Tips for #BlogHer12 from Simply Frugal Mom {Guest Post}

BlogHer ’12 attendees will enjoy the New York City skyline

As a BlogHer newbie, I’m so glad today to be featuring a how-to guest prom Erin at Simply Frugal Mom. Erin is sharing tips on what to do while you’re there and what to remember to make your BlogHer experience memorable, even if it’s not your first time.

I’m Erin from Simply Frugal Mom and I’m so excited to be here today to share my tips for BlogHer Newbies. I attended my first BlogHer conference last year and had an amazing time. I was completely overwhelmed though because I really had no idea what I was getting into. I’m headed back to BlogHer ’12 in New York City this year with a better plan for making the most of my BlogHer experience.

If you are headed to BlogHer for the first time, I’m thrilled to be able to offer you some tips and tricks for having an amazing trip. I’m sure you’ve already heard the advice about wearing comfortable shoes to BlogHer…take this one seriously. No really….WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. But beyond that, here are my Top Ten Tips for BlogHer Newbies.

1. Know what your blog is about. This is the first thing that everyone (bloggers and brand reps) will ask you about. Prepare a sentence or two about your blog so you don’t come off like a bumbling idiot. Most importantly, practice your quick pitch out loud before you get to BlogHer (again to avoid bumbling idiot syndrome).

2. Attend the Newbie Breakfast and Speed Dating events. These both take place on Friday morning and are a great way to meet other bloggers and fine tune your quick pitch. I’m still in touch with quite a few of the bloggers that I met at those events. It’s the perfect way to kick off your BlogHer experience.

3. Make a Schedule. There are so many sessions and events going on simultaneously that you will need a schedule to keep everything straight. I’m a schedule junkie so my spreadsheet last year had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice events for most time slots. If you have appointments that you absolutely must keep, set a cell phone alarm reminder. It is so easy to get caught up taking to people.

4. Only attend sessions that you are really interested in. Here’s the deep, dark secret of BlogHer…some bloggers don’t attend any sessions. Others attend only a few. The BlogHer sessions can have great information, but I would recommend only attending those sessions that you are really interested in. There are way too many other things to do to spend time sitting in a session that isn’t going to benefit you or your blog. And don’t feel bad if you (politely) decide to leave a session.

5. Take time to wander the Expo on your own. The Expo is the chance for you to connect with brand representatives. It can be hard to stand out and have a one-on-one conversation with the reps if you approach with a group of other bloggers. If your goal is to make quality connections with brand reps then you should set aside some time to wander the Expo on your own.

6. Take notes on business cards. You will be meeting a lot of people and collecting a lot of business cards. Make some quick notes on the cards so you can refer back to when you get home from BlogHer. You will want to cultivate the contacts you have made and it will be much easier to do that if you can reference specific things that you talked about at the conference.

7. Follow the #BlogHer12 hashtag on Twitter. Start following the #BlogHer12 hashtag on Twitter now to make connections with other bloggers who will be at the conference. During the conference, the hashtag will be going crazy and it will be hard to keep up. But there is good information being shared there, so make sure to check it out throughout the weekend.

8. Don’t stress about not getting invited to every party. Parties were one of the things I was completely naïve about going into my first BlogHer. I knew about the BlogHer sponsored parties (which are open to everyone attending the conference) but I had no idea how many private parties there would be. The #blogher12 hashtag is a good place to find out about private parties, but don’t stress if you don’t get on the invitation list for every party you hear about. I promise you will have plenty to do and meet plenty of people even if you don’t get invited to every party.

9. Choose your swag wisely. There is a lot of swag at Blogher. ALOT! Everyone loves free stuff, but keep in mind that you will have to get all that free stuff home. Be judicious about what items you take and then edit, edit, edit before you pack. I have a whole box full of swag from last year that I was convinced I needed…sitting unused in my closet. BlogHer offers a room to drop off unwanted swag that you will definitely want to take advantage of.

10. Be Yourself. The absolute best thing about BlogHer is that everyone fits in. Everyone. It doesn’t matter what you wear or what you blog about or how many readers you have, BlogHer is for everyone. Be genuine and I guarantee you will have an amazing time and make amazing connections. I cannot wait for August to get here! I’m so excited to be headed back to BlogHer and hope to meet all of you while I’m there.

Erin’s blog, Simply Frugal Mom is all about helping busy moms save time, save money and save their sanity. You’ll find recipes, crafts, gardening, and other frugal living tips to make your life a little bit easier. You can also connect with Erin on Twitter…. @Simply_Frugal.

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