Since I blog for a living, it is a given that I’m going to be at BlogWorld Expo this year, too. I consider it the absolute can’t-miss event of the year for bloggers.
Now, I’ve been there twice. I go, I watch, I network. I’d like to pass on a few quick tips that I think will help people attending BlogWorld (or any event, for that matter).
#1 – Use Evernote
As you attend different speaker sessions, you’re going to want to take notes. My guess is that you’re going to have some kind of computing device with you. Then, I’d recommend Evernote.
It is a gorgeous application for note-taking and thought organization. You can even put photos, audio, and files into notes in Evernote. Categorize and tag your notes. For example, you can tag a note with the name of the speaker and the topic. When you think of particular action items while listening to a speaker, just BOLD it to make it stand out. Either way, it makes for a beautiful and organized way to store information.
Even better, it runs on multiple platforms and syncs online – for free. So, carrying a laptop, mobile phone, Ipad or anything like that? Evernote will run on it.
Quick Tip: Snap a picture of a person’s business card and store it in Evernote, tagged with some keywords to tell you why you want to follow up with that person after the event.
#2 – Have USEFUL Business Cards
Speaking of business cards, carry some which are useful. This is a conference for BLOGGERS. We don’t use fax and snail mail is a bit useless. Instead, make sure your Twitter ID is on your card. Other social media links are useful as well, but there’s likely not going to be a soul at BWE who isn’t using Twitter. You might want to have your photo on your business card. This allows people who are bad with names to more easily remember WHO the card is for when they get back home.
Here is a post I wrote on 5 Important Tips For Your Blogger Business Card.
#3 – Pack The Right Equipment
Carrying big laptop bags can be a burden. You’re going to want your gear with you, but think about keeping it small.
For example, a good point-and-shoot camera which is good in low light is the Canon Powershot S90. You’re going to want a camera good in low-light otherwise your photos will look grainy, but a full SLR might be too much to lug around. The S90 might be a good option.
For video, carry around a Flip Mino HD or a Kodak zi8. The Kodak has an external mic jack, so carrying a small lapel mic for this camera would make for easy interviews with other bloggers, with decent audio, all without hogging up your backpack.
For laptop, you may want to carry something small like a netbook. You’re probably just going to need email access and note-taking while you’re at the event, so you’re not likely going to need a big 17-inch honker of a laptop. Perhaps this is a good excuse to get an Ipad? Hhhmmm‚ 😉
#4 – Think About Wifi & Power
Conference wifi can be really bad. Regardless of what the organizers try to do, when you put that many people onto a wifi network, it is going to choke. Besides, the hotel wifi in Vegas can be pretty pricey. So, you may want to think about bringing your own wifi using a Mifi, a phone capable of tethering, or an air card. Last time I was in Vegas, I rented a system from Cheetah Wireless for wifi access anywhere in the Vegas area. It worked really well and saved me a lot of hassle and cost.
As for power, realize that electrical outlets are usually sparse. So, this is another good reason to bring gadgets with good battery life. You don’t want to be stuck sitting along the wall in the hallways, tied to a plug.
I hope these tips help out. And I look forward to seeing everybody at BlogWorld this year. 🙂
David Risley is a professional blogger, which basically means he sits and types a lot and manages to earn a living at it. His blog is the Confessions Of a Six Figure Blogger, and you can follow his escapades on Twitter.