Looking for Something?
Browsing Category

Attendee & Speaker Tips

Some BlogWorld Safety Tips


When I originally found out I’d be going to BlogWorld Expo, a friend of mine said he’d come along for the ride. Life happened, as it often does, and he’s no longer joining me in Las Vegas. Talking on the phone to my mom today, she’s nervous at the prospect of me going alone. I’m 25 years old. I’ve traveled a moderate amount in my days, at times alone. She’s still nervous, in part because we’re from a very small town so Vegas seems huge and dangerous to her and in part because…well…she’s my mom. Being worried is part of the job description, or so I’ve been told.

“Be safe” tips might seem like they go without saying, but I wouldn’t feel right without posting a little reminder for everyone to be safe while in Vegas. A few things to keep in mind:

  • If you’re traveling alone, has a few set times that you’ll call to check in with friends or family members back home. More importantly, call when you say you will (I set my phone alarm to remind me).
  • Make sure someone at home knows the name of the hotel where you’re staying so they can contact you if necessarily.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you have. We all make smarter decisions when sober.
  • Don’t share a cab or go home with someone you don’t know. I’d like to think that everyone at BlogWorld is awesome, but the sad fact is that there are some bad people out there. Avoid one-on-one alone situations with people you’ve just met, even if they’re a blogger too. At the very least, travel in groups of three or four.
  • Watch your drink. If you set it down for a moment to take your turn at karaoke or use the restroom, get a new one when you come back. That goes for non-alcoholic drinks too!
  • Write down the name and address of your hotel and keep it in your wallet. If you end up at an after party far away from the strip and feeling a little tipsy, it’s good to have it on hand for the cab driver. Of course, in Vegas, every cabbie should know how to get to Mandalay Bay or wherever you’re staying, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Write down the name and phone number of a cab company. Again, if you end up somewhere super far away from where cabs are normally found, you can easily call for a pickup.
  • Make time to eat. You’ll get drunker faster on an empty stomach, so grab a bite or two quickly throughout the day, even though your time may be limited.
  • Consider a quick self-defense class before you leave. Many YMCAs and gyms offer them regularly, so if you can take one before BlogWorld, do so to learn a few points.
  • If you’re by yourself, stick to super public places. Try to find a few other people to hang out with – lots of people are going to BlogWorld solo! If all else fails, @ reply to me on Twitter (@allison_boyer) and I’ll make every attempt to meet up with you or help you find other people who are looking for people to hang out with.
  • Whenever you get a drink, either drink a glass of water or eat the ice (which is like having a glass of water). It helps manage your alcohol level.

Remember, these safely tips are for men as much as they are for women!

Sorry if this post seems a little 101-level. Even though you’ve all probably heard these tips before, it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder to make safe choices while traveling alone.

Avoiding Event Burnout


People who know me know that I’m a planner, sometimes to the point of obsession. I love to be spontaneous, but I’m a big believer that you can’t do something unplanned if you don’t have an original plan to start.

I’m well aware that most people don’t have me level of anal retentiveness when it comes to making plans. That’s ok. It’s probably even healthy. If nothing else though, make sure you plan one thing while at BlogWorld: Downtime.

While I haven’t attended BlogWorld in the past, I’m not a complete event newbie. No matter what the conference, show, convention, expo, etc., there will always be more to do than you can possibly fit into the time you have. You want to see everything on the show floor. You want to go to every panel. You want to meet and greet with every speaker. And, of course, you want to blog about it all.

I completely understand. I feel the same way.

Yet trying to do everything will only leave you with two feelings. First, you’ll feel overwhelmed. Then, when you figure out that you can’t do everything, you’ll feel like a failure.

What I’d like to suggest is that you actively plan some downtime for yourself to prevent this kind of burnout. Maybe you order room service one night and relax with a bath before heading out to evening activities. Maybe you wake up a hour early and enjoy the paper and a cup of coffee by yourself. Maybe you book a massage while in Vegas and take the time to enjoy pampering yourself for an hour or two.

The point is this: you need some alone time to chill out.

