What to expect at Blogging Conferences and Training Events

Blogging Conferences and Training Events by Jo Castro

Registration and coffee, Craig and Caz Makepeace on a Panel discussion, a room full of people at Problogger 2011 and a Ninja – yes really!

Have you booked for the Problogger Training Event, or have you ever thought about attending a bloggie conference or get together and not known what to expect? I know lots of people look at me quizzicaly and ask: “What’s a blogging conference? What is it – What goes on?” as if  they think it’s like buying tickets to fly to  meet aliens on the moon.

Blogging conferences and Training Events

Forget any ideas you might have of a boring corporate business conference. A blog conference is much more fun and informal but it’s all about learning and networking, especially All About Blogging –  from how to set up a blog and how to create a profitable online publishing business … here’s a fun look at Blogging Gems and Diamonds

It’s about having fun too – at Problogger there will be networking breakfasts and an evening get together allowing us to meet and mingle with other people of like minds.

If you can’t attend, read on about how to buy a Virtual Ticket for ‘live access’ to all the sessions so that you don’t miss out.

Lady Melbourne, Darren Rowse, Mrs Woog, Tim Ferriss at Problogger by Jo Castro

Lady Melbourne, Darren Rowse, Mrs Woog, Tim Ferriss at Problogger 2011

What will I learn?

A blogging conference or training event is likely to include sessions that teach you about the nuts and bolts of blogging and creating online content, everything from:- writing great content, to creating EBooks, marketing yourself and your blog, how best to engage with social media, and tips about new and interesting industry news and views.Top names and forward thinkers are engaged to deliver (approximately) 45 minute sessions of presentations, and successful or up and coming bloggers are invited to chat and answer questions on Discussion Panels.

I often learn more about useful stuff like … Things I Wished I’d known from The Beginning!

The Problogger 2012 Training Event promises to be the best yet for ideas and help on how to build profitable blogs. If you’re unable to attend then The Virtual Participants Portal is your next best bet. Click on the box below to buy your ticket to the 2013 event. It’s a great way of being involved in the conference and enjoying the sessions from a distance. You’ll learn lots. (Disclaimer: I am an affiliate so I stand to earn a little commission if you purchase a ticket here. Thanks if you do :) )

Darren Rowse by JO Castro

Darren Rowse dressing smart but casual, and a host of bloggers wearing everything from smart to super casual.

What to Wear to a live Blogging Conference

For those of us lucky enough to attend the live conference, the question of what to wear is often a dilemma. This year there has  been talk of people attending the event wearing their pyjamas, because let’s face it, that’s what a lot of bloggers go to work in, chained as we often are to our home computers or laptops! I can often be found (cough) in my pink fluffy dressing gown and neon slippers tapping away at the computer and having grown-up conversations or conducting interviews on the phone. Those are the days I don’t use Skype video!

But informal is the key. Pyjamas or jeans may be the order of the day for some people, fashion bloggers may decide to dress up in glad rags and show off their style, bloggers representing brands may choose to go for a smart casual or even suited look, and there will be everything and anything in between as well. So wear what you feel comfortable in, something that’s easy to spend time sitting down in (note to self – no over tight waistbands) and something that you can perhaps dress up for the evening event if a dash back to your hotel is not an option.

Ladies – a note on shoes. I wore tarts trotters last year and although they looked lovely I regretted it! Most of the time they were tucked under the table and nobody saw them, and then when I had to make a quick dash to the evening event, I regretted not being able to walk fast to get to the wine!

Networking

A blogging conference gets bloggers together. We are a disparate bunch of people not only spread around Australia, but spread around the world. While the Aussie conferences may not attract such a large international audience as BlogHer and other American or European conferences, Problogger 2012 has just over 300 registered attendees and a waiting list to boot.

The hardest thing, I find, is making the most of my time. I love chatting to other bloggers and finding out how they do things, what their bloggie problems are, what successes they’ve had and so on because for a big part of my working day I’m alone and only communicating via social media, Facebook or Twitter for instance. It’s great to meet people in real life and I just know that this year I’ll be wanting to meet all 300 of the other attendees, but know that I can’t.

