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Are You Playing the BlogWorld Follow Up Game?

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BlogWorld, whether it is in Las Vegas, New York, or (soon to be) Los Angeles, is always great for meeting new people. Some of the people you meet are actually “old friends” through social media even though you’ve never met face to face. I always find that very rewarding. Other people you meet might be friends of friends, people who happen to randomly cross your path, or even connections that are interested in you in a business sense. If you want to make new friends and business contacts, BlogWorld is definitely the place to be.

Yet, it only lasts for a week, and then we all head back to our “real” lives. We go back to houses that need cleaning and friends who want to go for happy hour after their office jobs. We go back to Twitter and Facebook, occasionally commenting on our new friends’ blogs. We go back to raising our kids and caring for our significant others and doing all those others things we do on a daily basis. Basically, we go back to living our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But now that BlogWorld New York has been over for a few weeks and life has gone on as it always has, it’s time to start playing the BlogWorld follow up game if you aren’t playing already.

The rules to this game are simple – take the time to actually care about the people you met at BlogWorld, following up with your conversations on Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, or other online presences. If you met people who happen to live in your area, make plans to have lunch together sometimes in the near future (don’t just say you’re going to…actually set a date). Talk about what these people are doing on your own blog or at least retweet a few links that you find especially helpful. Start planning JV projects together. Sign up for their mailing lists.

Are you willing to make that effort to stay connected with all the cool people you met? Sometimes, when you aren’t hanging out in person, it just isn’t the same. While some people might be super passionate in real life, their blogs might be “meh” or they might not make much time for social media. When that happens, it’s okay. You don’t have to stay in touch with everyone you met. But to people you truly enjoy, reach out. If you don’t, they might not either, and then that connection is lost.

In other words, don’t drop the relationship ball. While at BlogWorld, it’s easy to enjoy the company of the people you meet, but when you’re not standing in front of one another, it can be easy for those relationships to die unless you work at it. You’ve had some time to get back into the swing of your life after BlogWorld, so there’s no time like the present to start reaching out to your BlogWorld friends again. What are you waiting for? Say hello and get the ball rolling for what could be awesome friendships.

Five Things to Keep in Mind When Planning a Tweet-Up

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With BlogWorld New York right around the corner, you and your friends might want to consider meeting up. You can have a general tweet-up for anyone in your circle, you can have a tweet-up for people who participate in in a Twitter chat every week, or a Tweet-up for members of your blog community. Meeting old and new friends is one of my favorite parts of BlogWorld, and by taking charge of planning a meeting, you can make sure you actually cross paths with the people you want to see or meet.

If you’re going to plan something, though, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t compete with the event.

Of course, we here at BlogWorld want to see your cute little tushies in seats at sessions, but there’s a more practical reason I’m recommending that you plan tweet-ups when BlogWorld is not happening – people in your group might want to actually attend, and you’ll put them in an awkward situation if you try to plan something at the same time.

  • Choose a budget-friendly option.

You might want to check out that hot new steakhouse or go to a ritzy Manhattan bar for drinks, but be aware that some members of your group might not be able to afford expensive options. You don’t have to eat at McDonald’s, but look for a restaurant or bar that is budget-friendly or plan to meet at one of the office BlogWorld parties.

  • Be open to meeting new people.

You might look forward to seeing your friend from the other side of the world, but at BlogWorld, everyone is being pulled in multiple directions. Instead of insisting on one-on-one time or having an exclusive party, be accommodating. When you welcome friends of friends, you’ll only build a stronger network.

  • Have fun, but monitor your alcohol intake.

The alcohol flows at most conferences, and BlogWorld is no exception. Keep check of how much you drink, though. You don’t want to be hungover for the next day of activities or, worse, forget about all the wonderful conversations you had with other attendees. Have a good time, but pace yourself. If you’re planning a Tweet-up, you might actually want to plan something away from the bars to avoid problems with it.

  • Be safe.

It goes without saying that when you attend any kind of Tweet-up or party, make sure you’re safe – walk home with friends, be aware of your surroundings, etc. If you’re planning a Tweet-up, keep safety in mind. Plan it at a location that is in a safe, well-lit area, and make sure that every can get back to their hotel as easily as possible.

Last year, I attended Tweet-ups and planned them as well – and in both cases, it was a great experience. Networking is really at the core of this event, so I definitely recommend meeting as many people as possible, and don’t be afraid to plan your own to mini-event to ensure you see the people who are important to you!

How Will People Remember You?

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This may be my first year going to BlogWorld Expo, but if my experience at other conferences hold true, it’s going to fly by faster than anyone can keep up. Before you know it, we’ll all be writing wrap-up posts and connecting to people we’ve met via Twitter. Well, maybe. The sad fact is that most people will come home with dozens, even hundreds of business cards. Some may sit down and add everyone on Twitter, but others? Well, they’re only going to add and connect with people they remember.

Will people remember you?

BlogWorld will be a sea of people, most of which probably look similar to you. I’m hoping that people will remember my pink hair, but nothing about your looks is a guarantee that someone will remember you, at least enough to connect you to a name on your business card. It’s about your interaction. You might be well-prepared with a pen to write down information on the back of cards, but not everyone does that. So how do you make an impression?

  • Make eye contact when you say your name. Sometimes, that helps it click in someone’s mind later.
  • Have a conversation, not just a sales pitch. Yes, you want someone to visit your site, but there’s thousands of people who are pitching stuff. Have an actual conversation with the other person. It means you have less time to meet people overall, but I’ll take 10 strong connections over 100 weak connections any day. Your conversation doesn’t even have to be about blogging – personal (but professional) is good too.
  • Throw our some collaboration ideas. If someone has a similar site, it could be easy to exchange guest posts, or even if your sites are only slightly related, you might be able to combine efforts on a project. Give someone a reason to remember other than “their site sounds cool.”
  • Be prepared to reach out after BlogWorld. Take the first step in saying how nice it was to meet them, and avoid sending a form email if possible. Reference your conversation.
  • Take a picture. Post it on your blog, along with the person’s name and a link back to their site.

Above all, remember that not every impression is a good impression. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting drunk and hitting on (married! eek!) bloggers, trying to use a popular blogger to advance their own career without actually giving anything in return, trying to seek in without a badge, etc. You want people to remember you – but for the right reasons!

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