What to expect from a blogging conference - Tips from an old timer
I’ve been blogging for over 7 years and I attended my first ever blogging event back in 2010. Many moons ago. It was fab and if you can believe it was my first ever trip to London. Yes I know? I’m a small town Scottish girl at heart.
With every conference you go to, you still learn, even after years of doing it. There is always something new in the world of blogging from no follow or follow links, to the way certain social media algorithm’s work and more. Working in IT, I know how fast paced these industries are.
Now I’m no “pro-blogger” but I do love my blog, it’s my space to write an my space to love. This is why I go, to build on and make my blog better each time. You will always come away with something you want to implement. Always something positive and that fire you first had when you started blogging will be back.
It's all about the people...
However, my all-time favourite thing about going to blogging conferences is meeting the people I chat with nearly every day. The people I have shared the highs and lows of life with. The people I call my friends. I am still nervous at each blogging conference, I worry what people think. Goodness, I pour my heart out most of the time on my blog and now I worry. Everyone is lovely, I can tell you that. I have never met anyone who hasn’t been anything but nice and welcoming. There are always new people to meet and new friends to follow.
Blogging conferences are a great place to meet new people, I think especially those that do it full time. I can imagine it can be quite lonely at times, great, but a bit lonely. This is where you can meet friends and you never know, some of those friend might live less than 20 minutes away. Yes, I went all the way down to London and met a blogger who lived close-by. We became very good friends.
I swear that's.... is it?
Name badges are usually given out, but it can be a bit awkward when you talk to someone and you try to tilt your head to look at the name badge on their chest. Then you shout, ahh…. Bla bla bla and end with a hug as you’ve been looking for them all day. Before you go, make a list of people you must see. Check out their about pages, most have a photo of themselves, just so you have a rough idea. My first conference I quickly realised people didn’t look like their twitter profile pictures. It would seem people aren’t pink or have marbles coming out their heads in real life. You know who you are… So go with an open heart and mind.
Lights, camera, learn...
Make sure you take a camera or camera phone if you’re happy with that. I love going to these talks, I always come away enthused and say I’ll try to do more with the camera on manual. Take lots of notes and give it a go. Every time I learn a bit more. I don’t have a lot of time between kids, work, blog, life, but you know what, we can learn and a bit at a time makes a difference. I know my photography has certainly improved. Granted, I don’t have lights and all that jazz, but I’m happy with them and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. One day, I will get myself some kit. For now, I’ll learn and give it a go. Step out of your comfort zone and you might surprise yourself.
What's inside my bag...
Don’t leave those moo cards on your bedside table, put them in your bag, now. They are great to give out to brands and to new friends. Take a charger, there are usually places you can plug it in or at the very least one of those portable ones. A notepad and pen, if you don’t like typing notes on your phone or ipad. Most of the time, these are supplied, but you can never have too many pens can you? Take a completely separate huge bag, like huge! Big enough to fit your kids in! You’ll want to bring home stuff. There is always good stuff. Goody bags, brand stuff, prizes... there is so much STUFF! Also, wear comfortable shoes and comfortable clothes, smart, but casual and comfy or you’ll be fidgeting about all day and carrying your shoes before lunch. There isn’t usually alcohol served that early so you'll feel it!
Most importantly enjoy it. These people around you, they get blogging, they get why you are glued to your phone tweeting right now. A lot of people in “real life” don’t. Make friends, meet brands, don’t be afraid, they are here because they want to meet you. If you are shy, like me, put on you big girl pants and put yourself out there, you won’t regret it.
Come say hi if you see me, I am shy, but I’d love to meet you and chat. What are you looking forward to most about the conference? And if you have any questions that I can help with, give me a shout. See you there.