Blogging Conferences: Tips & Transcript

creative estates by brassy apple

(photo by Meg from The Brassy Apple)

Yesterday’s #crafterminds Twitter chat was a lot of fun. We talked about blogging conferences: which ones to attend, how much you can expect to spend when attending, what to bring, how to make yourself recognizable to people you meet. Everyone shared the conferences they’ve attended and their favorite tips for standing out in a crowd.

Here are some tips gleaned from the chat:

Blogging conferences to consider attending:

  • BlogHer: the biggest blogging conference aimed at female bloggers. I’ll be speaking on a panel this year (August in San Diego). The topic: how awesome it is to have a group of fellow bloggers to link arms with! Registration still open (this one always sells out), and cost for a full pass is currently $298.
  • BlogHer Handmade: This is a new conference sponsored by BlogHer this year. It’s focusing on our favorite niche, and is a co-conference with The Creative Connection (September in Minnesota). Registration hasn’t opened yet.
  • Summit of Awesome : A yearly summit of all things crafty (with tons of opportunity to craft and learn), I attended last year when it was in Portland, and it was, well, awesome. It’s not geared toward blogging, but it is aimed at crafters, and is worth your consideration. The venue city for SOA changes every year, and this year, it’s in Baltimore in October. Registration details not available yet.
  • EVO: @attemptingaloha: Evo is in Park city, UT in july.
  • Type-A Parent: @infarrantly: Another conference I heard about that is nuts & bolts is #typeamom. Anyone heard anything about that one?
    @condoblues: Heard good things about #typeaparent being session driven. (June in Asheville, NC)
  • Blissdom: Another large blogging conference that is focused on female bloggers. General topics. (January in Nashville).
  • Altitude Design Summit: @crafterminds: Another more creative-focused con is Altitude Design Summit. (January in Park City, UT.)
  • Lavish: @condoblues: Has anyone been to #Lavish? It’s a blog conference for lifestyle bloggers. (December in Atlanta, GA).
  • Bloggy Bootcamp: @TiffanyRom: #Bloggybootcamp still has tix for Seattle, Denver, Atlanta. Seating is assigned for morning, so you meet tons of bloggers! – It’s a one-day blogging camp in major cities across the country.
  • There are many more, maybe we will cover it in a future post!

NOTE: We DO NOT Recommend: Creative Estates.

Tips for Blogging Conferences:

  • @crafterminds: Attending a Blog Conference: Tips & Advice – by @chilihead
  • Conference “crashing” is where you stay at the conference hotel at the same time the conference is happening, but you don’t actually buy a ticket to attend. We can neither confirm nor deny that any Crafterminds chatters have ever done this!
  • @karen_at_home: Since I am unable to attend conferences, I like to follow along on Twitter.
  • @iheartBCD: @alwaysnwonder This weekly chat is like a mini virtual conf. I have meet some amazing bloggers and new blogs to enjoy
  • @aunt_nette: For those of us at home, we live on ur tweets from conferences! THNX

Which conferences to attend:

  • @infarrantly: I think the conferences you go to depends on what your needs as a blogger are.
  • @craftmoore:For me, my needs fall under “take my blog to the next level” {as soon as I figure out what that level is}
  • @infarrantly: I went to Blissdom because it was the most well represented in the home/decor niche. It was GREAT to connect with my peeps. However the conference itself was disappointing to me.
  • @condoblues:I felt the opposite about Blissdom. Got a lot out of the sessions. Didn’t get to connect w/ many home decor peeps
  • @infarrantly: I personally felt that Blissdom was too broad for me. But I have been blogging for 4 years. It might be great for some.
  • @iheartBCD: Conferences are mainly to connect with like minded bloggers, in my book at least! It’s a bonus when the actual con. is great!
  • @casabellaproj: Both years I’ve been to Blissdom, I got so much more from networking rather than sessions.
  • @iheartBCD: I also like smaller conf. where connecting with people is easy! I heard that a conf. that I went to last year that had 300 attendees will have 700 next year! It sort of turns me off.
  • One of the main benefits to going to a blogging conference is to spend time with your (online) friends in real life. Also, it’s amazing to get together with people who get what you do.
  • @casabellaproj: I typically don’t attend conferences for the sessions…just for the networking and connections.
  • @TheStoriesofA2Z: I went to Blissdom and just stayed in the hotel and hung out w/ friends. Went to Relevant and just out 2 lunch.

The Value of Attending a Blogging Conference:

  • @craftmoore: I’ve never been to any. Cost of ticket + travel + hotel + someone to watch the little one = $$!
  • @CathMarissa: I feel the same way. Costs really add up – – that’s why it’s so important to know what the conference offers.
  • @iheartBCD: Also tell yourself that a conf. is an investment in yourself and your blog. The networking is priceless in some cases!
  • @iheartBCD: Not only do you connect with bloggers but big companies too. Face to face time is key when growing with a large company!
  • @condoblues:What you get out of a conference is what you put into it. I always use it to network, network, network!
  • @LaraEllieG: It is also priceless to meet and network with bloggers. Blogging successfully takes a group. Friendship and support is key.
  • @iheartBCD: Take advantage of your local conf.’s. The money saved on travel will be huge and the time away from home less.
  • @LaraEllieG: Twitter was KEY in getting to know people BEFORE a conference. I felt like I knew people already!
  • @crafterminds: One way to get a ticket to a conference is to apply to be a speaker.
  • @crafterminds: I just did my taxes a couple wks ago – I think conference tickets are 50% deductible in yr business expenses.
  • @countrychiccott: You apply to be a speaker? I always thought they came and asked people…see how much I know…

Getting Blog Conference Sponsorship:

  • @infarrantly: I haven’t ever paid for conference I always seek sponsors. I sent letters out to companies I had a great working relationship with and asked them to pay for it.
  • @craftmoore: how do you “justify” the expense to them? Do you promote them at the conference in some way?
  • @dollarcraft: Here’s a list of 10 Steps to getting your conference ticket sponsored by @holly_hanna

How Much Does it Cost to Attend a Blog Conference?

