Disclosure: I’m a Silver Sponsored RoadTrip Mom! I received a Silver Ticket to #RoadTrip2013 in exchange for sharing my honest opinion about this conference. And honestly…I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about a conference!! If you’re interested in attending, scroll to the bottom of this post for a discount code. Hope to see you there!
I’m a huge fan of conferences, but not all conferences are created equal…and that’s totally OK. There are conferences that may be incredible for me, but not right for you and vice-versa.
From the time I started blogging to now, I’ve been to a dozen different conferences…some of them more than once. I’ve been to big conferences and small conferences, conferences where I knew people and conferences where I knew no one. I’ve been to conferences that focus on the business side of blogging, conferences that focus on the content side of blogging, and conferences that focus on blogging in general. I’ve also been to technology conferences and business conferences. And while there have been some that have majorly exceeded my expectations, there have been others that left me wishing I’d stayed home with my hubby and kids.
Here’s what I’ve learned along the way about conferences and choosing the conference that will be the best fit for you.
1. Figure out why you want to attend a conference and what you hope to get out of it.
People attend conferences for a variety of reasons. Some will go to hone their craft. Others go to connect with brands. Some want to network with other bloggers. There are people that realize they need to learn the business side of things. I know that seems like an obvious first step, but if you don’t know your “why”, it will be harder for you to figure out if a conference is going to be a good fit.
2. Ask your friends who have been before or ask around on Twitter or Facebook.
If a conference is not a new conference, it helps to ask around. I’m a huge believer in recommendations from friends and Word of Mouth advertising. Honest feedback from people who have been to a conference can be extremely valuable. Ask them if the conference was valuable to them and what they gained from it.
3. Look at who will be speaking!
I’m heading to EW RoadTrip 2013 in less than a month! Since this is a new conference, I immediately looked at the list of speakers and it is incredible! I heard Crystal Paine speak at a conference a few years ago and was inspired to not only be a better blogger, but also a better wife and mother.
When you look at a list of speakers, look to see if you recognize any of the names. If you don’t recognize them off the back, read their bios and google them. If you find them to be interesting and inspiring, you may want to attend the conference. If they have very different views and opinions and/or you don’t find them interesting, this may not be the conference for you.
4. Look at the conference organizers.
I have attended quite a few conferences the very first year they were offered. For a few of these conferences, I attended solely because I liked and respected the conference organizers. I had the privilege of attending a Google+ Hangout last month with the organizer of EW RoadTrip, Tanyalynnette Palmo and it made me like and respect her even more. I can’t wait to meet her in person and experience this awesome conference.
5. Check out the workshops being offered.
While keynote speakers are great and inspiring, sometimes the best takeaways can come from workshops. These are often led by people who are willing to share specific tips on a specific topic to help you grow your business, find balance between your personal and professional life, or help you to figure out what direction you want to be heading personally and/or professionally.
6. Check out the brands.
For those of you who are going to a conference mainly to interact with brands, this tip is especially for you. If you blog about the evils of processed food, a conference sponsored by Cheez Whiz will probably not be a good fit for you. Look at the brands who are conference sponsors as well as brands who will be exhibiting in the expo hall. Sometimes this is the best way to get your foot in the door with those brands.
Hopefully these tips will help you to find your way to conference bliss!
If you’re interested in attending RoadTrip 2013, you can use code LTSS to save $400 off the price of a ticket!