efore I started blogging, the idea of conferences totally baffled me. I was like ‘What are they even for? Is it a whole lot of people who do the same thing, just hanging out together???‘. The answer is yes. That’s pretty much what conferences are: a whole lot of people who like the same stuff, liking that stuff together in a room at the same time.
It seems simple enough but if you’re investing your time and cash into an event or conference, it’s important to do a little bit of preparation so you get the most out of it. Here are 9 ways to totally rock an event or conference.
1. Be a social media ninja
Even if you’re a beginner blogger, make sure you have all your social media profiles set up before you attend an event. If you don’t have a business or a blog yet, just use your name. People will want to connect with you and you need to make it easy for them. If that awesome group of people you met at lunch can’t find you on instagram, they’ll forget about you very quickly which is a huge waste of a potential online connection.
2. Order your business cards now
If you are currently booked into attend an event and you don’t have business cards, stop what you are doing and order them now. Business cards always take longer than you expect to arrive so don’t leave it to the last minute. Also, don’t over think it. It won’t be the last business card you ever have. Done is better than perfect.
3. Practice your elevator pitch
When someone asks you what your business is or what you blog about you need to give them a solid answer. If you faff around and waffle on about all the vague things you do, no one is going to be interested. You need to say ‘My business/blog is ………………….. and it does …………………. and……………………’. Rehearse your answer before you attend so you never have to resort to a hazy ramble about what you do.
4. Stalk people
The speakers, the organisers and other attendees. If the conference has a Facebook page or forum, join it and participate in it. Know who you’re attending the conference with and start online conversations about it. You want people to know who you are when you get there, so be on everyone’s radar in the weeks leading up to it.
5. Dress the part
If you’ve built your brand on your cute rockabilly style, you can’t show up to an event in jeans and a t-shirt and expect people to notice you. Dress the part, dress ‘on brand’ and try to look as much like your profile picture as possible so people will recognise you.
6. Get involved
If you hear something awesome, tweet it. If you see something amazing instagram it. Make sure to use the conference hashtags and social media handles as well. It’s a brilliant way to get more followers and to grab the attention of important people.
Lots of conferences and events will offer free tickets to people who are willing to volunteer on the day of the event. This is an excellent idea for beginner bloggers and start ups because you’ll get to meet everyone as a helper whilst simultaneously aligning yourself with big players in the industry. Major win.
8. Take breaks
No one can sit for 9 hours straight and effectively take in an overload of information. If you’re feeling like you need to fidget, go grab a cup of coffee. Honestly, the best networking is done in the hallways so never feel guilty about doing this.
9. Be real
Don’t pretend you know someone when you don’t and when you’re talking to another attendee, don’t look over their shoulder for someone cooler to talk to. That’s the beauty of events and conferences… most people are there for the same reasons so everyone will be able to add value to your experience. There’s no one at any conference who isn’t awesome enough for you to talk to.
Conferences can seem really weird if you’re an event virgin but since I started attending blogging conferences 5 years ago, my world has completely changed. Every important thing that has happened in my career as a blogger, happened at a blogging conference or an event. I met all of my agents, including my current agent at conferences. I was invited to travel to India with World Vision at a blogging event. I met most of my favourite people at blogging conferences including my Little Blog Big partner in crime Christina Butcher from Hair Romance and Mr and Mrs Romance.
In March we held our very first Little Blog Big event in Melbourne and by the end of the day we were jumping up and down in my office hugging each other because the day was so surreal and awesome. Our attendees were utterly divine, we witnessed some amazing friendships forming and everyone was buzzing by the end of the day. One of our attendees made a 6 hour round trip for the event and said it was totally worth it, another brought bubbly for everyone and we had two mummy porn bloggers in attendance. It was brilliant.
Our Sydney workshop is coming up on April 18th and we sold almost half the tickets on the first day they went on sale. Blogging events and conferences often seem to bypass Sydney which is totally weird but we’re on it. Sydney bloggers – this one’s for you!
Who should attend this workshop?
– Beginner bloggers who want to start off on the right foot
– Intermediate bloggers who need an extra shove in the right direction
– Social media and communication managers who want to spend their professional development $ on something that won’t bore them to death
– Small business owners who want to use a blog/social media to pimp their business
– Anyone in the online space who wants to hang out, learn from and make friends with other internet ninjas
What do I get for my dosh?
Four awesome hour long learning sessions –
1. Finding Your Blogging Groove
2. Getting The Most Out Of Social Media
3. Planning and Productivity With Your Blog
4. Media Kit Basics and Dealing With PRs
– Morning Tea
– Afternoon Tea
– Networking session and after workshop drinks
– Take-home worksheets
– A sweet-as goodie bag
– A whole room of awesome bloggers to make friends with
– A full day with 2 professional bloggers who love to answer questions about blogging
If you’re a Sydney blogger we’d LOVE to see you there.BOOK TICKET NOW
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Where should Little Blog Big go next? The short list is Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth?
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