit carefully to make sure that you’re going to feel comfortable and confident.
Some trade shows will require you to wear business wear, but most recognise that bloggers don’t dress in suits to do business. When I attended WTM and ITB, two major travel trade shows, I wore smart black jeans with a shirt. I looked smart and business like, but didn’t feel like I was wearing someone else’s clothes!
Top Tip: Make sure you are wearing comfy shoes, especially if you’re going to a trade show which covers several different exhibition halls.
Check your bag
Rushing around on the morning of the conference is pretty much guaranteed to make even the coolest of bloggers feel anxious. Your adrenaline levels will be surging, and that’s not going to be good for your nerves.
Check your bag the day before to make sure you’ve got everything you need (click here for some tips on what to pack). Then do one final check before you leave and you know you’ll be ready for anything.
Give yourself time to travel
You can never be sure that there won’t be delays along the way, but allowing enough time for your journey will help you to arrive feeling more relaxed.
If you’re driving or using public transport, check your route in the days before the conference. That way you will know in advance if there are any delays that you need to take into account. You can use Google Maps to check for driving times, and the TFL site is useful for finding out how long a Tube or bus journey in London will take.
And if you’ve booked train tickets online, make sure you arrive at the station in good time if you need to collect tickets. There may be a queue at the machine!
Top Tip: Make sure you allow for time to find a parking space, or to find your way around a Tube station. I always allow a few extra minutes in case I get lost on the way to the venue, even if I’m using Google Maps for directions.
Meet up on the day
If walking in on your own makes you feel nervous, finding a buddy to go in with can really help. If you don’t already know anyone going, then definitely get onto social media and find out who will be there.
I usually find that a thread pops up just before an event, asking who else is a nervous first timer. If that’s you, then join in the chat and you’re bound to find someone to meet up with.
Knowing that you’re going to see a friendly face when you arrive and have someone to sit with at the opening session can really help to settle your nerves.
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Plan your blogger conference schedule
You’ll usually be able to find out in advance what sessions are on offer. Sometimes you might have to pre-book sessions, but usually you’ll just pick on the day.
But if you have a look at the schedule before the day, it give you time to think about which sessions you’d like to attend. And you’ll also have time to think if there are any questions you’d like to ask the speaker.
Top Tip: Be prepared to be flexible about your plans, as you might change your mind once you get there or a session might be full up. So it’s good to have a back up plan.
Find a quiet spot
It can be quite overwhelming when you go to a blogger conference, particularly if it’s your first visit or if you are travelling alone. If it all starts to feel too much, find a quiet corner and take a break for a few minutes.
Take some deep breaths and gather your thoughts. Running cold water over your wrists can help to cool you down if you’re feeling flustered.
And if you know you tend to get nervous in these kind of situations, it might be worth popping a bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy in your bag as well.