How to Attend Blogging Conferences



David Linfoot and Jen

I am sitting at my desk visiting all of my new friends from the BlogHer ’10 Conference and as I read their accounts on their experiences in New York City and as I see their photographs I am getting a greater understanding on how I could have done things differently and thought I would share these observations with you in case you are thinking of attending your own conference.

#1: Do Your Research

I wish that I had done more thorough research on the sponsors and the speakers who were attending the conference. When I visit Heija on Twitter I see that she was very organized and knew exactly what sponsors to visit at the Expo rooms and what suites to check in on. She also knew every social event that was happening and fluttered and twittered her way to all of them, whether she had an invite or not. If I were smart, I would have followed her everywhere but I didnt want to be intrusive. I guess, in the end, you can take the girl out of the country but you cant take the country out of the girl.

  • Find the social events that are occurring outside of the conference and get yourself invited
  • Research more thoroughly the attending speakers and connect with them well in advance. Let them know your coming to the conference and discuss how you think you could help each other through your blogs or social networking sites.
  • Visit all of the sponsor suites

#2: Connect Ahead of Time with your Online Friends

  • Find out who is also attending the conference, they should have the BlogHer badge in their sidebars.
  • Get their cell phone numbers
  • Plan luncheons, dinners, cocktails etcahead of time.
  • Find a roommate

#3: Delve Deeper into the Social Networks that you Already Belong to

If youre anything like me you belong to a gadzillion social networks and dont use any of them efficiently. This realization came when I sat next to Holly Hamann from The Blog Frog. When I asked her the benefits of joining The Blog Frog she quickly showed me a printed out diagram of how it works. Each Network will provide something different and new for your blog so investigate and use them efficiently.

#4: Definitely stay at the hotel where the conference is being held

#5: On every business card you receive write a reminder to yourself of where you met this person and what connection you had with them.

#6: Do your follow through when you get home, sooner rather than later, even if you have piles of laundry to do, love deprived children and dogs and a husband who is starving for your attention.

As I sift through the hundreds of business cards and visit all of their twitter handles and blogs I see that the doors have cracked open and it is up to me to swing them wide open.

More later but if you have anything to add to this list, for I am sure that I am still missing so much, please comment and let us all in on your secrets. I hate being in the dark, unless I’m sparkling.

Visit Ryan Marshall’s Pacing the Panic Room for incredible photographs taken at the conference. He was one of the few men there and he seemed to soak up all of our energy capturing us on film.

To see his truly fantastic vimeo, that I was completely impressed by, go to I debut with all my new best friends doing my Sparklecorn shizzle.



  1. Great post, Jillian. I don’t think I would have ever had a clue of any of these ideas if I had gone to a social networking conference like BlogHer. Thank you for putting all your thoughts down now while they are still fresh and sharing them with us. I will definitely bookmark this post and remember to take a look at it when I get to go to BlogHer or some other conference myself! PS I just love the photo of you at the end. You are so sparkly and beautiful!!!!

  2. I think by association and taking that photo. I am so very famous now. Thank you. 🙂 I love makin’ connections m’dear.. just ask and I’ll find some more peeps for you. I will.

  3. Looks like so much fun! I’m such a wallflower sometimes that I’m not sure I would even know where to start at a conference like that! Thanks for showing the way, and maybe someday I’ll get up the guts to go 🙂
    You look amazing, BTW! Great photo!
    .-= Alysia´s last blog ..Sisters and Brothers =-.

  4. I wonder if I could create a BlogHer Casual event. One that doesn’t really involve sponsors or suites or guest speakers. Just a gathering of my favorite bloggers, for drinks, each running up their own tab, not courtesy of anyone else. 🙂 Because casual is how I roll…not sure I could hang with the swag and swank of a real BlogHer, the more I read about it.
    .-= Tooje´s last blog ..Monday Mumbles =-.

  5. Great post about Blogher! Great ideas for next year and maximizing your time and energy at these large conferences! The Blogfrog had a blast!

    Ashley (Blogfrog marketing)

  6. what a beautiful girl you are!
    I think i would be perfect in the social aspects of your blogging world!
    you are perfect for all of it and i am sure everyone loved having you there
    not to change subjects but haydens hamster somehow got into my pocketbook and i didnt know it and my bag was moving and i was thinking……oh man…i really did eat way to much acid back in the day!
    Then summer was trying to get into the bag…then i knew…. i was not having an acid flash back but instead had a hamster hanging in my bag!


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