BlogHer17 starts tomorrow, and this Latina blogger is so friggin’ excited.

This is actually my first conference as a blogger. Can you believe it?

I’ve been to online marketing conferences left and right, but I only really started blogging about a year ago. I wanted to get the work in before I started hitting a blogging conference.

The catalyst for my blogging was my brother’s passing. I needed an outlet to deal with all the emotional bruhaha that was swirling inside me.

I’m not much of a talker of feelings, so I wrote.

I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful form of therapy and healing it can be. And I did it publicly because I wanted to challenge myself and offer it up for someone else who may be dealing with the same issues to hopefully find.

The blogging took off and I decided to make it a real part of my life and business.

This brings me to preparing for BlogHer 2017. I was scheduled to attend a few other blogging conferences before this, but I had an injury that kept me from major travel for a few months. So to say I am excited can’t even begin to describe my mindset right now.

Why BlogHer

Why did I choose BlogHer?

It encompasses several things I look for in a conference.

  • A defined audience that I can relate to and find ways to work with.
  • Sponsors I want to meet and do business with.
  • Things I may want to learn, such as the latest in video streaming and monetization.

Being Type A and a planner, I prep quite a bit for any conference I attend. Here are my 5 tips on planning for a conference.

Tip 1: Get your stuff ready

You need stuff. Not a lot, but enough to be prepared. Here is my list:

  • Tons of business cards. You may only give out 5 or you may end up giving out 200. Either way, you need to be prepared for the 200. I never leave to any show without at least a pack of 500.
  • Make sure your cards have white space on the back. This one gets me every time. You will meet a lot of people. You will not remember most of them or the specifics of the conversations you have unless you have a photographic memory. Therefore, you will want to write down easy-to-remember notes on their business card so that they can jog your memory when it’s time for follow-up. So do other attendees, and if you have no white space on your cards, they have nowhere to write their notes.
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes. You can get as classy, groovy and creative as you want with your outfits. But please please please, wear comfy shoes. You will remember me saying this if you don’t. It took me years of pain and suffering through conferences in amazing yet brutal high heels for it to finally sink in. I now refuse to wear anything that doesn’t make my feet sing.
  • Snacks. Some conferences really thing things through and provide excellent meals and snacks and refreshments. However, you will always find a moment where the crash will hit you. If you’re like me, you are in Energizer bunny mode and then your body says, “Wait a sec, you need water or food.” Bring a snack bar, some nuts and a bottled water with you EVERYWHERE.
  • Notepad. You will want to do some brain dumping from the day’s meetings. Bring a notepad or iPad or laptop or use your phone; whatever you need to do this. Getting it all down while it’s fresh in your mind is priceless.
  • Charger(s). You WILL run out of battery life on any and every device you bring. A charger is an essential so you don’t miss out on alerts and texts from your new contacts. I bring 2 or 3, because I do NOT want to miss one single communication.

That is what a conference is for, networking. So get your networking hat on and just do it.

Tip 2: Join The Facebook Group

All conferences send out emails and newsletters with updates, but they also have Facebook groups where you can get the latest updates. This is important if there are sponsored events you may want to attend and the seating is limited.

This is also where you will meet and mingle with other attendees, see the next tip.

Tip 3: Learn about the other attendees

Social media’s awesomeness lends itself very well to conferences. Where else can you learn about the other attendees without becoming a bonafide stalker?

I look for attendees that I may want to collaborate with or just meet and I start the conversation.

 

Tip4: Reach out to Sponsors

This is the easiest way to connect with a business you may want to work with, so find out how to get in touch with them and each out.

I usually check the sponsor lists on the conference website and make a list of who I really want to meet along with my goals for that meeting.

Then I connect with them on social media to make sure I’m up-to-date on anything I need to know about them.

Also, if there is an app for the event, I will connect with them through the app.

I always try to connect with them and reach out before the conference and with the hopes of setting up a designated meeting time.

Tip 5: Set up a meetup.

This is my favorite one. I always set up a meet up with like-minded attendees that I want to get to know. Listen, you have to let go of the fear of meeting new people. Every single person there is attending for the EXACT SAME REASON that you are. They want to meet fellow creators, meet brands to work with and learn new things.

I will be meeting with some awesome fellow Latina bloggers and creators at this show during a meetup I coordinated. It’s not sponsored or fancy, just a bunch of like-minded attendees getting together.

That is what a conference is for, networking. So get your networking hat on and just do it.

If you are going, hit me up. I’d love to say hi!

Danay Escanaverino

Danay Escanaverino

Danay Escanaverino is a Latina entrepreneur, mom, avid traveler, tech geek, history buff, blogger and ADHD poster child She is CEO of LunaSol Media and Founder of #LatinaMeetup . Follow her on Instagram , Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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