Blogger conferences are becoming more and more popular as bloggers realise that they are a great opportunity to meet and chat to other bloggers, learn new skills and make those all important connections with brands.
But, with Britmums Live just around the corner you might be wondering what are they really like? If you’ve never been to one before, it can be hard to know what to expect and how much value it will add to your blog. Here’s your guide to getting the most out of your first blogger conference:
Which blogger conference to attend
- BritMums Live – Held at The Brewery, in London. BritMums Live is in June, is organised by BritMums and incorporates the Brilliance In Blogging Awards. The dates for 2015 are Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June
- BlogCamp – Birmingham conference organised by Tots100 and free to attend. Held this year in April and October
- Blog On MOSI – Manchester based conference organised by Tired Mummy of Two. Look out for this one Spring 2016
- Blogtacular – This is THE place for creative bloggers. Being held on 13th June 2015 in London
- Blogfest – This one is by Mumsnet and usually in November
What to wear
There are no rules, but make sure you feel confident in what you’re wearing as you’ll be spending the day meeting new people. Also make sure you are comfortable in whatever outfit you choose as it could be a long day. It is possible to be gifted a dress or outfit to wear at the event. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, so think about who you could ask. If you are representing a brand, do keep that in mind when choosing your outfit.
What to take
- Your ticket
- Phone/tablet is a given, but don’t forget your charger. There are always sockets available to plug into for a top up, but if you have a charging case/battery pack take that along too just in case
- Camera or camera phone
- Something to take lots of notes with – pen and paper or tablet/iPad
- Business cards are useful to give to both brands and bloggers
- List of anyone you particularly want to meet while at the event
How to approach other bloggers/brands
Bloggers are inevitably attached to their phones, so you will be able to contact them even at the event. If there is a blogger you’ve not yet met but want to, try tweeting them and see if they have time to meet up with you.
When it comes to meeting brands, just remember they are there to meet bloggers, so they want to talk to you. At most conferences, brands will have a stand, so you are able to approach them easily and ask them whether they would consider working with your blog. Remember to tell them why you want to work with them and make sure you leave a business card.
What you will learn
Most blogger conferences will have a key expert speaking that will fill you with ideas and inspiration. There may also be break out talks and workshops dealing with developing specific skills as a blogger. Don’t forget to be switched on to learning from the other attendees you meet as well. Talk to other bloggers about what they do, how they work and swap tips with them.
Attending break out talks/sessions
At most conferences you’ll be given a timetable and you’re free to attend whichever sessions you want. Occasionally, you may be asked to choose in advance or on arrival.
The sessions are usually run back to back, with only coffee breaks and lunch splitting them up. There isn’t really time to get to a session early, but if you have chosen a particularly hot topic, get there on time to make sure you get a seat.
It is up to you whether you prioritise networking or attending sessions. It is certainly possible to fit in both, but you may want to be flexible about which sessions you are happy to skip if you meet a person or brand you want to spend some time with.
Getting as much out of the conference as possible
Start with a list of any bloggers you know (maybe via social media) and want to meet up with. Get in touch and make a plan to get together. These events can get busy so don’t rely on ad-hoc meetings alone.
Research brands who are attending that would fit with your blog. Write a list of those you want to make contact with.
If you are being sponsored, make sure you know what your brand expects of you and tweet regularly, including their details.
Take loads of pictures. This is essential if you plan to write a post about the event.
Going by yourself
If you are nervous going to your first blogger conference alone, it might help to have some moral support. Many events will have their own Facebook groups or twitter chats which can be a good way to get talking to others and arrange to meet up on the way with others going alone.
What you should do before the event
Like much of life, you’ll get out what you put in. Unless it’s a last minute decision, you will have at least a few weeks where you can plan what you want to get out of the day and how you will get it. Plan the sessions you want to attend by researching the speakers. Research brands attending and have your business cards ready.
- Find out the hashtag being used by the event organisers (there may be unofficial ones too) and join in with the twitter action around the event and find out more about who’s attending
- Consider approaching any brands you work with (or would like to) and ask if they will sponsor you to attend (this usually means they will cover the cost if your ticket, travel and accommodation). If you don’t ask you don’t get!
- Make a note of the people you meet as you may not remember everyone and it is always nice to tweet people on the train home. This can be a great way to build relationships with other bloggers
- Enter any competitions that brands are running.
Not going to Britmums Live on Friday?
If you can’t go, please don’t fret as we have a solution for you!
We are going to be your eyes and ears on the ground! If you have any questions, want us to run an errand, want to give us a challenge or meet your favourite blogger to say hello for you, or anything else – tweet @livelove_blog with the hashtag #notatBML and we’ll do our best to fulfil your wishes!