Introverts Guide to Blogging Conferences

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.

Introverts Guide to Blogging Conferences

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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Introverts Guide to Blogging Conferences

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45 Comments

  1. Ginger
    March 28, 2011

    This is an utterly fabulous guide (for introverts AND extroverts, honestly. Conferences are overwhelming!). I’m going to bookmark this to read the day before BlogHer this year!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 29, 2011

      @Ginger, OMG just read your blog post today, we were separated at birth! Seriously, if you are going to Blogher I would love to meet you, then I won’t feel so intimidated 😉

      Reply
  2. Eve
    March 29, 2011

    This is a good guide, thanks!! I’m a total introvert and I just bought a ticket to my first conference: Bloggy Boot Camp Boston. I’m so nervous!!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 29, 2011

      @Eve, oh you will have such a great experience. And you will ADORE Tiffany!

      Reply
  3. Ginger
    March 29, 2011

    I’m totally going to BlogHer–we should definitely meet!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 29, 2011

      @Ginger, yay!

      Reply
  4. Danee Gilmartin
    March 30, 2011

    I have yet to attend a blogger conference but they sound fun and I always like meeting fellow bloggers- so thanks for the tips!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 30, 2011

      @Danee, yes definitely!

      Reply
  5. Lady Jennie
    March 30, 2011

    Oh! I would never have thought about getting blog cards. I really hope to attend one someday soon. It sounds wildly fun.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 30, 2011

      @Jennie, I am working on getting one in London!

      Reply
  6. Jacque
    March 31, 2011

    I am attending my very first bloggy conference in Boston this May too! While being super excited to meet some fellow people that ‘get’ blogging – I am super nervous still! This is a great post with tips on how to handle. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 31, 2011

      @Jacque, I am so glad I could help! What conference are you attending?

      Reply
  7. MamaRobinJ
    March 31, 2011

    I’m a non-shy introvert too. I go to conferences fairly regularly for work and manage just fine, but a blog conference just seems to much more social. The whole room-sharing thing totally freaks me out. I need my alone time at night.

    Great tips – thanks! Will keep in mind if I ever get to go to one.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 31, 2011

      @MamaRobinJ, oh no….no room sharing for me! I hope you do get to one, they are great and very useful for your blog.

      Reply
  8. Waning Woman
    March 31, 2011

    I’m a fairly new blogger (just over a year) and I think that this is the year for me to take off. I know that blog conferences are a big part of that and I am looking forward to attending at least one this year.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 31, 2011

      @WaningWoman, it really does give you a little boost.

      Reply
  9. Amy
    March 31, 2011

    Great list! As an introvert myself, I found Bloggy Boot Camp to be the perfect set up. Happy conferencing everyone!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 31, 2011

      @Amy, it was! And I enjoyed meeting you!

      Reply
  10. hot pink combat boots
    March 31, 2011

    I love reading about blogging tips and hope to attend one of the camps as soon as I’m able. In the meantime, is there a blogging book you would recommend?

    I like the card idea and there have been many times where I wish I had something to hand out. However……I am a bit perplexed about how open I want to be with those from the military (especially since that will be my main environment in the near future). I want followers, but I also want a certain level of privacy.

    As always, I love your blog.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      March 31, 2011

      @HotPink, thanks, I have been checking you out too! My Dad was in the Army for 30 years, finished as a colonel, so I am an Army brat! I will send you some books to read, but there are some great blogs too, will those over as well.

      Reply
  11. Jenny
    April 4, 2011

    Thanks so much! This is really helpful as I prepare for SITS Boston!

    Reply
  12. Mo
    April 4, 2011

    Thanks for this. I’m going to my first conference this summer—BlogHer—and I’m a little nervous. I’m shy but I can usually overcome that; my real issue is that I get overloaded easily! I think I have fairly reasonable expectations—I don’t expect to get invited to parties and meet every blogger in the place—but I do want to try to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people and have some fun. I didn’t even think about having cards made. I guess I’ll get on that!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      April 4, 2011

      @Mo, well it will be my first Blogher too along with Ginger who commented below, maybe we can meet?

      Reply
  13. Mo
    April 4, 2011

    I would love that! We’ll have to make that happen!

    Reply
  14. Laura
    April 5, 2011

    What a great post! I don’t consider myself an introvert, but I will be attending BlogHer and it will be my first bloggy conference. I have attended other business conferences it the past, but am nervous about this one. Thank you for the tips!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      April 5, 2011

      @Laura, I see a meet-up in the works! Glad you liked the post!

      Reply
  15. Shell
    April 5, 2011

    These are all very practical tips!