So the problem is how to work my way around a number of people, without appearing rude. How do you do that? Personally, I tend to get so involved in a conversation that I don’t know how to extricate myself, even if out of the corner of my eye I can see someone else that I’d really like to connect with. That’s the hardest part for me.

Other people are really shy and introverted. That’s why a lot of us are so good at blogging! I’m also quite shy about starting a new conversation and energising a friendship from scratch, but I think the key thing is to remember to ask questions. Ask about the other person’s blog, what they write about, what difficulties they face, and soon you’ll be chatting away as if you’ve known each other all your lives.

What gadgets and gizmos to take

Conferences vary in the provision of tables, wifi and charging points at the event, and audio recordings or PDF’s of the sessions afterwards. Try not to wear yourself down with a big heavy bag, becuase you will be carting it from room to room. Bearing that in mind, here’s a list of some of the things you may like to consider:-

iPad

Laptop

Paper and Pen

Camera or phone with camera

Business cards

For Problogger 2012 Darren has this to say: “Some may prefer just to sit and listen without the distraction of any technology and rely upon the audio recordings and PDFs of the powerponits that we give all attendees. We’ll have free wifi at the event for you to Tweet/blog the event (we might even have a few prizes for best Tweets/Live Blogs etc) – all we ask is you don’t download/upload anything too big to slow the network down (a few photos is cool – but no massive videos please).”

Make New Friends

You’ll find that everyone is really friendly at a blogging conference. Even the A-Grade bloggers. We’re all in this fairly new media arena together, and we’re all still learning. I think that even  well known bloggers and someone as successful as Darren Rowse would admit to that.

So do chat to the person you find sitting next to you. Most people will be on their own, and many people will barely know a soul. Don’t be alarmed if you see cliques of people who all seem to know each other, they have probably been blogging for a few years, because soon you’ll find your own friendship groups of like-minded bloggers who you’ll meet up with over and over again. The trick is to make the first move, and get to know someone. Find someone who also looks a little lost to begin with, and the ball will start rolling.

By the end of the conference you will probably have collected a whole heap of business cards and it really will be up to you to follow up on those friendships and keep them alive virtually until you meet up at another conference next year. I attended the fabulous Nuffnang Blogopolis in June and made some firm friends who I’m so looking forward to meeting up with again at Problogger 2012 in Melbourne.

Virtual Tickets

The Problogger Event Virtual Ticket will give pass holders an Access All Areas pass to the Virtual Participants Portal, on probloggerevents.com and enable you to participate – virtually – in the event from anywhere in the world!

 

It will provide ‘almost live’ access to:

  • Over 21 hours of teaching. You’ll get audio recordings of all 21 sessions of training at the event. You’ll hear from bloggers like Darren Rowse, Chris Guillebeau, Sarah Wilson and many more on how to build profitable blogs (see full schedule here).
  • View all slides from each of the sessions at the event – yours to keep as PDFs.
  • Participate in an exclusive live webinar with Darren Rowse on October 17th for a post-event Q&A session – this will also be recorded for you to listen to again later.
  • Membership to our private FB group to connect with other virtual attendees, live attendees in Melbourne, event organisers and speakers

Let’s get to know each other

  1. I hope I get to meet you, if you’re reading this :) Why not let me know in the comments section who you are, and let’s make a plan to get to know each other.
  2. If you’re not going to the conference, then do consider booking The Virtual Ticket. I am an affiliate and  stand to gain commission if you book through this link – so of course it would make me very happy if you did :)
  3. If you’ve written a post about Blogging recently, why not link to it in the comments section, and please add any helpful tips you can offer for other bloggers who might be new to blog conferences and training events.