The result? You’ll be more relaxed, seeming less frazzled as you network. Your mind will calm down, making it easier to remember names, appoint times, and other information. You’ll be able to more quickly write posts, since it will be easier to concentrate.

You can’t do everything while at BlogWorld, and no one expects you to (except maybe you!). The key is to what what you can do exceedingly well. You’ll get more out of any event if you focus on excellent in a few things instead of doing everything you possibly can.

I recommend trying to fit in at least an hour of alone time every day while you’re in Vegas. I know that it might now always be possible, so grab what you can – 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there. Just remind yourself that it is ok to skip some events so you have time to cool down. Burnout will only mean that you don’t take full advantage of your trip.

How will you make sure you get time for yourself while at BlogWorld?

Introverted Networking: Party Crashing, Group Subversion, Social Survival Skills and TALKING TO GIRLS


by Jeremy Wright (CEO @ BNOTIONS.ca / Author @ http://nakeddating.tumblr.com)

ShyConferences are living, breathing organisms. They change year to year, and yet seem to maintain a core “ness”. They have personalities, social conventions, cliques and pacing. The SxSWness, for example, includes inserting yourself into groups, a focus on alcohol-fueled networking and a long history of waking up in the afternoon (which is fine since only first-years go to the sessions anyways).

BlogWorld’s “ness” is different. This is partly due to the locale being Las Vegas instead of Austin, but mostly because as an “organism” BWE is still young. As a result, much of the culture and social norms are still evolving.

In this (admittedly lengthy) post I’ll lay down some #science for you BWE (shorthand for BlogWorld Expo, Twitter #hashtaggery defined by #bwe10) first-timers. This post is specifically targeted at folk like yours truly who are introverts (either secretly or obviously).

BWE Social Norms

As an introvert, confidence often comes from knowing the social norms of a given situation or social group. When I don’t know anybody, don’t know how to act or I’m just flat out tired I can seem withdrawn, quiet or grumpy. If you’re anything like me, going into a situation (whether it’s a job interview, a first date or a conference), knowing the people, the norms and the expectations allows you to be just a bit more you. So, to help you out, here’s the braindump on how to surf the social wave that is BWE!

Note: If you’re ever unsure what to do, feel a bit lost, or just want to meet random people, shoot folk who are using the #bwe10 hashtag, or veterans like yours truly (@jeremywright) a tweet. People are almost always more helpful than you think they’ll be!

Braindump time! Here are 8 things that aren’t normal in normal life but are normal at BlogWorld:

  1. Introducing yourself with just your first name (vs a practiced schpiel)
  2. Waiting until someone asks for your business card to give it to them (like Chris (http://www.chrisbrogan.com/9-ways-to-rock-blog-world-expo/), I’m a big believer in only exchanging business cards if you expect to do business together, otherwise just follow each other on Twitter!)
  3. Having someone stop the conversation in order to send you an email, add you to twitter or tweet something you just said. Sad, but it’s become the norm to mix the online and offline worlds.
  4. Use “so what are you doing later?” (ahem, not in a creepy way…) as a means to get a group/individual to tag you along.
  5. Start an impromptu after party. Go with the flow if you get pulled in!
  6. Plan a very loose schedule (potential activities) and a firm schedule (appointments) so you can be free to float a bit more. Flexibility is sexy.
  7. Drag an unsuspecting n00b (that’s you!) along to a party, lunch, drinks, etc
  8. Walk up to your favourite social media douchebag celebrity and ask questions, hangout and be cool

In short, being introverted is totally normal and cool! #happydance!

That said, there are 4 key skills you’ll need if you’re going to go from vaguely functional introvert to the kind of introvert that throws parties, does #techkaraoke and has a suite at @LuxorLV named after them (okay that last one is on my #bucketlist):

  1. Jumping into a conversation
  2. Buying someone a drink
  3. Striking up a conversation with a girl
  4. Working a room

Jumping Into a Conversation

Let’s be honest, this is the hardest part. It’s like my grandma used to say: the hardest part of swimming is not sinking. Yeah, she was wise, grams was.

