Attending a conference of any kind is stressful albeit exciting. It is a great time to learn, get some fresh ideas and to network. Chances are, you've already bought the tickets and have been looking forward to it for some time now. If this is your very first conference, it can be daunting. What do you bring to a conference? What should expect? What do you wear?! Whether you a seasoned veteran or a conference noob, here are 5 Ways to Prepare for a Food Bloggers Conference. The last thing you want to do is just wing it!
5 Ways to Prepare for a Food Bloggers Conference (or any Conference)!
Here are five ways to help you prepare and get the most out of any conference (whether it is a food bloggers conference, SxSW, fashion and social media influencer conference like Blogpodium or simply for your line of work). We want to help you get the best experience and come out feeling like a BOSS!
1. Know Where You Are Going
Find our ahead of time where the location of the venue is. Google how long it will take to get there. Factor in traffic if you are driving. Find out if there are parking lots nearby. Or if you are taking transit; find out how long it will take you to commute.
Of course, if you are travelling to another city... plan ahead and factor in flights and time zone differences. Plan to arrive the night before (if permissible). It is always a great idea to get settled in, relax, and show up the next morning with a fresh face!
Trust me, you don't want to be flustered and appear unprepared.
2. Know Your Speakers, Sponsors and Colleagues
When planning for a conference, it is always a great idea to revisit the conference's website. Chances are they will post the complete conference schedule, include bios of the speakers and sponsors. Well organized conferences will also include websites and social media handles for Twitter, Instagram and Hashtags to help you better connect the brands and social media influencers like yourself!
Find out what each session is about. Think of what questions you would like answered. Get to know the brand and how you would like to connect with them.
For some conferences you will want to go to every session. While others you may want to opt out of. Do not feel obligated to attend everything. Conferences are long and can get very tiring. Think of using this spare block to network with others or simply to recharge!
Pro-Tip: Print out a copy of the conference schedule. It makes for a quick reference that outlines the day ahead of you.
Pro-Tip 2: Reach out to people ahead of time if possible, start conversations and perhaps you can arrange a meet up time face to face!
3. What's Your Game Plan?
What do you want out of the conference? Who do you want to connect with? What is your intent? Do you want to simply learn and absorb? Or do you want to network?
But before doing all that... Do you know your own brand? Who is your audience? And how will you sell yourself? Think of it like an interview. After all, conferences are more work than play! Know your resume backwards. Be confident in what you do!
Pro Tip: clean up any broken links or old posts that are no longer relevant to your brand. Put your best foot forward.
Pro Tip 2: Bring up to date business cards. Have enough for everyone your intend to meet and a few extras. You never know who you will run into!
4. What to Bring to a Conference?
Here is a list of few things I always bring with me to any conference. Pack light, effectively and efficiently.
- Notebook and pens. Yes, I know there is an app for that! But I still find it the most effective and quickest way to jot down notes.
- Compact Camera. I like using my Panasonic Lumix. Take a quick picture of the slideshow. Great for long notes or lengthy URL's. Most conferences will provide a copy of the slide afterwards.
- Cell phone. It is great to have this handy to send a quick Tweet and Instagram.
- Charges for all your gadgets. Conferences are long. You don't want to be out of batteries. Bring an extra usb battery pack up charge your smartphone.
- Business cards. It is a great way to introduce yourself, exchange contact information and reconnect after the conference has ended.
Aside from the business side of things, I always like to keep the follow handy:
- A light scarf and jacket. Conference rooms can get chilly with the AC blasting.
- A expandable bag or something to carry your swag, books, flyers, etc.
- Pain killers. Yes, I am OCD like that and you never know when that migraine may strike
5. What to Wear to a Conference?
The million dollar question. What to wear? What does one wear to a conference? This really depends the genre of conference it is. For conferences like FBC Conferences, Blogpodium or SxSW, it is more relax. You can get away with wearing jeans, Lululemons or simply something very casual.
I would not wear sweat pants or pajamas. If I was attending a work conference like EDC - I would definitely throw on a blazer, a nice blouse with dress pants or even a suit. I would keep it very polished and professional.
I always find that men have it so easy. Put on a nice ironed shirt and be done with. Being a female (and not to stereotype myself), I find that I do worry about these things. And because I've gone through this before, I'd like to save you some time. Especially if you are frantically packing at the 11th hour.
You'll have an effortless, put together look in mere minutes
5 Simple Items to Wear at a Bloggers Conference
- Dark pair of denim. Cigarette/Skinny keeps the look polished and not grungy. You can throw on some heels to dress it up. Throw on a pair of Converse to keep it casual.
- Cardigan. I gravitate towards neutral colors like greys, blacks, whites and maybe navy. Keeping it neutral allows multiple wears. Others won't notice that you are wearing the same black cardigan as opposed to hot fuchsia pink. Conference halls are chilly with the AC blasting. Cardigans keeps you covered and adds that extra layer of warmth.
- A nice blouse or tailored shirt. Silk blouses or a freshly pressed shirt means business. accessorize accordingly to add subtle bling.
- Scarf. Bring a light scarf to keep you décolletage warm. Again, going back to the whole chilly AC room. Plus, scarves is a good accessory to add to any outfit.
- Dress. I always bring a simple little black dress with me. Conferences usually have a Friday night cocktail reception and keynote dinner that requires something fancier.
Remember, always be comfortable in what you wear. Be yourself. Don't wear anything that is too tight that will cut off circulation. After all, you will be sitting for a long time.
Lastly, don't forget to have fun! Keep an open mind and we hope you get the most out of the conference! If you have any tips and tricks, please leave me a comment below! I love learning from you !!
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