Top tips for Attending a Blogging conference and meeting new people. It is that time of year many blogging conferences are here in the next few months. For many conference first timers or newbies the conferences scene can be over whelming. I have attend many conferences, and I think i am an outgoing person but I do have some trick or tips I use to make the situation of meeting new people easier.
20 tips for Blog Conference Newbies to creating your tribe
- Follow conference stream prior to see who is going and get involved with tweeting before the event
- Put your picture (that looks like you) on your business card. It is smart and memorable, realtors have been placing pictures on there cards for years, why ? because people remember faces not always names.
- Have business cards and hand them to people you meet- it might feel awkward but it is necessary to be remembered. Also with everyone’s twitter handle and blog names being so similar, make it easy for people to know your name when tweeting they met you.
- Do make plans with on-line buddies prior to connect at a conference aka.. plan a coffee time.
- Try to combined rides to airports with other bloggers. I have a friend, who always says she meets the “new” blogging friends on the taxis to and from airport.
- Wear fun Jewelry – I always wear a crazy over the top ring, people know me for it. It is a conversation starter, more people start a conversation asking me about the rings. I have a friends who always wears a great necklace, same reason. I always have a big ring I spend no more then $15 on them usually $3-$5 and I wear a different one everyday.
- Be fabulous but be comfortable.. wear clothes you are confident but yourself. If you don’t like yourself in loud prints or your bare arms then don’t wear them because you clothing can make you feel uneasy and throw off your ability to relax.
- Wear comfortable shoes- not only because who want to stand, talking, and be uptight. If your feet hurt.. it make you want to go back in your room and soak your feet there is no new friends your hotel suite.
- Wear your hair down, it makes you more approachable for others and feel relaxed ourselves. When you are home running behind kids I understand but you are on “you time” with no kids. There is a reason the phrase “let your hair down” was coined. Have Fun.
- Bring a fun bright scarf to wear, people will remember it same as the jewelry but, the conference areas are cold but the outside areas are hot, airlines don’t give blankets, and you can always use it for limbo with your new Friends
- Attend sessions and discussion session with fellow attendees. Talk
- Look up from your smart phone- and look people in the eye- where it is acceptable to be looking down at your phone .. you will meet more people if you dont tweet non stop. I find at conferences and social media events, I tweet less because I am talking more.
- Follow the conference Hashtag “#” on twitter, that is your life-line to where and when people moving/doing – then go and see.
- Volunteer to pack gift “swag” bags they are usually done on site the day before a conference starts and the conference organizers always need help. When you see the tweet saying they are doing the packing.. go help and meet people.
- Hang in the common areas do not hide in your room. No one will meet you in your room. Look everyone has a name badge . Feel free to talk to others who have a badge some people that look as out of place as you feel. It is the playground when you are 6 years old, talk to the girl playing in the sandbox. Once you have a friend then work as a team to add more people.
- Ask people who are hanging in the lobby to join you for a meal or drink.. I use “Hey I am heading to dinner want to come?” They might say “I have plans but you are free to join us.. or they might say yea..” then tweet it out and see if others join you. I do this all the time, I take a group of 2 and turn it into 10, a large group is great.
- Waiting in line at registration or at snack time is a great way to connect – talk to the person ask: “Where are you from? or What is your blog about?” people love to talk to others and feel less lonely.
- Avoid your click.. if you come with friends be sure to branch out. You traveled to this conference to meet others and learn.
- Photos- take the opportunity to take photos with people who’s work you love. If you read a blog and the blogger is there ask if they would not mind a photos or take it with the conference organizers. Don’t say I don’t like my picture .. get comfortable and take them with people it will make your experience so much better. You are amazing and beautiful so have your picture taken, you are there for you and to grow.
- Smile- I know it is a simple idea but it really does make you more approachable
I view a conference as the chance to try to be the best person I am. Not to be scared to talk and meet people. Listen we are all nervous, just extend a hand you might meet someone amazing.