I am so happy to have gotten to attend my first blog conference in years!
I used to love attending these conferences, but ever since the world stopped moving a couple years ago the in person options have been slim.
It was so refreshing after taking a few years off gatherings, to be with other bloggers and talk first hand about work and life together.
I came away with so many great tips, new relationships and a better plan for moving forward!
1. Time set aside to focus on growth and direction
So much of our time in the business is spent on doing the work, the everyday work that is necessary for creating our revenue. Getting away to think more big picture can be monumental.
Try to set aside a little time before or after the blog conference to map out plans based on ideas you’ve had, things you’ve learned etc.
This will ensure the best chance of success for you moving forward.
2. Networking With Others In Your Niche – Food Blog Conference
People are your biggest asset and I can’t even begin to explain how important it is as a digital business owner to get face to face IRL time with others in your field.
Some of my biggest and best business decisions have been made in conversations that happen when I’m physically present with others.
This includes other bloggers who do the same job you do.
Even after 15 years, at this conference someone mentioned to me a helpful app that I didn’t even know existed. I cannot overstate that you don’t know what you don’t know! There is always something in the business that either you haven’t learned yet, or it has changed and now you need to relearn it.
This learning from others, also includes others in the industry.
Many of these conferences have industry professionals present. Tech teams that you likely email and deal with often online. Sponsor companies that are exited to meet and build relationships with you.
Many opportunities to make real life connections to people in companies that will help you to move forward.
This is true honestly of any industry conference, but when you’re running a digital based business where in person events are few and far between, I think they are always worth the effort!
3. Blog Training For Growth
We used to joke that I’d go to a blog conference for the hall time. You know what I mean by this? The time between sessions where everyone hangs out in the hall talking.
Basically the idea that I’m not really here to learn, just to engage.
BUT with the digital business world changing so frequently and drastically… even after all this time, I am still learning!
I watched as amazing leaders in industry sat in rooms taking notes from someone who’s had success on a platform they haven’t conquered yet. Obviously when you are starting out this type of encouragement is business changing, but no matter your stage of business there’s always learning to be done.
I sat in a session on TikTok this week that really inspired me to jump on the platform – when beforehand, I wasn’t honestly sure it would work for me. The speakers are often filled with gems of advice.
4. Influence Convention & Engaging with brands
If you go to a conference find out who the brands are that will be represented there and get to know them! If you can reach out before hand do that first. Connect, engage and set up meeting times with the ones you’d really like to partner with.
A great way to do this is to follow them on social media and reach out asking who will be there.
Then follow that person and let them know you’re excited to meet them or better yet, set up an appointment beforehand.
Whatever you can do to get in front of the people that could be engaging with your brand now or in the future. Even if you’re just starting out, still do this! You don’t have to pitch a brand deal right at that moment, but building those contact is so important.
In fact, this is how I managed to land our first book deal.
I found out someone from an editing house was speaking at a conference I was attending and I reached out to ask them if they’d take a meeting and let me pitch? They did and guess what, it landed me a book deal!
Having all these decision makers in one building for a weekend with your ability to physical access them is worth its weight in gold.
5. Reviving your passion
There are times that even the best of jobs, even digital amazing jobs can get dull. In those moments it is so important to stay passionate about what we are doing and attending an industry specific conference is an important way this can happen.
Sitting in on inspiring keynotes and hearing other’s bloggers stories is compelling as heck.
At the Tastemaker Conference they served coffee from a woman owned company. She got on stage at the end of the conference to tell everyone because of all their tags and mentions Williams Sonoma reached out. Just reminding each other of the importance of our impact is huge to moving forward in the future.
These are some specific benefits I’ve found for attending blogging conferences. I’m wondering what you’ve thought if you’ve been to one before?