  • @crafterminds: Speaking of expenses, how much would you budget to spend on a conference?
  • @crafterminds: Conference expenses: ticket, travel costs, hotel, food, souvenirs, taxi/other incidentals, can add up to $1500
  • @countrychiccott: If you don’t have $$ to go to a conference — organize a meet up with local bloggers. Networking without a fee!
  • @crafterminds: Don’t forget, you will prob. want a new outfit or 2 before you go to a conference! hee hee! #shoebudget
  • @iheartBCD: Sharing hotel rooms is a great way to cut down that expense!
  • @crafterminds: Save $ by buying ticket early (or speaking), splitting hotel w/friends, shopping around for airfare (or setting travel alerts
  • @crafterminds: Even ONE sponsor can offset ur costs considerably! Or sell special ad spaces on ur blog in the months leading up to conference
  • @crafterminds:airfare can be a huge factor in your conference costs! Depends where u live, where conference is

Getting Info about Blogging Conferences:

How Many Conferences Do You Attend a Year?

First Year Conference Attendees:

  • @ItsToileGood: I still feel like a “beginner” blogger – would I be out of my “league” at a conference?
  • @condoblues: @ItsToileGood Nah! Email & plan to meet up w/ some of your online blog netowrk & you’ll be fine.
  • @crafterminds: No, a conference has something for bloggers of all experience level
  • @HoneybearLane: no way, there were tons of ppl at creative estates that didn’t even have a blog!
  • @infarrantly: I will say it is intimidating to go to conferences by yourself. I felt out of it the first year.
  • @condoblues: @ItsToileGood This year was my 1st Blissdom & I was suprised @ how many people I knew from my network were there -whew!
  • @infarrantly: remember most people are just as nervous to go to a conference and meet people.
  • @crafterminds: Everyone feels a little outta their element in REAL LIFE (at a conf) instead of online!
  • @condoblues: EVERYONE’s inner 3rd grader comes out @ a conference. Just take a deep breath, walk up to someone say hi.

Covering Childcare While at a Conference:

  • @crafterminds: How do you take care of yr kids during a conference? I asked my MIL to come watch my boys for a week!
  • @momendeavors: some conferences offer childcare at the conference. Might be good for some.
  • @crafterminds: Personally, I would rather leave my kids at home and get away for a few days!!
  • @infarrantly: When I went to a conference I flew my MIL in, and counted that in my expenses.
  • @HoneybearLane: I set up babysitting with friends and my hubby covered the rest!
  • @LittleTipsyBlog: i have twin 15 yr old Sis-in-laws who helped hubs with the kiddos while I was at #creativeestates
  • @attemptingaloha: I’ve never been to a blog conference, but I’ve done tradeshows, and I bring my kids and my mom – they stay in a condo.

What to Bring to a Blogging Conference:

  • @craftmoore: here’s a question… what to bring? Pen& paper… biz cards… anything else?
  • @iheartBCD: big key tip 4 attending a conf: Print out business cards!It’s everyone’s takeaway and a sure fire way to remember who you meet
  • @infarrantly: Yes DO NOT FORGET BUSINESS CARDS if you go to a conference
  • @condoblues: Met many Tweeps in person. Helped I have my Twitter photo on my business cards
  • Put your Twitter avatar picture on your business card. It should be a picture of your face (and you should use the same photo all across your social media profiles).
  • If you already have business cards, but no photo on them,┬ámaybe you can print out stickers w/your face on them & stick ’em on your business cards!
  • @condoblues:@crafterminds Make sure your photo is CURRENT. Hard to match up IRL when blog photo’s not what you look like now
  • @RebeccaEParsons: i make my biz cards for the events…handmade paper and all…people keep and remember
  • @crafterminds: When you meet peeps at a conference, jot down details about them, what you talked about, follow up details on back of their business card
  • @ilovetocreate: It’s great to also attach mini buttons to business cards. Fun buttons instantly give you a talking point at shows
  • @madiganmade: Does everyone have a laptop at conferences? (w/ this crowd, I’m sure a cute bag 4 it, too?)
  • @AmeroonieDesign:@madiganmade It was insane how many laptops and smart phones there were!
  • @LittleTipsyBlog:@madiganmade saw more cameras and smartphones than laptops at #creativeestates
  • @crafterminds:@LaraEllieG I had a prepaid cell at my last conf. hahahah! Go $10 phone!
  • @crafterminds: Remember to take a few pics. I liked @instagram at our conf. bc it takes pics AND tweets at the same time

Make Yourself Recognizable at a Blog Conference:

Technical Difficulties at Blog Conferences

  • @crafterminds: One prob. we ran into at CHA was that there was NO free wi-fi in hotel OR the conference venue
  • @condoblues: @crafterminds I think it’s a law that conference wi-fi has to be bad. Went to blog bootcamp & everyone go kicked off network
  • @taunitweets: @infarrantly There was no WiFi at #Mom2Summit
  • @crafterminds: If u don’t have wi-fi at a conf., write up ur posts on ur computer & publish later. Too much happens to wait too long!

Crafterminds Cruise??


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