by Ari Adams, Love, Peace, and Tiny Feet

If you’re the average blog conference attendee, you will have introduced yourself and exchanged cards with hundreds of people, collected a bunch of cool swag, taken tons of pictures, and drafted pages and pages of notes. You then return home—exhausted and overwhelmed—burying your notes, doing minimal follow up, and becoming a distant memory to 90 percent of the people you’ve met over the course of the conference dates.

Blog conferences can not only be a ton of fun, but also a great opportunity to connect with other bloggers and brands. But most importantly, it’s a chance to form long-lasting and potentially profitable relationships with these people. The problem is that every single person there is hoping to do the same. If you’re attending Blogger Bash 2016, you can expect to meet and interact with hundreds of digital influencers, bloggers, vloggers, social media professionals, and lifestyle brands. The connections will be incredible, but just as important as it is to attend, it’s even more important that you make sure you take some very necessary steps to set you apart from the crowd—not only during the conference, but afterwards as well.

  1. Send a thank you note to your favorite presenters.
    After sitting through many blog conference sessions, you are sure to gain a lot of valuable insight from these experts. These are some great relationships to maintain because they are personally invested in your success and are usually eager to help you if you have some questions in the future.Send them an email post-conference to personally thank them and, if possible, share some actual examples of how you plan to or have actually used some of the information they’ve taught you towards your blog or business. Continue to follow up with them as time goes on with your progress. You never know—you may get to be their next featured case study!
  2. Similarly, thank the conference organizers.
    These are the people who have put in a whole lot of time and effort to help make the conference a success for you. They are also your best liaison to brands, other bloggers, and potential opportunities. Be sure to send them a note to thank them for their efforts and foster a positive relationship with them.
  3. Connect with Brand Representatives on social media, including LinkedIn.
    While this may be done during the conference, just make sure you are connected to all of the brand representatives you’ve met, as well as their colleagues. If there’s someone you did not get a chance to meet during the conference, go ahead and make that introduction.
  4. Write a post-conference blog post.
    After the conference, taking the time to write a blog post recapping your experience is a great way to set you apart. You can write about the people you’ve met, things you learned, specific experiences you had at the conference, etc. The topic can be whatever fits with your blog, but be sure to share the blog post with the conference organizer, as well as any brands or other bloggers mentioned!
  5. Try out your swag and write a review.
    Post-conference, you usually come home with a lot of great swag. Hey, that’s one of the perks of attending a conference. If you want to further build a relationship with a brand, go ahead and write a review on one of the items in your swag bag. Show how it’s used in your home, how much you or your children love it, etc. The brand representatives will surely appreciate it and are likely to consider you for future campaigns.
  6. Share pictures with Brand Representatives of you interacting with sponsor brands.
    As with many blog conferences, the sessions involving conference sponsors are very interactive. They will usually have all sorts of photo opps for you to take engaging with their products—holding, operating, even eating! Blogger Bash has a full lineup of  great sponsors, and there are sure to be ample interactive opportunities to engage with these brands. After the conference, tweet one of these pics to the brand representative saying something like, “Hey XYZ Brand, remember me from #BBNYC? {insert fun anecdote here}. Let’s connect!”
  7. Reach out to Brand Representatives with a specific “ask.”
    Take some time post-conference to research the brands you’ve interacted with and potential opportunities for partnership. When you follow up with the brand representative, share specific ideas and proposals you’ve come up with on ways you’d like to work with them. Let them know exactly what you are willing to offer, as well as what you will require in exchange. *Insider Tip: If you have already written or publicized the brand via steps 4-6, they may already be familiar with what you have to offer.*
  8. Form a blog tribe with other bloggers you met.
    This is a very important step to take to not only set you apart, but also to help you propel your own blog or business. During the conference, you will likely meet some other amazing bloggers in your niche who you will want to keep in touch with and collaborate with on future projects. Start a Facebook group and invite those bloggers to share ideas, posts, etc.
  9. Allow everyone (including yourself) a few days to rest
    Post-conference, brand representatives, bloggers, organizers, etc., will inevitably return home to a host of unanswered emails, voicemails, and so on. While it is OK to do a quick follow up with the people you’ve met, don’t expect a response for at least the first couple of days after a conference. Do not take it personally, and most importantly, do not harass them for a response.
  10. Set a plan for the year ahead.
    Finally, post conference, be sure to go through all of your conference notes, business cards, etc., and create a 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month plan for yourself and your blog.

What conferences do you guys plan on attending this year? Did I miss any tips?

BBpostimage1Ari Adams is a “Chiro-wife,” a mom of two amazing daughters, a blogger, and an author. She’s the lady behind the lifestyle and parenting blog, Love, Peace, and Tiny Feet, where she shares the memorable and sometimes crazy experiences of balancing parenthood, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, DIY tips, and inspirational stories of finding love and peace in imperfection.