I'm heading to the International Food Blogger Conference this week in Sacramento, California. I've attended quite a few conferences, but this will be my second food blogger specific conference, and I'm super excited. There's still time to register to attend, so I hope to see you there if you can make it.
If it's your first time attending a conference, or if you aren't sure what to bring; here are the 5 things to bring to a conference.
- A Game Plan
We are all so busy getting trying to get things done before we head out of town to the conference, that it's hard to spend any time preparing for it. Dedicating even thirty-minutes to look up the sponsors and the agenda can be really beneficial to prioritize who you want to talk to and what you want to see before you arrive.You will learn so much each day that it can be overwhelming. What you don't want, is to go home after the conference and go back to your normal routine without implementing any of the amazing new things you learned. Try to pick one big takeaway each day to focus on when you go back home. Organize your notes into action items and prioritize into categories. e.g., look this up/research, priority action, maybe later.Know that the the hallway might be the most beneficial session because it gives you one-on-one time with fellow bloggers to share stories and advice.
- Elevator Pitch
This one is really important. Be able to describe your blog and its focus in 30 seconds or less. Not only super helpful for talking with brands/sponsors, but it's useful for networking and talking to fellow food bloggers.
- Business cards
Bringing business cards is pretty obvious, but they are essential for networking. The people that you meet will want to check out your Instagram, so having your handle listed will make it really easy to connect right away.
- Backpack and a carabiner
Almost every conference will give you a swag back for all the swag you will be getting; but those bags are not very comfortable to carry around for 3 days while walking miles and miles. Bring a comfortable backpack and a carabiner for attaching the swag back to it for easy access. This will save your back.
- Confidence to talk to everyone
Everyone is there for the same reason that you are. Walking up and introducing yourself to as many new people as possible will make a much better experience for you and for them. You will meet great friends and learn so much.
You can read about the takeaways from Everything Food Conference in this post.