Here is what I learned about how to have a successful conference experience.
1. Plan in advance. Conferences publish the agenda in advance. Read it and make a strategy. BlogHer had several sessions that occurred simultaneously. Without a strategy I would have been overwhelmed. Big thanks to my intern, Olivia, for identifying the appropriate sessions.
2. Have a Wingman (or girl). I learned this tip from Rachel Blaufeld of www.backngroovemom.com. You need a friend (or two) at the conference who can help you and attend the sessions that you don’t. That way you can learn from them.
3. Spend Some Time at the Expo. The Expo is where the brands are. So you can score great swag. More importantly, the brands have the money. You might write for the love of it, but it would be great to make some money too. So, you should meet some of the brand representatives and start to build some relationships. Becoming a brand ambassador is the holy grail of blogging. I am still trying to make that happen.
4. Meet As Many People as Possible. Danny Iny, the “Freddy Krueger of blogging” says that guest blogging is the key to growing your blog and getting more exposure. http://writelikefreddy.com/site/ Relationships with other bloggers is the way to make that happen. I made some connections at the conference with other bloggers that I hope help me in that regard. I would love to exchange guest posts with my new friends, Marie Wen Adcock of www.biculturalmama.com , Rachel Blaufeld of www.backngroovemom.com or another new friend. I think that we could have great fun and help one another!
5. Take a snack or sneak off for real food. You may want to pack a snack. I actually thought that the food at BlogHer was pretty awful, which was surprising since it was a conference planned by women for women. I guess they put the money into the speakers. Since President Obama made a video post and Martha Stewart and Katie Couric were lunchtime speakers, the money appears to have been well spent. Still, it would have been nice to have better food.
Look below. I managed to do just that!
Me in the Chuck E. Cheese Rocket Blaster. The joke was on me. There was no prize!
Me and a BlogHer staffer who's wearing the cutest dress. ( I just saw the same dress on Kate Middleton in Us Weekly!)