Last week, Deb posted the much-anticipated 2010 BlogWorld Expo schedule. I’m sure that may of you ran off to start planning your schedule, just like I did. And I’m sure many of you through up your hands in despair, not knowing how you’d see everything you want to see…just like I did.
The fact of the matter is, with any conference, you’re not going to get to see it all. Unless you build some kind of cloning machine. In which case, you probably are going to spend your October bathing in hundred dollar bills, not attending BlogWorld Expo. But I digress. All conferences are packed to the brim with awesome and exciting stuff to do, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.
So how do you adequately plan for BlogWorld? Here are some tips I’ve been keeping in mind, and since this is my first year going to the event, I hope you’ll comment with some tips of your own!
- Skip your friends’ panels.
I’m not really a bad friend, I swear! At a major conference, though, you have to put work before friendship, and anyone worth their weight in gold doubloons will understand. As I’m looking at the speakers and panels for this year, I’m seeing some names I recognize on a personal level and although I want to show my support, not everyone is presenting on a topic that really interests me. That’s not to say that they aren’t going to have a fantastic session; my blogging needs are just different. If it means skipping a panel that could really help you grow as a blogger, not having time to spend on the show floor, or missing your chance to network with some fabulous bloggers in your niche, don’t go to your friends’ panel just for moral support. Trust me – he/she will have plenty of moral support at BlogWorld from people who are truly interested!
- Check out a wide variety of topics.
There are multiple panels covering some topics, like monetization. Yes, each one has a different spin, but if you’re trying to decide between two panels for a certain time slot, why not give a different topic a try? If you’re going to a podcasting panel during one time slot, choose the niche-related panel for another time slot. This also helps for another reason – you don’t want to get bogged down by too much information about a single topic. Sometimes, it can be really confusing to go to multiple panels about the same general topic, since you’ll start to feel overwhelmed. Along the same lines, try to mix up the speakers you see. Some people are speaking multiple times during BlogWorld, so if you’re having trouble deciding between panels, skip the speaker you’re seeing earlier in the day and go for someone new.
- It’s ok to skip sessions completely.
Shhh…I won’t tell the BlogWorld powers that be that you’re going to play hooky! When coming up with your BlogWorld schedule, don’t feel forced to attend a session during every single time slot. Yes, you want to learn as much as possible, but keep in mind that there’s a show floor to check out and networking to do in the halls. If you’re trying to decide what panel to attend, but none of them are sticking out to you, leave your schedule blank. You can always change your mind and grab a seat somewhere at the last minute. Having some flexibility is a good thing, though. Believe me when I say that you won’t be bored at BlogWorld, even if you take an hour off to do your own thing.
Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She’s not sure why you would want to bathe in hundred dollar bills. Or weigh a friend in gold doubloons for that matter.
Image credit: Jan Willem Geertsma