Bloggie Wednesday: Packing for a Blogging Conference

Bloggie Wednesday: Packing for a Blogging Conference

In last week’s Bloggie Wednesday, I talked about preparing for a blogging conference. I’ll be leaving for Gold Coast next week for the Problogger Event 2015 and I’m so excited about it. But, erm, being the usual last minute packer that I am, as I write and publish this, I have yet to pack anything. And here I am talking to you about packing for a conference.

Yes, I get the irony. 😛

A question that’s frequently asked by first-timers are: what the heck should I bring to a blogging conference? Believe you me, before I headed to my first blogging conference, I Googled the heck out of it. What should I bring? What should I wear? How do I keep myself from losing my shit when I see the bloggers I’ve been admiring from afar for so long that I don’t fangirl them like a 13 year old? (I totally did by the way. Fangirled Pat Flynn last year. Ahem. Moving on.)

So, what should you bring to a blogging conference? In my experience, there are some things you should and shouldn’t bring. I made the mistake of not bringing enough pens last year and also bringing my iPad along with me, which ended up with me carrying some sort of useless brick around because I never used it one bit. So, lessons learned, at least from the past couple of conferences I’ve been to.

By the way, this doesn’t just apply to the Problogger Event conference. It applies to all blogging conferences too.

Note-taking paraphernalia

If you prefer good ol’ notebook and pen like I do, bring it and bring more pens in case you end up writing a lot. If you prefer typing on your laptop or iPad instead, bring that. Having a laptop or tablet makes it easy to live-tweet the conference too if you’d like to do that. Heck, Periscope it too if you want; all the cool kids are doing it these days. Whatever you do, if you intend to take notes, bring your note-taking things.

Portable charger

As bloggers, we use our mobile devices furiously. This is especially so at a blogging conference where plenty of photos will be taken, sessions live-tweeted, videos taken via Snapchat or Periscope and so on. This takes a huge toll on our device’s battery. Bring a portable charger with you. If you tend to use your phone heavily throughout the day, bring a charger with a high mAh. You can even charge your tablet or two phones at once with those.


In a room with over 500 people, you’re going to be really hard-pressed to find a free power point to charge your devices because there’ll be plenty of people who need a quick charge of their mobile devices but didn’t bring a portable charger. If you happen to chance upon a free power point, use a powerboard instead of directly charging your device on said power point. You’re going to help a fellow blogger or two out who can share the power point with you. The charging time is a good time to generate conversations too. Exchange your business cards and who knows, you may have a new reader/follower thanks to your kindness. I’ve been on the receiving end of kindness like this where I shared someone’s powerboard and I couldn’t be more grateful at the time. A USB powerboard would be even better!

Business cards

There are questions on whether you should bring 500 business cards with you if the number of attendees are going to be 500. There’ll be different opinions about this from blogger to blogger but personally, I don’t bring 500 cards if there are going to be 500 attendees because I know I won’t literally be talking to every single attendee in the conference. Who has time for that? I’d like to be able to have a proper conversation with someone before whipping out my card. A few years ago, when I was a newbie attendee, I actually left my cards on every table in the conference room. I even left my cards in the restrooms. I didn’t know who took the cards or if any of them were even taken. I was casting a net hoping fish would bite. Guess what? It was a waste of cards, my traffic didn’t increase and none of those people who took my cards (if any did) contacted me at all.

It was a valuable lesson learned. I learned to actually strike a proper conversation with a blogger first and at the end of the conversation, only whip my card out. I found that a lot of conversations sort of end when cards are exchanged, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to start giving out cards at the start of the conversation. I liken it to receiving blanket press release emails from PRs that don’t address me by name. By giving out my card willy nilly to anyone who would take it doesn’t do me nor the recipient any favours other than having to bring home heaps of cards. Mind you, I’m not being stingy with my cards but I feel that one should have a proper conversation with another, to get to know the other person before shoving my card in his/her face. The bloggers whom I remember from their business cards at conferences are the ones whom I had proper conversations with.

