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What to Bring to BlogHer (and other Conferences)





 

What to Bring to BlogHer San Jose

What to Bring to BlogHer

 

The countdown is on! Just a few short weeks until BlogHer14 in San Jose! Here is a checklist originally published in 2013, that holds true for 2014…..

So, are you going to BlogHer? Unsure of what you’ll need to take?

Being prepared for the BlogHer conference will help minimize some of the other jitters that attending this massive conference brings!

This will be my third BlogHer conference. And while I am no means an expert, over the past 2 years I’ve developed a strategy on what to bring. In this post, I’ll address what to pack for your time during conference sessions, keynotes, parties and exploring the expo floor.

You don’t want to be loaded down with unnecessary items because you’ll want to have your hands-free to interact with new blogger friends and brand reps.

Here’s the breakdown

 Giani Bernini Handbag, Pebble Leather Multi Zip Pocket Crossbody Bag

Look for a nice Cross-body handbag – I’ve found that this is the best bag to carry since there’s no chance of it slipping off your shoulder. (It’s the little things that annoy me!) And, carrying  a cross-body handbag lessens the chance that you will set it down and walk off without it. (Trust me, it happens – with all the excitement, it’s easy to become distracted)

The bag should be lightweight with plenty of compartments. Oh, and it should be cute ;)  and large enough to carry all the items listed below.

The stories you have heard are true. The amount of swag you’ll receive is crazy. Thankfully, there will be many reusable tote bags given away to carry all that luscious swag. But, you’ll still need your hands-free to haul those goody bags back to your hotel room.

6pm has a great selection of cross-body handbags

 what to take to blogher

Tablet or smart phone – My first time at blogger in 2010, I brought my MacBook Pro to the very first session and learned my lesson. My laptop was back in my hotel room (locked in the hotel safe) before lunch.  I recommend bringing a laptop if you intend to blog, but leave it in your hotel room during the conference. (Personally, I rarely post while attending BlogHer. But, I still bring my laptop as a security blanket.)

I’ve found that taking notes on my tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard is the best way to go and a lot less cumbersome than a full-size laptop.

(Don’t have a tablet?  Walmart has the iPad mini on sale for $249! Or, here’s a highly-rated 8″ Acer Tablet for $99 shipped! )

In a pinch,  jotting notes using the notepad app on a smart phone and/or having a small paper notebook and pen do just fine. It also helps that BlogHer records the conference sessions and makes them available online after the conference is over.

 

Lipstick Cell Phone SmartPhone Tablet Charger

A Battery Charger for your Smart phone and/or Tablet. - Last year at BlogHer in NYC,  I would have been miserable without my external battery pack! I brought it “just in case” and ended up using it every single day of the conference.  I was dismayed at how fast my iPhone and iPad battery would run low and how often I found myself outside the hotel (attending meetings and parties) without access to an outlet to recharge my devices.

For a blogger, there are few things worse then being stranded without a connection to the Internet and Social Media. Not to mention, losing access to the BlogHer Conference App and your carefully detailed schedule! And even more maddening when it’s because your tablet or smartphone battery died!

Trust me on this. Carry a battery charger for your phone/tablet 

 

ZOMM Wireless Leash for Mobile Phones, Bluetooth Speakerphone, and Personal Safety Device

Zomm Wireless Mobile Device Leash – This is a new addition for 2013, but after an episode (or two) of leaving my precious iPhone on a counter or a table then walking away, it’s worth $40 to keep me from panicking in front of a large group of people. I can just imagine trying to find MY iPhone in it’s silver glitter case among the thousands of iPhones at BlogHer! And a blogger without a SmartPhone? Shudder the thought! ;)

You may have seen the Zomm Wireless Leash on Shark Tank. It’s about the same size as a silver dollar coin. It connects wirelessly to your mobile phone and lets you know when you are more than 30 ft away from your device. It also works as a speakerphone. I’m attaching it to my handbag with a keyring.

 

Moleskine Volant

Small paper notebook and pen - in a pinch this is the quickest way to jot down information.  Moleskine Volant notebooks are my favorite. They have good quality paper plus they’re cute and inexpensive.

 

Business Card for bloggers2014 edition 

Business Cards – Lots of them. It’s common blogger etiquette that when sitting in a session/lunch/party to introduce yourself to your table-mates and exchange business cards. You’ll also need business cards to exchange with brand reps, and sometimes to enter giveaways.

Business Cards can be simple or you may choose to create a more elaborate expression of your personal style or brand. Reload your wallet with your business cards when you get to your room. Carry at least 20 at any time (more if you’ll be away from your hotel room for an extended period of time)

BlogHer business cards2013 edition

Minted does a fantastic job and has so many unique business card templates to choose from (they did my cards for the last 2 years- shown above).

As of this post (7/7/2014) - get $25 off $50 order at Minted through this link! (also, try the promo code JULY4WED for 15% off – worked for me!)

If you’re on a budget, at InkGarden get 50 FREE Business Cards - just pay shipping of about $4.50. Use Code: 50FREE for one-sided and Code: 50FREE2 for two sided cards.

 

kate spade new york 'cherry lane - darla' wallet

Small and thin wallet/credit card holder – Leave your regular wallet at home. All you really need to carry is about $20-$40 in small bills (for tips, cab fare, and incidentals), a credit card/ debit card, Driver License/ID, hotel room key, and your business cards. I chose a travel wallet made of fabric that I picked up at World Market. It’s slim and colorful so that I can easily see it inside my bag).

