Monday, March 26, 2012
This week is a biggie in parenting blog land, the conference is coming and lots of parents are heading to do the conference jig.
For some of us this conference will be more about the people in the audience than the people on the stage. My main reason for going is to meet people. Lots of them! Of course I expect to learn a bit too, but it’s the people I want to connect with.
To start with there are bloggers I met last year who I might get to speak with again this year. There are people who have done amazing things, had great success and been to interesting places. There are new bloggers that I haven’t met, both new to blogging or just new to me.
There will be brands and sponsors who are keen to use blogging and social media within their marketing strategies and I am really keen to see them and the new, innovative and responsive ways they are getting their products to market. Exhibition halls at a conference can be dull (really dull at times) but when a brand makes the effort to get it right it can be a beautiful and creative thing.
If you are new to conferences and you are going alone it can feel a bit daunting. There is only one trick I have for making this situation feel less scary.
Make a list.
Make a list of people that you want to track down. Whenever you need to look busy you actually will be, because you are looking for someone else on your list.
If you struggle to get a conversation going, then use this list – ask the person you are with if they know such and such, if they do can they introduce you, if they don’t share the reason you want to meet them.
When you do see someone you want to meet and get that nervous feeling about approaching them, you can again just say, ‘Hi, I am Claire, I was hoping to meet you, you are on my list of people to meet.” It is a compliment to them, so if they are not happy to chat with you, then cross them off and move on.
I have my own list in the making, it is kind of long, I have lots of people I want to talk to, but a few of them include:
Amy – The Misadventurous Maker - bound to be food blogger of the year one day.
Kirrily – Sunny Side Up – Not just because she is queen of the swag bags this year, but because she is really really funny, and once told me a story about an email she sent that was not meant to be sent, which I shall remember always.
Naomi PT- Under the Yardarm - Another Melbourne lady whose blog I read and we may need to plan some stuff for a road trip later in May.
Gemma – My Big Nutshell - We are fellow ladies living a suburban life but trying to force through the bluestone steel tin fences that surround us.
Kim – Working Women Australia - Kim was kind enough to tweet me secret locations when we went away at Christmas time to Bright. She is also doing amazing things with her blog and social media. A lady with lots going on, busy doing stuff, I like this.
Sarah - A Beach Cottage - I just hope that if I stand next to Sarah for a little bit, maybe some of her natural design skills will dust over me and I will be able to transform our bathrooms into something amazing.
I will be collecting business cards if you have one, but if you don't have one, try and make your own. Jody from Lemon Rhodes made great cards for an event last year and once I had all the information I needed I threw tall my cards out, except Jody's, handmade cards are the new black I tell you. Use a beer coaster if you have to, but have something to pass to people to share your blog, your business, your contact details, or even just your name.
Will I see you there?