I love attending blog conferences and have visited several over the last few years. I will admit that Haven blog conference is one of my favorite design and DIY conferences and I was thrilled to be able to attend it again this year. Before every blog conference I always hear many people asking what to bring and what to wear to a blog conference so today I thought I would take a moment to share my tips for what to bring to a blog conference! These are the things I can’t live without and a few I just like to have. And while it isn't a complete packing list, it will give you a lot of guidance so that you are prepared and don't forget anything!
A Way to Take Notes
I always try to attend as many classes as possible while at blog conferences and I always learn new things at them! So I love having something handy to take notes with! Whether you prefer pencil and paper, laptop or iPad, make sure you have something ready to take notes with. I find that most people use paper and pen, but I prefer to use my iPad. It is easy and fast and I love having a digital record of my conference notes!
Camera Phone : Not your DSLR
Some people like to bring their DSLR to conferences, but I do not. It is big, and bulky and heavy and I don’t want to carry something like that around all day. You will want to be able to take photos, but something small and simple like a camera phone is perfect for this type of event!
A blog conference is the one of the few places where it is generally acceptable to be at a table full of people who all have their phones out. Seriously, bloggers love their smart phones! With all that use, it is important to be able to charge your phone during the day and on the go! I use a simple lipstick charger similar to THIS and it works well! I never have to worry about my iPhone dying on me! (affiliate link included for your convenience)
Remember though to disconnect and actually talk with the people around you too! That is one of my favorite parts about any conference.
What to Wear at a Blog Conference
This is a big question I see being asked before any blog conference. The quick answer is that you can wear anything you are comfortable in and be just fine! Most blog conferences do not have a dress code (although check to be sure they don't first!) and so I see bloggers in everything from nice business casual attire to jeans and a tee-shirt to a dress. Wear what you feel comfortable in. No need to go and buy anything new, shop your own closet and wear something that you love wearing! Believe me, no one really cares what you wear! (And I mean that in the nicest way possible!) It is all about being yourself and being comfortable!
Also, conference rooms are often cold! While it was 90+ degrees in Atlanta the last time I went to Haven, I rarely left the hotel. And the rooms were often chilly, so dress in layers or bring a jacket or cardigan to layer. I often find I am most comfortable wearing jeans and a nicer short sleeved shirt or a ¾ length sleeved cardigan. But I recently invested in a few nicer pieces of clothing so next blog conference you might see me dressed up just a little bit more.
This is a big one. At blog conferences you are on your feet a lot. I have made the mistake of wearing cute shoes because I wanted cute shoes. Big. Mistake. My feet paid for that later. But I never want to wear big or bulky sneakers either! So this year I was determined to find something cute and comfy. I had seen so many friends and bloggers wearing Tieks recently so I decided that I really wanted to give their comfy and cute flats a try!
I received a gift card to purchase my Tieks but I really want to share my honest opinions on them with you because I regularly have people ask me how I like them!
I had many people at the blog conference as me how I liked my Tieks, and many people before and after too. And when they ask me, the first thing I tell them is that I love them! Because I do! I really really do!
Before I went to my blog conference I spent about a month breaking them in so that I wasn't trying to break them in at a conference. So they were already comfy and my feet were used to them. However, this was the first blog conference I have ever been to where at the end of the day, my feet weren't in a ton of pain! This is HUGE in my opinion. Are they as comfortable as walking shoes, probably not, but for cute and stylish shoes, these are by far the best I have every found! Ever. They honestly made my experience at the conference much better because I wasn't in pain.
I snagged the Metallic Gold Tieks and they are perfect to wear with jeans, dress pants or even a dress! They are really versatile so they have become a staple shoe to pack in all my travels every since then! They work with nearly everything and they don't take up much space in my suitcase so they are really a great shoe to travel in!
I thought they worked so well for Haven that I decided to take them on a trip to New York City and wore them for two straight days while I was at another conference and while I explored the city.
Regardless of what type of shoes you choose to bring, please wear something really comfortable! This is not a time to sacrifice your feet for style. Your feet will thank you later!
You will want a bag or a large purse to carry around. Many companies will offer you small gifts or things to take home, plus it was a great way for me to carry around my water, my iPad, iPhone and business cards! I ordered a cute bag off of Etsy a couple years ago and I still use it because it is the perfect size and is fabric so it travels well. But any large purse or tote will work well!
You will want lots of business cards to exchange with other bloggers and businesses! The best thing I did was to put a picture of myself on the business card. It has helped me brand my business and because I have my photo of me holding a glue gun on them, it is memorable. It has become a great marketing tool. So be sure to bring a stack of nicely designed and uniquely-yours business cards.
Of course you will need your toiletries and other personal items or clothing items that you need every day.
If you have roommates you might want to consider bring a power strip as hotel rooms don’t often have many plugs and everyone will want / need to plug their electronics in.
If you don’t sleep well in hotels, you might want to consider bring ear plugs or a sleep mask to help you sleep better.
And of course bring anything else you typically need during any given day.
If you are driving to your blog conference, you will be able to stash any goodies in your car. If you are flying, bring an extra bag or leave quite a bit of room in your bag for swag. At all DIY / Craft blog conferences that I have been to, I have always been greeted with a beautiful swag bag full of goodies! Plus many companies give items away too! You will want to be sure you can get these things home, so bring an extra bag or leave lots of room in your bag to bring them all home in! This is not a time to try to fit everything into a carry on.
So you tell me, have I missed anything!? Leave a comment telling me what you can't live without at a blog conference.
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