Last Minute Tips, Advice and Encouragement for BlogHer '12
So... I know that Lori Luna doesn't like countdowns, so I won't give you the exact number, but let's face it: BlogHer '12 is right upon us. If you're attending HealthMinder or Pathfinder Day, you're even closer. Like way close. If this was a hot and cold game, you'd be ON FIRE! But it's not. This, instead, is a last minute post to keep you encouraged, to keep you inspired and to give you some ideas. You've been blogging your socks off in preparation for the conference and saying some really smart things.
Melissa already offered up a post of your advice with people who were on the ball, early to the game with their posts. The last minute posts are still rolling in, all with slightly different takes on what attending BlogHer '12 might mean, either for you or for them or for sponsors or for your families.
Nervous? Amy at Freaky Perfect has given you homework. Yes, you, BlogHer '12 attendee. Are you traveling in the next day or so? Then read her important post first and then, while you're traveling, do this homework assignment. I don't think you'll regret it, even if you already know the answers.
Sit down and think about who you are, online and offline. Think about your goals, both personal and business ones. Think about where your skills lie, and what you want to offer to the world. Think about your story, and what you want the future chapters to hold. Once you have confidence in those answers, you will be well-positioned to explain your value to others. And if you can’t figure those things out, don’t worry. Just promise yourself you’ll spend more time in the sessions, learning and discussing and soaking up some serious knowledge, than in the Expo Hall trying to get people to notice you. Because in most cases, it’s better to be a day late than a dollar short. In other words, it’s OK to step back, reevaluate, polish your presence and wait for the right clients and opportunities to come along.
Liz Gumbinner of Mom 101 wrote a great post full of both fantastic points (attend more panels, don't feel like you have to attend every panel) and things to do in NYC. My favorite point is her one about Voices of the Year. Really, it's her wording that gets me. But she's 100% spot on.
5. If you miss the Voices of the Year you are a bonehead.
The one thing we all have in common: We blog. And the opportunity to listen to a group of your peers stand up and read their writing is an amazingly grounding, connective, community experience. When I read at the Community Keynote the first year, it was one of the highlights of my life. Sitting in the audience in subsequent years was also a highlight.
Tracy at Ascending Butterfly decided to help out those bloggers bringing their kids to New York City with a list of things to do for families. (Our sons aren't coming, but I passed this off to my husband who will be gallivanting around the city during the day.)
I thought ending with Kristen Howerton's post at Rage Against the Minivan would be a good one, because it's really, really good advice for a conference of this size. (Hi, 4000 bloggers much?) Her whole post is quite helpful, but take this gem with you and keep it in mind all week.
Adjust your expectations. It is a crazy, manic experience, and I didn't feel like I got enough time with any one person, but that is probably just not possible with that many people in one place. You probably won’t make it to everything you want to attend, and you probably won’t get to talk to everyone you want to meet. That’s okay.
And there you have it, last bits of advice. Last round up of pre-conference posts. Last little bits of encouragement, of support. This is it. This is game on. I will see you tomorrow or Friday or Saturday. Or today, if you're already in NYC. After reading through these last minute posts (and more!), I feel less nervous about not being myself. I'm still quite sure I'll trip and fall at some point, but surely someone will help me up... right?
One last thing: Enjoy your time!