We have attended many blogging conferences over the years and inevitably these lessons come up time and time again. Here are the ten lessons we think will serve you well when attending conferences.
1. Pay your own way. Many brands work with bloggers especially during conferences. If you want to enjoy the conference without the pressure of having to work on behalf of a brand, pay your own way. You can cut some of the costs by sharing a hotel room with a blogging friend and by making all of your travel arrangements early.
2. Schedule time to meet up with friends. It’s amazing how many friends you think you will just run into at a blogging conference, especially the bigger ones. That's not always the case. Some of the conferences are so big you might not ever see your friends. So schedule a time to meet up with them.
3. Decide the sessions you want to attend before attending. Do not pick your sessions during breakfast each day before sessions start. You're too busy and can become overwhelmed. Plan your sessions as soon as the schedule comes out when you have time.
4. Visit the exhibitor hall. Oftentimes conferences cannot exist without their brand partners. At least go and visit their sponsors and grab some swag if it's something you genuinely like.
5. Have dinner with friends. Instead of grabbing room service at night go out with your friends for dinners. Those are the best conversations you'll have.
6. Get more social and obligate yourself to less. Take time to meet new people. Network. Network. Network.
7. Bring your family. There can be great advantages to bringing your family to a conference. They get a chance to get away and you can share your blogging experiences with them.
8. Take more pictures. When you get home you'll want a ton of photos to share. Take photos on your phone that you can share via social media, but take better photos that you can share on your blog.
9. Exercise. Take every morning to go for a walk or go to the hotel gym. It will recharge your batteries and will give you the energy throughout the day.
10. Slow down. You owe it to yourself to slow down. Conferences will only become what you make of them. You don’t want it to be some crazy, hurried experience. Take time to enjoy the conference and relish why you're there.