SBS Con Photos By: Rebekah Carson
Over the past two years, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to attend a few blogger conferences up and down the East Coast. As some of you know, I’m headed to Charleston, SC for the third annual Southern Blog Society conference this weekend. You can find a full recap of my experience last year right over here.
Blog conferences are absolutely fantastic and if you play your cards right, it can help your blog grow leaps and bounds. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years to help you get the most out of the conference you’re attending.
BEFORE THE CONFERENCE
1. Do some pre-conference networking.
While it’s important to introduce yourself to brands at conferences, it’s super crucial (and fun!) to make new blogger friends as well. If the conference has a certain hashtag, use it to connect with other conference attendees and establish some sort of relationship before the conference happens. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new friend, a new business partner or someone you can collaborate with later on down the road!
2. Follow, follow, follow
Make sure to follow all of the panelists, speakers and organizers of the event before the event on social media. That way when you’re live-tweeting/instagramming/etc the conference you’re able to find each speaker’s handle pretty quickly (and tweet them a thank you!)
3. Packing Strategy
For starters, make sure you leave extra room in your suitcase. You’re bound to come home with a few goodies, so be prepared! If you’re flying, there’s a chance that you might come home with full-size beauty samples, so be prepared to check your bag on the flight home if that’s the case.
Some items I consider essential are business cards, a sleek business card holder (I have this one from Kate Spade), a notebook + pen to take notes (I’m pretty old school, what can I say!), and a few thank you cards for other bloggers/organizers just to show your gratitude.
I’ll be dressing to the nines at SBScon and in heels most of the weekend, so that’s why I’m packing Sole Serum to relieve any discomfort I’m feeling and a pair of Tieks to give my feet a break between events. Also, don’t forget some statement bling — make a good impression!
Me, Grace of A Southern Drawl and Danielle of Lou What Wear at last year’s SBS Con
During The Conference
4. Meet as many people as possible
This is actually the first time I’m going to a conference where I know a good amount of people already. Every single conference I’ve been to in the past, I’ve gone by myself/have only known maybe 1-2 people prior to the event. It’s totally scary to go alone, I get it. However, it really forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and mingle with new people. If you’re going with a large group of friends, don’t be clique-y. Make it a point to connect with new bloggers!
5. Take advantage of new surroundings
Are you going to a conference in a new city? Take advantage of it. Meet with local brands, review shops/restaurants, schedule a few brand meetings. Yes, you’re on “vacation”, but really hustle while you’re at the conference and make the most of your downtime.
After The Conference
Did you connect with any brands/bloggers while you were at the conference? Reach out to them! Get a few collaborations going. Do this in a timely manner (I would say a week or so) so that these brands/bloggers still remember how fabulous you are IRL and are jumping at the chance to partner with you 🙂
Do you have any tips for bloggers heading to conferences this summer?