Last year was the first Blogger Bash event and this year? Well, let’s just say the team did a phenomenal job. I think everything that was a bit confusing last year was completely cleared up – the team really listened to the attendees and not only fixed some things, but went above and beyond! I learned a lot, so here are my top 7 ways to make an impression at Blogger Bash – or any other conference you’re going to attend!
1. Stay late at the events.
True to my nature, I like to be the LAST one standing at any party, even now. At a blogger event, this is not because you want to make sure to have the delicious desserts (although that’s a good reason) or to speak to ever single vendor (I never recommend that), but instead you get to a place where barriers come down. I was almost as tired as the reps during Suite Sweet, so when I sat to make some toy bracelets to learn how the Strand Bands worked, it was more just to relax. I ended up talking to a lovely young rep who was, unbelievably, getting married the next week. It was the best time, as we shared wedding planning tips and rings stories. We didn’t talk work, just dished – I sharing my memories and telling her to relax, she sharing her excitement and showing off her beautiful engagement ring. That’s where it’s at – building a relationship just by being yourself and sharing your own stories.
2. Know your tag line and brand.
So from the “mom-blog” days through recently, I never really had a tag line until a few weeks ago (I uncovered it at an iRetreat branding session). It was so new that it took me a while to get it out without tripping over it. And even though it took until last summer to come up with my blog name, it really resonated for people and it describes me to a “T”. So get busy crafting a tag line to describe your blog and making sure your card and hashtag really encompass you.
3. Invest in your blog.
Ok, yea, this was something I did BEFORE the conference, but I recommend you take time to think on it before you go to Blogger Bash next year. I invested a lot in this new design, which I’m thrilled with, but I didn’t expect to shell out more than a few bucks for business cards. But then I wanted everything to match, so I rehired my designer to make the cards and went with her suggestions on a print house. BEST. DECISION. EVER! I got lots of compliments on my business card and they were worth the extra money I spent over those “fast print” DIY houses.
4. Talk to new people.
One thing I love about blogger conferences is that it’s an opportunity to meet new people. Sure, go sit with the people you know but sit with people you don’t know too! Get on the Facebook list and meet the strangers in your hotel, then get to the event together. Get a roommate you don’t know. Sit for lunch between someone you know and someone you don’t know. If you are on line or in a session next to someone else alone, strike up a conversation. Take it from a formerly shy person: you can do this!
5. Don’t feel badly about yourself.
So at every giant conference, there will be a time where you feel snubbed. I can tell you from my experience last week, that odds are THEY DIDN’T MEAN IT AND HAD NO IDEA THEY DID. People are exhausted from events like this, whether they are event planners, presenters, reps, bloggers or keynotes. This happened with 2 people I thought snubbed or forgot me, who later struck up a conversation..I even got a hug. An event like this, on it’s own, is overwhelming and exhausting, but when you add it to whatever else people had on their agendas, from other events to a family back at the room dying to see NY, they may not recognize you in the moment. Don’t lose heart – you may have made an impression at blogger bash and other events without even realizing it.
6. Do what you want.
On day 2, I went to a session and discovered I was way too tired to even grasp a thing that was said. I usually feel badly about missing *anything* at a conference, but I thought about it and realized that I too wiped out to sit in a class. I was also interested in doing other things, so why not? I know that sounds simple, but the frugal gal inside me always wants to get every penny’s worth. This time, though, I refused to feel guilty and went about making the most of my time there.
7. Do what your friends want.
A blogging conference is not, however, a solo venture. It’s much more interesting and fun if you can get together with someone and go around with someone else. At this year’s conference, there was an ebb and flow that worked very well for me as I went around with and without my roommate, a local blogger, bloggers I rarely see, people I’ve never met and more. The more I went with the flow, the bigger our group seemed to get – not too large or too small, but just right for sharing Ubers and long walks. Don’t be so married to your agenda that you can’t go with someone else’s.
This year’s Blogger Bash was one of the best events I’ve been to. Not only did Charlene Loach, Joey Fortman, and Laurie Schacht bring together some of the biggest names in the business for amazing keynotes (Care Bears, the Peanuts Movie and Disney Infinity), an amazing and very helpful (and hardworking staff) and a huge assortment of toy and other brands to the Sweet Suite as well as brands for women in the expo, they also provided a stunning venue, an accessible location and and a dazzling array of sweets, cocktails and rich food to fill us up. I’m not surprised. When I roomed with Charlene back in 2011 for the first SheStreams, she filled me full of great info on which conferences were good, bad or ugly. That kind of know-how is the reason this conference was so great.
And it’s also why I’ll be back to make an impression at Blogger Bash 2016! See you there…