How to Prepare For a Blog Conference
TGIF everyone! This week just flew by which is great for me because I'm SO excited to be heading to Toronto next week for Blogpodium! Yesterday I shared a little get together I hosted with some other ladies attending and today I wanted to share some advice on how to prepare for blogpodium or any other blog conference you might be attending.
Now by no means am I an expert but having been last year there were definitely a few things I learned and some tips I thought I should share for any first timers who haven't been. So take a read below at my tips on preparing for a blog conference and let me know in the comments below if you have any other tips or pieces of advice before I leave next week!
1. Revamp your about page
I don't know about any of you heading to Blogpodium or any other upcoming conferences but re-vamping my about page is #1 on my to-do list before taking off. At conferences you're meeting all kinds of new people. Other bloggers, brands, and reps all of whom are going to want to learn more about who you are, and what easier way to do that than check out your about page? Make sure your page reflects who you are, is current and looks great as well as reads well. This will likely be the first stop for potential collaborators checking you out so judge if you're a good fit to work together, so make that impression a good one!
2. Make sure your social media is all consistent and on point
In the same vain, ensure your social media is up to snuff. Post consistently before you leave and try to engage in conversations about the upcoming event. Make sure your photos and the appearance of your social media is consistent with your brand and update your bios and about sections. Again, social media is a great place for other bloggers and brands to scope you out and see what you're about.
3. Reach out to others going before hand via social media and in person
A great way to prepare for a conference and feel comfortable and confident in going is to connect with others who you know are going to be there. I'm incredibly lucky to have this group of supportive women who are going to Blogpodium as well. We all got together and chatted about what speakers we were going to and decided to 'divide and conquer' and then swap notes. Most conferences will list attendees which is a great way to see who's going. You never know, some bloggers in the same city as you might be attending that you don't even know. Put yourself out there and ask them for coffee, connecting before will give you confidence knowing that you'll have someone you know there. If you don't know anyone going, reach out via social media. See who's using the conference hashtag and then reach out! This way when you show up you'll already have made connections, making the conference way more comfortable and fun!
4. Get your papers in order - business card and media kit
We may be in the digital age but paper isn't dead. Make sure you have business cards and printed media kits to hand out to people you meet. Business cards don't have to be expensive. Sites like moo and vistaprint are inexpensive and send out cards fast! If you know you're going to be meeting with brands (hellooooo speed networking at blogpodium!) then come prepared with media kits. Spend a few bucks and have them printed off so you can pass them out to everyone you can. Ensure that they look great and are consistent with your brand image, colors, etc. These are a tangible representation of your brand and you!
5. Do your research
Spend some time before leaving for the conference to do your research. Look up the speakers, the brand sponsors and the other bloggers attending. Going into the conference with confidence knowing who will be there gives you an advantage so you can be prepared. If you know you're meeting with brand 'X', look them up, see what other collaborations they've done and with whom and then be prepared to pitch to them your ideas. Knowledge is power, so take a bit of time to prepare yourself, you'll be glad you did.
6. Practice your pitch
Once you've done your research and you know who's going to be there - practice your pitch! At blogpodium they're offering speed networking sessions this year where you can select brands you want to work with and meet with them for 7 minutes. This is an incredible opportunity as usually, you're cold calling (aka cold emailing) companies trying to pitch yourself - to get face to face time is amazing! If you know you're going to have an opportunity to meet face to face with brands you want to work with, know what you want to say. Know what you want to pitch to them and how you're going to say it. You don't need to have a speech rehearsed by any means, but knowing what you want to say and what you want to accomplish will help save you from blanking in the moment or looking unprofessional or unprepared.
7. Set goals and find others to hold you accountable
Like I mentioned, I know that I'm very lucky to have this group of girls to keep me accountable. Last year after a group of us went, we all shared our goals with one another and continued to update each other over the year with our successes and our challenges. It's so much easier when you have a tribe to motivate and support you. This is why reaching out to others before going can be so beneficial to building relationships that will help you and your blog grow!