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Attendee & Speaker Tips

Get to Know Other BlogWorld Attendees


This is me. Yes, I took a picture of myself in the bathroom mirror to show ya'll. Find me at BlogWorld! Don't be afraid to just yell my name if you see me walk past.

Thousands of people will be attending BlogWorld this year. As a new attendee, I have to be honest; that makes me a little nervous. I don’t actually know anyone else who is going, and I’m terrified that it will be junior high all over again. I don’t want to end up eating lunch alone or being the last kid picked in gym class. Sometimes, I end up being more introverted than I’d like, and while I wouldn’t really say that I’m shy, it does make me a little anxious to go into a situation where so many people know one another and I don’t know anyone.

Lisa Morosky, who is a panelist this year and someone I regularly stalk on Twitter, did something I consider pretty ingenious yesterday. She wrote a post specifically for BlogWorld attendees to leave their link, which allows everyone to get to know some of the people who will be there – at least through their blogs. Dave Risley, Nathan Hangen, Mike CJ, and Lisa will be doing a panel called “Treating Your Blog Like a Business” this year, but even if you can’t attend that specific session, it makes sense to leave your link on this list.

Beyond that, don’t just leave your link – check out the other links to see who else is attending this year. If you land on a blog that isn’t in your niche or even mildly interesting to you, you might still want to connect with that person. Check out their about page – you might find that you have something in common. Hey, you’re a travel blogger who homeschools her kids? I’m an entertainment blogger, but I also home my kids. We should try to meet up!

You might have other things in common as well that aren’t so apparent at first glance. For example, maybe you have a similar writing style. Or, maybe you live in the same area. Wouldn’t it be cool to find out that a blogger in your niche lives in your neighborhood and will also be attending? Heck, you might even be able to make arrangements to share a cab to the airport.

Maybe you just like the person’s blog. True story: I follow this one mommy blog, even though I have no kids of my own. Her stories just make me laugh! There’s no reason you can’t connect with a blogger outside of your niche if you like his or her writing.

At the very least, everyone at BlogWorld 2010 has one thing in common – the drive to be a better blogger. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be attending in the first place! Use that as a starting off point, and connect to these people. My goal is to comment on every blog on this list before BlogWorld, and although that’s a small goal right now (at the time of posting, there were only 12 blogs listed so far), I’m hoping that this list grows to include hundreds of bloggers.

I know I won’t get to meet every attendee at BlogWorld, but I hope that in the coming months, I can make some deeper connections and find new blogs that I really enjoy. There are already a few people on my list of “have to find at BlogWorld,” but I’d really like that list to grow to the point where my every moment is packed with meeting awesome people from around the world.

So, go add your link to Lisa’s list – and don’t be afraid to say hi to me, either here or at my own blog (listed as #2) on Lisa’s post, After Graduation). Hope to see you at BlogWorld!

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She apologizes in advance – her hair will probably not be the same color at BWE as it is in that picture. Hell, it might not even be the same color every day of the conference.

Don't Let Your Speaker Proposal Go to Waste!


Deg Ng and the rest of the team are busy bees getting the schedule for BlogWorld 2010 squared away, but as she’s noted earlier this week that some of the best speaker proposals weren’t accepted simply because there aren’t enough hours in the day. Good proposals also weren’t accepted due to duplicate panel ideas, ideas that were too generalized, late entries, etc. In short, most of the the people who received (or will receive) rejection letters don’t suck.

If that’s the case, we’re missing out on a lot of great content simply because BlogWorld can’t be a 24/7 event every single day of the year.

That is, we’re missing out…unless you, as the rejected speaker, do not let your proposal go to waste!

Sure, you can shelf the idea, work through the concept more or tweak it, and resubmit next year, but if your content really was good enough for a slot at BlogeWorld, there’s no reason you have to wait for another chance to get the concept out there to the masses. We want to learn from you! Here are a few things you can do with the idea and any content you’ve already created:

  • Host a webinar.

Earlier today, I went to a free webinar hosted by Sean Malarkey, Chris Garrett, and Lewis Howes about their new training product, Magnetic Webinars. It was actually a webinar about webinars, which is kind of like reading a blog about blogging, but they made a good point – if you market a webinar correctly, you can make a lot of money. If you were proposing a panel with other bloggers, but didn’t get accepted, there’s no reason you can’t come together to do a panel anyway – just do it on your own time as a webinar. You can also do a webinar solo for your market. Post it online for free to help promote your blog or products, or consider putting together a more comprehensive class-type set of webinars about your topic that you charge people to attend.

  • Create a video series.

Like webinars, a video series can be used to promote a blog or product, or you can charge people to view in more of an in-depth class-type session. Videos aren’t live, so you don’t have the same level of interaction with views, but if you’re new to public speaking, this is a great way to get out there the first time, eventually working your way up to doing webinars.

  • Sell an ebook.

