Blogging conference season is well under way. There are a ton of conference guides out there and I wouldn’t dare to duplicate them, but I haven’t seen one out there for introverts. As a member of that “tribe”, I can tell you that you can successfully attend a blogging conference, make connections and contacts while still keeping your sanity. So I’ve created this Introverts Guide to Blogging Conferences for those of you who need it.
I must first slightly digress and say there is a difference in being introverted and shy. I am not shy. I just can only take so much of people and noise and stimuli before I need to take a break. Also, it is really hard to get me to go somewhere where there will be a lot of people and noise and stimuli. However, once I am there and engaged, I am not shy. That’s why most people don’t believe me when I say I am an introvert.
And as a “veteran” of dozens blogging or social media conferences, I do have a few tips to share.
Introverts Guide to Blogging Conferences – Before the Conference
- Think about your blog. What is your elevator pitch or “what are you all about?” You are going to have to answer this question over and over. It would be best if you thought about it ahead of time.
- Order blog cards. These are business cards for your blog. They have your URL, your Twitter id, your email address, your Facebook page, etc. There is always an exchange of these cards in nearly every instance that you meet someone and it is better to have them than not. If you are shy, or in one of your “I need to check out moments” and the conversation doesn’t always go the way you wanted. There is always the opportunity to still convert someone to become a reader of your blog if they look up your blog post-conference.
- Study the schedule/agenda. This will allow you to plan your outs. Decide what is important to you and what can be skipped if you are feeling like a break.
- When planning what to wear to a blogging conference, think comfort. That doesn’t mean shabby, but something you feel good in.
- Plan some flare. Something that you can wear externally that can be a conversation starter. I have many, many pairs of glasses, but when I go to a conference I usually wear one of my funky red pairs at least one day. If not glasses, a fun pin, a hair-bow or ribbon, fun shoes….
Introverts Guide to Blogging Conferences – During the Conference
- If you can help it, don’t hide behind your laptop, iPad or iPhone. Be present.
- Take breaks.
- Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but don’t go crazy, you will just exhaust yourself mentally and then feel bad.
- Further to that, don’t judge yourself. You are already in an environment that is not second nature to yourself, give yourself a break!
- Don’t forget to pass out your blog cards. Don’t just shove them at people. Ask others if they have one and if you can exchange.
- Don’t get sucked into the “missing out syndrome.” You will not suffer a great and perilous loss if you don’t attend every single session, every single party, etc. Life will go on.
- Quality versus Quantity. You don’t need to meet every single person in the room. But it would be good to have some real conversation with a handful of people. It will go a long way and you way meet your new BFF.
Introverts Guide to Blogging Conferences – After the Conference
- Follow-up. Take all those blog cards you read and visit each one of them. Find a post to comment on and leave a comment not only about the post but that you were pleased to meet them.
Lastly, I would suggest trying to attend smaller, more focused conferences.
So that is my two cents as an introvert attending conferences.
How about you? Got any additional advice to offer?
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