It’s blog conference season, with several big conferences coming up in the near future. Having attended a few blogger trips, dinners and conferences lately, I’d thought I’d share my take on what you should bring and what you can probably leave home. *some links are referral links, some links are James Blunt.
UNIQUE BUSINESS CARDS (a LOT of them): You’ll be exchanging cards with both brands and other bloggers so definitely order more than you think you’ll need. You’ll want to include your twitter handle on your card because people tweet often during conferences and you don’t want to miss a group invitation to dinner. I went with the Scarlet Louise design from Minted on the front of my card but designed the back myself. I tried to keep it simple but representative of my site’s style and focus. Some people put their blog’s QR code on their cards and I thought that was genius. I picked up the tip to use my avatar on my card from The Mom Creative.
I’ve been using Minted for years for our Christmas cards and mommy cards. Yep, I’m one of THOSE moms. Don’t judge me, I love having a reason to have mommy cards 🙂 I knew I would need some business cards for the blog conference I was attending and when I went to order some new cards from Minted they asked if I would be willing to try out their triple-thick cards so I said sure. I’m very adventurous like that.
When they arrived Jeff and I weren’t so sure about them because they are very thick. But during the conference everyone remarked on how much they liked how thick the cards were and post-conference I found an email in my inbox from a brand who mentioned how much they loved my card and how easy it was to keep track of. So while it’s a little bit spendier to get the triple thick cards, I’ll definitely go with that option in the future since I had such good feedback from it. (There aren’t any current coupon codes but if you use my referral link here then Minted will give you $25 towards your first purchase of $50 or more so that’s a pretty sweet deal.)
Also, let’s discuss how impressed we all are with the fact that I got those cards to stand on their sides like that. I KNOW, RIGHT?!
A STANDOUT ACCESSORY: This might seem like odd advice but Amee spoke about how she always wears red lipstick to events as part of her signature. In the same vein, I noticed that during the conference attendees would often tweet one another like this “Hey @soandso, I want to chat with you! Find me, I’m wearing a yellow shirt!” I was lucky to have some statement necklaces from Stitch Fix with me so I was able to say “Find me, I’m the one in the hot pink necklace!” It totally comes in handy.
On a completely unrelated note, Stitch Fix actually let me borrow the jewelry I wore to the conference, I had to send them back. And then when I was standing in line at the FedEx store to return them I was like this:
And that was awkward for everyone. Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend, you have been the one, you have been the one for me.
(I’m so hollow baby, I’m so hollow…)
A TABLET/SMARTPHONE/EREADER: I don’t have an iPad but I do have my beloved Kindle Fire so I took that with me and used this free app to take notes during the conference. Some people brought their laptops but my laptop is way too large to tote around all day and so having my kindle with me was great because I could also tweet and email with it on the occasions that my phone ran out of battery. Seriously, you tweet a LOT at these things. Plus, having an e-reader is so nice when you travel and you’re sitting in the airport watching your flight get delayed. And we all know how much I love my smartphone, right?
YOUR PHONE/TABLET/LAPTOP CHARGERS: See above.
AN EXTRA BAG: One word: swag. Seriously, you might think “Oh, maybe I’ll get a little swag” but no. You’ll get so much swag that if you traveled by airplane you’re definitely going to want to leave a good amount of extra space in your luggage or just take an empty bag along with you. This is why it is extra awesome when conferences are held within driving distance, y’all. Plus that fact about how I am terrified of flying.
DSLR CAMERA: Honestly? I used my camera only because I signed up for some photography courses. Otherwise things were really too fast paced for me to pull it out, during sessions and events I just used my camera phone. I’d say this is one thing you could leave behind (and I love my camera so I really can’t believe that I am saying that.)
ROOMMATE GIFTS: I had no idea this was a thing but it totally is. My roommate had a little gift bag for me with some fun things like mini-hand sanitizer and sour apple chapstick. It was so cute and sweet (Thanks Lindsay!) This is obviously not mandatory or anything but I thought it was fun, especially if you don’t know your roommates before the conference. Also, SOUR APPLE CHAPSTICK! This is a thing, y’all!
BUSINESS CARD HOLDER: Not only will you be giving out a ton of business cards at a blogging conference, you’ll also be getting a ton in return. Take a small card organizer or clutch that you can keep them all in so you don’t lose any important contacts!
SWIMWEAR: Most likely there will be a pool at the conference hotel and most likely you will end up there at some point during the trip. I don’t even like to swim but I’ve still found myself sitting poolside or in a hot tub talking blog with fellow bloggers any time I’ve gone on a blogger trip.
(My cute gift from my roommate, swag from CVS – they left this huge basket on my bed! Thanks CVS!, sitting by the lake with my Vera beach essentials, which incidentally you can enter to win here. I mean, you can enter to win your own set. I won’t send you my actual beach towel, that would be awkward. But not as awkward as seeing me singing James Blunt in the FedEx line.)
Want advice on what to wear to a blog conference? Check out this post where I talk about, um, what to wear to a blog conference 😉
For all of y’all traveling to conferences this summer, I leave you with a quote from The Babysitter’s Club’s Stacey McGill: “Have fun and be careful!”