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BlogHer Conference: A networking guide for new bloggers

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

How to make connections

Heading to the BlogHer Conference? Bloggers from all over the world will be attending, and networking at the event. Find out how to network and make the most of your BlogHer experience.

Mom bloggers

If you are headed the BlogHer Conference, then you probably know that it's an awesome opportunity for up-and-coming bloggers to meet other bloggers, learn more about their craft and also network both with other writers and with companies who want to partner with (or hire!) them.

So, how can you make the most of the BlogHer experience?

Practice, practice, practice

They say that you can only make one first impression, and it's so true. So, be armed with a fast, catchy intro that you can use both using the BlogHer speed dating session and with anyone else you meet during the conference. People are going to ask about you, so being prepared is a must.

And do attend the BlogHer speed dating session. "Rehearse your 15-second blog sales pitch for Speed Dating, BlogHer-style on opening day. (And don't be shy, do the speed dating, it's a great way to connect with other bloggers!)," says Jennifer Huber of Solo Travel Girl. "Make your pitch memorable and highlight what makes you and your blog unique. Ask your date an easy question such as have they visited New York (host city) before or how long have they been blogging. Questions will hopefully flow from that point."

Be visible

Forget nerves, fear of looking stupid and anything else that could deter you from having a fabulous and productive time at the conference. Instead, pursue getting noticed.

How? "Hike up your name-tag for better visibility," advises Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write for Food. "Conferences typically give you a name-tag on a rope that ends up around your bellybutton. Make a knot in the string so the name tag hangs at chest level instead," says Jacob.

Plan smart

Okay, so you are ready to be there and meet people. Now what? It's important that you use your time wisely and get the advice and information you need while there.

To that end, plan wisely where you will spend your time at the conference. "Only attend the sessions that really interest you. Don't fill your whole day with them.Your time is better off spent networking, getting fresh air, or spending time in the exhibit hall when it is less crowded," says Jennifer Wagner of Connect with your Teens through Pop Culture and Technology.

Also, be sure that you are meeting your goals for the conference too. "Determine what your purpose to attend the conference is - are you attending to learn technical tips for your blog? If so, then focus on those sessions. Doing a little homework prevents you from missing out on something you really want to attend," says Huber.

What should you wear?

Clothing at BlogHer conferences really varies... so whether you are in jeans or a dress, you are sure to fit in.

What's important, when it comes to clothes, is that you are comfortable and feel great, because that impacts your whole attitude. "Don't fret too much about the outfits. Yes, there will be some fashion superstars in the crowd, but there will also be people dressed for comfort and personal style. It's a wildly diverse crowd. The only must-do is comfortable shoes," says Tricia Mumby, co-founder of Mabel's Labels.

Also, be sure to be prepared for weather extremes that will come with hot outdoors and cool indoors. "With air-conditioning inside and heat and humidity outside, you'll need a cardigan, a wrap, layers of t-shirts or a sundress with cotton jacket. Accessorize with your trendiest necklaces and bracelets, and try for fashionable sandals that won't give you blisters by the end of the day," says Jacob.

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