If you’re going to a blogging conference soon, here are some useful tips for making sure you get the most out of the day.
If you are investing your time and money in tickets for a blogging conference, you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of the experience. Preparing for the day is really important, and there are a number of steps you can take to make sure that your time is well spent.
Before You Go
Prepare in advance
Make sure you take a look at the conference sessions and work out a plan for your day. It’s a good idea to have some specific goals in mind – maybe you want to improve your photography skills or up your social media game. This will help to give your day more focus.
Of course, your goal may be to meet up with as many of your blogger friends as possible. In which case, make sure you check out social media groups and lists to see who is going.
Plan your Travel
Whether you are travelling by public transport or driving to the blogging conference, it’s worth checking your route the night before you go. This means that you won’t get caught out by roadworks or maintenance adding time to your journey.
If possible, it’s a good idea to try and arrive early for the event. You’ll have time to get a drink and chat to people as they arrive, and if you are feeling a little nervous, it gives you a few extra minutes of calm before the conference starts. It also means you’ve got a buffer of time if there are delays on the way!
On the Day of the Blogging Conference
Take Detailed Notes
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you will remember everything you need from the conference. You’re going to be bombarded with useful information, and not all of it is going to stick. So taking notes is pretty important!
But there are all sorts of ways to take notes, beyond just writing them in a note book. You might prefer to take photos of slides, or type notes on your phone or iPad. The important thing is to get the important details down in the format that works for you. I’ve tried various different methods, but personally good old pen and paper works best for me.
Most conferences will have a hashtag that you can use on social media. Using this for tweets, and in Instagram Stories is a great way to join in the conference experience. Sharing your thoughts throughout the day is useful for your followers and any bloggers who couldn’t attend . It’s also a great way for brands and other bloggers to find you.
Take a Break
If you’re not a natural extrovert, then you might find that a blogging conference can be a bit overwhelming. Especially at some of the larger conferences where there are large numbers of bloggers chatting away in the coffee breaks. If you start to feel a bit dazed by everything that’s going on, step out of the conference to get some fresh air and gather your thoughts.
It might also seem like everyone is ultra-confident and knows lots of other people to talk to. Take a deep breath, smile and say hello to the person next to you – you’ll soon find someone to chat away to. I often find that it’s easier to get chatting in the break-out sessions rather than in the coffee breaks, because you’ve got the session subject matter as a conversation starter. Don’t worry, even the most confident of blogger will admit to feeling nervous at these events sometimes!
Top Tip: Some conferences will provide a quiet room where you can go and just check emails and social media without the hub-bub of the main rooms.
You know that moment when the speaker ask for questions, and everyone looks around the room at each other. Well, if you’ve got a question that you’re dying to ask – ask it! You might think that it’s a daft question, but I would bet good money that there’s at least one other person who wants to know the answer to it. Nobody is going to laugh, and they’ll probably be grateful that someone asked that question.
You’ve paid good money for your ticket, so you don’t want to go home feeling like you could have learned more.
After the Blogging Conference
Make a Plan
You’ve probably come away from the blogging conference with a pile of notes. You’ll hopefully be feeling very motivated, and perhaps just a little bit overwhelmed. The first thing you need to do is to make an action plan, while your motivation level is high.
Look through your notes and make a list of action points, then work out which you are going to deal with first. There will probably be some quick fixes that you can put into place straight away, and some that will require a little more planning or practice. Some might need financial investment, or you may need to book training courses.
Top Tip: If you’re travelling home by public transport, use the journey to get started on your list right away. The longer you put it off, the more likely it is to just stay as a pile of notes.
You probably came away from the blogging conference with a handful of business cards from brands and other bloggers. Make sure you follow up by adding them on social media, or dropping them an email to discuss potential collaborations. Try to do this in the first few days after the event, when memories are at their freshest.
Blog or Vlog about it
This seems really obvious, doesn’t it? Make sure that you write a blog post or put together a vlog about your experiences at the blogging conference. This is really useful for other bloggers when they are planning their first blogger conference – you probably looked for them when you were planning your own visit!
It’s also a great way to keep your motiviation levels high. If you find that a few weeks later you still haven’t made much progress on that action list, take a look back at your blog post to recapture the buzz and enthusiasm you felt right after the event.