How I Prepared for My First Blog Conference
When I joined The Fresh Exchange team, I knew little about the world of blogging. I followed a few blogs, but I did not know the depth that went into running these personal publications. It is a full time job and takes a lot of creative energy. It is a process that I have enjoyed watching since accepting Megan’s invitation to join her journey.
My first day we hit the ground running. We sat down at the round table with our computers and notebooks, and Megan began with the first order of business… Alt Summit. Megan will be speaking this year about brand and blogger collaborations and she asked if I would be willing to tag along. I could not say no to a chance to meet others in this awesome up and coming industry.
After everything was booked, I started to wonder how one prepares for such a unique conference. One of the things I learned while studying journalism was the importance of research. So, I dove in to everything Alt related and decided there were 4 ways to prep for a blogging conference.
- Engage. You never want to attend a party without knowing who will be there and what they are about. It’s important to introduce yourself to a community. The best way to do this is through social media. I geek out when it comes to social media especially Twitter. I immediately hit the follow button on all of Alt Summit’s social media outlets. I joined in on the Wednesday’s #altchats and offered answers to the questions. I began to follow and favorite other alt chatters. Social media helped set the tone for Alt Summit in my mind. Engaging on the different social media platforms prepared me to engage when I meet other Alt Summit attendees and speakers.
- Get my fitness game on. When Megan told me the amount of energy and talking that we would do at Alt Summit, I took a deep breath and hit my yoga mat more than usual. I knew I needed to be able to keep up with the creative energy, so it was important that I not only work my creative muscles but my physical muscles. The altitude in Salt Lake City is quite different than the altitude in the Southern region of the U.S., so amping up my yoga practice will help my breathing adjust to the difference. Also, Megan informed me that a block is a little larger in Salt Lake City than in Raleigh; therefore, making sure my little leg muscles were strengthened was key. Remaining healthy and fit will keep me going both mentally and physically all day.
- Prepare my bag with essential gear. I have to say that I am a champ at packing. I have travelled to multiple countries and have travelled a lot in the U.S., so I feel I have mastered the art of organizing a suitcase. I always try to pack an outfit for each day so the zippers on my suitcase don’t explode, but I know I will have to pack multiple outfits for this conference. When having to prepare different outfits, I have learned that you can pack key pieces that you can wear multiple ways. My black afternoon dress from Madewell will probably make an appearance at least twice during the conference, but I will pair it with a scarf and flats one day and a jean vest and heels the next. Two of the most important items that I will have to pack are my sneakers and notebook. I will not walk a mile block in heels or flats. I have made that mistake before so you will find me wearing my Vans or Nike’s with my dresses. My notebook will be my essential tool. I love learning and taking notes, so if I forget that than I have packed in vain.
- Make a Plan: There are so many awesome sessions on the schedule that it is going to be hard to choose the best. I have looked over the schedule and talked with Megan about how we can divide and conquer in order to get the most out of the conference together. Megan and I will split up so we can attend the sessions we are excited to watch and hear. Doing this prep before hand with someone who is attending the conference or with a buddy you make the first day is great because you can exchange notes later.
I’m excited to see what will unfold at the conference. It’s going to be great coming along on this journey with Megan and helping her craft her talk. I also am excited to meet some of you who read The Fresh Exchange. Right now though I am resting and making sure to hydrated for the wild, fun, and creative ride that kicks off on Tuesday.
Are any of you attending Alt Summit? Will I be able to put any faces to a name? That’s one of my favorite things to do! Megan and I cannot wait to meet those of you who will be in attendance.
image via: Musta Ovi