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Comments

  1. Looking forward to this years event. Felt last year was a little too rushed in between sessions, so this year should be great for the networking. Try and meet as many people as possible, these connections can be so valuable.
    John recently posted..Apps are using GPS to find local businessesMy Profile

  2. So agree, John. It’s important not to do the ‘wallflower’ impersonation! It’s so rare that you get a lot of bloggers in the same place together, that you have to meet as many as possible because face to face connections are so important. Looking forward to it too :) Thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi Johanna. Thanks for the heads-up about what to expect. I’ll be attending for the first time, so not quite sure what to expect, but I am super excited! Hope to meet you too!
    Clinton Power recently posted..Couple Money Problems: Binding Financial Agreements [Video]My Profile

  4. Hope it helped answer a couple of your thoughts about bloggie get togethers, Clinton :) I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it, and hope to meet up with you too!

  5. Hi Johanna, hope to meet you there, perhaps catch up with Annabel for a three-way natter. My husband’s a driller and currently doing 28:28 rotation into Kurdistan, he gets back on Saturday 12th, poor bloke, I won’t be there just the kids and no doubt exhausted babysitter! See you there!!
    seana smith recently posted..Blogging-On-The-Go Made EasierMy Profile

  6. Tristan White says:

    Great post Johanna! Thanks for taking the time to fill us first-timers in :). See you next week at #pbevent..
    Tristan White recently posted..To build a strong culture: start sharing the insomnia todayMy Profile

  7. Thanks Tristan, much appreciated. Hope to catch up with you next week :)

  8. Hi Seanna, yes it would be great to catch up with you at #pbevent. Shame, it’s tricky juggling family life and conferences like these. I hope your hubby and babysitter cope alright and you have the mind-space to enjoy yourself :) My hubby, used to work away a lot too, so I know what it’s like :( Please look out for me next week, as I shall you :)

  9. GREAT post Jo! Excellent tips. I also struggle with the finding time to talk to everyone thing. The social time is so limited and I always arrive home kicking myself for not meeting a reader or speaking to someone I know. It’s like being at your own wedding, you never have the time to talk to all your guests!!

    I am actually wearing heels this year. I have the most comfy pair of new shoes I love that I just have to wear. I am sure they will be hidden under the table as well.

    I had to laugh and grimace as I opened the post and the first pic I saw was of me. Pics of me from last year seem to be throwing themselves in my face all year. I cringe but it is an excellent gratitude reminder for me because I have lost about 10kg since then so I see the picture and thankfully exclaim the “Thank God I lost the weight!!”
    Can’t wait to seee you Thurs
    Caz Makepeace recently posted..Travel Pinspiration: Top 5 Photos of Cities on PinterestMy Profile

  10. I am a blogger as well but I have never participated in any blogging conferences so far, but hoping to do it very soon. Please, keep me posted on the latest training sessions. I would love to join you and get some more knowledge to improve my blogging and interaction skills.
    Agness recently posted..Thailand: The Land of SmilesMy Profile

  11. Such a great post! Worked in calming my nerves about next weeks #pbevent.
    New blogger here and first time ever at a blogging conference, so I hope to take your advice and speak to people!!
    Josefa @always Josefa recently posted..Diary of a Virgin Blogger – The HaircutMy Profile

  12. I understand that these type of conferences can be a little nerve frazzling, so I’m glad that this post put some of your fears to rest perhaps. I think you’ll really enjoy your first conference – so exciting. Hope to meet you at #pbevent :) Thanks for popping by to Zigazag and for your kind words too.

  13. Hi Agness, thank you for reading this post and yes I’ll try and keep you updated after the event via some more helpful posts about blogging. However, you may like to consider the “Virtual Ticket” which gives you access to all the sessions – just click on the Link in the post above. Good luck with your blogging :)

  14. Thanks Caz! Yes, it is a bit like being at your own wedding! Glad you have a pair of comfy heels to wear – ho hum, I’ve just started looking at my pile of shoes – the gorgeous tarts trotters and the comfy Mumsie shoes, and thinking “Now which to go for. Comfort or Beauty?” Wow, well done in losing all that weight – I’d like to lose a couple of kilos. Reckon you should do a post about ‘how to lose 10kgs and still live an interesting life on the road!’