So here are the easiest steps:

  1. Find a physical spot: Groups tend to self-distribute (I found a mathematical formula for this, but even I’m not geeky enough to post it, heh), so the vast majority will automatically self-adjust once you stand about a foot beyond the group’s perimeter. Once it does, join the circle. Incidentally, this also works for dancing, but that’s for the advanced and really brave (read: drunk) geek.
  2. Make eye contact: Eye contact is your strongest weapon. It doesn’t require any words, doesn’t require you to do anything except look around the circle, and when someone makes eye contact don’t look away, just give a friendly nod.
  3. Dip your toe in: If you’re a funny person (and someone beside your mom has told you this), a quick quip will get you a laugh, and hence acceptance into the group. If you’re not, wait until you have something meaningful to say. If after 3-4 minutes nothing comes up, ask a question: “Where are you guys from?” “Are y’all here together?” “Wow, did anyone else forget to bring deodorant?” are all acceptable questions to get things going.

Now this assumes that the party isn’t too loud, that the group is fairly static, etc. If not, your task is harder, so you should make a “friend” (ideally someone that laughs at your deodorant jokes) and stick close. It’s less weird than it seems, unless you did (in fact) forget to bring deodorant! As a result, practice this at the convention center before you go to a party: once you’ve successfully gotten in 4-5 groups, you’ll be ready to try this on the big fish in a hostile environment!

Buying Someone a Drinktini

Okay, here’s the dirty little secret: want to talk to someone specific? Buy them a drink. There’s a social contract that they need to stick around to finish it. Note: this also means if someone buys you one, stick around to finish it.

The process for doing this is simple: say hi; then offer to buy them a drink (because yours is empty, you boozer); and then come back, be charming, make intermittent eye contact, entertain them, don’t stare

Note: Just like a first date (see: #nakeddating at http://nakeddating.tumblr.com), it’s impolite to roofie someone during a networking event.

Striking Up a Conversation With a Girl

If there’s one thing I’ve learned by writing a self-deprecating dating blog (http://nakeddating.tumblr.com) it’s that girls are scary and will eat your soul if you let them… or you’d think that’s what they did based on how scared guys can be of them!

If you’re like me, you were a total loser in high school, never felt confident, attractive, etc. It gets better, and what helps it get better is practice! So here’s your practice drill for the first party, if talking to girls is as hard for you as it was for me. You must successfully complete this drill 10 times in order to pass. Failure is not an option. Like yoda said: there is no try, there is only do. Or something. That line always sounded slightly off to me.

  1. Eye contact is good, staring (at any part of her) is bad… #veryverybad
  2. Be nice. Start out conversation with a compliment. “Love your sweater. It has a great style. Where did you get it? My sister’s birthday coming is coming up and I could check it out for her.” Instant nice guy!!! Then you are right into the let’s talk about family convo which is pretty easy. Start with asking if she has brothers or sisters. Don’t mock her cats (any girl wearing a sweater is bound to have cats). If she’s in a group, use the tips above!
  3. Buy her a drink, if necessary, per the above. Don’t assume most will want wine/spritzers/girly drinks. Some will want beer. Only attempt to mock a girly drink (typically contains “tini” in the name, with a fruit sound at the front of it) if you can do it in a cute/cheeky way (ie: if you get a frown, use #4!)
  4. Do not ask her if she plays WoW or Wii Fit (pretty pretty please) though Mario Party is entirely acceptable, as is Rock Band.
  5. It’s okay if the conversation lags a bit to just say, “Gawd! I am such a geek,” it will be endearing and good for a laugh (hers). And if you have said anything totally stupid in the last few minutes this expression is like a ‘get out of jail free card’. But only use it once per girl.
  6. Do not ask if she’s as nervous as you are (unless you can pull that off that confident awkward thing).
  7. Smile! Awkward, cute, cheeky grins are never, evar a bad thing.
  8. Be honest. Girls can smell guy bullshit from miles away. Seriously.

