Feature Friday: How to Prepare for a Blog Conference

Blogging tips and tricks and advice

 

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that we would be starting a new blogger advice column. The series will run every Friday. This week, Vivienne from the V Spot is sharing how you can own your happiness (also called, how to prepare for a blog conference).

The V Spot Blog

 

I’m really getting excited for SNAP! Conference!  I loved my experience last year, and I am soooo looking forward to it again this year.  I know the organizers are working hard to get ready… they’re attending to every detail, both big and small, and trying to plan for every possible contingency to make it a great experience for all of us.

But there’s one thing they can’t control. You. You have a responsibility here too, and it is this:

That’s right. Your happiness is up to you.

After attending a couple of different blogging conferences, I’ve overheard other bloggers say negative things that indicated that they just don’t get it.  I realized it had to do with their attitudes, rather than any fault of the conference organizers.

When we’re getting ready for this conference think about all we do to prepare: we buy our tickets, book our flights, reserve our hotel rooms, find roommates, we make packing lists and arrange for child care for our littles…

But have we prepared mentally…?

Here are 5 tips to get in the right mind-set for a blog conference:

#1  Don’t sit in a corner (literally or figuratively.)

There are some people who are the life of the party no matter where the go, and there are others who are more introverted.  Different strokes for different folks.  You need to be approachable, but you can’t expect that people will approach you and draw you in.  Take a deep breath and talk to the person next to you.

Many bloggers have become friends in real life and only see each other once or twice a year at these conferences.  It may seem like an exclusive little group, but it’s not.  Do not mistake their excitement to see each other as being unwilling to make new friends.  Go say hello.

#2 Start making friends before the conference even starts.

There will be twitter chats prior to SNAP!

Participate. In. Them.

Taking part in these chats can help you to get to know other bloggers, even if it’s just by twitter handle to start off with.  You’ll learn what they think is a “must have” for the conference (phone chargers, business cards, comfy shoes…) you’ll learn who has been before, and you’ll just be a bit more at ease.

Most important, you will develop a rapport with other attendees that can serve as an ice breaker once you meet in person.  We’re bloggers… we seldom know people’s last names.  (In fact, I have already renamed you: Your first name + Your blog name = Your New Full Name.)  My new full name is Vivienne from The V Spot.  My last name wouldn’t help you one bit… but if we met on a twitter chat where I’m @thevspotblog, you can put a face to the handle.  Does that make sense?  So join in the twitter chats!

#3 People are people.  No big deal.

Even if they’re famous for actually sewing their own pants, “big” bloggers are normal people.  It’s all so subjective, so I’m not going to try to define what constitutes a “big” blog; however, we all have bloggers that we admire and look up to.  (Even “big” bloggers have someone they look up to.)

Is there a blogger you really like and want to meet?  It’s going to be your responsibility to seek them out and say hello.  Some bloggers may be able to forecast home decor trends, but I guarantee you that none of them will be able to read your mind.  You need to make it happen!

Say there’s a blogger that you really, really want to meet.  Which do you think would be a better situation?

  • a) They don’t come over and talk to you.  You leave the conference thinking a little less of them (assuming that they’re unapproachable or stuck up.)
  • b) You go over and say hello to them.  You leave the conference thinking that they are a nice, normal person (just like you.)

Which option do you think the blogger in question hopes you choose?  It’s a no brainer, peeps!

#4 Don’t get caught up in comparisons.

It’s human nature to make comparisons… just don’t let it tank your attitude.  And what are you comparing, by the way?  Are you comparing apples to oranges?  Are you a newbie blogger and you’re comparing yourself to someone who’s been blogging for a few years?  Don’t do that.  It will just make you feel bad about yourself and your blog.  You are great, just as you are, and blogging is a journey.  Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle.

The more we succeed as individuals, the more we succeed as a Craft and DIY Blogging community.   It’s not a pie with just so many pieces to go around… it’s a pool we can all swim in.  Support each other, celebrate each other and don’t focus on things you don’t have.  As long as there is creativity, there are opportunities*.  Keep doing what you do best.

(*And those opportunities will probably come as a result of getting out there and talking to people.  It’s also called Networking.  You should try it.)

#5 Do something that scares you.

Everyone has something they’re afraid of or nervous about (including those previously mentioned “big” bloggers.)  Afraid of heights?  Spiders?  Those pop-open rolls of Pillsbury biscuits?  (OK, maybe that one is just me.)  Maybe the thought of walking up and introducing yourself  to a group of strangers makes you want to pee your pants…  Want to throw up at the mere thought of public speaking..?

Whatever it is, step out of your comfort zone at the conference.

The ladies of SNAP! can put together all of the amazing speakers, classes, food, fun and parties that they want.  It might all go off without a hitch, but if you don’t bring the right attitude and an open heart, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the experience.

Learn!  Meet people!  Have fun!  All you need to do is give yourself permission to take on your responsibility.

See you at SNAP!

 

I just can’t get enough of Viv. She’s become a listening ear and a great friend. Beyond that she’s got an incredible blog. Check out a few site highlights in her What’s in My Handbag post.

