Attending blog conferences can be one of the best opportunities for you to expand your network, and pick up the most recent industry learning.
But spending 4 days sipping prosecco and eating cupcakes on your feet can play havoc with your body and energy levels.
So how does one manage to stay at the top of their game, most professionally, and physically while travelling across the country in heels?
Check out my top travel tips for conferences, and then add your own in the comments.
How to Pack for a Blogger Conference
One of the biggest questions in blogger conference groups is “WHAT DO YOU WEAR”. For a group of women who work at home in their jammies, actually wearing clothes in public can be a bit of a challenge.
Personally, I always err on the side of comfort, and no that doesn’t mean slippers and sweats, but it does mean clothing that I feel myself in. Simple black pants and a nice top (not tee) and clean shoes is a great starting point. Clean, professional and casual is the look I go for.
Find YOUR style, and don’t stress about making a huge investment. One great, simple dress for parties, clean, trim pants, and a few diff. coloured shirts. And make sure whatever shoes you choose are comfortable enough to stand and walk in for 12 hours… sore feet will knock you out quickly at a conference and take you off your game.
Most importantly remember, looking professional is important, but most people will look in your eyes and NOT at your shoes… so be you, feel confident and you will be great.
And one secret tip… Whatever size case you bring, stuff a small travel duffel inside! Sometimes the swag or shopping opportunities are amazing, and its always a shame to have to leave things behind because you can’t fit them in your case!
How to Stay Healthy At a Conference
Late night, long days and food, food, food will knock your immune system down a few pegs quite quickly at a blogger conference and as soon as your health goes, so does your game.
The networking is intense at these events, so listen to your body and find time to sneak off and recharge your energy. Be sure to spend time with your conference guide at the beginning of the event and highlight the DO NOT MISS events and sessions so you are able to plan your down time accordingly.
Also, be sure to keep a bit of your routine from home. Bring your workout gear and get some activity in. Most of the hotels have beautiful gyms and I always find it a pleasure to spend some down time in there building up a sweat.
Routine extends to health as well. I always start my morning with a smoothie and vitamins, and while the smoothie stays home when I travel, the vitamins and probiotics don’t have to. Many companies have traveled packs you can bring with you but if you are going to bring one, bring a probiotic. Did you know that probiotics don’t just help your tummy, they also aid in your overall immunity? Maintaining the balance of bacteria even during travel can be one of the best solutions to maintaining your overall health when your body is being taxed.
And of course, Sleep! I know its hard, there is a lot going on, but give yourself the chance to sleep in the mornings, or hit the bed early. Your body is being stressed and your mind filled, so make sure you give it a chance to reboot!
How to Make Friends and Influence People
Step 1: Say yes and be spontaneous.
If this is your first conference find the courage deep down in your belly to put yourself in the mix. Sit with people at meals and be bold enough to say hello. If a group offer comes up to participate in something, even a coffee, say yes. Be reactive and spontaneous as the opportunities that happen on the fringe of a conference are often the ones that will make the biggest impact.
Step 2: Listen.
Have a list of opening questions that will help you find similarities with other influencers. Keep the conversation going and listen to what they are contributing. Allow them to lead and teach and share, and the opportunity to learn and build a relationship may just appear.
Step 3. Dance.
Or if there is no dancing, participate. If they need volunteers at a part of an event, put your hand up. If someone needs help lifting a table for the event, muscle up and lift. Introduce yourself, dance, have fun and participate.
Step 4: Pull others to the dance floor.
Don’t make it about you, make it about everyone. Encourage group participation, introduce people you have met to other people, create a tribe and community, and inspire others to participate fully. By giving and sharing we get more than we could imagine.
How to Get ROI from a blogger conference
One of the biggest questions I get asked is “what will I get out of the conference” and “is it worth the investment”
Your return on investment from a blogger conference is entirely related to your goals for attending. If you are looking for sales, be sure you understand your value and your products (and that this conference has your potential clients in attendance) before you buy your ticket.
If you are looking for education, look back at past schedules and see the type of content they share.
If you want networking, and community, be ready to bring your energy and put it all on the floor to build relationships.
The simplest answer to this is, if you understand your goals for attending, and are clear on how to achieve them, then you will.
If you are going without preparation and no idea of what you want to get out of it, you may get lucky, or you may walk away disappointed.
Most often though, something will surprise you at a conference, and perhaps you will learn something you never even knew you needed to know!