24 July 2015

Tips for meeting people at blog conferences.

Flower and cheese on biscuit, captioned: tips for meeting people at blogging conferences.

It’s three weeks until the ProBlogger Event (#PBEvent). I cannot wait. I’ll be in my element, learning about all things blogging and being surrounded by likeminded people, and I’m also glad for the warmth of Queensland.

Blogging conferences leave me inspired and drained. It’s exhausting learning, networking and socialising. (And drinking.)

I seem to be an extrovert, but I really do like my alone time. At times, I feel socially awkward, not knowing what to say or who to talk to. I have had to work really hard to put myself out there after so many years of feeling alone. I do get overwhelmed - especially because I am easily recognisable but don't recognise others very well – and I hope that my vagueness doesn’t make me seem unapproachable. If I don't recognise you, say hello and let me know who you are!

Kelly Exeter wrote a great post on kicking arse at a blog conference as an introvert, and Talking Frankly wrote one about the difficulties of being an extrovert (I admit to being intimidated by her when she told me she would out-tweet me last year!). The aim of my post is to provide some advice about meeting people at blogging conferences - whether you're an introvert or extrovert.

Bloggers are people too.

There are no celebrity bloggers. No blogger is better than you just because they’ve been around for longer or won an award or belong to a really cool group. They are just bloggers who are people too. Thinking like that can lead to disappointment!

Remember that blogger you place on a pedestal was also once starting out as a blogger.

Don’t think that someone doesn't want to speak to you. They might be dealing with their own anxiety or networking with a brand or catching up with a friend they've not seen in ages. As mentioned, I was on the receiving end of someone being disappointed when they met me – and that hurt.

Go up and say hello!

A blogger recently told me they sat at the same table as me for a day-long event but was too shy to talk to me. So I didn’t get to discover how awesome she is, and she told me she left regretting not saying hi.

Don't be too shy to talk to someone you admire online in person- just go up and say hi. It makes me sad when other bloggers tell me they were too scared to talk to me – because I genuinely want to meet so many wonderful people. Speaking of, I caught up with Clare recently - I love this lady and don't see her often enough!

Me with Clare Reilly at Voices blogging event

Make time to catch up.
If you really want to catch up with someone there (and not sure if you will get time or be confident walking up saying hello), send them a tweet or PM beforehand saying 'I love what you do and hope to see you at Problogger, fancy a coffee at 8 am?'. They’ll probably be really flattered and love to spend time with you. Catching up might lead to opportunities like guest posting or collaboration on exciting projects!

I have this personal motto that might seem a little up myself – but it’s something I try to follow at conferences. ‘Make myself known to those who need to know me.’ So, if there’s an editor I want to pitch myself to, or a brand representative that I’d love to work with, I’ll go chat with them, give them my business card and tell them I really like their work.

Don’t be haunted by the comparison thief.
It’s easy to feel like everyone’s doing so much more than you! Blog conferences showcase speakers who have had oodles of success – making a full time wage, getting a book deal, speaking at amazing international events, partnering with global brands, getting ten thousand hits a day, nailing SEO… You might leave feeling deflated. Or you could leave feeling inspired. I just want you to leave feeling that you and your blog are enough. If 100 people read your blog a week, that’s enough. If someone has written to you to tell you you’ve helped them, that makes blogging worthwhile.

Take some time out for you.

Blogging conferences can be overwhelming. So many people! So much information and advice to take in. And I’ve felt a real sense of evangelism being surrounded by people who just it. They just get blogging and personal branding and social media for social good. I also tend to live tweet every session I attend, which makes me concentrate really hard. By 3.00 pm, I feel burnt out.

So it’s nice to retreat to my hotel room, spend some time at the bar or pool with a friend, or even taking a few deep breaths in the toilet (even if it means being discovered by a fangirl – which is REALLY flattering, seriously!).

Don’t try to do it all at a blogging conference. Skip a session each day. Zone out on the plane before and after the event. Get some good food into you. Order room service. Hug a friend. Be yourself.

I’m booking a manicure this year. I just want to be pampered.

Flowers with caption 'You  wouldn't  know it, but  I'm a  bit of a  wallflower!'

Are you going to Problogger? Any tips? Please say hello!

Click here for more blogging tips.


  1. I admit to feeling a bit starstruck sometimes, but I'm going to push through and introduce myself to as many people as I can. Looking forward to seeing you again lovely lady! Fingers crossed for some warm weather :)

  2. Thanks for this Carly. This is going to be my first ProBlogger event and I'm already feeling way oit of my depth! I hear ya when it comes to being haunted by the comparison thief. I just see sooooo many bloggers who dedicate so much time writing brilliant stuff and I sit here struggling to bang anything out once a month! Really excited to be inspired though - it's gonna be such a crazy weekend! Hope to meet you in person too :)

  3. Great tips Carly. I got my own room just so I can do the last one... I know I'm going to need it. Look forward to meeting you. I'll make sure no cone and say hi. Xx

  4. I will be seeking you out, I felt so awful that we didn't chat in January, but it turns out I was so sick I shouldn't have got on the plane! But I'm a bit of an introverted wallflower, so if I hide, please find me!

  5. Great tips Carly. Wish I was going to ProBlogger this year but Perth is just too far away and with hubby at sea, I have no one to mind our three daughters. I'm just grateful I made the trip to Melbourne Voices and was able to meet you in person. I honestly can't believe anyone was disappointed after having met you but I suppose we can't control as bloggers how someone perceives or takes away from our online personas. I must admit, not all the online connections I've made over the years translate in the same way offline but I have no expectations so not left disappointed.

  6. Great tips! I'm not going to ProBlogger, but I wish I was now I see all the excitement happening out there - also, I'm shy. Really love your tip about setting up a meeting before hand. I'm storing that away for the year I feel brave! :)

  7. I loved ProBlogger last year and I totally get it.
    - Definitely make a point of saying hello to others and exchange your business card/contact details when you make that connection.
    - Taking time out was an essential for me. I skipped the drinks night out because my mind was spinning from the day's sessions. It helped me to prepare for the following day.
    - Comparison is definitely the thief of joy. For a while there I was trying to emulate/compete with others, and it totally sucked the joy out of it. Now I'm writing for myself again and I love it.
    I hope you enjoy ProBlogger 2015!


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