 

Tauni
Tauni is a former public relations executive who spent 12+ years handling communications and events for an array of clients, from the NBA and Olympics to numerous high ranking politicians. Today, she handles social media for a local agency and hosts SNAP!, an annual social media conference for bloggers focused on entertaining, craft and home DIY.
Tauni
Tauni
Tauni

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Comments

  1. I had a random chance encounter with Vivienne at Haven (I think? Did I? I met so many people I don’t remember!) But YES – she is wonderful and right about everything she says here!! My VA business launched and has become successful due at least 80% to me getting my name and intentions out there at Haven last year. It was scary and nerve wracking and worth every nervous, sweaty second of it!!

    My advice: If you are a newbie and able to attend that first party where we all mingle and get to know each other, go with a buddy. One is in charge of starting conversations, the other is in charge of knowing when the conversation has died and to say “Great chatting – we’re off to mingle!” and find some more new people to meet! Kelly (from http://www.viewalongtheway.com) and I did this (I was the greeter, she was the mover) and we met almost everyone at the party and it was SO MUCH FUN that way!!

    Love this post – sharing it for all my Blissdom friends!! xoxo

  2. Lol, those crescent roll containers scare the pants off me too!

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m going to SNAP this year and it will be my first blog conference ever. I’m a little nervous, but mostly excited, and these tips are super helpful. :-)

  3. Great article, Vivienne! I love meeting new people! Even though, SNAP will be my first blogging conference, I am soooooo looking forward to it! I think the take away message is to embrace it for all it’s worth because you will only get out what you put in!

  4. SO great. And the name thing is true… Hello, my name is Melissa Bless this Mess. I should have thought more about that title… I’m a mess! LOL.

  5. Yay! I hope it’s helpful. Just have fun!

  6. Ha Ha! I am totally afraid of those Pilsbury biscuit cans! I thought I was the only one! :-)

    Great advice here! It is intimidating the first time you go to a conference. I hope everyone reads this. Looking forward to seeing you at SNAP!, Viv!

  7. Great post, Vivienne! As a SNAP! newbie but someone who has been blogging for a few years, it’s finally time for me to step out of my comfort zone and start to meet some of these amazing people that I’ve been connecting with online for years. I’m SO excited to meet everyone, and these are great tips for making introverted-little-old-me a little more outgoing!

  8. great great post!!

  9. Viv you are a genius and I love you.
    Everything you said here is sooooo true!!
    Also – those cans are the jack-in-the-boxes of breakfast food and should come with a warning label. :)

  10. Fabulous article!! I’m so excited to attend SNAP! this year. Looking forward to stepping out if my comfort zone, learning, & making new friends!

  11. Great article!! I am scared to death to meet people so what helped me last year at SNAP was handing out a small treat I created along with my business card. Now I am not saying everyone needs to do this but it helped me approach total strangers. My advice is to find something, anything that will help you to step outside your comfort zone to have a GREAT time!! And yes I am sure I will use the same idea this year again!! Thanks Viv xoxoxox to you!! See you at SNAP!!

  12. These are awesome tips! The photo in #4 totally made me giggle. I cannot wait for SNAP!
    P.S. I totally get that canned biscuit thing. Freaks me out every time!

  13. I will admit that I’m a total newbie and can’t wait to attend Snap this year! I am really nervous but in a good way! I need to GET ON getting my business cards re-designed! Thanks for a great article!

  14. Thank you, V! I’m going to my first conference in August! Wish I could attend SNAP! too – maybe next year :)

  15. Vivienne was my “blog friend” & we hung out during SNAP last year – what a sweetie. Love your article Viv. I think if the truth be told we’re all a little shy about meeting new people. But the bloggers who attend these conferences make it a lot less threatening. Just make a little effort & you’ll have a great new bunch of friends!

    Warmly, Michelle
    PS – I’m also afraid to open soda pop bottles – who knows if they’ve been shaken right beforehand??

  16. Love this. No matter the situation your attitude can make or break it. Plus, I am scared of the refrigerator biscuits too. Especially when you peel the wrapper off thinking they are going to pop and they never do.

  17. Thanks so much for the great tips! This will be my first blogging conference, as I am a new blogger, and I am so excited (and nervous)!! Your tips are great, I will try and do every one of them!

  18. I am new and never have been to a blog conference so this is great advice. so I am looking to go to some shows, but never know when and where they are any advice?

    • Linda, Thanks for your email. We recommend tracking the conferences that best suit your blog. Sign up for their Facebook page and/or mailing list and you should get plenty of advanced notice on when and where the events will be. SNAP! is always held in Utah in the spring. Good luck! –Tauni

Trackbacks

  1. […] Monday: Five little steps I’ll be taking for a healthier lifestyle. Tuesday:  The Mantel From Hell, dressed up for Valentine’s Day. Wednesday: A quick trip to Disneyland, and the realization that Grant has not been there yet. Thursday:  How I keep clear-headed on what was my “normal” routine.  (That’s gonna change up a bit, but that’s ok!) Friday:  A cute craft tutorial from my friend Jessica at Mad in Crafts.  I also shared tips on how to mentally be prepared for a blog conference (or any conference, actually.)  You’re responsible for your own good time.  Check it out on The SNAP Conference blog. […]

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