Since I’m preparing to go to my second blogging conference this weekend (Declare), and the Influence Conference is a little over a month away (!!!!!!), I thought it would be a good time to talk about preparing for a blogging conference.  I know it can be super overwhelming, and I hope this helps a little (or a lot).

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Things to bring:

1. Clothes.  Oh, the clothes.  I put a lot (too much) time, energy, and maybe a few tears into choosing my outfits for Influence.  I did not need to stress as much as did; however, it is important to pack cute, comfortable clothes that you will feel confident in.  I packed two outfits per day.  On both Thursday and Sunday I wore two outfits (I changed for dinner and the evening sessions), but I wore the same thing all day/evening Friday because I really loved what I was wearing. And that, I think, is the key–pack your favorites. The things you love wearing and feel good in. I would recommend packing an extra outfit or two and a few accessories (scarves, hats, statement jewelry), in case you want to change things up as you transition from day to evening.

2. Comfy shoes.  You will do quite a bit of walking.  Hotels are big places, and not every restaurant you go to will be just across the street.  I packed riding boots, oxfords, and a pair of wedges.  The wedges were borderline uncomfortable, and I was glad I didn’t bring any heels.


3. Flip flops.  I also packed my black Havaianas because I knew that if I wanted to visit a friend’s hotel room late at night I wouldn’t want to pair my riding boots with my PJs.  I was especially grateful for the flip flops when I had to run down to the lobby at 6:00 am for extra towels.

4. Power strip.  This came in handy in the hotel room.  4 girls charging phones, iPads, and using curling irons/hair dryers/straightners vs. the two plugs in our room… the power strip is a sanity/friendship saver.

5. Blog/business cards.  I ordered mine from Overnight Prints. I recommend getting the card situation sorted out a few weeks early to avoid a mad scramble right before the conference (and ending up with cards you don’t love).

6. Hole punch/binder rings.  I used this to organize and contain all of the blog/business cards I received, and I’m so glad I did!  There’s nothing sadder than not being able to follow up with a sweet new friend because you lost her card and can’t remember her name.

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7. Notebook.  There will be a lot of note-taking, my friends.  Even though a couple of the speakers handed out little booklets for us to take notes in, I like my notes the way I like my cards–contained in one spot.

8. The best pens ever.  Seriously, y’all.  These pens are amazing.  They write like a marker, but they don’t bleed through paper.  Loooove.

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9. Roommate gifts.  I gave each of my girls Rosebud Salve lipgloss, a mini notebook, kleenex, and gummie bears.

10. Cute PJs. Pack PJs you wouldn’t mind being photographed in or running down to the lobby for towels in (ahem).

11. Earplugs/eye mask/Tylenol PM. Bring anything you think you might need to help you sleep, especially if you will be sharing a room with multiple girls. Trust.

12. A prepared heart. On my way to Influence last year, I took some time to pray and think about why I was going to the conference and what I really wanted to get out of it.  I made a list of things I desired to gain from the conference (lasting friendships is one example) and then a list of the things I would do to make that happen.  I left Influence without any regrets because of this time I took to prepare my heart and set my intentions.  I walked in with a game plan; I highly recommend taking some time to do this. Check out this post to see how my preparation paid off for me.

Things I’m glad I didn’t bring:

1. DSLR.  I’m so glad I didn’t lug this around the conference all weekend.  One of my roommates (who is a professional photographer) brought hers, but I felt much more comfortable taking photos in the sessions with my iPhone.

2. Laptop. I had no downtime to work on the blog during the conference, and I took notes with my notebook and the best pens ever.  There was an Influence girl on my flight back to Texas who wrote a couple of blog posts while we were in the air, but I was way too physically/mentally wiped out to write anything coherent, so I’m glad I didn’t bring it with me.

(Keep in mind that you might need your laptop or DSLR, depending on what sessions you’re attending at the conference.)

Do you have any blogging conference tips? Feel free to add them in the comments!