If you’ve ever been to a blogging conference – or any sort of conference – you’re probably familiar with the term “conference hangover.” You spend a couple of jam-packed days soaking up new information and connecting with new people. It’s OK to need some time to unplug or take a mental rest after a blogging conference but before you do a complete mind dump, do these things.
This post was updated in May 2020.
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6 things to do after a blogging conference
Here’s a list of six things to do after a blogging conference that will keep the momentum rolling forward and help you get the very best out of your conference experience for months to come.
1. Organize your notes and photos
Whether you took notes the old-fashioned way or used a computer, go back and re-read them within a few days of the conference. Something you scribbled down while you were furiously trying to keep up with the great stuff the presenter was giving may not make sense if you read it next week.
Check out my favorite notebook available on Etsy – perfect for notetaking!
I take notes by hand but I like to go back later and type them out. I can expand on thoughts and ideas that I had while taking notes (because I still remember) and I can also re-order things and more effectively organize them into topical lists.
I also like to go through all the photos I took during the conference. I delete the fuzzy, out-of-focus photo fails where everyone’s head was chopped off, pick out what I might want to save for future blog posts and what pictures I need to tag and share with the cool people I met at the conference. I also take pictures of programs or menus that have things I want to remember later, so I’ll usually go back and incorporate that into my notes as well.
If you like a bound note taker or journal, here’s another one I love.
You will find yourself constantly snapping pictures during a blog conference. Going through your photos quickly after a conference will jog your memory about important stuff, like why you deemed it necessary to take 17 pictures of nachos.
Take a minute to save, tag and delete – and don’t forget to appropriately name the pictures you save for future use. Hint: name the nacho picture something like ‘nacho picture.’
2. Make a plan
Hopefully, you’ll walk away from a blogging conference with information you can use to make your blog better.
I usually start formulating lists of what I want to do when I’m taking notes at a blogging conference but I like to break out a post-conference list of things I want to accomplish and rough out a time line. It helps me to break things out into different categories, such as skills development, social media trends, sponsorships, etc.
If you have something on your list that might have big impact, prioritize so that you do those things first. For example, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re going to want to remedy that quick. A
But seriously, the amount of information you get at a blogging conference is overwhelming. If you try to implement all the great stuff right away, you’re probably going to burn out or drive yourself crazy. I definitely find it helpful to have a timeline.
3. Connect and Follow Up
Exchanging business cards is a thing at blogging conferences. But what to do with all of those new connections?
I go through my stack of cards post-conference and divide them into two piles. One pile is sponsors or people I want to work with in some capacity. The other pile is for other bloggers or creatives. First, I go through and I follow all the social media profiles of people or businesses I want to partner with in the future. Next, I go through and follow all the social profiles of bloggers I met that I’d like to follow. I don’t believe in follow for follow or that you have to follow someone on Twitter just because you had a 30-second conversation with them in an elevator but if their profile interests you or if you see value in keeping up with that person, hit follow.
I also send emails within two weeks of ending my trip. I keep these emails very brief – I mention where/how we met and tell them I enjoyed meeting them. If I promised to send them something – such as links to published writing or a media kit – then I do that. If we’d discussed a particular project or collaboration, I mention that in the email.
4. Evaluate your business cards
When you’re going through that stack of business cards, chances are you’re going to see styles and designs you really like (or really don’t like.)
I’m a big believer in using what I have and not spending money unless I have to but if you’ve given out a large amount of business cards at a conference and you need to replenish, take some time and see if you want to change it up.
I have ordered from both Moo and Vista Print…check both websites and compare pricing. Both usually have specials. You can also check out business cards on Etsy – it’s an opportunity to shop small and support a maker.
5. Thank the organizers
Putting on a conference is no joke. Working with a venue, lining up speakers, all of the nerdy, technical stuff to stay on top of and just being “on” for the duration of the conference to make sure the attendees are happy and taken care of…and probably lots of stuff I wouldn’t even know about or understand.
Organizing a blogging conference is hard but saying thank you is easy. In today’s social media driven world, you can easily run down how to contact the people who put on your conference. Reach out. Thank them.
If you’re asked for feedback, be honest. If you’re being asked to rate your experience its because they want to make it better for you next time. And speaking up next time…
6. Save the date
Often, the follow-on conference is announced toward the end of the conference. If so, mark your calendars so you can attend next year and build on what you learned. If the specifics aren’t firmed up, there’s a website and probably a Facebook group you can reference to get updates.
So, hopefully these are post-conference tips you can use to help you get the most out of your experience. If there’s something you found useful that’s not on my list, don’t be shy!
Do you have a favorite blogging conference? Mine is TBEX – Travel Bloggers Exchange.