You already went to the trouble of writing up a speaking proposal; use that as the source material for an ebook. Ebooks don’t have to be 100 pages to sell. Sure, if you’re going to charge a grand for it, there better be a ton of content, but you can easily create a short, informative ebook that sells for $20 or so a pop.

  • Offer to speak elsewhere.

BlogWorld isn’t the only blogging and social media event out there. It might be the best (cue sucking up to the people who sign my checks), but bloggers at networking events about as often as fat kids gather at McDonalds. Which, in case you’re not big-boned like some of us, is often. Don’t think of it as “this wasn’t good enough for BlogWorld.” Think of it as “this is a proposal that was heavily considered by BlogWorld.” Propose it for another event, be it something equally large or a smaller local event. Remember, sometimes with a little modification, you can make the idea work for a non-blogging crowd. For example, Amy Parmenter is presenting “How to Get Media Coverage for Your Blog.” If she wasn’t chosen, she could have tweaked that idea and presented “How to Get Media Coverage for Your Business” at a local business association meeting.

  • Break up the idea for blog posts.

If you can only create a single post from your speaker topic, chances are you were rejected because the team didn’t think you could fill an hour or your idea wasn’t fleshed out well enough. Chances are, however, that you can create an entire series of blog posts about your topic. Heck, your topic might even be launch pad for you to start an entirely new blog/business about the topic.

We, the readers, want to hear from you. Don’t get caught up in the mindset that you are not good enough. You are and we want to hear about your speaking topic even if there wasn’t enough room for your topic at BlogWorld this year. Don’t let it collect dust.

In fact, if your proposal was rejected and you create something awesome from it anyway, be it a short series of blog posts or a year-long intensive training course, contact me (allison-at-abcontentonline-dot-com or @allison_boyer) and let me know. Not only will I considering watching/buying/reading/attending/etc, I am more than happy to promote what you’ve created and would even love to write a post about it to share with other BlogWorld attendees.

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She feels like she may have just opened herself up for a giant wave of emails…but that’s a good thing if it means quality content to share and promote. Bring on the flood!

Conferences: It's All About the Shoes


This is a post that’s probably more relevant to all my female readers out there, so my apologies in advance to the men in my audience. This is a post I just really felt I needed to write.

Because sometimes, I don’t know what is wrong with me. Seriously. Like to the point where I have to question whether my father’s jokes about the doctor dropping me when I was born really are jokes after all. I’m a smart person, and I read blogs posts written by smart people. It’s on every single “conference attendee tip list” out there: wear comfortable shoes.

And yet, there I sat at the hotel after a ten-hour day at the Philadelphia Convention Center, nursing my bleeding feet. Yes, that’s right. My toes and the back of my ankle were bleeding from not wearing the proper shoes. I also had blisters the size of small mountains and couldn’t feel my heels because they were numb from walking all day.

I’m a generally fit person, at least to the point where I don’t tire after just an hour of walking. I made the sensible decision to leave my heels alone. I’m 5’10, so I tower over people when I wear heels anyway. Still, when I looked at the two options in my suitcase – sensible, albeit boring, sneakers and cute ballet flats that I had just purchased the day before – I made the choice of style over comfort. How bad could a pair of flats me?

Bad. Super bad. Mega-intense-pain bad. Bad to the point where my feet were not just in discomfort, but I literally could barely walk. Sometimes, I don’t know what is wrong with me.

Since that conference, which was actually about three years ago now, I’ve attended multiple other events, and I always make a note of girls’ shoes. I’m not the only moron, apparently. At the end of the day, at least 25% of the girls I see walking around are doing so slowly and with a limp. Sometimes, I don’t know what is wrong with us.

Think back for a moment to any event you’ve ever attended in your niche. Of all the people you met or saw, do you remember what a single one of them was wearing on their feet? Unless someone wore something totally weird, it’s unlikely that you can think of a specific time when you noticed someone’s footwear. Yes, you might compliment someone’s shoes if you’re standing in line and notice they’re wearing something cute, but I bet you never once looked at someone’s shoes at a conference and thought, “Wow, they’re wearing sneakers. How boring.” If anything, you probably longingly wished you wore sneakers, too.

My point is this: the “wear comfortable shoes” tip is more than just a tip. It is a need. You need comfortable shoes just like you need a ticket to get into the event. As you prepare for BlogWorld Expo over the next few months, take some time to really think about which shoes you’re going to wear. Even if you plan on doing a lot of sitting, you’ll thank yourself if you dress for comfort.

Remember, comfort doesn’t have to be boring or ugly. If you’re into fashion or aren’t willing to compromise your style, spend some money on new shoes that are both comfortable and interesting. Mine are pictured above. Wear them in the weeks leading up to the event to break them in, and plan your outfits accordingly so you aren’t tempting to go for the stilettos as you’re getting dressed at the hotel.

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. It’s true; she has the coolest sneakers of all time.

