How to get the most out of a blogging conference #nnb2011

Nikki Parkinson Life 71 Comments

This time next week I will have achieved the following:

I will have attempted to successfully pack for two days in a Melbourne winter.

And, I will have survived the first of many squealing moments as bloggers re-unite or meet for the first time.

Yes, this time next week I’ll be at Blogopolis, a one-day blogging masterclass program that has attracted 300 attendees from across Australia.

Photo: Pinterest

It’s not my first bloggers’ conference – I attended Aussie Bloggers Conference in Sydney earlier this year – but I know I’ll be buzzing for days and weeks afterwards. The reason?  Mostly we’re all going it alone in this blogging game.  So, whenever you get together with other bloggers it’s like “coming home”.  It’s ok to Tweet and talk.  It’s ok to talk about unique visitor numbers.  It’s ok to talk about the obscure PR pitch you received the week before.

Eyes will not glaze over and no-one will think you are a displaced member of The Big Bang Theory cast (as an aside, I got informed last week that I looked like Bernadette from TBBT.  The gentlemen in question may have had a couple of drinks but I’m happy to go along with it.  Thoughts?).

Dr Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski (Howard's girlfriend) and me (all spruced up for a cover shoot).

Dr Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski (Howard's girlfriend) and me (all spruced up for a cover shoot).

If Nuffnang Blogopolis is your first blogging conference, then here are six tips to help you make the most of it:

1.  Do make the first move.  Introduce yourself, and don’t be afraid to include in that introduction your Twitter handle and blog name – and hand out a business card.  It’s a huge help when putting a face to the online persona you’ve been connecting with for months.

2.  Hit other bloggers up with questions.  Is there something you really like about their blog but have never been game to email or Tweet them to ask?  Do it now.

3.  Make the most of breaks in the official part of the program.  Yes, a visit to the loo is probably essential, as is a bit of sustenance, but use this time to maybe catch one of the speakers from the previous sessions to introduce yourself and ask a question.

4.  Do attend the official before and after events.  This is a great way to REALLY get to know the blogger behind the blog.  Which means you’ll probably know me as the champagne-and-shoe-loving-blogger who wished she’d been in the movie, Coyote Ugly.  You know, dancing on the bar.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

5.  Be like a giant sponge.  Speakers (including yours truly) are covering such a diverse range of topics, even if you think you’ve got a certain aspect of your blogging covered, you might find a different way of doing something that actually works better for you.

6.  Tweet and blog what you learn (iPads, tablets, notebooks and phones are definitely the go).  There are plenty of bloggers unable to attend Blogopolis.  Make them feel like they’re there, sharing the information you’re learning as you hear it.  The Twitter hashtag is #nnb2011

Most importantly, have fun. I know I will.  But you know, if I’m having too much fun and start eyeing off a bar top, somebody stop me.  St. Murphy, put done that martini, you’ve got my back, haven’t you?

Are you heading to Blogopolis?  Leave a comment and your Twitter handle below.  If I haven’t already met you, I want to!

 

Comments 71

  1. Bron, you’ll be in the best place then. No idea what I’m wearing but I’ll be there Need to do some research on everyone’s blogs this week!

  2. Hi my name is Jelena, I have only just started my blog after a year of procrastination!
    My twitter is @yolondi and my blog is http://www.ontakingalover.com

    I’m really nervous but excited at the same time, unfortunately I am not going to the pre event, I only get in from Canberra on Sat morning but I am going to the after drinks tho!

    I hope to meet you this weekend and heaps of other bloggers as well!!

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  3. I’ll be there! This is also my very first blogging conference and I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone!

    I actually went to my first bloggers meet today at Chermside and it was such a good ice breaker before Melbourne!

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  4. Hi Nikki,
    Oh, such a wonderful heads-up here for all to read and feel better prepared.
    So glad to have met you twice now! AusBlogCon & Kerri Sackville’s Book Launch ( it was wet both times!!!)

    As some have already said, they are newbie bloggers, have never been to a Conference before …. Well everyone, I was in the same boat in March 2011 at AusBlogCon in Sydney.

    I was excited and nervous at the same time …and regret waiting till the Day to meet people. I was too shy/scared/old to go to the pre-event… Btw, I AM old .. Probably the “oldest” blogger at 61.. I digress. So I felt isolated and lonely the night before in the hotel “thinking” everyone else was out there having fun.

    Saturday at breakfast, before registration, I did what Nikki & others suggest… I went up to a lady who was seated alone & introduced myself & got my breakkie after she said “yes join me, I’m by myself too” so we chatted & the ice was broken.

    Lastly it was the best time at a conference I have ever had because:
    1. No one was worried if you were texting or tweeting
    2. People were mixed around the room but got to know each other quickly via icebreakers
    3. Talk! Oh yes. And putting faces to names of blogs & tweets was funny!
    4. Keep your name tag on! Everyone at ABC was looking at them as they talked… Oh you’re …..

