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Blitz Your Next Blogger’s Conference: The Ultimate Guide to Getting More Bang for Your Buck

This guest post is by Ben Liau of Digital Online Strategy.

Blogger conferences are a great way to find out more about how to become a better blogger. You learn from successful bloggers who have already made it big, and who are willing to share their knowledge and success stories of how they reached their goals.

But blogger conference tickets aren’t cheap—these events can be quite costly to attend. The ticket price for good blogger conferences start from around $100 and go up to about $300 of more for the larger events.

If you are going to spend that much money to attend a conference, you’d best get your money’s worth. I can help with that. In this post, I will go over eight tips that any blogger can follow to make the most out of paying for and attending a blogger conference.

Do your research

When attending a blogger conference, it’s always important to do your homework.

Some blogger conferences have speaker sessions that run concurrently, so it’s important to research and work out which presentations you would most like to attend.

It is also important to research the actual speakers to make sure they are the ones who can answer all the questions you have.

Have a plan

Planning is essential to getting the most out of a blogger conference. You will want to be able to meet the right people and ask the right questions. Here’s how you should plan:

Make a list

There will be many bloggers attending the event, and there will also be many brands and PR agencies looking to build relationships with bloggers. So make a list of the bloggers you would like to meet at the event, and try your best to touch base with them and spark a relationship.

Make a list of which brands you would like to be associated with and approach them during the conference to introduce yourself. Also make sure you have a media kit prepared, just in case they are interested in your rates and charges.

Pre-conference preparation

Before the conference, drop a message to anyone you would like to meet in person. This breaks the ice, and it makes it easier for you to approach them at the event.

If you are travelling interstate or overseas make sure you plan your time correctly, because missing the start of a conference could leave you quite clueless.

Finally, dress to impress. This will boost your confidence when talking to people, and you will also feel very good about yourself.

Take the right tools

Most conferences will provide you with a notepad and pen to take notes, but that’s definitely not enough for you to be highly effective.

Make sure you bring along your favorite device for taking notes, whether it be your mini laptop or your iPad. Use what you are most comfortable with. An iPad is great because you can also take a video of the event, or showcase your blog on your iPad to others.

The golden rule to going to conferences is bringing a lot of business cards. The worst position you could be in, is to not have a business card when you’re asked for one.

A business card will show you are professional and organized, and is easy to distribute. You never know who might end up with it—and contact you at the end of the week for sponsorship!

Network like a rock star!

Blogger conferences don’t happen every other day, and when they do happen, they cost money.

So make the most of the opportunity by networking and chatting with everyone and anyone you meet. Preparing for the conference by dropping messages to other bloggers beforehand, as I mentioned earlier, will make it easier for you to approach and chat with people—and once you get going it gets much easier.

Always be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Be humble and ask for advice if you need it, and try to be up-to-date with current news, so there will be plenty to talk about.

Don’t just stick with the people you already know, go and meet new people. And never, ever get drunk at a blogger networking event. Most, if not all the bloggers will be blogging about the event, and the last thing you want is to be mentioned in their post about your disorderly behavior.

Get on social media and start buzzin’

Before the conference, make sure you join the conference’s Facebook page and engage in conversations with other bloggers to make initial contacts.

Tell your own followers that you are going to the event—you never know who might be able to help you with introductions!

At the event, hop on Twitter and comment about the conference, using the conference’s hashtag. This works as a great ice breaker for networking with other people who are tweeting.

Be proactive, and ask questions during speaker sessions

This is where a lot of the value of attending a conference lies.

It’s important to take notes during the session, but it also very important to write questions to ask the speakers during the Q&A time. If you’re shy, you can always go to the speaker after the session, to privately discuss you questions.

Also, at some blogger conferences, the speakers asks questions after the session and those who answer stand a chance of winning something, so it’s always good to be on your toes.

Get as many freebies as you can

Every blog conference will have sponsors that will contribute to a conference goodie bag full of awesome product samples and promotional items. Make sure you get your hands on one of these conferences bags and visit the sponsor booths to see if you can get anything extra.

