Summer is the time for Blog Conferences and this year is the first year that I am attending multiple ones. Because I attended two already this year and will be heading out to one more I have some “Must Haves” to help you get ready for your first conference.
Last month I headed to Philly for the one day Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Conference,where I learned about all the great new things going on in Disney this year and also got to hear from some great speakers like Victoria Lim, who shared some great tech gadgets and tips that I have been implementing behind the scenes.
Just days after that conference I headed to Hershey for the iRetreat Conference put on my my friend Cissy Mecca and her business partners through the Double Duty Diva Network. This conference was great and I am still processing all of the information that I learned and implementing all the tips and tricks I learned there to make this site even better.
Finally, later this week I am heading to NYC for the Blogger Bash 2014 where I will get to hear from industry leaders in the toy business and learn from some pretty smart and successful business leaders. I am really excited about this trip and hope to come back with some hot information about the new and cool toys for this holiday season.
Attending all of these conferences however, has given me some insight into the “must haves” at a blog conference:
1.Business Cards are a MUST and make sure to keep them readily available. You don’t want to be having a great conversation with a fellow blogger or a brand representative and have to fumble around to find a business card. Keep them in a front pocket and if you are given an lanyard with your conference name tag, then slip them in the pocket behind your name tag so you can always reach your cards. This is also a great place to stash all the cards you will be given as well.
Business cards don’t have to be expensive or fancy either. I got my new business cards from Vistaprint and I love them. They were reasonably priced even when double sided and they came within a few days.
2. iPhone/iPad/Laptop and their chargers– I recommend you leave you laptop in your room to use during downtown but you will absolutely want your iPhone/iPad with you during the conference so you can visit sponsors and other bloggers social media pages and to tweet about all the latest and greatest information and tools you are learning about. Twitter is a great way to get information about a conference as well, as you can just follow the #hashtag for the event, tweet out a question and within seconds someone is tweeting you back. Make sure to bring the chargers with you as well, you don’t want to get stuck with a dead battery!
3. A Mophie for your iPhone! My husband gave me a Mophie for Christmas this year and I love this device! It is basically a charger that works as a phone case so when your battery life on your phone dies you can move a little switch in the back of your Mophie case and it will then charge your phone. Trust me, you will want this beause all that live tweeting and social media sharing will drain your battery quickly!
4. Pen and Paper–yes I know, we are bloggers and we are at our computers/devices all the time etc. etc. BUT there are going to be times that you want to jot down information quickly or take notes during an awesome presentation and it is just easier to write it all down. I took pages and pages and pages of notes at iRetreat and then when I got home I simply typed them up into word documents for me to look back on.
5. Good friends to make the trip with you. I have been lucky to attend the events this summer with my blogging friends Jenna from Bucktown Bargains and Christina from It’s A Keeper. These girls and I have learned so much and laughed so much with each other that oftentimes the trip can be just as great as the conference. Plus, it is always less intimidating to walk in to a conference full of successful women when you have a friend by your side.
Bonus tip: Bring a sweater or a scarf to wrap around your shoulders. Conference rooms can get COLD, even when filled with lots of people!
Do you have any conferences planned for this year? What are your must haves for conference season?