I am not an outgoing person. I keep to myself. I don’t like to be the center of attention. Working from home works for me.
At my first blogging conference, I knew my roommate, my driving companion, and 5 other bloggers from my state before I arrived at the conference. As I stared at all the new faces that first day, I was determind to meet as many people as I could. I knew that I would feel uncomfortable stepping outside of my comfort zone. I rationalized that I might not be able to attend another conference since tickets and travel are so costly.
I did not meet EVERYONE at the conference, but I did have a plan.
First, I wanted to meet anyone who I had worked with online. If I saw someone that I had worked with online, I started a conversation pointing out how we knew each other. I soon realized that many people were at their first blogging conference. The people I met were super friendly to me. I met almost all of the people I had collaborated with on writing or other assignments.
Second, I wanted to meet all the people who managed the groups I work with. I met the heads of MomCentral, MomSelect, One2OneNetwork, and Mom Bloggers Club. It took some sleuthing and scrutinizing of name tags, but I managed to track everyone down. I even met one half of 5 Minutes for Mom, too.
Third, I made a connection however brief with speakers of sessions I particularly enjoyed.
Fourth, I introduced myself to PR reps I had worked with and anyone representing a brand. I found these connections the easiest to make probably because PR/brands are so used to finding bloggers willing to review their products.
My advice to anyone worried about meeting people. Walk up to someone you want to meet, strike up a conversation about the conference (easy topic to find something to talk about), introduce yourself, and exchange business cards. You will be amazed at how friendly everyone is. Note: If you meet someone who is not friendly towards you…that person is not worth getting to know!
What’s your tip on meeting people at blog conferences? Post your tip over at MomSpark Forum.