  15. Hi Jo, this is an awesome post for a blog conference newbie like me. I’m travelling all the way from Malaysia so I’m really looking forward to meeting bloggers and making friends – I’ll have to get over my introvertness! Looking forward to meeting you, cheers.
    David Wang @ ClickWP recently posted..Stop WordPress spam in 2 minutes on your WordPress blogMy Profile

  16. Thanks David :) Have a safe trip over and look forward to catching up with you at #pbevent.

  17. Can’t believe you were there last year. I live blogged the whole thing and didn’t have a chance to speak to anyone – well, that’s what it felt like. Never doing that again!
    Annabel Candy, Successful Blogging recently posted..How to Run a Blog Series and Get More SubscribersMy Profile

  18. Hi Johanna,
    Thank you sooo much for your wonderful blog. It will be my “first time” as well and I am both excited and unsure of what to expect. I do love a good chat so I am looking forward to meeting lots of interesting people that share my passion for blogging!
    Hopefully we shall get a chance to say Hi! :)
    See everyone on Thursday!

  19. Thanks Karen :) I’m sure you’re absolutely going to love Problogger, and it’s great to be excited and a little unsure of what to expect – you’ll soon feel like an old hand, and Yes please look out for me so that we can say Hi!

  20. I can remember seeing you ‘live blogging’ at the side of the room, and I briefly said “Hi” to you in a queu in the ‘Ladies’!! But it wasn’t the right place for a proper chat or introduction at the time!! This year’s going to be different though :)

  21. I’m going to be one of those people who knows absolutely noone. But I’m determined to change that! I look forward to catching up with you on Friday!

  22. Hi Sylvia, Definitely! Don’t worry you’ll soon make friends :) I’m looking forward to meeting you – if your recognise me please come and say “Hi”, as I will you too :)

  23. Hi Joanna,

    Great post! I’ll be attending this one and I’m really looking forward to it. Some brilliant practical tips in here!

    Cheers,
    Kimberley @ melbournemum.com
    Kimberley M recently posted..Five hot tips for Problogger Virgins (No. Not that kind)My Profile

  24. Thanks Kimberley, so glad you felt they were practical tips :) Hope to catch up with you in Melbourne.

  25. This is my first blogging event, too, but I know from other events like this that it is really hard to meet and chat with everyone you want to. I’ll keep that in mind every time I feel that I don’t knwo nyone and get myself mingling.

    I don’t think I’ll come in jammies but it’s good to know a suit is optional! See you Friday:)
    Tash Hughes recently posted..Determine the quality of your life – today!My Profile

  26. Ha ah Tash! See you dressed for action on Friday can’t wait!

  27. Thanks for the mention :)

  28. I think you are spot on with your descriptions of what to expect at a blogger conference. I wish you’d have written this a year ago when I was so nervous about my first conference. Now I have been to 4, I ‘m addicted to them. My recent post is part of a recap of my most recent blog conference, Blogalicious 2012. http://www.chasing-joy.com/2012/10/brc2012-part-2-5-ways-to-make-money.html

  29. Oh, and I’m stopping by from SITS Saturday link up.
    Chasing Joy recently posted..BRC2012 Part 2: 5 Ways to Make MoneyMy Profile

  30. Thanks for that Joy :)

  31. Thanks for commenting Joy! Yes, once you get over the first conference I agree, they can become very addictive! Great that you are over being nervous and I’m going to pop over and look at your recap of Blogalicious :)

  32. Hi Johannah, I echo other comments from first time attendees, a very informative blog.
    This will be my first in Australia as the only other conference I’ve attended was April’s Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. Hoping to be able to find you amongst the crowd and say “hello”.
    As well as catch up with the fellow smmw13 attendees again.

  33. Thanks Amanda – it would be great to meet you! Please look out for me (I guess you’ve seen my photo on the blog) and say Hello. It would be great to have a chat :)

  34. Great tips!
    This will be my first ProBlogger. I am so excited to attend and meet so many wonderful people. You have inspired me to write a list of who I want to actually meet so that I can be somewhat focused. I’d hate to get home and think oh I was so close to so-and-so.
    Sarah from Creating Contentment recently posted..Thankful ThursdayMy Profile

  35. That’s great Sarah :) Yes, I think writing a list of to-do’s is such a good idea. Which makes me realise that I should be making one too! Hope to meet you at PB event too :)

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