I’m excited to be headed to my first BlogHer conference next month.
Decided to go on a whim. Not sure how it happened. One email led to another, and soon I’ll be on my way to New York City.
I’ll be an itty-bitty blogger among the big guns at the BlogHer conference. Martha Stewart is a keynote speaker. THE Martha Stewart. Somebody pinch me.
The last time I was in New York was 20 years ago. Now that I’ve lived in Chicago and St. Louis, I’m ready to make strudel out of the Big Apple!
Lucky for me I’m rooming with two wonderful women who make killer strudel in real life. Katie Pinke of Pinke Post and Nancy Grossi of The Wife of a Dairyman are gracious to pull me in at the last minute.
I look forward to meeting other online friends at BlogHer like Leah Beyer of Beyer Beware and Amy Heinz of Using Our Words and Disney Baby. Amy’s been to BlogHer before. She was kind to answer my most burning questions:
Q: You mentioned business cards are a must. I have a very simple business card, and I’m worried it won’t be flashy enough. Do I need to redesign and reprint cards?
Amy: No doubt whatever you have is fine. A simple card with your name, blog, and website is plenty. A lot of sponsors will collect cards so they can email you. I highly recommend being sure it’s really a brand or prize you care about before dropping your card in a bowl.
Q: What do you do at this conference? Do bloggers just go around meeting each other, exchanging cards, and talking about their blogs? I better get my 15-second interview answers ready!
Amy: Last year they opened with an activity where you had 30 seconds to talk to people and exchange blog info. I probably got to about 10 people. It’s really smart to have a 15-second description. There are other opportunities for meeting people like meals, smaller sessions, hallway chats.
Q: Are you expected to read and follow all the bloggers you meet? What’s the etiquette?
Amy: You’ll meet a lot of people. Too many to follow them all. I recommend giving yourself a system. Put a dot on the cards of people you meet who you think you’d be most interested in reading and following. Make notes about your conversation with each blogger on their business cards.
Q: I signed up for the Thursday sessions. What are they like?
Amy: I haven’t been to those, but my friend who went Thursday last year loved it. I think it’s great to get there early and dive in.
Q: Can I choose which sessions to attend at the big conference?
Amy: Yes, you can go to whatever you want and pop in and out of the sessions. It’s very low-key. Some sessions are really popular. Map out what sessions you’re interested in beforehand on the schedule.
Q: This is the most important question. What should I wear?
Amy: It’s business casual. Be yourself and be comfortable. I usually bring casual dresses because they’re so comfortable and easy to pack.
During the day, wear layers and comfortable shoes. It can be really hot outside and really cold in the conference rooms. The sponsors alone take up multiple floors, so there’s a ton of walking, just within the hotel.
For evening parties, wear cocktail attire or a step up from daytime dresses.
Q: Anything else I should know?
Amy: It’s fun to dive into a world where people think what you do is really cool and oh-so important. See you soon!
A gracious woman gains respect. Proverbs 11:16a NLT
I can see your face in All the Right Places, by Zach Heckendorf. Smooooth.
What tips do you have for getting the most out of industry conventions like BlogHer?
What are your must-dos when visiting New York?