6 Things to Do After a Blogging Conference
If you’ve ever been to a blogging conference, you’re probably familiar with the term “conference hangover.”
You spend a couple of jam-packed days soaking up new information and connecting with new people. While blogging conferences are fun and informative, "restful" and "relaxing" are not usually adjectives people use to describe their experience.
I'm back from #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us, tired but excited and full of ideas about how to do ALL THE BLOGGING THINGS I learned about. Since I didn’t have my usual vegging out time over the weekend, I’m also a little bit bleary-eyed and suffering with the “OMG, how do I get back into my routine” kind of mentality.
Here’s a list of six things to do in the hours and days immediately following a blogging conference that will keep the momentum rolling forward and help you get the very best out of your conference experience:
Organize Your Notes and Photos
Whether you took notes the old-fashioned way or used a computer, go back and reread them within a few days of the conference. Something you scribbled down while you were furiously trying to keep up with the great stuff the presenter was giving may not make sense if you read it next week.
I take notes by hand, but I like to go back later and type them out. I can expand on thoughts and ideas that I had while taking notes (because I still remember) and I can also reorder things and more effectively organize them into topical lists.
I also like to go through all the photos I took during the conference. I delete the fuzzy, out-of-focus photo fails where everyone’s head was chopped off. I pick out what I might want to save for future blog posts, what might make a good stock photo for something completely unrelated to the conference and which pictures I need to tag and share with the cool people I interacted with at the conference.
I constantly snap pictures over the course of a weekend conference. Sorting through them quickly may jog my memory about important stuff, like why I thought it was so important to take seven pictures of my nachos.
Take a minute to save, tag and delete – and don’t forget to appropriately name the pictures you save for future use. Hint: Name the nacho picture something like "nacho picture."
Make a Plan
You should walk away from a blogging conference with information you can use to make your blog better. If that’s not the case, something went wrong.
Maybe it wasn’t the right conference for you, or maybe you were snoozing during the lectures, but your conference hangover should be accompanied by excitement over how you’re going to apply the cool stuff you learned.
When I was refining my conference notes from my last conference, I made a list of stuff I wanted to do … it’s a really long list because I learned a ton of cool stuff. I reorganized the list into different categories, such as tech know-how, social media, writing, and sponsorships. My plan of attack right now is to work on a couple of things a day so that it’s not overwhelming.
If you have something on your list that might have big impact, prioritize it so that you do it first. For example, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re going to want to remedy that quick. And look at me sounding all smart and nerdy. Ha!
But seriously, the amount of information you get at a blogging conference is overwhelming. If you try to implement all the great stuff right away, you’re probably going to burn out or drive yourself crazy.
Make your plan and do a couple of things each day. Today, my tasks are to contact two companies I’ve done sponsored posts with through an affiliate and see if they’re interested in partnering with me directly and to check out Periscope … although I think I need more social media like I need more shoes in my closet. Oh, that’s just silly. Of course I need more shoes. Duh.
I came home with a stack of business cards and names/social media handles of people I wanted to connect with scribbled throughout my notes. Hopefully, that’s anyone’s conference experience because part of the process is connecting with other people.
Go through your cards and notes and make sure you’re following the people you connected with on their social channels. Send a tweet their way with something like, “I met you/heard you speak at #BlofHer15, looking forward to following you/loved what you had to say.” Social media can move fast, and you want to establish that you connected through a particular conference.
Evaluate Your Business Cards
If you don’t have cards made, now is a great time to get on that. You can check out Moo or Vistaprint or work with a local printer, like I did (hint: potential sponsorship opportunity.) The online printers usually have great specials ... I like supporting a local business but I paid a little more for mine.
When you’re looking through your collection of blogger business cards, do you see a design or format that particularly catches your eye? You can get great ideas on what type of info to incorporate on your card or get a recommendation on where to order from.
You’ll want to have a good supply of business cards on hand for your next blogging conference, so make sure you reorder if you depleted your stock.
Thank the Sponsors
Putting on a blogging conference is no joke. Organizing and funding a blogging conference takes a lot of effort, but saying thank you is easy. In today’s social media driven world, you can easily run down how to contact the sponsors who made #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us more affordable. Reach out. Thank them.
Save the Date
Often, the following conference is announced toward the end of the conference. If so, mark your calendars so you can attend next year and build on what you learned.
If the specifics aren’t firmed up, chances are there is a Facebook group or a website you can reference to get updates.
So, hopefully these are post-conference tips you can use to help you get the most out of your experience. Do you have a tip not listed? Don’t be shy, leave it in the comments!