What To Take To A Blog Conference
Hey friends! I’m off to attend a blog conference – Haven – on Thursday, and I’m so excited! This will be my third year attending, and it has been such a great experience the past two years. I do remember how nervous I was that first year, and wondering what to take and how to dress were questions that were looming in my mind. So this year, I decided to write a little post for first time blog conference attendees who may be wondering the same things. So that is how this post was born. If you are getting ready to attend your first blog conference, here is what to take to a blog conference.
What to Wear
Let’s just get this one out of the way right off the bat! I could go on about this all day, and I have to be honest, I fret about what to wear when I attend a blog conference probably more than anything else. I mean seriously, you need to be prepared! What if you come face to face with your blogging idol? And there is a good chance you will meet, see, or be in the presence of some bloggers that are going to make your heart skip a beat. And I don’t know about you, but I want to look good when that time comes! I have made a few shopping widgets containing items that I think would be great to wear to a blog conference. Any of the cardigans below would work.
And just so you know- it has happened! I totally met and talked to John and Sherry from Young House Love last year. In my book they are top notch and numero uno bloggers. And it happened when I least suspected it might. I was in the hallway during a workshop- I had went to the restroom- and lo and behold, there they were! I had an out of body experience and I may or may not have made a complete ass out of myself. But I just told myself they probably didn’t give me a second thought, and they surely forgot all about it 10 seconds later. So it’s all good!
So what do you wear to a blog conference? I like to be dressed stylish and comfortable at the same time. But you will see people dressed in all kinds of different ways. I like to take a couple of cute dresses or skirt outfits, maybe a pair of white jeans. Be prepared to be cold. I always take a sweater or a jacket that will go with most all of my outfits, and it is in my bag or on my body most of the time. You will want to check the agenda for your particular conference, but I always take an outfit to dress up for a more formal occasion, because there is usually some kind of soiree in the evening. I always make sure the shoes I pack are both stylish and comfortable, because trust me, you are going to be walking a lot! And if your feet hurt, it can ruin everything!
A hole punch and loose leaf binder rings
When you go to a blog conference, you will surely be meeting a lot of people, including brand representatives and other bloggers. Lots of them will want to exchange business cards with you. I always bring book rings and a single hole punch, and I just punch a hole in the corner of the cards and add them to the ring. It is a great way to keep them organized so that you can refer back to them if needed after the conference.
Notebook and pens
You will want to have a notebook handy to take notes at all of the very educational workshops you will be attending. I love being able to refer back to things I learned, and do so often. I love this marbelized notebook I scored at Target! Also take a few pens at least, because if you are like me, you will probably lose at least one of them.
Business cards and business card holder
This is one of the most important things you can bring to a blog conference, trust me! Each year I have a lot of fun selecting a new business card to take with me, and this year, I was lucky enough to have been provided these fantastic business post cards from Purple Trail. I am over the moon about these! I decided to choose a 4×6 postcard size this year to differentiate myself a little. Josh at Purple Trail was so helpful when I was making my selections, and he even tweaked a few things for me to ensure that it would print out perfectly. They are great quality, and I cannot wait to show them off at Haven! Purple Trail carries personalized planners, invitations, cards, and stationery too.
A bag or backpack to carry around conference
This is probably a no brainer, but believe it or not, I wasn’t prepared the first time I went. You will want a bag that is large enough to carry all of your essentials, plus some swag that you may receive at the different workshops and sponsor booths.
This is the type of bag I bring with me
External phone charger
You will find that having a mobile charger that you can fit in your bag will come in very handy when your phone starts dying. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Ha! Just don’t forget to make sure your charger is fully charged before heading out each day.
A Media kit
A media kit is usually kind of like a resume. It is limited to one page, and just has important details about your blog, maybe some statistics, brands you have worked with, whatever you think might be important when you are trying to network with brand reps. I have made one each year, but have only handed out a few. So don’t print out a ton of these. I’d say if you have a dozen of them, you are fully covered.
Chewing gum or mints
You are going to be meeting more new people than you can even imagine, and I don’t know about you but I want to be smelling fresh and clean.
You will find a water bottle that you can carry in your bag to come in very handy, because it’s a very long day and you will need to hydrate. I am partial to a glass water bottle because I think they just make water taste better. I love this one that has a rubber coating on it.
Hand sanitizer and lotion
I always have these things on hand, so it’s kind of a no brainer. But if I wash my hands, I need to apply hand lotion because my hands are so dry.
Lipstick and/or lip balm
I don’t carry around a lot of makeup, but I always have these two things with me. Being able to reapply your lipstick is key to feeling put together.
Phone or tablet
I do not take my DSLR camera with me to a blog conference. I don’t love traveling with one because there is always a chance it can be damaged. Plus, it is not something you are going to want to lug around. Trust me on this. So I just take my phone. I don’t even take my laptop because in the past, I haven’t had time to even open it once. Some people might want to take a tablet like an iPad or something, it can be useful to take notes on during workshops. But I am a notebook and pen type of girl.
An extra large suitcase and an empty bag
This is soooo important if you are flying and you want to bring back the swag you will be receiving. And trust me, there is some awesome swag! You may also be in a few workshops where you will get to bring home things you made. So I think I have this down to a science now. I take the largest suitcase I have, and in the bottom of it, I pack a bag that folds down flat. I also do not pack my large bag full. There is a lot of extra space. That way, I can fit in the swag, and then I can also use the empty bag to bring home with me as a carry on, also full of swag. I did this last year and it worked perfectly for me. So if you are flying, make sure you think about the swag that you are going to want to bring home!
Kindle or E-reader
This is not something I plan on using during the conference, but I sure plan on using it at the airport and on the plane, so I never travel without my Kindle!
Like I said before, I am off to the Haven Conference on Thursday morning, and am so looking forward to reconnecting with other blogger friends I have made there and learning lots of new things. I hope if you are attending your first blog conference that you found this post helpful! I had a really difficult time trying to figure out what to take to a blog conference on my first time. These are all things I lived and learned about, and using these tips will truly help you be prepared! Good luck! If you have any suggestions I have left out, please feel free to tell me in the comments.
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