This time next week I’ll be at BlogHer with 1000 other blogging women and a few men at the largest blogging conference of the year.
If you are coming, please highlight the Room of Your Own on Resource Blogging (August 6, 2:45-4 pm) where I’ll be speaking with Jessica (A Parent in Silver Spring), Amy (TeachMama), and Susan (Toddler Planet). Please do come on over and say hi, especially if we’ve never met IRL! I’d love to meet you! And I really and truly mean it!
Since it is the week before BlogHer, there’s lots of buzz about conference on Twitter and via back channel emails. Everyone is writing their pre-BlogHer posts and since I’ve been dispensing a lot of advice via Twitter, I’ve compiled my must haves for the upcoming conference.
What to wear: Stylish yet comfortable is the name of my game but by all means, don’t go out and revamp your wardrobe just for BlogHer. Wear what you love, are comfortable in, and will allow you to be yourself. Here are my must haves:
- Cute and comfortable shoes– I like shoes that I can dress up and down. I’ll be wearing these sandals a lot. They are by Born. I love the silver O ring for a little night time sparkle and the high heel goes great with all of my favorite dresses. Personally purchased all shoes.
- Yummie Tummie Maxi Dress– The. Most. Comfortable. Dress. Ever. And so flattering too thanks to the Yummie Tummie shaping panel that smoothes everything out. Looks great day or night with aforementioned comfy shoes. I’ll also be packing my regular Yummie Tummies and my new black Chiffon Tier Top. If you are looking to get a Yummie Tummie, do it with a 20% off discount using the YUMTJOOS code. All Yummie Tummies were provided for my work as a Brand Ambassador.
I’m accessorizing with a…
- Big purse– These days my bag of choice is my Hayden Harnett Trophy Satchel. It is large enough to carry my netbook and gadgets with plenty of room left over for things that I might pick up during the day. And it goes with my standard conference wardrobe of black and white. What can I say? I try to pack light! I personally purchased my Trophy Satchel.
- Twitter handle necklace– You know you’ve hit nerd-dom when all you want for the holidays is a Twitter handle necklace. But seriously, ever since I knew such a thing existed, I coveted it. It is the cool way to wear a nametag and has cut down on the I-think-she-looks-familiar stares when people try to recognize me from my teeny tiny avatar. My Twitter handle necklace is from Survival of the Hippest and was a gift from Tech Savvy Daddy.
Gadgets to bring: I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about tech gadgets to bring. Laptop or no laptop? Your choice. Do I need to buy a netbook to take notes? No, you don’t. If you have it, bring it if you want but you can also leave it at home. I am paring down my gadgets and bringing the bare essentials. Here they are:
- T-Mobile Dell Mini with WebConnect– This little netbook is amazing because the WebConnect allows me to use either wifi or T-Mobile’s cellular network to access the internet. I can toggle back and forth depending on what has the strongest signal so I can live Tweet any session I’m in and take notes via Google Docs. And it fits in the aforementioned purse! My T-Mobile Mini with WebConnect is on loan from T-Mobile.
- iGo Charge Anywhere– Charge Anywhere you ask? Why, yes indeed! This device plugs into the wall and charges so when I run out of juice for my phone, Flip, etc. I an just plug in the USB cord and the correct tip for the dead device and recharge in my purse. I love that there are different tips available for the iGo so there’s no cord clutter at the bottom of my bag. Just swap tips and go! Oh, and since there are two USB ports in the Charge Anywhere, you can charge 2 devices at once. I’m gushing about this device because it is genius! Charge Anywhere retails for $49.99 but mine was given to me at the DC Metro Moms event by SV Moms. I have personally purchased extra tips.
- Flip Mino HD and Joby GorillaPod– Last year the fabulous Jeanne over at Yahoo! sent me a Flip with a custom Yahoo MotherBoard face plate. I love love love it and am going to take it along with my Joby GorillaPod ($19.99) so I can actually be in videos for BitMoms rather than being that off camera voice. I know you are probably saying that I could just use my phone to eliminate these two gadgets and you are right. But I’m going old school with my tiny Flip. Flip Mino HD ($199-229) courtesy of Yahoo! MotherBoard but I personally purchased the Joby GorillaPod.
- Power strip– Ever notice that when you go to a blogging conference, there are never enough outlets in the room? Try rooming with 2 or 3 other bloggers for the ultimate weekend sleepover and there will certainly be outlet shortage. This year I’m bringing my own power strip and might even label my cords. Yes, I’m serious. The teacher in me loves my Mabel’s Labels and the geek in me loves their Cord Control pack. Power strip was personally purchased and Mabel’s Labels provided labels for me for last year’s Blogalicious conference.
And here are just a few of my miscellaneous must haves for conference survival:
- Business cards– Usually I’ve gone cheap and ordered the free ones off of VistaPrint but this year I grew up and upgraded to double sided custom cards with my own logo on one side and the BitMoms graphic on the other. I have a Poken floating around from last year but since those don’t seem to have taken off, I’m leaving mine at home. If you are brining your Poken, let me know and I’ll consider bringing mine so we can tap hands. Business cards were provided by Digital Room for hosting a giveaway but I would have happily paid the $33 for 500 double sided cards.
- Luna Bars/Cliff Bars– My #1 conference rule is to find time for real meals. I don’t care how many parties are ahead of me for the night but I know a night of hor d’ourves does not make a dinner and skipping lunch can be a bad idea. I like to bring assorted flavors of Luna Bars with me to prevent the hunger headaches and crank attacks that come on mid-afternoon. This year I am also glad I can hit the gyro cart on the corner by the hotel for real food at any time without having to go too far or cross the street for a Magnolia Bakery mini cheesecake if I need a sugar rush. I personally purchase my Luna/Cliff Bars but my kids help me select the flavors.
- Gum– Because everyone’s mouth could use a little freshening up over the course of the day. Personally purchased although last year I got some from UrbanMama and Common Sense Media.
- Duffel bag– Swag is inevitable. I’ve learned to take only what I really am interested in, need, and will write about. I always secretly hope that companies will hand out coupons or follow up with me post-conference about items to review so I don’t have to schlep them home but that’s not everyone’s vision. So I find that after trading with my bloggy BFFs and visiting the swag recycling suite, it is helpful to have an extra bag that I’ve stashed in my suitcase for the items that I really and truly want to bring home. My duffel is from LL Bean and was purchased way before I started blogging.
Still feeling a little anxious about BlogHer? If you have never been before or haven’t been in awhile, here’s a short list of must read BlogHer posts from friends in the blogosphere because I couldn’t have said it any better:
- Susan from Toddler Planet eases your BlogHer party anxiety especially if you are feeling invitation-less in her post called BlogHer Parties.
- Stefania (aka CityMama) gives the complete run down about clothes, shoes, socializing, and swag in Does anyone else feel like BlogHer ’10 has already happened? and urges you not to stress. Don’t miss her takeaways and bottom line.
- Mommy Niri wrote a Girlfriend’s Guide to BlogHer and shares what you should and shouldn’t care about during the conference.
See you at BlogHer!
Thanks for reading Tech Savvy Mama through your feed!
Original post by Tech Savvy Mama