Blogging conference essentials

Geek girl guide: what to take to a blogging conference

Nikki ParkinsonLife 29 Comments

The countdown is well and truly on. Brenda, how many extra grey hairs have you got now? Yes, I’m talking the Digital Parents Conference – the conference that will bring together 150 parents who blog, plus about 50 others, representing brands and PRs who want to connect with parents who blog, for one day and one night in one room.

My husband is not convinced that this will actually be something technically called work.

I poo-poo his talk of technicalities. This conference will be a hoot an intensive day of education, learning and networking. That is why I need two extra days in Melbourne to cope.

It’s got nothing at all to do with phrases such as “mums on the loose”, “shopping nirvana” or “pour me another a sauv blanc I don’t have to get up to kids tomorrow”.

And there’s absolutely no truth to the rumour that I have coordinated flight arrivals and departures with some of my best blogging buddies to prolong any concept of hoot-ness that might happen around this event. No, no, no, no. It’s all about saving money on that dreaded Tullamarine to City cab fare. Yes, it is.

Anyhoo, so I’ve been to a few of these intense intensely fun conferences now and I’ve think I’ve just about nailed my geek girl essentials. See, despite, what Mr SY, thinks or says, I actually do take these things seriously in the appropriate moments.

I make like a sponge, taking notes and blogging and sharing what I’ve learned from bloggers who are doing their “thing” in the Blogosphere everyday.

There is ALWAYS something to learn. There is. If you go in with that mindset, you will walk out inspired and incredibly proud to be a part of this burgeoning community.

So, today I thought I’d share with you my blog conference geek arsenal. The stuff I’m taking to DPCON12 that will ensure that I can do that “sponge” thing effectively, blog and Tweet to my heart’s content and really annoy the person sitting next to me because I’m taking too much space up around the table.

Blogging conference essentials

1. Ok, so you got me … this Oroton iPad case isn’t really an ESSENTIAL. But it is pretty and it can double as a handbag for the pre-conference drinks if pressed into overtime duties.

2. The iPad formerly known as my iPad. This actual iPad I’ve photographed will most probably be staying at home with Mr Styling You, who will have already added his favourite bookmarks to Safari … think Fox Sports and the Swellnet. Me, I’ll be sporting a third generation iPad, pre-ordered online last Friday night after a few wines. As you do. And yes, I’ve mastered the blogging from your iPad thing. Almost. If only the Facebook app were more user friendly … come on Mark Z, surely you could play ball on this one?

3. Business cards: ok, so these won’t be the business cards I hand out. Stay tuned … I’ll be carrying my new business cards, complete with new branding … all to be revealed on Monday! Business cards are essential in my books. When I meet new bloggers in a networking situation, I really need to see that person’s Twitter handle and blog name before all the dots connect in my middle-aged brain.

4. Something to give with your business cards: this is not technically an essential but if anyone wants a great looking pen, come see me. I’ve got a stack … in my old logo! Long, long story. Suffice to say, business lesson learned. BTW, at the last blogger conference I attended, Danimezza seriously won the best blogger marketing award, handing out blog-related pin-on buttons. She’s a clever cookie, that one.

5. A notebook: yes, it’s old school but despite typing notes on my iPad, I like to have something on which to scribble as well. I’m strange like that. It’s like a security blanket/hang-up from my journo days.

6. OMG. This little gadget was one that Nicole from Planning with Kids introduced me to when I was her roomie late last year for the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blogging Awards in Kuala Lumpur. During blogging “situations”, ie compulsive Tweeting, Facebooking and Instagraming, my iPhone battery has been known to conk out before afternoon tea is served. Enter stage left the MiGear Power Station. It is a device you can charge via a USB port on your computer or wall socket, then have ready to plug in and boost your phone’s battery power for up to 7.5 hours. Mine cost me about $35.

7. My iPhone: no explanation needed in blogging circles. You need a smartphone so you can Tweet all day and night … and maybe check in with the family back home now and then 😉

8. Wireless keyboard: this is really an extension of how my iPad works best for me in a conference situation. I’m fine generally with the iPad keyboard but when I’m typing notes, I like to be able to call on those touch-typing skills honed on an actual (manual!) typewriter in Year 9 when my hands were covered with a sheet of fabric so as not to see the keys and improve my proficiency … the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Incidentally, this subject proved to be one of the most useful I could have ever have completed at school. This keyboard connects to my iPad via bluetooth.

9. Last – but far from least – my latest gadget is the Telstra Elite Pre-Paid Mobile Wi-Fi . Basically, if you’re nice to me and the conference wi-fi isn’t surviving the onslaught of 300 bloggers, then I have back-up. For just under $100, I’ve got the device plus 5GB if data upfront and can top up as needed. And yes, it supports up to five users … happy to be paid in those aforementioned sauv blancs.

Are you heading to #DPCON12? What’s on your essential geek girl list?


I’m attending Digital Parent Conference 2012 thanks to my sponsors Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. You can find stockists around Australia via their Facebook page.

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Have you blogged about blogging this week? Add your post to my linky below. No rules – just a way to spread more information about blogging to those keen to learn.

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Comments 29

  1. I ended up grabbing a gecko car plug to charge my iphone in the car. I love this option for when your out and you have used up all your power on your phone. I appreciate you and Nicole from Planning with Kids for sharing this. 

  2. Mi Gear Powerstation, so for as little as $35 you can charge your iphone 3GS anywhere? Ok I seem to have most things and am organised powering up my phone at home. But this device could work like a car charger away from home….

    1. Yes, Sharon if it’s charged up itself (which you need to do via a usb port) … BUT as I found out when away, once that charge is gone and I don’t have a computer with me to charge up the back-up power, I was stuck. It’s great for me to keep in my handbag and have on hand at the end of the day when battery power is low.

  3. Okay, I’ve got my iPad and cover, a notebook and business cards, along with bus card purses, haven’t got pens yet but it would just be for myself, Vista Print is good for it, and am desperate to get an iPhone. At this stage I can do without the wireless keyboard and the mobile wifi clearly comes in handy for travelling, which I’m yet to do. Have written everything down in case I ever do and will be able to say I got my ideas from you!

  4. Hi Nikki,
    Love the new look :).  Just a quick ipad question – How many GB did you get?   the 16, 32 or 64??? I’m not sure which one will be enough for me.
    PS. My condom dresses!!!!! arrived today black and grey yay. Had fun throwing things on with them.

    1. Hi Leanne
      I’ve just gone with the 16 again – I find that it’s enough for me – when it gets overloaded with photos, I just download to iPhoto on my computer. And if I’ve got a TV series I want to watch, I don’t keep more than one on there. PS awesome re the condom dresses!

  5. Great post. Love the back-up battery and wi-fi gadgets. Might need to invest. Are you going to do a post about what to wear at a blogger conference – have a vision of 200 women in the condom dress! Looking forward to meeting you there. S-J x

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  6. Seriously, learning to touch type on typewriters was the best thing I ever did! Wouldn’t be without the skill now. SO ready to party, even if you have to drink my share of the sauv blancs. Excited xx

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      I know! Wish I’d learned shorthand as well – but it was all considered stuff for the girls leaving at Year 10 to work in offices. Crazy. Can’t wait to be sitting at the airport with you x

  7. So glad I’m not the only pen and paper girl left! I only upgraded to a dictaphone VERY late in my career, but still used the old tools as my security blanket. Funny how those things stick with us.
    As a bloggy conference virgin, this is all very helpful for me, Nikki. Thank you. x
    Off to buy a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauv Blanc! 😉

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