Guest post by Jessica Rae
This year I attended BlogPaws as a newbie. I learned a few lessons. In Part I I shared tips dealing with your personal comfort. Here are some other tips.
Contact other bloggers before you go
Remember my fantasy of meeting hundreds of other bloggers? It didn’t happen. I found out after I got home that there were several pet bloggers there that I wanted to meet and didn’t even see. Since these people are PET Bloggers, we would recognize them by their pets but not necessarily by their face. No one was wearing a sign saying “I am from ____ blog”.
Yes, it DOES say it on their badge but you have to get within two feet of them and squint at their chest to see it ….which is an awkward thing to do to a stranger. Ha, ha.
I did manage to meet a couple of my favorite bloggy friends because I had been in contact with them before the conference. I exchanged phone numbers with them so that we could text each other once we got there to be sure to meet up.
Make your contacts before you go and have a basic of plan of how and where you are going to meet up so you are not disappointed like I was.
Wait until later the first day, or the second day, to visit the vendor booths
Most people rush to the vendor space during the first break. The vendor space is small so it’s a lot of people trying to get around in one area. More importantly, each booth is staffed by one or two people. It can be hard to find an available person to talk to about the product or doing a review for them.
You won’t miss the good stuff by waiting. The vendors bring plenty of stuff to hand out. You’ll also get a better opportunity to form relationships with vendors.
Pick up as much product as you want
This one I learned from my friend another newbie friend. I drove down so space was not an issue. However, she flew. Her space to bring stuff back was limited. She saw a lot of stuff she would have liked to try but declined because she was worried about bringing it back with her on the plane. UPS was on site for easy shipping of swag – sometimes the brands even paid for large items to be shipped!
There are a lot of product samples available – especially at the end of the conference when vendors are trying to get rid of the stuff that they don’t want to take back with them. Take as much as you want and have it shipped home at the end.
These tips in Part I and Part II should help make your BlogPaws experience enjoyable. I am sure other newbies and more seasoned attendees would have additional advice to add.