Beyond that? Talk louder, and treat conversation as a tennis match: don’t let the ball drop. And trust me, if this is at a party, running away is harder than it looks. And will end up on YouTube. And not in a good way. #learningfromexperience

Working a Room

If you’re an introvert, the very idea of working a room of 500 people is terrifying. So here’s the deal. Every room is actually a bunch of small groups, with folk flowing in between. So socially, you really only need to master 3 skills: entering/exiting/participating in groups, going with the flow of people throughout the room to get/give booze/go to the can/hurl over the side of the building if you messed up when talking to a girl and knowing when to arrive/leave.

When moving through the room, don’t move through groups: follow the existing flow of people. As you move along, make eye contact, smile, nod. If a group/person notices you, step out of the flow of people and say hi. Otherwise find a group that looks small/big enough for you, and follow the tips above. Rinse, repeat.

Don’t feel you need to “touch” every group. If you nail 10 ish groups, you’ve done well. If you actually have convos with 5 of those groups, even better.

Be Thou Unafraid

Dirty little secret: if you’re a first timer, there are more new people at BWE this year than there are veterans. Social media folk, especially introverts or people around for the first time are like camels: they’re more scared of you than you are of them. So be nice, be friendly and say hi. And if you get lost, ask for help on Twitter. It’s like your own Easy Button (ahem)!

Take it from an introvert: it sucks, it’s scary, but the friendship, relationships, laughter and networking are more than worth the risk!

Image Source

How a Geek Gets Organized for BlogWorld Expo


Conferences can be very overwhelming if you are not organized. Having a good plan of action and easy access to your plan at anytime can make your conference experience a good one. I use Evernote to keep track of everything I need for any conference, but any note program that you can access on any of your devices will also work.

From the moment I first hear about a conference until I am done with writing thank you notes after the conference, I put it all in Evernote because I will have access from my iMac, MacBook, PC laptop, iPhone and iPad both online and offline.

Here are 13 examples of what I add for each conference I attend.

  1. Travel Arrangements. Forward copies of my hotel and transportation details including shuttle and/or taxi information.
  2. Conference Schedule. The official schedule put out by the conference and my own schedule of appointments I have set up during the conference.
  3. Speaker’s Session Notes. Many speakers will write detailed blog posts to promote their sessions. These are great to have handy at the conference when deciding which session to attend. I try to decide before I leave, but inevitably, I change my mind.
  4. Speaker Bios. I research the speakers of each session I am interested in attending. I will glance at those notes before I attend the session. When I go up to introduce myself to the speaker(s), I can talk to them about their specific blog or company. It shows that I did my homework.
  5. Brand or Company Bios. I also research the brands and companies that will be at the conference. When I head to the exhibit hall, I am fully prepared.
  6. Tweets. About a month before a conference, I begin to follow the conference’s hashtag in TweetDeck. As tweets come through that I want to remember on site, I email the Tweet to Evernote.
  7. My Session Notes. The notes I take during a session at the conference.
  8. In Person Meeting Notes. This isn’t always possible because often you meet on the run for a moment. But I try to take notes after I meet with someone especially if I promised to do something.
  9. Business Cards. I take a snapshot of the business card right after I receive it. If someone doesn’t have a business card available, I will ask to take a picture of their badge.
  10. Pictures. I upload all my pictures from the conference as a backup and to keep all conference materials in one place.
  11. Session Handouts. I take a picture with my iPhone and keep it with the session notes because Evernote can search for text within pictures.
  12. Maps and/or Directions. If I have parties or meetings to attend away from the main location, I will get a map and directions before I leave.
  13. Receipts. All the receipts I collect during the conference that I will need for my taxes. I take a picture of the receipt as soon as I get it. If I lose it, I have a backup copy.
  14. Bonus: Anything Else. All the other minor details and notes and bits of information that come through before a conference that I may need to know. I create a separate folder for each conference I attend and I tag all the notes with the conference’s hashtag (#bwe10 for BlogWorld Expo 2010). I could print out all this information, but having it available in Evernote, allows me to quickly search for any note. I download the conference file to each device I take with me so all the notes are available offline too.

