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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