Whether you are attending Alt Summit, Sewing Summit, Blogher or the many other blogging conferences across the country, make sure you bring the essentials to best leverage the experience for your blog and your personal brand.
I just landed in Salt Lake City for Sewing Summit. I’m so excited about teaching a personal branding workshop and here are the must haves I brought with me:
1. Business Cards (or Moo cards)
This is the most critical thing to have with you to exchange information with others and maximize networking. Last year, I arrived at Alt Summit and had left my business cards on my kitchen counter. I had someone ship them to me overnight regardless of the cost because I knew I couldn’t be without them. Place your picture on the back to add a personal touch (visual nod to your personal brand), but to also make sure you stand out among the many faces and many business cards each person will collect. I am always remembered at each conference I attend and then they see my face again when they visit my blog (another nod to your brand).
Because I love Sharpies! And because I always try to have one on hand. And because you can jot down quick notes on business cards to help you remember the person and what you talked about. This makes follow up personal and more effective. Sharpies will write on any type of card (high gloss, photo paper, matte and more).
3. Small Note Book
Again, to jot down notes about the people you meet to make follow up meaningful. This is also a great place to write down all of the brilliantly creative ideas that pop into your mind simply because you are around brilliantly creative people. Fits perfectly in a purse for the many happy hours, social events and networking dinners where whipping out a laptop or iPad is a tad tricky.
With the wonderful content creator that you are, you know the importance of grabbing photos and videos anywhere and everywhere you can. Conferences are a content playground with opportunities to leverage the experience at every turn. Remember to force yourself to get from behind the camera and get plenty of shots and clips of you in the action. Don’t be shy about asking random strangers to lend a hand and definitely sneak in the occasional selfie. 🙂
Laptop charger, iPad charger, phone charger, camera charger. Enough said!
6. Media Kit
Don’t let the term “media kit” get you all panicked and up in arms. Breathe! This can simply be a half pager or a postcard with your blog name, url, summary of the content focus, how long you’ve been around, quick readership/viewer stats (only if they are strong), a sentence or two about yourself and contact information. This extends the business cards and really allows for partnership discussions with potential sponsors, brands, guest bloggers, advertisers, etc. The example shown is the cutest media kit I’ve ever gotten and it was from Miranda of One Little Minute blog. It has a sewn, hand-stamped cover and letter pressed cards that beautifully presented all of her information.
7. Tiarra or Wonder Woman Headband
This is metaphorical of course (though I will be wearing mine this weekend at Sewing Summit). Have you heard the phrase “Don’t forget to wear your inviable crown”? Well if ever there’s a time, it’s now! This is no time to be timid and shy. Be outgoing, open and available to make new friends and build relationships. The goal is to leave a memorable impression. So do the Wonder Woman spin into action and make the most of the experience!
Lastly, bring your heart! This ties directly to #7. In the anatomy of a personal brand, your heart represents the truest essence of who you are and your core values. Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve and even be a little vulnerable. Let your true self shine in all that you do. This should come across when people meet you and when they read your blog.
I hope this helped you be more brand conscious and prepared when attending blogging conferences. Have fun!