In preparation for the upcoming BlogWorld & New Media Expo, LA, the Global Influence Network asked their bloggers the following question:
“How can Mom Bloggers get the most out of attending a social media conference?”
The following is just an excerpt of the great advice given by the network bloggers:
1. Attitude is the key to getting the most out of a conference. Mom Bloggers should remember to be present themselves as professionals who are eager to learn and make solid connections with other attendees and the brands that are represented.
— Valerie Mitchell from Sweeps 4 Bloggers
2. Plan, Prepare and Participate
Plan ahead contact those you want to connect with prior to the conference set up meeting times, plan your days what you will attend, who you will meet, what your goals are etc. Have a PLAN prior to going.
Prepare- create a carry around schedule or use iPad, phone etc, bring business cards, bring a light weight tote to carry around during the day so you don’t have to return to your room multiple times.
Participate- Don’t sit back and wait for others to engage you, engage others by asking questions, join in the events, workshops, panels etc. Participate in social media while at the event tweet, facebook this will create contacts of others attending and may even get you invited to a few after parties by being noticed on social media platforms. Meet new people don’t stick with your same group of those you already know reach out new contacts will take you far”
— Trisha Novotny from 24/7 Moms
3. Mom Bloggers need to know, they are a business too. Just because you carry on conference calls while changing diapers or putting kids down for naps, doesn’t make you less of a business person. Go feeling like you are just as important and knowledgeable as the guy who sits at a desk all day and you will leave feeling confident and connected. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for contact information of someone you admire as well. The “big name bloggers” aren’t as intimidating as you think they are.
— Emily Vanek from Colorado Moms
4. To get the most out of a conference, I feel that a blogger has to enter with an open heart and mind. While I enjoy sessions, I know plenty of people who feel that the networking and connections are far better for their blogging careers.
I feel like there really is no “”wrong way”” to do it unless you close yourself to opportunity.
My one piece of advice at a conference is to be willing to say “”Yes!”” Say yes to opportunity and to experience. Say yes to meeting new people. Say yes to putting yourself out there.
— Lindsay Dianne from Running Scared
5. Network, network, network! Seminars can provide valuable ideas, events and goodie bags are fun, but the relationships forged via positive networking are powerful and offer long-lasting benefits. A drive-by card drop is okay, but connecting on a personal level with meaningful conversations can lead to wonderful friendships and create amazing synergy.
— Barb Webb from Rural Mom
6. After 10 years as a blogger and an attendee at numerous conferences, my biggest piece of advice for Mom Bloggers is to HAVE CONFIDENCE.
I see so many women attend conferences and end up shrinking into the background like wallflowers at a 7th grade dance. They think they have nothing to offer, that no one would want to talk to or connect with them, or even sit with them at lunch. And so they spend breaks in the bathroom or in their hotel room checking email, instead of taking the opportunity to seek out others.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that each of us has value and is an expert in some field. Sure, you may not know the first thing about SEO, but you have great relationships with brands or you’re able to think up authentic ways to engage your readers. The person next to you, despite her “”I’ve-got-it-all-together”” demeanor, may need the exact skills and expertise you offer.
So before you write yourself off as a nobody and waste your chance to connect with and help others, remind yourself of your value. Before you leave for the event, sit down and scratch out a list of your experience and skills, whether it’s the ability to write fresh content five times a week, or to take stunning photographs for your blog. Then go into the event looking for someone who needs what YOU have to offer.
Of course, it’s good to make a list of questions or topics you’d like more information about, too, but if you focus on helping others, I guarantee you’ll find your own answers, almost as a byproduct of the connections you make through reaching out.
You’re valuable. Don’t ever doubt that. Now go help someone. ”
— Lain Ehmann from 30 Minute Martha
7. Knowing what you want to get out of a social media conference before you go and having a plan to reach the goal you set is the key to getting the most out of any social media conference. If your goal is to network with other bloggers in general than you won’t want to miss the mingling opportunities. If you want to specifically meet up with a certain person then setting up a time to meet is essential because time will escape you!! If you are there to learn than you won’t want to miss the workshops. You don’t have to have a hard and fast schedule but if you walk into a conference without a plan you definitely will leave wondering where your weekend went. Time is the best thief!!
— Tia Yates from Tia Saving Cents
8. Conferences give you a chance to network in person with those you already know and stregthen those connections plus a chance to meet many more people in the social media community. The conferences also are a fabulous place to learn from the best of the best – make sure you take the time to attend talks and sessions and take notes. Along with learning you become inspired! There is nothing like gathering with a group of other social media people to get you motivated to keep going, try new things, and expand your horizons! PS – and it’s a lot of fun too!
— Robyn Wright
9. The key to conferencing is networking. When you are socializing with your colleagues you learn so much as to how they do their business and you get the sense that you are not alone. Also, watching other Mom bloggers interact with brands is important.
— Lee Reyes-Fournier from Couple Dumb
10. By networking. You have to get out of your comfort shell from behind the computer and put yourself out there. If there is someone you admire introduce yourself. Likewise say hello to the person in the corner because chances are they are feeling exactly like you are. Find the meetups on twitter and facebook then meet up. Most importantly have a fantastic time!
— Kasandria Reasoner from Southern Bellas Ways to Save
What advice do you have to share?