I usually bring half the number of cards to the number of attendees and even then, I’m being optimistic. Of course, this varies from blogger to blogger so if you’re not sure, go ahead and bring more cards than you need. But please don’t be disappointed if you didn’t give many cards away. Quality over quantity, always.

Dress comfortably for the occasion

You meet a lot of people at a blogging conference and the last thing you’d want is to show up in your sweatpants. So dress well for the occasion. You don’t have to bring out your diamonds or dress your Sunday best but present yourself well. Having said that, it’s also important to dress comfortably because you may be moving from room to room in between sessions or you may be standing up for your meals. Super high heels may not be the best idea. Conference rooms are also notoriously cold even if it can be stinking hot outside so bring a cardigan or blazer with you.

Bring a bag that you can easily toss on the floor and can keep your hands free like a messenger bag or backpack. I’m quite precious with my bags and I really don’t like to put them on the floor but in a busy conference room, you don’t have the luxury of putting your bag on a seat (plus it’s rude to other attendees). It’s not typically a time for me to bring my best bags, so I bring ones that I’m happy to put on the floor.

Small tokens from your blog/business

This is optional but I’ve seen bloggers do this and it’s wildly successful. People remember those bloggers, even years later. One year, Danimezza brought lots of mini badges and gave them away. Last year, Carly from Smaggle gave away little bottles of mints that contained her blog name and website link. It’s a small gesture but it’s what makes you memorable.

Your smile

Very important, this one. Even if you’re nervous as hell. Even if it’s your first time. It opens doors to conversations and opportunities. If you’ve been blogging and attending blogging conferences for a long time now, and you see a blogger standing alone and look unsure of her surroundings, please do go over, smile and say hi. If you’re attending the same workshops/sessions, offer to go in together and thus, sit together. Don’t just stick with your own flock the entire conference.

Last but not least, there’s the usual stuff you’d pack for a weekend away, so I’ll leave you to do that on your own. If you have more to add to the list, please share with us in the comments below. If you’ve attended blogging conferences before, do share any tips you have with us. Or share something valuable you learned at the conference!

Oh, and let me know if you’re going to the Problogger Event next week! I’d love to catch up with you. 🙂

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments.

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25 comments… add one
  1. Kat Abianac

    love it! that was a great read 🙂 bringing your OWN freebies- Gold!
    Kat Abianac recently posted..10 Things I Love About Having a Kid With Down SyndromeMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I know right? I admit that I don’t remember a lot of the people I met at the previous Problogger Event conferences but I remember the mints and the badges (and funny enough, I didn’t even go to the one where Dani handed out badges but so many people talked about it, IG-ed it that I still remember to this day. It would have been, what 3-4 years ago?). Bring your own freebies; people will love you for it. And oh my goodness, the amount of people who IG-ed those mints and badges … staggering!

  2. Tracey

    Thank you – I’ve only just turned my my mind to what I’ll be taking with me next week & particularly like your advice on biz cards & iPad. I have taken lots of notes on my iPad but never revisit them – better with pen & paper.

    1. Tine

      I agree. The first PB event I went to was in Melbourne (I think it was the second one they held) and I wrote all of my notes on my iPad. I hardly went back to them. In fact, I don’t even know where the file is now. But the one I wrote on pen and paper, I revisited often. Of course, it’s far easier to live-tweet the event when you have an iPad with you but if you do intend to take lots of notes, I reckon pen and paper would be better. When you write, you remember! 🙂

  3. Cyndid

    Thanks for the tips! I’m getting very nervous about attending the conference next week! I went to the first one 4 yrs ago in Melbourne, it was awesome! I left very inspired, so i’m hoping for the same outcome this time again.
    Cyndid recently posted..Shortcrust Pastry Express (using MyCook Premium)My Profile

    1. Tine

      My pleasure, Cyndid! Oh hey I was there too, the one in Melb! That was my first one. I went to the one last year and I came home with a to-do list that was at least 3 pages long. The vibe and energy are so strong and I went away very inspired too. 😀

      I’m nervous too even though this will be my 3rd. I don’t think I’m never going to be not nervous attending conferences like this. Plus I’m going on my own again and oh yeah, nerves central all right. 😛 Let’s meet when we’re there!