How to Be The Best BlogWorld Speaker You Can Be


To offer value as a speaker at BlogWorld & New Media Expo, you don’t need to run a million dollar business or have 10,000 followers on Twitter or have written a bestselling book or any of those things. Those are nice, but not necessary. No, you need two things:

1. To have experience and knowledge that other people want to learn about.
2. To be able to communicate that knowledge clearly.

That’s all you need. Really. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have various measures of success – and we all have them in one way or another – but when it comes down to it, that is what it’s all about.

So, if I’ve convinced you of that, and speaking is something that you want to do more and more in the future, please allow me to offer some tips to help you be the best BlogWorld speaker that you can be.

This advice comes from my experience as a speaker, which includes participating in three panels in the last two years of BlogWorld. Last year, I led the “Social Media: The Bad and The Ugly” panel with Robert Scoble, Amber Naslund and Wayne Sutton.

Prepare for Your Session
“We’ll meet up for lunch on the day of our session” is NOT acceptable preparation. In fact, it’s completely unacceptable and disrespectful to BlogWorld, the organizers of the event, the attendees and everyone involved.

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Ninja Tactics From A BlogWorld Expo Veteran


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

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Talk with Everyone


So, you’re deciding whether or not to attend BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2010. If you do any sort of blogging, media creation or podcasting this should be a no-brainer, you’ve got to be here. I’ve been to each of the BlogWorld conferences. My first was in 2007 when I went as part of the FuelMyBlog team. I was pretty overwhelmed by how many people were there and excited, energized and enthused by the bubbling creativity that was all around me. At that first conference, I have to admit, I didn’t take nearly enough risks. I didn’t put myself out there as much as I should and I missed major opportunities to make great friends.


What have I learned, by attending BlogWorld year after year, is that you have to make a point to talk with everyone. Each person attending this conference can learn something from you or teach you something. So it stands to reason that each person that you come in contact with can be part of a fantastic exchange of knowledge. If you go in with an open mind, ears and heart you are going to make some truly epic connections.

For instance you are waiting in line for some wake up fuel (The Starbucks at the convention center was great for this) you are there with other conference goers. Rather than standing around quietly waiting for you Double Soy Vente Caramel Machiato you take a moment to say hello to someone from the conference. Maybe ask them, what did you think of the opening keynote? Something to get the conversation started. And then here is the trick. Truly listen. Don’t whip out your phone and tweet while they give their response. You have this moment to make a great connection. Take that moment and make the most out of every second. Who knows, you might just be meeting you future business partner, podcasting co-host or good friend.

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Empowering Women in Their Public Appearances


Power and Presence for Women from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

“I’ve always felt speaking is crucial in terms of strengthening relationships and ideas you might have online, offline. BlogWorld has definitely helped bridge that gap, bringing together prominent personalities and creators I might already know or haven’t had the ability to meet.” – Shira Lazar (past BlogWorld Speaker)

I’ve been amazed by how many of my friends and colleagues have thrust themselves into the public eye by writing books, appearing on panels or going full tilt into public speaking. I’ve even detected an uptick (finally!) in the number of women appearing on stage at tech conferences.

I’ve spoken at my fair share of public events, and what we often have in common is an uncertainty of how to engage the audience with command and assurance. That’s especially true of many women, who’ve been taught by the culture to prize “false power archetypes” rather than being true to their own voices, says Bronwyn Saglimbeni, a public presence coach in Silicon Valley.

“As women, we need to come up with our new power archtetypes,” she said at a recent Girls in Tech retreat in Santa Cruz, Calif. “Unfortunately we’ve been fed a steady diet of false power archtetypes — aggression, intimation, or leaning too heavily on our sexuality, or hiding behind our sexuality.”

Saglimbeni offers coaching on speaking, presenting and how to attain “true power.” “It happens when personality aligns with purpose to serve the greater good,” she says. “Where does the purpose of our work life and personal life intersect? During public speaking, what are the elements of our personality that need to be brought forward? Every time we have an opportunity to get up and speak, we have to really cherish that time and nail it.”

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo, or Watch the video on YouTube

Common mistakes in public appearances

Body language and posture often an issue for speakers. “Often we’ll hold our hands in front of our bodies, or we hold them behind our backs, or in front of our mouths — and the problem is those are not powerful positions,” she says. “The other thing I see is that people tend to get very serious when they take the stage. … We need to let go a little bit and have fun!”

Women often find themselves perplexed on how to behave in a largely male corporate setting. Says Saglimbeni: “If it’s a very serious board room filled with male executives, you can meet them there. But you can also establish credibility and start injecting a little bit more of yourself. Room reading skills are very important. It helps you tailor your message, know when you’re losing people, and know when you’re got ’em.”

Her firm Bronwyn Communications works with corporate clients to improve their public speaking and media relations skills. But any Blogworld Expo speaker can pick up a few tips by watching the video at top.

JD Lasica, a blogger since 2001, is founder of Socialmedia.biz, a leading social media consultancy, and Socialbrite.org, social tools for social change. Follow him on Twitter at @jdlasica, or contact him at jd@socialmedia.biz.

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