It’s that time of year. The time of year when a few thousand women pack up, some say goodbye to their families, some just get a pet sitter or wave at a roommate, and they start the Pilgrimage to The BlogHer Conference.
Twitter and Facebook are populated with “What will I wear/do/say/go to…” and many more. I’ll start my Survival Guide here, and ask y’all to help me out in the comments.
What to wear: Casual. BlogHer is a casual event. If you are a blogger going to meet up with girfriends go with the sundress and sandals route. Just toss a cardigan into your purse in case the sessions are in overly air conditioned rooms.
If you are a blogger who is attending BlogHer in hopes of landing a paying job, then you’ll need to dress for the job you want. Think casual friday, linen pants or lightweight slacks with a top (not a tee shirt) and close toed shoes. Alternately you can wear the sundress, just make sure it’s long enough.
I’m going to delight my friend April by quoting Annie, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”. I promise you, in the absence of an outrageous costume, no one at the BlogHer Conference will be judging your outfits, but smiling at folks is the surest way to make friends. Engage them. Smile. This is the most important bit of advice I can give you.
Which parties should I go to? It’s nice to stop in at the parties you are invited to, but if you aren’t interested in the brand or the activity it’s perfectly fine to decline an invitation.
This I promise you, no matter where you are, you will feel left out of something. I want you to try and remember that everyone will have pangs of feeling left out. Do not let the feelings interrupt you, stop, breathe, and enjoy the room you are in. You will be surrounded by smart, dynamic people.
I wasn’t invited to THE party: It’s okay, it’s just one party. Conferences are littered with parties, events and networking. You can’t be everywhere, but you can enjoy where you are. Are you seeing a theme here?
My lipstick runs when I eat/talk too much/wear it all day. Try Lipfinity. It’s very drying so you don’t want it for everyday, but you do want it for conferences. Good lipstick matters.
I really want to meet ____ but I’m too shy. Don’t worry, she probably is too. That’s why she is blogging instead of greeting people as they walk into retail stores. You’re got your non-runny lipstick, your smile and your casual clothes, you’re just as important as anyone in that room, so there’s no reason to worry.
I just want to party with my friends. Good, but you aren’t at home. You may feel like you’re in a safe place, but you absolutely are not. You’re a stranger in a hotel in New York City. Have A drink. After dinner have ONE more drink. Don’t be the drunk girl, the drunk girl is not fun to spend time with, and the drunk girl does not feel well the next day. Drinking too much is the best way to ruin your weekend away.
I don’t want to see ____, I don’t like her. Seriously? Really? This isn’t high school, no one should have that much power, don’t give it to them.
I am going to ask a lot of questions at the sessions. Good, but when you do, make sure you don’t self promote. Last year there was a lot of, “Hi my name is Mommy McBlogger and I write at McBloggerHood.com and since I’m the foremost expert on selling your community out for a Big Mac and a fifty cent coupon I was wondering if any of you _____.” What happens is that Mommy McBlogger is remembered for being inappropriately self promotional.
I want to tell people all about my blog. Refrain. People aren’t there to read your blog, people are there to make human connections. I’m sure you can linkbait them and get them to read your one BlogHer wrap up post, but will that matter? If you want to make good conversation ask people about themselves. Remember their names, your perceived fame is limited to your blog, you are there to meet other people, to hear their opinions and learn about them.
If you ask people about themselves you will be remembered as a good conversationalist. Oh, and smile a little too, then you’ll be remembered as the nice conversationalist.
What would you add?