So I think we have worked it out by now. For a fair chunk of us, going to a blogger conference is petrifying. BritMums Live! 2012 is the biggest conference I will have ever been to.
As well as the inevitable nerves about walking into a huge event and meeting new bloggers, there is for some, the added worry of leaving your children, perhaps for the first time, or being a long way from home.
And if that isn’t enough to contend with, I am already having dreams that I have forgotten to pack my underwear, and even worse… my straighteners. Pants I can do without. Straightener-less and I can give Crystal Tips a run for her money.
So how do we get over the “rabbit in headlights” syndrome?
That person, you know the one looking really professional (or even worse, really snooty) sitting down tweeting and generally being a social media queen? Clocked her? Well that was actually me, poking away erratically at my brand new smartphone, pretending to look busy and popular. In reality I had no friends and no confidence, no idea where the hashtag button was on said phone, and was minutes away from scarpering.
The crazy thing is, chances are the woman sitting opposite me was doing exactly the same thing. All it would have taken was a flicker of a smile and my day could have been a whole different. But nerves got the better of me, and I didn’t look up.
This year I will do things differently and that will start with making a small plan and ask myself a few questions.
What do you blog about?
One thing I hadn’t even thought about and was what sent me over the edge at my blogger conference disaster was what to answer when someone asked me what I blog about.
Ummmm, fumble, look down, “my little girl?”, fumble, twitch, “ummmm and my life”. Oh for the love of Pete.
So it may be a good idea, before arriving at BritMums Live! is to sit down and really ask yourself, what is my elevator speech? Sometimes a tagline can look great on screen but when you say it our loud it can come across unclear (or in my case, a bit pompous). An elevator speech is more like what you’d say if a friend asked what your blog is about.
Sometimes it helps to start out by thinking of some random words and writing them down. What is the focal point of your blog? What are the most frequently used tags/categories? What words describe you, your writing style, what you write about? When you have all those words in front of you, it may become clearer.
This week, I came up with my elevator speech;
“I blog about my journey through life with my little girl with special needs, finding the silver lining in the bad times, and laughing through the good times.”
I still feel a bit of a chump when I say it out loud but something along those lines should do it.
What do you want from BritMums Live!?
You may have a clear cut answer to this, you may not, it doesn’t really matter. For some a plan will ensure they get the most out of the day. For others going with the flow could be more beneficial.
Some are excited about picking up some blogging tips, will attend as many sessions as possible and have a schedule plan booked up already.
Some may feel that the networking and connections with other bloggers and PR companies are far better for their blogging careers.
Some are looking to meet up some old friends or putting faces to the names of their new friends.
Some are looking forward to a couple of days away from home (that’ll be me then).
And some are looking for the bar (you know who you are).
There is no wrong or right way.
Even if you do have a plan, you don’t need to stick to it. Sometimes a little time out may be better. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you don’t need to cram everything in, remember there will be live blogs from each session.
And you can always pop over to the BritMums Butterflies who will be there with tea, cake, hugs, or a firm grip/shake of the shoulders and some stern words. You decide.
The BritMums Butterflies have introduced themselves on video. Watch it and get to know the four faces so at least you’ll know where to head for on arrival – the cake stand!