How are you preparing for BlogWorld Expo?

Michele McGraw is a mom of 4 who blogs about technology, digital scrapbooking and fitness at Scraps of My Geek Life. She can be found socializing on Twitter, @ScrappinMichele.

Image Credit: Microsoft Image Gallery

Ways to Save Money on Your BlogWorld Flight


Right now, I’m seeing an influx of people tweeting about buying their flights to BlogWorld (or saving up the money to do so). I don’t envy those of you flying in from Europe or anywhere else oversees. Las Vegas might be a city where you can get cheap flights, but yowsa, they are still expensive for someone on a budget.

I’m no expert, but I have done my fair share of traveling over the past decade. So, I’d like to share with you some tips for saving money on your flight. I hope you’ll add your own to the comments!

  • Fly on/out Tuesday on Wednesday.

Yes, this is travel 101, but it makes more sense now than ever before. When you fly mid-week, you’re taking flights that often have empty seats, so the airline is willing to drop the price a bit to entice passengers. Usually, it doesn’t make much difference for travelers, because what they make in flight price they lose in having to book a hotel for an extra night. At BlogWorld, you can’t really beat the special prices available to attendees, so even if you have to spend the money on the hotel room for the additional day, you’ll probably come out on top.

  • Fly super early in the morning.

The really early flights in the day are typically less expensive, but again, that’s a little Travel 101, right? Well, I’m recommending that you fly super early in the day for another reason – so you can stay behind if the flight is overbooked without missing anything in Vegas. This happens regularly at small airports and is even fairly common at large airports. You may have to spend your day at the airport, but most airlines will accommodate you with free food vouchers, and if you ask, they might even be able to hook you up with vouchers for free WiFi. Depending on how long you’re delayed, you’ll receive vouchers for anywhere from $50 to $400 or more that you can use for a future flight.

Pro tip: It’s up to the worker standing there to determine the offer amount, so be really, really friendly and flexible if you want a higher amount.

Pro tip #2: If you want some freebies, but don’t want to take a later flight, let other people offer first. If the flight is overbooked, listen for the worker at the gate to make a call for volunteers. He/she will probably do so a few times, but will stop doing so when it looks like they probably have enough people. When the announcements stop, go up and volunteer. They’ll put you on the list, even if they don’t need you, and when you go to board your flight, there’s a good chance that they’ll give you some free drink tickets. Of course, there’s always the chance that they could need you after all, so don’t use this trick to get free drinks if you aren’t ok with staying behind just in case!

  • Find others flying out of your airport now.

Use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to connect with people flying out of your airport. Carpool or share a taxi and you’ll save money on parking. If you take some time to get to know one another, you can even save money on luggage if you have more stuff than will fit in a carry-on, but not enough to need an entire checked suitcase to yourself. If you each put your items inside a bag and then put the two (or even three) bags inside the suitcase, you can easily pull our your bag at the airport and go your separate ways. This definitely does require at least a low-level of trust for the other person, so meet up with people in your area now.

  • Buy split tickets.

Most people realize that it is typically cheaper to buy a flight with one or two layovers than it is to buy a direct flight. Did you know you could save even more money with a split ticket? Let’s say you’re traveling from Philadelphia to Vegas, with a layover in Chicago. When a system books your ticket, it typically looks for the flight in Chicago that leaves ASAP after you’ve landed, even though a later flight may actually be cheaper. So instead of booking it all together, look up prices for booking Philly to Chicago and separate prices for booking Chicago to Las Vegas. It doesn’t work every time, but it could for you, so it’s worth checking out. Remember to allow yourself enough time to get your second ticket at the layover airport, as this may require exiting and going through security again.

  • Connect with your airline through social networking.

If you follow your airline of choice on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or even sign up for their newsletter, you could receive significant discount codes that you can use on your flight. It only takes a second to click the “like” button, so why not?

  • Book during a window.

