10 Things to Bring to BlogHer

capri sun dress photo by adam foster

If you’re going to BlogHer and you’re flipping out, don’t worry. You’re a big girl and you’ll do just fine! Relax, take a deep breath, and remember to be yourself.

This will be my first year going to BlogHer, and I’m excited and just a little bit scared. It’s not my first big event though, and so I know from my many years of life experience that there are a few things you need to make it through the long days!

This is what I’m bringing to BlogHer:

1. A backpack

I hate constantly adjusting and readjusting shoulder straps on purses. I’d rather put it all in my backpack so I can feel unencumbered. I am willing to look geeky instead of cute. Note: I did get a cute backpack.

2. Band-aids (and headache medicine)

Band-aids or your feet. Band-aids cover a multitude of hurts! Headache medicines because, you know. Lots of stuff going on. Not having meds would make a bad situation intolerable.

3. Address Labels

For filling out giveaways in the expo hall, or for exchanging your info when you run out of business cards.

4. Business Cards

Speaking of business cards, these are a must. Even if you have to print them up on cardstock on your computer the night before… you must have business cards. Instead of including every piece of information about yourself, pick your main message (your name & blog), contact info, your blog logo. You don’t have to include everything. Most people will not be visiting your facebook fan page based on its url being included on your business card.

One extra thing my card has: My social media avatar (my face!). This has a two-fold purpose: one, it helps people remember who I am after the fog of the post-event settles in (and they are sorting through 600 business cards), and it helps them associate me (in person) to my social media accounts.

p.s. I am also bringing a one-sheet media kit. I handed quite a few out at CHA.

5. Flip-flops

When your cute shoes make your feet hurt, your flip-flops will save your life. Some people are smart enough to skip the cute shoes in the first place. Are you one of them?

6. (Smart) Phone

Hopefully it’s a smart phone. During my last big event (CHA), I had my trusty $10 pre-paid phone, and it… sucked. At big events it can be hard to get internet access (nooooo!), hard to find information, and hard to find people at the right place and time. If you have a smart-phone, you will have easier access to all this information (and the internet, sweet nectar of life). You will also be able to take pictures, videos, notes, share contact information, keep track of your agenda, etc. All on a tiny device.

If you don’t have a smart phone because of the cost, I suggest doing what I did and getting an LG Android (Virgin Mobile’s) at Target (about $150), and the prepaid unlimited data plan from Virgin Mobile (about $25 for 300 minutes and unlimited data). You can always cancel (or downgrade) the plan after the event if you need to.

Download applicable apps before you go. Suggestions I’ve seen are: Cozi (for scheduling), Instagram (for iPhones only) or if you have an android, PicPlz is a similar social photo app, Hootsuite (my preferred Twitter app), Facebook, RedLaser (bar code & QR code scanner).

At CHA I LOVED having Instagram because it took care of snapshots and Tweeting at the same time. (For those who are good at finding plot holes in blog posts, I didn’t have a smartphone at CHA but I do have an iPod which uses Instagram).

7. Phone Charger

And laptop cord, and any other cords or chargers your need. Camera battery charger, etc.

8. Extra Collapsible Duffel Bag

Put it in your suitcase so you can easily fill it up with all the legendary swag you’ll get at BlogHer. I hear taking plastic garbage bags is a good idea too (so you can tote it to the UPS store to ship extra swag home).

9. A Dress

You don’t need a ton of extra outfits, but it’s a good idea to have at least one dress or skirt to wear to evening events.

10. Cash Money (Small Bills)

In the rush to prepare and pack for your trip, don’t neglect the small things. Small bills, that is. You will need them for many things, such as: tipping housekeeping in your hotel or other personnel, tipping taxi drivers, splitting checks at restaurants, buying candy at vending machines. Whatever. You need real cash money.

Bonus Points for Bringing a Good Attitude

Like a gigantic bridal convention full of blogzillas, BlogHer can be a little, uh, intense. Just remember that you’re awesome and people love you. You don’t have to jockey for position or prove yourself. Being kind and sincere goes a long way. Don’t take other people’s attitudes personally – it’s an intense event for everyone and everyone reacts differently. Also, for the love, please be kind and civil to every person you meet, including PR people and sponsor representatives. You are not three, and you are not the birthday girl. And bloggers should not be known as selfish swag-grubbers.

And remember, if you need a friend, just come and find me! You can message me via Twitter: @dollarcraft.


photo: Adam Foster

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12 Responses to “10 Things to Bring to BlogHer”

  1. “The internet, sweet nectar of life.” LOVE that line!!! hahahaha…seriously though, fantastic article. I haven’t been to a blogging conference, but I have been to the MOPS International Conference and many tips apply.

    I would love to join a blogging conference sometime, but need to save up for it first. Would like to grow my blog enough to merit a sponsorship!

    Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • Amanda, you just made my day! Sometimes I feel like the only blogger who hasn’t been to a conference. And I’m dying to go! But I’m in the situation where I just can’t justify the investment.

      BlogHer would’ve been closer for me but I’d really like to go to Blissdom. Or Evo. Dang, I don’t know. Maybe someone will right a review of all the conferences, which ones to start with, and how to get a sponsorship!

    • I have been sitting on the sidelines for 3 years or so as everyone else went to blogging conferences, so I guess this is my year!

  2. Heather says:

    I’d add a power strip to your list. The outlets are often too few and out of reach… if you have a power strip you might just make a few new friends. 😉 I hope to bump into you at BlogHer, this will be my second one.

  3. Sara @ Mom Endeavors says:

    Great post! I’ve never been to BlogHer either, so I’ll be a newbie with you! 🙂

    But, I have been to numerous HUGE teacher conventions and most of these tips still apply. We’d get a lot of teaching supplies at those and so I would pack clothes in a pilot’s case, but then pack the pilot’s case in a full-size suitcase. Only one bag on the way out there and an extra suitcase for the way back! 🙂

    So excited for everything!

  4. This is awesome! I was going to go searching for this kind of info tonight! And the backpack idea is super. Will have to see if I can find a cute one somewhere…

    I’ve only been to big shows as the vendor, never as the participant, so this is going to be fun!

    I’m sooooo looking forward to BlogHer!

  5. Thank you so much for mentioning my BlogHer post! I think your list is awesome, and I love the extra collapsible duffel bag idea.

    My favorite tip of yours is for bringing a good attitude. I think this is so important. Many bloggers were friendly last year, but some acted ‘better’ than others, which was ridiculous. We are all there to connect and have fun!

    I hope I get to meet you 🙂

  6. breanna says:

    great article! I didn’t realize how much thought I’d need to put into getting ready for blogher, and now I’m kinda freaking out! blogher is a really big deal-I’m so behind on prepping!

  7. J. Hill says:

    I just wanted to say that I am green with envy. 😛

    Hope you girls all have a FANTASTIC time and get tons of great tips to share!

  8. This is a great list for any Event you attend. Maybe we will see each other at CHA!

  9. Kelly says:

    Heather – what a great post! Encouraging, supportive, and honest.

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