But, I’m seriously tempted to get this Kate Spade small wallet this year!

Tory Burch Square Sunglasses (Online Exclusive) Nordstrom

Sunglasses – This year’s BlogHer Conference in Chicago will have us traveling from the Sheraton Chicago to the McCormick Center and back again. Not to mention the possibility of off-site parties. We’ll be outdoors more this year than at previous BlogHer conferences. Be sure to pack your favorite sunglasses.

 

foldable flats blogher

Foldable Flats – You will be walking and standing a lot at BlogHer. By all means, wear your cute shoes but keep a pair of foldable flats in your bag. (When it comes time to change out of your cute shoes, put them in one of the numerous swag bags you’ll be carrying)

There’s a vast number of styles  in a wide range of price points.

Cute foldable flats at 6pm! Also Macys and Nordstrom have a wide selection!

 

Burts Bees Lip Balm

Lip balm, lipstick or gloss – conference rooms are notoriously air-conditioned. Keeping your lips hydrated will give you more confidence.

Fullscreen capture 6212014 15357 AM.bmp

Individually wrapped moist wipes – Although most activities will be inside the hotel or expo hall, you’ll be running around party to party, session to session, and expo to hotel on the shuttle. Stopping by the restroom and freshening up with moist wipes is always a quick way to make you feel better. (I don’t carry the whole box with me, just a few of the individually wrapped towelettes – I got these in my PopSugar Must Have Box!)

If you’re “of-a-certain-age”, the Poise Cooling Towelettes might be the way to go ;)  (In 2012, Poise was handing them out on the Expo Floor!)

 

Magazine fragrance sample - Just tear out the actual sample part and toss it in your wallet.

 

travel hair brush mirror

Travel brush or comb with a small mirror (or better yet, if your smart phone has a front facing camera, take a quick and discreet selfie to check your appearance!) ;)

France Luxe Ponytail Barrette

Hair ties/barrettes - you never know when you may need to tame your beautiful mane. Especially in the humid mid-west!

Colgate Wisps

Colgate Wisps- After a snack or lunch it’s always a good idea to keep your breath and smile the best that it can be. You don’t want to be seen with something in your teeth ;)

One Sheet Example BlogHer

One Sheet – This is a one page document that explains your blog in one page. Think of it as a paper elevator pitch takeaway. You’ll want to include your contact information, audience demographics, and website data. (I use Google Analytics, Alexa, and Stat Counter to collect my site’s stats)

I don’t hand this one-sheet out to everyone, I only offer my one sheet to Brand Reps when the conversation goes beyond basic discussions and I feel I have made a connection. I print it out on a nice, heavy glossy cardstock. (but that’s just me)

This year, I’ve been playing around with Piktochart and Easel.ly to make an infograph style one-sheet.

So what have I missed? Is there an essential item that’s needed at the BlogHer Conference?  I love to hear suggestions!

See you in Chicago San Jose!

–gracie–

If you like this, see the most recent deals we’ve found here!

*DISCLOSURE

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Comments

  1. Thanks for stopping by during UBP13. Returning the favor. Great list for blog conferences! Wish we were going to BlogHer!
    Jamie H recently posted..Insects Made From CerealMy Profile

  2. Thanks for this post! I know I have to bring business cards, but are there other print items people pass around? I thought I had heard something about media cards…

    Jamie
    For Love of Cupcakes

    I’m going to BlogHer’13 and I can’t wait!

  3. Hmm… I’ll have to look into media cards. I googled it and found a lot of results for memory cards/ flash drives.

    Is that what you mean?

    I think it’s a great idea if you can afford it – the lowest I’ve seen are $2.50 each, but that’s in a large bulk.

    It could be what I know of a a one sheet.
    Gracie recently posted..Daily Recap: Today’s New Printable CouponsMy Profile

  4. This is an excellent list, and as a newbie I feel less anxious! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I sincerely appreciate it.
    Cathy Chester recently posted..Gifts From My FatherMy Profile

  5. One more thing: what battery pack do you recommend (as pictured) that’s LIGHT and reliable?
    Cathy Chester recently posted..Gifts From My FatherMy Profile

  6. Thanks for this list — I’m starting to make my list of stuff and clothes to bring and it feels overwhelming at times. Now to pick out a cross-body bag – I had just thought of that the other night! Thanks again!
    Michele C. recently posted..Kids Say the Best Things (May 2013)My Profile

  7. Oh how I wish I could join you. Maybe next year! I’m checking out several of your recommendations, by the way.
    Ann recently posted..Daphne’s California Greek Summer Salads ReviewMy Profile

  8. Great post Gracie!! I really need to get the external charger for my phone/tablet before I leave this year!! I had so much fun with you last year, can’t wait to meet up again in Chicago!
    Jenni E. recently posted..How to Look Fantastic and Beautiful on a BudgetMy Profile

  9. The one-sheet is interesting … I should do that, haven’t in the past. See you at BlogHer!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I saw this a few months ago on Shark Tank and it’s been on my need-to-get list ever since. I even included it into my “What You Need at BlogHer Conference” list. [...]

  2. [...] What To Bring To BlogHer and Conferences via All Those Things I Love [...]

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