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Advice for Making the Most of Blissdom

I know that the majority of you are probably not going to Blissdom, so I promise not to inundate you with Blissdom buzz for the entire month, but I’m getting a lot of questions about what to wear and what to expect and what to bring, so I thought I’d do a few posts with some advice from a Blissdom veteran.

And incidentally, most of these points could go for any other blogging conference, so if you plan to attend one of the 952 blogging conferences being held this year, you may want to read on.  Or not.  Up to you.

1. Smile and be friendly. This is my first and foremost piece of advice.  It’s always best to assume that if someone appears stuck up, she is probably just shy.  If you smile and say hi and she still gives you the cold shoulder, then perhaps your initial instincts were correct after all; don’t sue me.

2.  If you see one of your blogging “idols” (come on, admit it, we all have them), by all means, go up and introduce yourself. She will love you for it.

3. Take a break. Conferences can be overwhelming.  One day I went up to my room and ordered room service for lunch.  Being alone for 45 minutes was exactly the pick-me-up I needed to return to the hubub downstairs.

4. Take notes. Conferences can be information overload, and you will be glad to look back over your notes at a later time and digest them a bit.  Plus, it makes great post-conference blog fodder.

5. Remember your business cards. I can’t tell you how many blogging events I’ve attended and forgotten my business cards.  SO annoying.  You will want to exchange cards with people you meet.  They don’t have to be fancy or match your blog, although that’s certainly a bonus.  For a fabulous post on business card ettiquette, Stephanie at Metropolitan Mama wrote How to effectively use business cards at conferences.

6. If you have a smartphone or a laptop, by all means, bring it! I didn’t have either at the first blogging conference I ever attended, and I felt so left out as everyone sat around with their laptops open, twittering and whatnot while we chatted.  At most social gatherings, pulling out your smartphone or laptop is a no-no; but at blogging events, it’s practically a requirement!

What would you add to this list?

Stay tuned for a What To Wear To Blissdom post later this week.

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Unrelated – if you’re interested in trying Nature’s Peak frozen fruit, I have a review and giveaway going on at Reviewsings.

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31 thoughts on “Advice for Making the Most of Blissdom

  1. Oh this is fabulous! Just fabulous.

    From following #blissdom on Twitter, it seems as if there are many of us that are attending a conference for the first time. This is JUST the kind of info I need!

    Thanks so much! And I can’t wait to check out the link on the business cards. That is one of the millions of questions that I have.

    Looking oh so forward to the ‘What to Wear to Blissdom’ post!

    Thanks again-

    -Lauren
    (Mama Laundry)

  2. Love it such great tips! I too had to “get away” at times. I’m bringing hubby along so he and I “escaped” to dinner since I don’t do cocktail parties.

  3. Along with that laptop… bring a power cord! Nothing more frustrating that running out of battery life in the midst of a session.

  4. Along with that power cord, I’d suggest somebody bring some power strips 😀 Don’t know if it’ll be the same as the other venue, but when batteries are dying, the plugs were at a premium!

    I must remember to take more quiet breaks too 🙂 I was easily overwhelmed with all the information, talking and socializing. I’m used to sitting in my office, listening to my music and *reading* all the conversations — not hearing them all at once!

  5. Good tips! I definitely second the sneaking away for breaks thing. That’s one thing I love about staying at the hotel of the conference. You can always go sneak back to your room for freshening up or a breather.

    I’d advise if you are bringing a baby, be courteous and stay near the back of the room for an easy exit, don’t stick around if baby is fussing or crying- it makes it hard for everyone to hear the speaker, and also, think A LOT about what parties (if any) you should or shouldn’t attend with your baby. Especially if it’s in a bar. Just let me say, take my word for it. 🙂

    Steph

  6. great tips Jo-Lynne – hope I get to apply them!! lol

    Good to know that it’s ok to slip away and be by yourself, I was thinking of that the other day, I’m so used to being alone (or with my family) – several days of so much socializing sounds a little overwhelming!

    One question, if you have a smartphone, is a laptop still necessary? my laptop is 2 yrs old and heavy and requires a fan—the thought of lugging it around all day wears me out- yet I don’t want to be sorry if I didn’t bring it

    ~TidyMom

  7. I won’t be at Blissdom, but this is great advice nonetheless. I *should* be at Blogher this year – of course, I’ve been saying that for the last 4 years – so hopefully, I can implement some of this there.

    Have a great time.

  8. Oh I wish I was going. I was just telling Husband that I want to go, not because I really have any desire to grow my blog or whatever, but just because Blissdom strikes me at the kind of conference that is way more about being with the bloggers you love. So jealous! I don’t have a laptop or a smartphone! Well, my phone might qualify as smart, but I wouldn’t want to use it for computer stuff for any length of time. Can’t wait for the fashion post, as I live vicariously through you.

  9. Nicole, LOL. I wish you were coming too. Because Blissdom IS about getting together with the bloggers you love. Maybe next year?

  10. I’ll be missing out on the fun this year…again. Maybe one day I’ll make it. I do wish this conference wasn’t in the dead of winter. I really, really dislike traveling during cold/flu season and in the possible snow and ice we’ve had so much of.

    Nell

  11. I’ll keep all of this in mind IF by some chance I win the ticket from Kimberly. Oh, and I’ll be sure to have plenty of business cards on hand. And my laptop. Now, how ’bout some fashion advice???

  12. Excellent tips…for any conference! I especially think taking a break is important. I went to BlogHer in ’08 and it was tons of fun, but it was also a bit overwhelming. I am about 50/50 extrovert/introvert so…I appreciated those little moments of quiet in between all of the socializing. 🙂

    P.S. Thanks for linking to my post.

  13. I was just, seriously just about to email you asking about all of this stuff. Now that I’m actually thinking through everything, I’m getting more than a leetle bit overwhelmed. I think I just might hit refresh every five minutes until that fashion post is up this week…

  14. Wow, thanks for the advice. I’m going to this for the first time. It will also be my first blog conference ever. I am extremely shy so I’m sort of nervous about this whole thing. I’m hoping I can pull it together!

  15. Wonderful post, thanks so much!! I am so excited about going to Blissdom, my first conference. I can’t wait to meet everyone. A bit worried about putting faces and names with blogs, my memory is the worst. The comments on this post are so helpful as well. I had surfed for conference info in the past and had read about some high-school behavior that went on and all the grabbing for sponsor giveaways. It wasn’t Blissdom, I sense this is a very unique group of blogger with much consideration. Sneaking back to the room for alone time is great advice. Also, I’m glad they’ve capped the attendence to 500 to keep it from being too overwhelming,(although I am really sad to read on Blissdom FB of all the one’s who missed the ticket sales and are still looking for tickets.) Thank you again!

  16. Jo-Lynne, this is so helpful. Blissdom is my first blogging conference, and I’m super intimidated by all the pro’s who have been doing this forever, but I’m determined to put my actress cape on and play like I know what I’m doing. Being prepared with power strips and smartphones will make me fit the part! Thank you so much!

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