Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 Things to Keep in Mind for BlogHer '11

 (Photo: S'mores Suite BlogHer '10)

1) Take Care of Yourself: If you don't take care of yourself, who will? Conferences are busy, hectic, fun-filled times and everyone has a different way of recharging their batteries. Whenever you need to hit your "reset" button, DO IT!

For some it might be hanging out with friends for coffee in the morning, for others it's taking a nap during the day. For me it's not sharing a room. I like and need the calm, peaceful oasis of my room at night.

I love you, I really do--but unless you are my husband or son, we won't be sharing a room. I can go GO go all day, but I need that space to myself in the evening. Find out what your "thing" is and stick to it.

2) Business Cards: Have plenty of them and carry them with you everywhere you go during the conference. Also, bring a pen to write information down on the back like where you met folks or a bit of your conversation. This will help immensely when you get back to your room or back home from the conference to figure out who folks were and how you met.

On that note, please don't make your cards glossy on both sides as it makes them really hard for folks including brands to make notes on. Other than that a picture on your card is great for jogging people's memories and I put MY cards in my right pocket and those I collect in my left. If I'm wearing a dress I put mine to the outside of the purse and those I collect to the inside. It helps me from handing someone a card that isn't my own and gives me a good sense of when I need to refill my stash.
3) Posting: Most blog conferences are insanely busy, but BlogHer is an animal unto itself with workshops, expo halls, private events and parties and that's just to name a few of the things going on in San Diego this year. You are unlikely to find enough time to put out any blog posts that week, so think of scheduling a few. I will be continuing my Vintage Me series here that I started while I was away at the Type-A Parent conference last month.

Personally I find myself a wee bit overwhelmed after conferences and often find it difficult to get started. So having a post or two scheduled for the week after is also a great idea as it will let some of your new ideas percolate a little longer. (Psst... there will be a Linky up the day after BlogHer for my weeklong Awkward Photo Contest--so you can always schedule a post for that.)

One last note on posting. I find myself incredibly energized at conferences and I think you are likely to find yourself feeling the same way. So although you probably won't have enough time to put out polished posts while at BlogHer DO commit to getting yourself on a computer for 30 minutes each night to put a few ideas out. Then when you get yourself together after you get home you'll be able to tap into some of that energy from what you were feeling while you were in the thick of it.

4) Clothes, Shoes, Accessories: It really doesn't matter what you wear, you will see people wearing everything from jeans to fancy dresses and every combination of things in between. I suggest that you wear what you feel comfortable in and although it's not necessary at all I think it does help you to feel a little refreshed to have at least one fabulous thing to wear. It can be some amazing accessories, a new top, or a spark-a-licous pair of flip flops.

Something that makes YOU want to shine!

Speaking of flip flops--please wear them or some other sort of incredibly comfortable footwear during the day. Last year I had multiple blisters the size of a fifty-cent piece on the bottom of each foot. My sister and husband both physically recoiled when they saw them. Nobody can be their absolute best when their feet hurt THAT bad. Save your heels or your slightly-less-comfortable shoes for the evenings. That's when I'll be rocking my heels!

5) Swag: Um...there's going to be A LOT of it even if you don't go to all the external parties. So take inventory once a day (more if you have time) and take down the stuff you don't want or won't use to the Swag Exchange --it just might make someone's day.  Last year I saw a woman nearly cry because someone brought down their Mr. Potato Head to the Swag Exchange Lounge, that's good karma.

The conference, for me anyway, is all about the sessions and the people. But I won't lie--some of the swag is really awesome too!

6) Twitter: Be on it! (I'm going to devote a whole post to this next week.) Last year I wasn't and I missed out on a lot of the conference because of it. I missed out on meeting and following up with great people, really having a good sense of the conference and in networking with brands.

The blogosphere runs on Twitter, so don't let yourself show up with an empty tank.

7) Laptop: Bring one, leave it in your room. I toted a netbook around with me last year, rarely used it and gave my back an extra little workout with everything else I was carrying around. WiFi at hotels or in this case at the convention center is often spotty when you have 3,600 socially powered women chatting up the airwaves.

During the day connect with the fabulous bloggers and speakers around you and use paper and pen instead. Then at night log in for a bit, draft some blog posts and close the thing before you get carried away and don't sleep a wink.

8) Agenda: As I've said above this conference is LOADED with more opportunities than you could ever hope to take advantage of. So make a game plan now--look at the parties, events and sessions and figure out where you'd like to be. Make a rough schedule, be flexible when you can incase an even more amazing opportunity comes your way all while making sure you don't miss your MUST ATTEND events at the conference.

9) Buddy: While it's great to have someone to lean on and catch up with throughout the conference take some space from each other to meet new people, discover new blogs and do the things that YOU want to do.

If there are people that you just can't wait to catch up with or meet "in real life", DO so! Just make sure that you make time to meet all the other awesome folks that you have yet to meet as well.

10) Be the person you wish to meet! After the conference last year I saw lots of posts about how this didn't happen or that opportunity should have been made available to me or a thousand other things. So I leave you with this challenge, "Be the person you wish to meet!"

See someone who looks overwhelmed by it all or who is looking for a group to join at lunch--reach out!

Don't wait for people to ask for your card, ask for theirs.

See someone who is clearly wobbling from too much walking and not enough sitting--offer some Motrin or a band-aid.

Life is too short to get caught up in drama that may only exist in your head.

Just because you see a group of people who are happy to see one another it doesn't mean that they are doing so to exclude you.

Now, go get 'em tiger!

Have post of your own to help folks gear up for BlogHer '11? Add it to the linky below!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Real Time Web Analytics