Flight prices will fluctuate in most cases. Traditionally, there are low point windows at the 21-day mark, 14-day mark, and 7-day mark. Of course, at seven days, the prices will be the lowest because they want the flight to fill, but you might not want to wait that long, since the flight you want could be booked solid by then and you’ll pay out the nose to get to your destination. I recommend booking around the 21-day mark if you haven’t already purchased your flight – which means next week.

Ok – your turn. How can we all save money on flights?

Attention BlogWorld Speakers: It’s Time to Promote Your Sessions


I’m sure you can imagine how stoked we are to see all the positive but surrounding not only BlogWorld ’10, but also our speakers. Getting out the word and making sure each session has good representation can be a challenge, however. We try and do everything we can to promote our speakers, tracks, sessions and the entire event but we can’t devote as much attention to each speaker and session as we would like. Let’s face it, there are a lot of you.

In the upcoming weeks, you’re going to see sessions highlighted here on the blog(as many have have been already), in our newsletter, Facebook page and Twitter, but there’s only so much we can do. That’s why we’re encouraging all of our BlogWorld speakers to get out and toot their own horns.

  • Blog about your sessions.
  • Talk about your sessions and panels on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Create Facebook events and invite all your friends and fans.

BlogWorld is just about a month away. It’s time to start promoting your sessions – and we’ll help. If you blog about your talk, let us know and we’ll Tweet out the link and post it to our ever-growing Facebook page. If you Tweet, we’ll give you a reTweet. If you create a Facebook event, we’ll bring attention to that as well. Sending folks to your sessions is a team effort. We’re happy to help, but we hope you’ll do your part too!

How will you promote your session?

Why You Should Come To BlogWorld If You Are A Content Creator


Chris Brogan is a person I greatly admire and respect and I am proud to call a friend. This morning he wrote a post titled 9 Ways to Rock BlogWorld Expo and said some very nice things about our event and our team.  Thank you Chris.

I was in the middle of writing this very long comment on his post expanding on some of his points and realized Chris had actually inspired me to write a post two posts of my own on why you should come to BlogWorld. This one is for Content Creators. Another will follow for Brands.

Let’s start with why you shouldn’t. This line from his post resonated with me:

it’s great to get out and socialize. It’s less useful to get out and get blotto so that you can barely attend the next day

Everyone should come and have fun. That is definitely a part of it and fun often times involves an alcoholic beverage or two, but BlogWorld is not about getting trashed.

Dave and I and truly amazing team of people including @newmediapatti @debng @jenjenholder @nikki_blogworld @allison_boyer all of our track leaders, all of our speakers, the Hanley Wood team and everyone else involved in organizing BlogWorld work extremely hard on this event all year long to help you make the most out of your content.  Please don’t come to BlogWorld to party in Vegas. You can do that another weekend.

Continue Reading

Making the Best BlogWorld Schedule Possible


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

Blogging from an Event: More on Planning, Prioritizing, and Preparing


Earlier today, Nikki wrote a really great post about planning, prioritizing, and preparing when you head off to BlogWorld or any other type of event.

Insert my geek jealousy that she went to Comic Con here.

Anyway, I wanted to build on her ideas a little in regards to actually blogging live from a conference. As I told ya’ll yesterday, this will be my first year at BlogWorld, and I’m a little nervous about attending. This is not my first conference, though, and from a remote blogging standpoint, I think I’m an old pro. This aspect of attending a conference takes it’s own planning, prioritizing, and preparing.


The number one thing you should find out is whether or not there will be WiFi at the conference center. This information may not be readily available on the conference website, but it is often listed on the press page. If you qualify as a member of the press, you should absolutely sign up to go under a press pass. Even if you don’t mind paying for an attendee badge, members of the press often have a press-only room for working, as well as access to interview spaces and sound-proof rooms for podcasting. Conferences also often have staff on hand to help members of the press set up interviews and other opportunities.

One of the interview spaces at Game X, a conference I attended in Philly.

Do not wait until you get there to tell them that you’re press. At most conferences, there is a strict deadline to register for a press badge.

Another aspect of planning – set up interviews before you go with the people you really want to see. That way they’re not only prepared for your interview, but there’s no chance of them being too busy for you and turning you down. Try to be courtesy of their time and flexible when scheduling, especially for celebrities at the event who are meeting with tons of other people too.