Also, some booths will also run competitions, so make sure you have your business card handy so you can enter that competition to win the prize.

After the conference

After many conferences there are “after-conference” networking events. Keep your ears open for any of those events, because they’re another great opportunity for networking.

Once the conference is totally wrapped up, it’s always good to review your notes and start taking action.

Lastly, take that list of the contacts you have made at the conference, and follow them on social media. This will establish a connection and solidify your relationship.

Tell us your tips, too

These are my tips, from going to numerous blogger conferences, and speaking at a couple of digital marketing conferences.

I hope you can use this guide to get the absolute best value out of your next conference. But if you have any more tips to add—or questions to ask—please feel free to do so in the comments.

Ben Liau is a veteran digital marketing strategist and is a regular speaker at online marketing conferences. He regularly blogs about all digital marketing channels including seo, sem, email, social media marketing, and web analytics at Digital Online Strategy. You can follow him on Twitter @benliau.

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Comments

  1. Angela R says:

    This is excellent advice! I’ve attended two blogging conferences, including BlogHer. What I hoped would happen is that opportunities would somehow present themselves. They don’t.

    Your advice here: “Make a list of which brands you would like to be associated with and approach them during the conference to introduce yourself.” I would take a step farther and say, if you see a brand is headed to the conference you want to work with, come prepared not only with a media kit but with an idea or two you can pitch them.

    At the second conference I attended I was able to do just that – and I secured myself a nice little paid writing gig afterwards. Remember that there may be many scores of bloggers going past those tables at the expo hall – do something to stand out. Don’t wait or expect opportunities to be handed out – look to create them.

    Excellent post – I don’t know that many bloggers I’ve seen attend these conferences actually came prepared. These conferences can be spendy, so it’s worth giving it all you’ve got.

  2. Rahul says:

    very nice information i want also attend this conference i am newbie blogger can you tell me how can i attend this conference can newbie blogger also attend this type of big conference
    thanks for sharing this useful information..

  3. Jatin Sharma says:

    Well, In India there are not much bloggers conference. So, I attend some online conferences. Good tips, will apply it on the next conference.

  4. Hey Ben,

    Just dipping my toes into the world of blogging for the first time (I must admit it is a lot harder than it looks!) Mind sharing one or two of your favourite blog conferences with me?

    Also do you find this is a useful way to attract guest bloggers?

    Lauren

  5. Eric says:

    Hey,

    I think that I have done in the past is a post conference debriefing with another blogger. What I have done in the past is wait a few weeks or a month and schedule a sit down lunch with either a blogger and kind of go over the conference together. I have set this up before with people that have attend the conference or others that have not attended the conference and it works the same. It’s a great way to teach and hear different things that you may not of heard and getting a different persceptive on the conference. Than I always end with action plan and how we can help each other through those action plans that were stated.

    Thanks for ideas!

    Eric

  6. I have signed up for the 2013 Blogher conference. It will be my first blog conference and I’m fairly new at blogging so thank you for these tips. There is so much to learn and it can be overwhelming at times.

  7. Melisa says:

    very nice information i want also attend this conference i am newbie blogger can you tell me how can i attend this conference can newbie blogger also attend this type of big conference
    thanks for sharing this useful information..

  8. Ben Liau says:

    Hey everyone, thanks for the awesome responses and feedback.

    Lauren a recent great event I went to was blogopolis which are run by the blogging network nuffnang.

    And yes networking at these events also widens your pool of potential guest bloggers.

    I’m glad everyone enjoyed my post :)

  9. John says:

    well, Most of the countries does not have these confrences so i would suggest that every one should attend these conference to learn new things. :)
    Thank you

  10. Michelle says:

    I use to be very absorbed in the world of blogging. i will write a lot of blogs and try to network a lot online. I thought that’s the way to go but I was wrong. The power of doing real networking is much more important. Once you get to interact with other bloggers, they are more willing to share they link juice with you or to dedicate a post to protect your views once you are attacked by some of your readers because of some of your views that they do not agree with,

  11. jim c cott says:

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for providing this information.