Today is Bloggy Boot Camp Day. Bootcamp was the first conference I ever attended and it is still my favorite. It is intimate, designed to meet and mingle with other bloggers and filled with valuable information. You will fill pages with notes.
Tips for First Time Bloggy Boot Camp Attendees
1. Bring your business cards. You are going to meet a lot of women and you will want to exchange cards with them. If you don’t have one. DO NOT apologize for not having one. Just graciously accept the card handed to you and say you can’t wait to catch up online. If someone asks for your card, tell them that you brought 100 and you have already passed them all out because there was a line of people waiting to meet you when you arrived this morning and you will mail them one on Monday.
2. It is perfectly FINE not to know the people you meet. Don’t pretend you know their blog or who they are on Twitter. Don’t stutter out the words, “Oh. I think I follow you.” It’s a tragic moment that will cause you post traumatic blogging conference stress syndrome when you go home. Unless you have the acting talent of Meryl Streep (which you probably don’t or you wouldn’t be blogging), it’s clear you are faking. Just say, “Great to meet you. I can’t wait to look you up and follow you.”
3. Tiffany? Is pretty. And? We all tell her so. I have no idea where this tradition began, but it is hilarious. Feel free to tell her she is pretty. Because? Who doesn’t love a suck up? Tell everyone they are pretty. We all love a little flattery. You might also mention that they look WAY younger in person than they do in their online photo. This is a HUGE compliment. Or? Maybe the fact that I just turned 40 is skewing my judgement.
4. There is assigned seating. If you have planned to sit next to your bestie, forget it. Not happening. The purpose of this event is to meet other bloggers. Not get more of what you already have. The seating chart changes with every speaker. If you are like me and SUCK at small talk because when you are in a room filled with women you are transported back to the awkward moronic life of your high school years, try a little Stuart Smalley (I’ve included the link for you youngsters) at home. Get in front of the mirror and practice. I got good at it at BBC and it turned out to be one of my favorite things about the conference.
5. REMEMBER. We are all doing the same thing. Trying to achieve our goals. And? We all hook our bras the same way (whatever our cup size). Don’t be intimidated by ANYONE. You paid for your ticket. You have a blog. You are as important as anyone else there. Own your shit. Because? You rock.
And now? A few tips from the pretty one, a.k.a. Tiffany:
1. Pack light. Tables change every hour for the first 4 speakers, so plan to be able to move easily.
2. Come ready to share your blog. While business cards are great, have a 30 sec pitch ready to share yourself and your blog- you’ll be at a new table of 10 five different times- that’s almost 50 new friends!
3. Wear layers. Hotel meeting spaces are notorious for unregulated temperatures.
4. Socialize! Don’t think twice about walking right up to someone and introducing yourself. Tribes are built at bloggy boot camp!
5. Relax. Tons of info will be coming your way- it can feel overwhelming. Take notes and pick one new thing to focus on a week. Fabulous blogs weren’t built overnight!
I will be speaking at Bloggy Boot Camp St. Louis in April. Join me to find out how to go from a blog site to a community site thus increasing traffic and the potential for making money. I hope to see you there!!