This part is tricky. Yes, you want to attend the conference and see all the cool stuff there is to see, but as a blogger, you also have the duty to report on what is most interesting to your readers, not just what you enjoy. For example, at BlogWorld, you may want to see Speaker A talk about monetizing your blog at the same time Speaker B is running a high-profile panel directly covering your blog’s niche. Which should you attend? I can’t make that decision for you, but I will say that if you never consider your readers while at an event, you probably shouldn’t worry about blogging from it at all.

You also need to prioritize your time during the day to give yourself time to work if you intend to blog from the event. Yes, you may really want to go to the bar after a long day at the conference, but it is more important to upload pictures to your blog or sit down to edit a video you shot. I’m not trying to kill all your fun – promise! Just be aware that if you want to blog from an event, you need to schedule time for work.


This is a biggy. When you’re blogging from an event, here are some of the main things you can do to prepare:

  • Bring a good bag for carrying your laptop and other equipment. It will be a long day if you have to lug something around and your shoulder hurts.
  • Make sure you have charger batteries for all your equipment and bring your chargers with you to ensure you don’t run low.
  • Bring a back-up camera if you can. I can’t tell you how many cameras get set down somewhere and forgotten or stolen at events. Having an extra back at your room is a lifesaver.
  • Mark all of your equipment with your name and number. Like I said, cameras and other equipment get set down when you’re talking to someone and it’s easy to just walk away. People who find your equipment need a way to contact you.
  • Find out where the local WiFi hotspots are located in case the connecting at the conference center or your hotel isn’t as good as you thought. You can at least get a few posts done at Starbucks during the evening.
  • Find out where the local RadioShack (or comparable store) is located in case you need to pick up anything while in town.
  • If you have a smartphone, download apps for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites so you can connect to people on the go without giving out your cell number to everyone you meet.

Conferences in any niche take a lot out of you, so don’t forget to also plan, prioritize, and prepare for the day you get home. Plan no work so you can sleep. Prioritize sleep before other things on your schedule. Prepare for being super tired but not being able to sleep because you’re thinking about all the stuff you just say.

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. Comic Con is her Mecca.

Image (c) Allison Boyer/Binge Gamer

Plan, Prioritize, and Prepare For Anything: My Conference Tips!


I just finished attending Comic Con this past weekend (my third year in a row) and am headed off to an SCBWI Writer’s Conference today (my second year in a row, fourth time attending a writer’s conference). Although BlogWorld & New Media Expo fits somewhere in between these as far as scope and amount of attendees, I figure my tips (from these conferences and the others I’ve attended in the past) should be of help to some of you.

I’m a planner by nature, so when it comes to conferences I scour the conference tracks and the exhibit schedule. I research the speakers and exhibitors, and put together a plan of where I’m going to go and when. But it’s not only the event itself that needs planning … it’s travel arrangements, parking, bringing snacks to munch on, packing a jacket for the freezing cold conference rooms (and they are always freezing!) and of course what to wear to the parties.

Sometimes you can’t fit it all in. There’s no way. It might be two panels at the same time or a book signing on the expo floor at the same time as a speaker in another room. You have to prioritize. Pick one, two, or maybe three things that you want to make sure to hit during a particular day, and plan around it. With Comic Con it’s pretty insane – you may choose a panel as your top priority, and then realize you’ll need to go park it in Hall H all day, just to make sure you see it! With a large event, you definitely need to plan for lines and crowds.

Prepare For Anything:
I can’t stress enough how much you need to be prepared – and this will be completely based on what your goals are for the conference. If you’re taking pictures, bring an extra camera battery! If you’re live blogging, bring along your charger and make sure you have Internet access. If you are networking, make sure you’ve got a ton of business cards (I have a major fail on this one for my upcoming conference). If you want a book signed, make sure to pack it with you!

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog and is exhausted from only one day at Comic Con! Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Source: SXC

Learn About NMX


Recent Comments