You’ve left it all a little late, have you? So you haven’t packed let alone tackled the conference schedule. Welcome to the club, my friend. With the ProBlogger Conference coming up on the Gold Coast, this post occurred to me as a good idea. I am so poorly prepared that winging it sounds like an actual plan. So what do you do to go from conference zero to conference hero as the sand slips through the hourglass on the time you’ve got left?
THIS. That’s what. You’re welcome.
1. Know the lay of the land
The first thing I do when I realise that I’ve left my run a little late for conference prep is to get a feel for the venue, the location, what transport I’ll need, what other options there are and if there’s a convenience store nearby. It puts my little mind at ease to know where I’m going and how I’m getting there. Know thy venue folks, after all once you’re there, the hard part is over.
2. Know who’s going
You don’t want to be so nervous about not knowing anyone or anything that it cramps your style, so in your spare minutes get on to the attendee list (ProBlogger has a Facebook group and Twitter list to get you started) and read up on the folks going. Sure you won’t get all the way through, and you may not even remember the people you do look up, but you never know where you might find a friendly face.
3. Know what YOUR conference goal is
Heading to a conference is all well and good but do you have any idea WHY you’re going? What do you hope to get out of it? Even if you don’t have a single minute to prepare anything else related to the schedule you need to know this. Knowing your goal will give you your reason for being there and will make those other decisions easier to make.
Want to produce an eBook and sell a billion copies? Well, you’re going to need the streams on that. Want to build a community of awesome folks? Head that way and network your butt off. Want to have fun, eat Stingray bar wedges and drink jar margaritas? Me too, let’s get together. Get clear on why you’re going and trust me, the rest will become really clear, really fast.
4. Know you have clean clothes
You might not have packed yet, but it’s time to get your clothes through the wash so you know for sure you have clean socks, jocks and other such necessities. I’m the queen of the last-minute pack, but there’s no way you can pull that off if half your favourite clothes are in the washing pile. If you do anything today to advance your conference position make it putting a load through the wash. Or you could just buy all new clothes there, I suppose. That could work too.
5. Know that you’ve got time
Chill out folks. Most of the conference preparation stuff while lovely in the grand scheme of things isn’t essential. Most bloggers run their blog in something resembling spare time, so don’t be too hard on yourself. The schedule can be checked on route, your dinner plans can be made on the day, and new friends can be made via the hashtag. Take the foot off the ‘you’re so crap at life’ pedal and ease up on yourself. There’s still time to get stuff done, promise.
Good luck folks! Hold your nerve, get excited and let’s do this thing. I look forward to meeting some of you folks there and catching up with a few friends along the way there and back. This is the third time I’ve attended the ProBlogger conference and my fifth blogging conference since opening wide the doors of this blog almost 5 years ago. The people are my favourite part. Bloggers really are the coolest folks.
And what’s my REAL conference goal? Well, even though, the wedges and jar margaritas one sounds pretty darn good. It’s to streamline the products (like the eBooks and maybe an eCourse) process and to find a way to spread the Confident You message wider, faster. Ready? LET’S GO.
Chief Blogger at Suger Coat It; An Australian lifestyle blog for women who work for themselves. Melissa is a social media consultant & lover of stripes. Most weekends you’ll find her at the beach or home on the veranda kicking back. Around here, they call her Suger. Feel free to do the same.