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I remember when I was a Blog Her newbie a few years back and I want to share what I learned for the newbies this year! I read the guides but nothing beats experience. Here are a few things I wish I had known and advice I wish I had taken for my first first conference. These tips are from my experience with BlogHer but will work with any blogging conference!
What Should I Wear?
What do you wear? Think of the conference as a business meeting. Even the parties! Dress in business clothes. When in the expo hall, and at parties you are connecting with brands and companies. Who do you think they will want to work with? The professionally dressed person or the one who looks like they have been out clubbing all night and has “things” hanging out no one wants to see? Cover it up! No bra straps, no cleavage, NO tummy and make sure the dress comes down close to your knees no one wants to see your underwear or lack of! Now with that said make sure you are comfortable, shoes that you can walk in ect. Walking from class to the Expo Hall each day will be your work out for the day! Then add in walking to each party? When I was in New York, I walked off every bit of amazing food I ate and then some!
What Should I Pack?
When it comes to packing don't OVER pack. Pack your daytime outfits 1 a day and 1 cocktail dress per night. Don't pack a new pair of of shoes for each outfit. Bring a pair of shoes that works with them all. I'm bringing black flats for all my day outfits. Why pack light? Because you WILL be bring back swag! I also suggesting packing an extra duffle bag if you can to bring stuff back with. Personally I traveled Southwest. You get 2 free check on bags with your ticket. so i packed all my clothes and everything in a carry on and included my 2 empty duffle bags. On the way home I had my two duffel bags filled, my carry on stuffed and still sent home a box of stuff. I was able to donate to my local toys for tots, hold some great giveaway for my readers and share some love with my friends!
Now just so you know I'm not joking about swag this is ONE DAY of swag from BlogHer 2011! And I even got boxes in the mail a few weeks later!
I want to add while the swag is nice (ok REALLY nice!) the brand connections I still use to this day are more valuable! Remember that's the reason you are going, to connect with brands and other bloggers.
Now what do you pack? My #1 thing I wish I had? A power strip! There is NEVER enough plugs when you have roomies! Check out my List of What To Pack for Blog Her!
Business Cards and Address Labels
Bring a new pack of business cards, and hand them out to everyone, bloggers, Pr reps, put them in giveaway jars, I had a few people at a place i ate ask about the convention and what I do, so I gave them a business card too! Also maybe print out address labels with your name address, email and phone number, there will be many PR reps that have you fill out a form with this info, use the labels and save a ton of time!
Work out Your Schedule
You want to make sure you hit the classes you want and parties but MAKE SURE you spend time in the Expo Hall. You will want to connect with brands. Not to mention take advantage of the pampering! Last year I got a back massage, foot massage, arm massage and fake lashes put on all while being pitched to! Got to love it!
But don't be afraid to change your schedule at a moments notice. If you don't like a class walk out and spend your time elsewhere. Your weekend will fly by so don't spend it where you aren't benefiting! Honestly my 2nd time to BlogHer I didn't go to any classes. I had a few on my list to catch but when the time came for that class I was connecting with bloggers I didn't want to walk away from or a PR rep and I felt that connection was more important!
Connect with Bloggers Before Hand
Make sure to connect with other bloggers attending before hand, Via Twitter or other networks you use. if someone you have met blogging is going to be there, set up a time to meet! Make those face to face connections! I have met up with many bloggers at different parties.
Newbies always worry about being invited to private parties. These parties are thrown by brands, and are the best way to connect with them. Plus they generally have the best swag. Toy Suite and Hasbro were one of my favorites to date. Each one sent you home with huge totes of toys. So How do you get invited to these parties? The best way to to make sure you are following the Blog Her Twitter Stream. But each conference has their own sponsored parties that everyone can attend. These are sometimes more fun than the private parties!
But if you really want to know how to get into private parties check out my post next week!
Most of all remember to have fun! I have some great memories from My BlogHer conferences!
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