I'm super excited to go to the Problogger Event next week. It's a four day weekend for me - a holiday in the sunshine state and a catch up with good friends, plus visiting the breakfast buffet more than once. But it's also worky - I'm going to drink all the bloggy advice (and the wine) and feel a sense of rejuvenation and leave filled to the brim with ideas.
So I will just give three tips. I've been to a few conferences now, and here's what I've learnt.
What to take:
Your tablet or smart phone - for live tweeting and note taking, and for photo taking. A spare one if you have one. Usually you can connect to wifi there.
Your charger, or portable charging devices and a power board. Because lots of tweeting and photo taking drains batteries. There are never enough powerpoints at these events - a power board means you can buddy up charging with your blog buddy. I have a cool portable charger - I bought it from a vending machine at the train station. It's by PowerPod. I cannot believe I got it from a vending machine!! The charger can be recharged by plugging it in to a USB wall charger or computer.
A notepad and paper - for old-school note taking.
Comfortable shoes - you will be dashing between rooms for different sessions, standing up for lunch and dancing the night away.
Business cards. I get mine made by Vistaprint.
Use social media during the conference:
I like to live tweet. I see it as a double service - making notes for yourself and sharing the conference with the outside world (or those in other sessions). Taking notes this way is a great way to save your ideas via tweets and to make blog posts from them afterward.
Announce to your social media followers that you'll be live tweeting (some may be unimpressed by voracious tweeting but for many not attending, the live tweets are gold). If you can't be there, follow along #pbevent - I'm on twitter @carlyfindlay.
Please say hello. Not just to me but to other bloggers you're connected with in cyberspace over time. We don't bite. I'm always so disappointed when someone says they saw me from afar but were too scared to say hello to me.
Don't place anyone on a pedestal and feel intimidated to speak to them. The blogger you think is a rock star is just like you. We all started without a blog. I once sat next to journalist Jacinta Tynan at a blogging session and struck up a convo with her via twitter before she turned to me with a friendly smile and a hello.
Blogging conferences can be a great change to meet up with friends, but the information overload, big crowds and hyper-catch ups can be tiring.Take some time out if things are overwhelming. I went to the pool and sat in the sunshine last year instead of going to a session.
I hope this is useful for you.
I've got another post coming up before Problogger - it's a prelude to my panel talk on blogging for social good - look out for that next week. And no doubt I will write lots of Problogger-inspired posts after the conference, like I did last year.
See you on the Gold Coast, or see you online!