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BlissDom 2012 – Quirky Conference Tips

I'm Going to Blissdom!

BlissDom 2012 Nashville is less than two weeks away – are you ready for Bliss?

Quite a few BlissDom attendees have already created posts packed with good information that should be required reading before BlissDom 2012:

  • Charlene Chronicles complied a list of tips for returning BlissDom alumni. No matter how many conferences you may attend, there is always something new to learn.
  • Seams Happy makes a good point about using intention to get the most out of your experience at BlissDom 2012.
  • The Pixel Boutique has compiled 10 quick and easy ways to a better conference experience.
  • All Things Fadra describes all things BlissDom 2012.
  • BlissDom Insiders Guide – Fantastic information and tips to get the most out of this conference.
  • Chrysta Bairre shares tips on how to have an awesome conference experience.

Adding to this information are my five quirky tips for conference success:

1. Packing

As a former member of over-packing anonymous, I’ve found the organizational skill needed to be a lean mean packing machine. It’s quite simple – plan your wardrobe based on each day’s activity – no more, no less. Pack complete outfits together, including all accessories. This greatly reduces the chance of forgetting a crucial item and saves time sorting through a pile of clothing during the conference. Simply spending time before the conference organizing your daily outfits will do much to help reduce stress during a busy conference.  It’s February in Nashville and layering is key, as well as comfy shoes. I find it is perfectly acceptable to wear fuzzy slippers during a conference.  One other item you may want to pack are personal hand sanitizers. It is still cold and flu season, so bring a few extra to share, they are a great way to share the love, not the germs at BlissDom 2012.

2. Business Cards

Never leave home without them. While at the conference, always have your business card available. Diversity is key! Aside from keeping your business card holder handy; place your business cards in your purse, laptop case, in all your pockets, and stuff a few cards in your conference ID holder.  The more places you carry business cards, the less likely you will experience a ‘sans business card’ moment.

Once you have decided on business cards, remember they are portals of access to you and your product. Once they leave your hands there is no telling where they may wind up.   A recent experience had me rethinking the contact information printed on my business cards. I received a call from a traveler in London who mistakenly grabbed the wrong suitcase at Heathrow Airport. He found my business card in the suitcase and called asking for details on who owned this suitcase. The next day, I redesigned my business cards removing my phone number.

Also, in your zeal to share your business card as widely as possible, consider your dispersal strategy carefully. For example, the ladies restroom may not be the best place to start.  At a national convention I covered a few years ago, I was shocked to find  business cards from a  marketing executive (who shall remain anonymous) distributed in every stall of the ladies restroom. Before leaving, I made sure the cards were disposed of in the proper receptacle.

3. Technology

Less is more. With today’s mobile technology there is no need to lug  heavy, cumbersome laptops and photo gear all around the conference. At  a minimum, all you need is a pen, pad and smart phone. I typically bring an iPhone, netbook and dSLR. This leaves plenty of room in your bag for all the stuff you acquire during the day. PS: Don’t forget  power cords (ahem..note to self).

4. Photo Sharing

Surely at a conference packed full of beautiful and empowered bloggers a photo or two may be taken. Depending upon the type of conference, I usually create a Flickr set prior to the start of the conference. Additionally, I love exploring other ways of sharing the story of the conference within social media platforms. For this conference, I’ve created a BlissDom 2012 Flickr set

Downloaded Path onto my iPhone and created a Storie of Blissdom 2012 

Once you have decided on your photo sharing plan, don’t forget to broadcast the links to your fellow attendees and the world at large.  You may also want to add appropriate tags to your photos so they will be easily search-able before, during and after BlissDom 2012.

5. Networking

Everyone has their pitch for networking at a conference. Personally, I find the easiest way to network is simply to say ‘Hello’ and have your business card at hand (See Business Cards).  For some this just comes naturally, for others a shot or two of Macallan 10 year helps.  However, the most important part of networking is you! Your story, your personality and your authenticity shine through every business card or elevator pitch – just be yourself and the rest will come naturally.

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