  4. Mumma McD

    Great read! This will be my first PB and I’m a bit nervous! Great advice on bringing a portable charger, I’m heading out to find one today :).
    Mumma McD recently posted..Hungover Parenting: A Survival GuideMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks! I can’t stress on a portable charger enough especially with all that tweeting, IG-ing, Periscoping, Snapchatting … they take a massive toll on the phone’s battery.

      I’m nervous too, and this is my 3rd time attending. I don’t think I’m never not going to be nervous, especially since I’m going on my own again like last year. But don’t worry, the vibes are strong and you’ll enjoy yourself in no time. Let’s meet up when we’re there! 🙂

  5. Basia

    This will be my first ProBlogger Conference, too. So nervous and have no idea what to expect. Your tips are very helpful and just a little calming. Now, I just have to start packing!!!

    1. Tine

      I’m nervous too and I’ve already been twice! I don’t think I’ll ever stop being nervous. So it’ll be pointless for me to say don’t be nervous. 😛 But what I will say though, is step out of your comfort zone and expect great things. There’s just so much to learn. Soak in the energy, which will be aplenty. I’ll see you there! 🙂

  6. Christina @ Hair Romance

    Great tips Tine! I so agree about the powerboard & personal charger. I’m forever running out of battery and I’d love to repay the favour to someone else this year 🙂
    Christina @ Hair Romance recently posted..Does hair oil make your hair oily?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks lovely! Someone at the first Problogger I went to (in Melb) shared her powerboard space with me when I needed to add in some phone juice. It’s a great way to pay it forward in future. 🙂

  7. Kathleen

    Thank you, this is my first time to ProBlogger. I needed to read your post for some ideas of what to bring. I am going back to read your post before this one.
    Kathleen recently posted..Breakfast Waffles |Gluten FreeMy Profile

    1. Tine

      You’re going to love it, Kathleen. This is my third one. I attended last year’s and I came home so incredibly inspired. I’ll see you there! 🙂

  8. Alison @ Gifts4Good

    Thanks so much 0 this is

    1. Alison

      Oh dear – hit enter before I’d finished the comment. Justed wanted to say thanks, as this is my first time at Problogger too, and I found your tips really helpful. I’m really looking forward to the event….Alison.

      1. Tine

        My pleasure, Alison. You’re going to love the conference! 🙂

  9. Amy

    Portable chargers are my favourite things to pack for almost any occasion! Life is always so much easier when your electronics aren’t running low on power! And of course, a smile is a girl’s best accessory 🙂
    Amy recently posted..Skincare Hauls + First ImpressionsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I know right? Sucks that phone’s batteries are still so crappy that we need to bring portable chargers around with us all the time!

  10. Sue

    thanks so much for your tips. So much to think about for my first conference, I know I’m ll be struck dumb! Hopefully I’ ll remember at least one of these tips, packing chargers and notebook, extra pens as we speak! Mentally preparing myself to speak to anyone is the biggest fear for me!

    1. Tine

      You’ll be fine, Sue! I’m always very nervous at the start of these conferences but after the first session, all the nerves disappear. I’ll see you there! 😀

  11. Andrea @ Sublime Finds

    These are cracking tips Tine!! Especially the power board! It was such a delight to meet you at Problogger last year, looking forward to seeing you again at the end of the week!! x
    Andrea @ Sublime Finds recently posted..13 tips for shopping abroad!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Can’t wait to catch up with you again Andrea over the conference and dinner on Saturday! 😀

  12. Darryn (Newlyfeds)

    Great tips! We brought a portable charger (16,000 mAh!) and it was a lifesaver. We followed the ABC principle: Always Be Charging 🙂

    1. Tine

      I love it! I’m so going to quote you in a future post I do on travelling. Always Be Charging! KAKAKAKAKA! 😀

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