    I wrote a post about blog conferences from the perspective of an introvert- not tips, just a reminder: http://thingsicantsay-shell.blogspot.com/2011/01/pour-your-heart-out-leaving-others-out.html

    Ugh- I don’t usually leave links like this on someone else’s post, but I think you might actually be able to relate.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      April 5, 2011

      @Shell, thanks for leaving the url! I love it!

      Reply
  16. Alison Golden
    April 5, 2011

    This was very interesting, Andi. I am an introvert as are many bloggers and haven’t yet been able to overcome the resistance to go to a conference yet.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      April 5, 2011

      @Alison, it is not easy, but I have found it rewarding.

      Reply
  17. SMS
    April 15, 2011

    I was looking for the content here and there and got to visit your blog. I must say that I am in the hand of luck today or else getting such a wonderful writing to read wouldn’t have been achievable for me, at least. Truly thankful your writing.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      April 16, 2011

      @SMS, thanks for the compliment!

      Reply
  18. Jenn
    June 5, 2017

    I love this blog post. This is something I struggle with. These are great tips. Conferences can be really hard when you are feeling this way. Also, not everyone there understands, sadly there are a lot of not nice bloggers out there.

    Reply
  19. Sara Kurth
    June 5, 2017

    Thanks for the post! I’m just ordering my first batch of business cards specifically for my blog to hand out at my first blogging conference next month. As an introvert, but equal parts excited and nervous for the networking.

    Reply
  20. Sue Reddel
    June 5, 2017

    Whether you love being around people or not conferences can be stressful, long and exhausting. You’ve provided some wonderful tips. I would add to leave yourself some time to just relax even if it’s just to walk away during the “breaks” go outside and just be by yourself and breathe (or catch up on your social media!).

    Reply
  21. MONICA Y
    June 5, 2017

    Great advice. I am kind of done with most conferences, however I do agree you need business cards to be able to network. If something I say find people on your niche that can help you grow. Do not be shy and say hello. Most people there are feeling like you. I have seen people passing something small like candy to break the ice. That is a good idea.

    Reply
  22. Kristin
    June 5, 2017

    I’m smack on the line between introvert and extrovert, but the introvert side is winning lately. I love people and I’m not shy – but only for so long! Because I definitely need to take my breaks and check out for a bit! This is all such great advice. I will definitely take it whenever I get up the guts to go to a blogger conference.

    Reply
  23. Agnes Dela Cruz
    June 5, 2017

    I have not been to any blog conference , but I wish I have a chance and enjoy the time with fellow bloggers.

    Reply
  24. Chantal
    June 5, 2017

    I’ve wanted to go to a blogging conference but always felt very uncomfortable about going alone. While I am not totally an introvert, I tend to do better if I am with someone I know. I love the idea of wearing something that can somehow act as a conversation starter and also having blog cards. I wouldn’t have thought of either of these. Thanks!

    Reply
  25. Lisa
    June 5, 2017

    Wow. Great post! You answered everything that has crossed my mind about blogging conferences. I am headed to my first one this year and can’t wait.

    Reply
  26. JenellBStewart
    June 5, 2017

    I’m a total extrovert. I get excited just thinking about being in large crowds talking and engaging with people. This totally comes in handy being a blogger. I meet many bloggers that say they are introverted and like you they aren’t shy. You absolutely don’t need to be an extrovert to be successful at this, you’ve just got to have great tools like this in your back pocket.

    Reply
  27. Ali Rost
    June 5, 2017

    I’m such an introvert, and your post hit home in every way. Last year, while they weren’t conferences, I did go to a couple of food photography workshops. While I was worn out from people by the end of the day, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I’m so glad you mentioned visiting every person’s site. I did the same thing and left a comment. A number of the people I met have turned into really great online friends!

    Reply
  28. Always thought of myself as an extrovert and someone who could network well at conferences. After reading through your post it seems that there is so much more I could do to open up and that I’ll probably have to reclassify myself as a semi introvert moving forward 🙂 Thanks for this wonderful guide for people like us

    Reply
  29. Mike
    June 8, 2017

    I like the “wear some flare” comment. 🙂 And i can agree wholeheartedly with the “connect after the show” idea. Too many people just get cards and never follow up. Make sure you connect with everyone from the show on LinkedIn, as it’s another touch point, and you never know when there will be a mutual benefit to connecting up again in the future….and they will be more likely to remember you at the next conference, like an old friend 🙂

    Reply
  30. Calvin F.
    August 6, 2017

    Awesome, not all bloggers are introverts 😛

    Reply

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