    See you Soon Nikki & all!!
    Denyse xx

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  5. Hi Nikki, We SO very nearly met at Kerri Sackville’s after party. I just couldn’t catch everybody! This shall be rectified at Blogopolis 🙂

    I hope the excitement of Blogopolis doesn’t get in the way of my learning during the classes and talks. Feel like a naughty school girl abut to get into trouble! Have you a duster to throw at the ones not paying full attention? 🙂

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  6. Hi Nikki!
    I cant make it to the actual conference, unfortunately.. but am planning to pop in to the pre drinks on friday night, cheeky i know but i am dying to get some of the bloggy action! Look forward to meeting you all! x jody {lemonrhodes.blogspot.com}

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  7. I am soooo excited to be going. Still trying to get up the courage to discuss the before and after parties with hubby (will try to make one of them.) As for fashion, well, I think this week’s Story Starter post about Bad Show Habits will sum it up – so while I’m REALLY looking forward to meeting you, you may not be quite so delighted… we’ll see!

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  8. Hi! I’m Rhi from Hummingbird’s Song. I’ve been to a blogging meet, but haven’t been to a conference yet. Slightly nervous, but looking forward to catching up with some wonderful friends made online. Looking forward to you master class! My handle is @RhiElycia

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  9. I’m heading down to Blogopolis and am nervous but excited. I’m jenny at @preschoolplay. Thanks for all the tips! Now if you could just go out and buy me a new wardrobe (and possibly and iphone) I’ll be all set for next weekend 🙂

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  10. I’m going too! It’s my first ever blogging related event and I must admit I am nervous and excited at the same time. I am a bit of an introvert so I don’t know if I will have the confidence to actually talk to the bloggers that I would love to meet.

    Thank you for the excellent advice! 🙂

    Twitter me @madcapmum

  11. I’ll be going too, and I’m so excited! Looking forward to seeing you there. How many business cards should we bring with us for the event, I wonder?
    Twitter handle is @fortheloveofme 🙂

    PS: Bernadette from TBBT is actually Howard’s girlfriend. Well, fiancée now in their latest episodes. Yep I’m a huge fan too! 😛

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      Hi Tine! You’re so right – my teenage son has corrected me too re Bernadette. See you next week. There are 300 people coming, I’d have a lot of cards available to give out – 50-100?

  12. Well, you know I’m going to be there already, including the pre and post drinks sessions as well! Just extremely excited to be meeting so many people I’ve connected on twitter and those of whom I’ve read and LOVE their blogs. YES, including YOU! 🙂

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  13. Hi Nikki! Im excited to be going – just home from op shopping for a new “old” jacket for the Melbourne weather. Thanks for the tips! Tamar x

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  14. I will be there but will be thankful for name tags. Like Vanessa feel like I need to do some research to get a better grasp of which URL goes with which twitter handle fb page, google+ real name and blog header and avatar!

  15. Great point, Nikki. It is a place where “geek talk” umm I mean “blog talk” does not seem weird and welcomed 😀

    My first blogging meet-up was the 2009 awards in Singapore. I was surprised how cheerful and fun bloggers are, so even if you are alone, you can never feel lonely in that kind of group!

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  16. Thanks for those tips, love it. Speaking up and introducing myself is definitely the one thing I’m hoping to achieve next weekend.
    Twitter: Miss_Mandy76

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  17. Great post, thanks for the advice! I’m going, feel slightly silly for going as I a very new blogger but I think it will be a great learning opportunity for me. So nervous as I won’t know anyone at all. I have ordered business cards, who would have imagined me with business cards? But I’m not sure they will arrive in time, they are meant to but hey you can’t always rely on the postal system! I can’t go to any of the pre or post gatherings 🙁 wish I could. My twitter handle is @PuddlesGumboots, so very nervous! 🙂

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  18. I am going as you know and shit scared that I will get lost, as I don’t know Melbourne, and also, that I will have a panic attack as #blogopolous is on my freaking wedding anniversary and we spent part of it in Melbourne even though I wanted to go overseas. Let’s just say it was the first of many decisions my Ex made without consulting me…

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  19. @easypeasykids

    Thanks for the heads up, amazingly I meet through work new families everyday and don’t get nervous, but get giant butterflies thinking about next week, really looking forward to it.
    I don’t think I’ll be brave enough to just introduce myself to my blogging icons, possibly at the pre or after drinks. Nx

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  20. So true, Nikki! I have met the nicest people at blog conferences, some of which I know will be friends for a very long time.

    Can’t wait! Am a bit of blogging-conference Pro, so if anyone has any questions, feel free to as – Tweet me! @theblogstylist

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  21. so going. so going. so going. so going. (Hope the effects of my Phenergan wear off by then!). Can’t wait to see you again and meet many new blogging friends @pennyworkingmum

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  22. Hi!
    I’m attending blogopolis too! I am crazy excited to learn sooo much and meet so many amazing people 🙂
    My Twitter handle is @laurenboase
    Now to work out the best outfits for the weekend and how to squish it into onboard luggage 🙂
    Xo

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  23. I shall be there but am so shit scared & really nervous that i am feeling rather sick right now as i type this ?! Still need to do business cards and i need to learn to stop & breathe *sigh* easier said than done right:-) x
    Dannie
    twitter handle is @dosedannie
    see ya there !

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