Technically, you are all set to attention BlogHer ’12 in New York next month, right? The travel is booked, the kids are accounted for and the freezer is stocked to streamline meals for the hubs. But how are you going to make a success of it once you are there? Once the shock of being kid-free wears off, meet and connect with other mom bloggers. Not only can they become an amazing support network, but you can learn from each other too. These tips will help you do that.
Connect, bond and support at BlogHer
BlogHer 2012 is coming up soon. Bloggers from around the country (and some other countries too!) will descend on New York for networking, learning and making friends with other bloggers. How can you leverage the incredible opportunity, creating a support network for your mom blog in the process?
Prepare, prepare, prepare
It’s key that you don’t go into your conference experience blindly. Learn about the sessions, make a plan for what you want to attend and most importantly, decide who you want to see. “Reach out to conference coordinators and speakers via Twitter or email with any questions you may have, and let them know how excited you are about the conference! Getting an early dialogue going makes it less intimidating to talk to them in person at the event, and you’re more likely to build lasting relationships that way. It’s really important to put yourself out there — don’t be shy,” says Chelsea of Someday I’ll Learn.
Also, check out the attendee list too to see what other bloggers you want to connect with — and then seek them out to chat. But don’t forget to talk to everyone. You never know when another mom blogger previously unknown to you might teach you something life-changing.
Be a listener
Making friends and creating a support network is built on personal connections. But you can’t create those if you do all the talking. So don’t. Instead, be quiet and let others do the talking. This will let you get to know them — and help you see what you have in common.
“I’m genuinely interested in others (people like to talk about themselves and their work, so be open and you might learn something… the conference is not all about you),” says Nancy Wurtzel of the blog Dating Dementia. “If I have read a person’s blog, then I will comment on it… but I never improvise if I don’t know their work as that can lead to trouble if you get into a conversation of any depth! In other words, don’t try to fake it.”
Being real when you chat with people really matters (and shows).
All the best prep in the world can’t prepare you for those magic moments when you connect with a person — so be open to it and let it happen. “Go with the flow. Some of my best blogging relationships have been built over drinks in the lobby when I was skipping a session I’d planned to attend,” admits Chelsea.
Before, during and after the conference, you will want to connect with the folks you meet (or are meeting) across social media. Double check that your business cards have your social media information on them. Then, collect cards from those you meet and immediately start chatting across social media channels.
Now, go make some friends!