Don't Forget to Do These Vital Things Online Before a Conference
One of the best things about attending a BlogHer event is the connections you make with other attendees.
It's also one of the most daunting aspects of attending a BlogHer event, particularly now that content creators come with more than their blogs -- they come with Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, groups and pages, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube and LinkedIn, too.
Before you pack your bags and head to a BlogHer conference, there are some things you can do now to make it easier to connect with other conference attendees and (just as important or maybe more so) to help others connect with you.
Join the Facebook group
Here's how to join the Official Going To BlogHer Annual Conference Facebook Group:
1. You register for #BlogHer16.
2. Our team will add you to the group within a couple of days.
3. You're IN.
It's that easy!
After you've been added to the group, get in there, add your name to the various lists linked at the top of the group and engage! The more people you meet before you arrive at the conference, the more comfortable you'll feel at the event.
You'll also find more people to add to your social media streams and blogs to read (we have attendee blog URLs in the Facebook group, too!).
Take a look at your Twitter cover photo. Does it reflect who you are and what you're about? If not, change it now!
Are you following the people you want to be following? Clean up your main list.
Next, subscribe to the Twitter list of attendees available on the Facebook group.
Take a look at your Facebook page(s.) How are their cover photos? Are they free from spam? Are you publishing there regularly? Clean up your stream, give your page(s) a little facelift if they need them and make sure you're posting regularly right up until you leave for the conference.
Start following people (either individuals or pages) whom you know you want to meet while you're at the conference. Add them to Facebook lists so you can better keep up with them at the event and to make it easier to reach out after you've come home.
Take a look at your Pinterest account. What are the first three or four boards that appear when someone visits you? If the first board is Valentine's Day ... make sure it's February.
You want your most compelling and important right-now boards and topics to appear at the top. You also want to be sure you're pinning regularly.
There's nothing worse than meeting someone cool at a conference and finding out they haven't updated their social media streams in ages.
You should also start following Pinners you know you want to meet at the conference by looking at our attendee list in the Facebook group. Make the connection today, before you go!
Don't overlook LinkedIn! How long has it been since you updated your profile photo? How long has it been since you updated your work history? Your bio?
All of these are things someone might look at after they meet you at a conference and think they might have an opportunity to offer you. Don't miss out on that opportunity because you haven't updated your LinkedIn!
Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube and everything else!
If you use a social media platform or a publishing platform and you might mention it at the conference, be sure it looks good, it's been recently updated, and you're following other attendees you're interested in making connections with. A dead YouTube stream is not going to look good if you've pitched yourself as a potential vlogger for their product or campaign.
Your Blog (If You Have One)
Clean it up! Make sure it's spam-free. Make sure your images on the sidebars aren't broken. Make sure it's clutter-free! While you're doing that, consider these things as well:
Pre-write some posts and schedule them to publish during the conference. A lot of people think they'll blog during a BlogHer conference, because duh -- content creation conference -- but let me just tell you that most people just don't. They're too tired. Too busy. Too overwhelmed. Pre-blog and schedule the posts to go live. (You should also consider a social media scheduling tool if your blog platform isn't set up to auto-post to social.)
Pre-write some posts and schedule them to publish for a couple of days after you return from BlogHer. You might think you'll jump right back into blogging, but you might not.
Conferences are exhausting and overwhelming. You've missed your family, and they've missed you. It can be hard to get right back into the swing but you don't want your blog to be stale when people are coming to visit you after they've met you in person at the event.
You can always change the publish dates on them when you get home if you're ready to blog again immediately!
Make sure your "About" page is updated.
Make sure your email address is easy to find from your blog. A contact form is okay, but a lot of people hate them and prefer to just plain email you. If you're worried about spammers, write out your email address like this: denise.tanton at sheknows dot com.
Make sure the links to your social accounts and the social share buttons on your site are working.
Be sure your comments are working! In all browsers!
If you do a little work on your social media streams and online publishing platforms now, it will be so much easier to make connections at the conference. Now excuse me, I have some streams to clean and some organizing of my own to do!
I look forward to meeting you at a future BlogHer conference and subscribing to all of your beautiful social streams.
SheKnows Community Director
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