You can find all types of blog conferences; those that deal with specific blog niches, those that teach blogging skills, those that hyperlocal, etc. Choosing a conference depends on your blog’s goals, what you can afford, and your personality.
Determine Your Blog Goals
Before you decide on a conference, it is important to know your blog goals. Some people have a business plan since their goal is to earn money from their blog. Others want to share information: parenting, social issues, gardening, etc. Some want to write well and move onto other writing gigs.
Search for blogging conferences that meet your goals. Read the full description of the conference and the sessions. Determine if most of the sessions will teach you something new. Learn about the speakers – read their blogs, look into any books they have written, other speaking gigs, and testimonials about them. If you want to connect with brands, be sure to check into the expo hall and sponsors.
Conferences can be quite expensive, while others are affordable or have options to lower the price in various ways. Consider sponsorships if the conference allows it. Know all the rules of sponsorships and follow them. Look into volunteering, early bird pricing, student rates, etc. Think through the other expenses such as travel, food, clothing, business cards, your hotel stay, tips, etc.
You can lower some of the extra costs by driving with other people attending the conference, finding roommates, finding sponsors for your wardrobe or business cards (remember those sponsorship rules).
Your Personality vs. The Conference
If you are shy or introverted, a large conference can be overwhelming. Consider starting out with a conference that has a low number of attendees or a one day conference close to home. If you are comfortable being around people and have attended seminars or meetings before, you will most likely feel right at home at a large conference. Even if you haven’t spoken before, apply to be a speaker or be on a panel if you have information to share.
As difficult as it may be, getting out of your comfort zone will help you grow as a person and open doors for you as a blogger. The one thing to keep in mind is that there are many other people who feel just as shy or out of sorts as you do. Before you leave, find one of your on line friends and ask if they will assist you to navigate through the sessions and parties and introduce you to others.
Sources of Blogging Conferences
Mom Blog Magazine lists the 2012 Mom Conferences. Most of these are annual events. Peruse the list and bookmark the sites that interest you for next year or sign up for those in the coming months. The Mommy Blogger Directory provides a list of this year and 2013 conferences with detailed information.
I just returned from the Type-A Parent Conference. It is one of the smaller conferences that helps you gain knowledge about blogging and social networking. I highly recommend it whether you are a newbie or experienced blogger. You can dress casually or bring out the business attire. For parties, you’ll see everything from dresses to jeans and flip flops. People are friendly and helpful. You get your money’s worth in education and networking. And you’ll meet many different types of bloggers.
I was not paid to write this post, but wanted to share my thoughts about Type-A Parent Conference.