Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Whether you’re a seasoned conference attendee or whether this is your first, there are so many things to think about when you’re packing for time away from home that it’s easy to forget to pack a conference survival pack.
Whether you’re flying to BlogPaws 2012 or driving with your four legged conference partner, there are certain items you can take with you, and plan on doing at, the conference that can almost guarantee you enjoy each and every minute of your time at BlogPaws.
Here’s what I’ve learned on how to make the most of all the conferences I attend:
- Take business cards. If you can put your photo on a business card, great; this assures that once the conference is over the people you met will remember you (or your pet if you put his picture on the card)
- Smile, smile, smile. Look approachable and you will become approachable. Sure, it’s sometimes nerve-wracking to be in a roomful of strangers, but remember, they’re probably nervous too.
- Spend time planning which sessions you want to attend. Check the program, check for any last minute updates/cancellations/room changes so you don’t miss any session that you have your heart set on.
- Don’t forget pen and paper. Most hotels will provide paper but if you are armed with your own you don’t have to make a mad scramble for something on which to take notes once the sessions start.
- Network, mix and mingle and gather business cards. Yes, conferences are exhausting but remember, it’s only two or three days and where will you have the opportunity to be in the presence of the amazing line-up of speakers and bloggers and pet lovers? You can rest up and sleep when you get home!
- Plan a little bit of downtime during the conference. Get out and walk around. Go sightseeing. There’s nothing worse than heading to a city you’ve never been to and might never go back to and having seen nothing but the inside of a hotel.
- If you’re taking your pet with you, take some snacks, a water dish (and water) and if your pet has an item that will calm her down in a crowded room, by all means bring that. Henrietta gets stressed in rooms of strangers but if she has her blanket she will lie down and calm down. I don’t leave home without it.
- Don’t forget snacks, water and a sweater for yourself. The air conditioning in conference rooms typically range from tropical to arctic. Dress in layers.
- Introduce your four-legged friend to other four-legged conference attendees. Do so with caution. If your pet is an only child she might be a bit scared of the sights, sounds and smells. Make certain she gets as much out of the conference experience as you do. If you aren’t sure if your pet is conference ready, you may be doing both you and her a favor by leaving her home and showering her with gifts from the BlogPaws goodie bags!
- After conference follow-up. Plan to spend several hours after the conference to follow up with the people you met. Cultivate friendships and business relationships and plan to meet up at BlogPaws 2013!
The best tip for BlogPaws… Have Fun!