This is the second part of a three-part series on networking at conferences. In particular, the Blogalicious Conference, speakers and events will be featured.
There is nothing like the energy of a conference to get you ready to network with people in your industry! This is exactly how I felt as I approached the Blogalicious Conference in Miami. I wasn’t only attending the conference, I was a Social Media Ambassador – sharing conference happenings through my experience.
Conferences are a wealth of information, especially if the conference organizer (i.e., Stacey Ferguson, Chief Curator at Blogalicious) puts together great sessions for attendees. However, what is most important is what you do during and after those sessions that’s most important.
If you remember from the first blog post in this series, there are several steps you should take before a conference.
In this post, we are going to apply it!
So, let’s start with step 1 – Research!
Blogalicious had a host of keynote speakers and presenters. After seeing the agenda online, I knew that I had to meet the fabulous Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon of Being Boss – a podcast on a range of topics for Creative Entrepreneurs and Business Owners.
My goal was to meet them and do a little fan-girling, but what I got was so much more. I wanted to share how awesome their podcast on the Chalkboard Method for Goal Setting was and possibly ask a few questions on creating podcast content. As they were on the main stage sharing their story on how this dynamic duo came together, I became immersed in how their collaboration turned into a profitable joint venture. It made me think of the collaborations I have made throughout my time as an entrepreneur. One of them is managing a Facebook group on Networking with my biz bestie, Patti Haus – a Communications and Digital Marketing Strategist I met at a conference, of all places.
Other Goals I Had…
Some of the other goals was to network with as many bloggers and influencers possible. Listening to bloggers / social media influencers pays two-fold – I’m able to listen to their passion of their brand and hearing their struggles and obstacles in operating their business. Listening to their pain points and struggles helps me find solutions for them, either sharing through conversation, social media DMs, or creating content that would help them and others facing that same issue.
My elevator pitch came in handy here, as I shared how I find business and social media solutions for business entrepreneurs. I was able to discuss the power of Pinterest, share Social Media strategies and digital marketing ideas to innovatively sell their products.
Now, I learned a few things too…
There were so many Power Shares, not so many power ups! These attendees were ready with their own power supplies – they are pros at conserving and powering up devices they use on a daily basis. However, the power ups were amazing.
Power Shares, just to refresh your memory from the first blog post in this series – are the golden pieces of information from a session or keynote. If you pop onto your social media and type in #Blogalicious9, you will see the countless amounts of Power Shares from everyone at the conference.
However, one Power Share I took away from the Conference was building and maintaining relationships can help you achieve your goals/dreams. It was a consistent theme that collaborations, even with your competitors, will help you get to that goal – from putting on a conference, starting a podcast, and getting sponsors to support your vision.
One person in particular has supported my vision since meeting her at a conference this past summer. Brittany Minor, of Clumps of Mascara, suggested I attend this conference. I had no idea she was presenting a session on Creating a Community When You’re Introverted and Awkward AF. Even though I wouldn’t consider myself introverted, she gave me some insight on how I can be of better service to those in my circle that might be!
Last, but not least…
This is one conference that I did not have to remind myself to pull away from work mode and have fun. I have to admit that every facet was thought of for the attendees at this conference – yoga in the morning, test drives with Kia (with a bonus Sephora gift card – Yes! Sephora), smoothie breaks, camp side chats about RV life with Keith Sims and Go RVing, silent disco sponsored by the American Heart Association, happy hours with #FriendsofJack – Jack Daniel’s, and makeup touchups and headshots sponsored by Wells Fargo Works. This was all onsite and amazing!
I found myself connecting with others based on just being social and having fun, not necessarily just to pitch or promote. It was connecting and building relationships with others based on common interest, business aspirations and life goals.
When you sign up for a conference, because you just absolutely have to after this blog post, make sure you make the most of it while you are there! The next and final installment of this series will share tips on what to do once the conference is over…
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