Bloggy Friends Chime In – 30 Conference MUST Haves

It’s Blog Conference Season, and that means lots of packing and traveling. I’m going to Food Wine Conference, BlogHer17 and FL Blog Conference, so I asked my fellow bloggy friends to chime in on their MUST haves to survive and thrive at a blogging conference. Below is what they had to say.

1. Business Cards. One of the bloggers took this a step further and said you should bring business cards with your photo on it. I personally don’t have my photo on my cards, but I can certainly appreciate the appeal

2. Comfortable shoes. Another blogger said sneakers. I often wear sneakers for the bulk of the conference and flat dress shoes for the after parties.

3. Battery packs – hell yeah! You can’t always get to an outlet, so having back up batteries is a great way to keep your phone working in the meantime.

4. Cardigan/sweater – ohmigosh yes! Even in Florida when it’s 90 degrees, you bring a sweater because of how frequently conference rooms are FREEZING!!! BRRRR!!!

5. Phone charger – yep, for when you finally CAN plug it in!

6. Pen and pad of paper or notebook. I personally love Caitlyn Connolly’s method of note taking at conferences – she takes notes in the front of her notebook, and makes to-do lists based on aha moments at the conference in the back of the book. How cool is that? I totally have started using that idea for classes and seminars I attend.

One blogger suggested using notebooks with a hardcover back so that you can keep taking notes even while standing up. This is a great idea because some sessions get so full you won’t be able to sit to take notes!

7. Courage – YES! Some people are massive introverts, and talking to strangers all day can be hard. But, bloggy friends, you’ve got this! We’re all here to work together towards the common goal of boosting our personal brands.

8. A sense of humor – a few bloggers offered this as a must have and I whole-heartedly agree. In fact, you should have a sense of humor with EVERYTHING you attend. It’s like Van Wilder said, “You shouldn’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”

9. A willingness to learn – I confess I struggle with this one sometimes. I have a bad habit of feeling like I’ve heard many lessons before. However, I’m going to try to take in the lessons anyway at this year’s conferences because as Marie Forleo says, just because you have heard it all before doesn’t mean you’re implementing anything. And, you might hear it a different way this time that makes the knowledge-bombs finally click!

10. Your brand pitch perfected – I loved this answer! As we meet with new brands and potential clients, we must be able to spill our pitch at a moment’s notice. It could be the difference between walking away from a conference with an additional client, or walking away empty handed.

11. Slippers for the hotel room after walking on your feet all day long – Um, yes! I’ve been known to tote fuzzy socks too!

12. Your phone – Definitely. How are you going to be live on social and keep up with the picture taking without your pocket computer? Don’t you know how much sponsors LOVE when we Tweet, Instagram and Facebook live and tag them?

13. Freedom to be me – Absolutely. You have to bring the internal sense of freedom to be yourself. No one can give you permission to do that, and if you fake being something else, people will see right through it. Besides, if people don’t like you for you, that’s alright. Many conferences attract a WIDE variety of bloggers. This means that SOMEONE there will be your perfect bloggy friend. I promise.

14) A pair of slippers that fits in your bag – Yep! I love this too. I’ve seen more and more women toting foldable shoes in their purses at conferences when the “sensible shoes” and high heels become too much to wear!

15) A list of companies you want to connect with. This is GOLD! I love this answer because it gives you a game plan of attack in the craziness of a conference. Most conferences list their sponsors ahead of time, so this arms you with the knowledge you need of who will be on site that you might be able to chat up and/or work for or partner with.

16) Backpack to hold stuff – Yep, I’ve been known to carry a backpack in lieu of a purse many times for the sake of saving my back and shoulders. Though these days, I roll around a collapsible cart so that I don’t have to carry anything at all.

17) Water and your own refillable water bottle – Sadly, water sitting around in conference rooms can get pretty gross. And then, we drink it. That’s why I agree 110% with this conference must have.

18) Gum/mints – fresh breath and less likelihood that you’ll cough in the middle of a session – I’d call this conference must have a win-win!

19) Focus on why you are there and the goals for the conference – I love that my bloggy friends included so many mindset must haves in this list. Don’t you?

20) Wall charger and a long charging cable – it’s no secret that large conferences mean long distances between seats and wall outlets. Longer cords might help you sit while charging.

21) Positive attitude, a smile and confidence – Yes, yes and yes!

22) One blogger said she brings gifts for her acquaintances – I have personally done this at a conference before. It’s a fabulous way to connect/reconnect with bloggy friends or to show someone you’ve never met before that you care.

23) Travel-sized wipes – Yep, and I’ll add to this with Hand Sanitizer. You’ll be shaking a lot of hands and getting a lot of contact with people you don’t know, so it is best to be clean and safe.

24) A lumi light for better selfies – I don’t think I’d call this a must have, but if you have the money for this, more power to you! Then again, fashion bloggers – I would EXPECT them to have these!!

25) Business casual clothes – you have to be comfortable at a conference. Don’t dress up too much.

26) MacBook Air/ipad/tablet – enough said

27) Business purse

28) My own coffee or tea – LOVE! Call us snobby if you like, but it’s better to bring the things you want to drink, than overpay for hotel beverages!

29) Snacks like trail mix or granola bars – agreed. Sometimes there’s no good snacks to choose from, or worse – no snacks at all!

30) An extension cord and power strip – I like the idea of a power strip so much, I might add it to my packing list going forward!

Now, I want to hear from you. Do you agree with my bloggy friends? Did we miss anything? What are YOUR conference MUST HAVES? Leave a comment below, and tell me about it.

HUGE thanks to the following bloggers who helped make this post possible:

Michelle Snow of
Tracy Shaw of
Amy Freeman Courage of
Kristin Alongi of
Pickett Krayniy of
Tiffany Haywood of
Danay Escanaverino of
Marian Kicklighter of
Edith Tapia of
Maggie Lamarre of
Krayl Funch of
Tia Smith of
Denise Mestanza-Taylor of
Andrea Wolloff of
Heather Bridges Montgomery of
Caitlyn Connolly of
Liza Tolisano Ford of
Erica Acevedo of
Cricket Plunkett of
Caroline Williams of
Betty Ann Besa-Quirino of
Betsy Cohen of
Nancie McDermott of
Bess Auer of
Emerald Barnes of


4 thoughts on “Bloggy Friends Chime In – 30 Conference MUST Haves”

  1. These are all great tips! I am attending the BlogHer Conference for the first time this year and I got some wonderful insight from this post:)
    I would add back-up pens since they always seem to get lost or “stolen” :p

  2. Very good info. Lucky me I discovered your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later!|

  3. I loved getting the cow print socks from Florida Dairy Association. I wore them at night in the hotel (because I didn’t bring socks like you recommended) and they felt great after a long day on my feet.

  4. I loved getting the cow print socks from Florida Dairy Association. I wore them at night in the hotel (because I didn’t bring slippers like you recommended) and they felt great after a long day on my feet.

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