I think I need about a week of sleep to recover from all of the fun that was had at SNAP 2012! I’ve been blogging for awhile now, but this was my very first blog conference and what an experience it was. If you are thinking of attending a conference, do it! You’ll meet so many amazing people and learn so much. Plus, you’ll get to wear that cute necklace that you never wear anymore because your kid always tries to rip it off your neck and you’ll get to sip Starbucks while surfing the web, uninterrupted for 3 blissful days (or until you find a stowaway toy car in your suitcase and you would give up all the Starbucks in the world to be home with your kid again).
Here’s what I learned from attending my very first blog conference:
1. Take lots of business cards and hand sanitizer. I recommend making your business cards stand out – a different shape, embellishments, whatever. I added ricrac and buttons to jazz up my plain cards and they were a hit (thanks again to my friend Nicole of Petal Wishes for helping me prettify my cards). Xyron gave us these nifty hole punchers attached to rings to collect business cards on and I’ll definitely be bringing it with me to future conferences. My ring was practically full by the time the conference was over, which is where the hand sanitizer will be put to good use. You’ll meet a ton of people…with germs (I’m really despising being sick right now).
2. Be open to meeting others, whether their blog be big or small. I felt nothing but welcomed during my time at SNAP, but there might have been one or two bloggers there that wanted to know your stats before they talked to you. Their loss. If you are a bit of an introvert, which I think all of us bloggers are from time to time, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone and start networking. That’s why you are there right? Well, that and the swag. I adored meeting Becky of Babes In Hairland, Wendy of Pretty Cute Party, Janeal of Monster & Me, Heidi of Sew. Craft. Create, Rachel of Family Ever After, Ashley of Mommy By Day Crafter By Night, Alissa of Rags to Stitches, Elizabeth of Sew Chatty, Tracy of Creme De La Gems and a million more that would take me a week to list out.
3. Actually go to the sessions, you might just learn something. I was surprised to hear of bloggers not attending sessions. Maybe it’s my type A personality, but I attended every single session I could and learned so much from them. I loved hearing Shelley of The House of Smiths tell her story, she’s hilarious and needed an entire session (or 5) to herself! My favorite was the blog to book session with Courtney of Pizzazzerie and Marie of Make and Takes. So inspiring! After I’m through with this cold and not in a NyQuil coma anymore, watch out. I have plans.
4. Leave some room in your suitcase for the swag. Better yet, just bring an empty suitcase with you. The swag bag at SNAP was full of awesomeness, from Lion Brand yarn/knitting needles to Scentsy goodies. Sparkles approved. I was glad I took an extra tote bag with me to haul my goods back home. Oh and did I mention that The Queen Bee Market was also at SNAP this year? I was in handmade heaven!
5. Find some awesome roomies, like Kelsey of Poofy Cheeks and Christa of c. jane create. Not only will rooming with other bloggers help cut costs, it’s just funner that way. Despite the concern of a few non-blogging friends about rooming with “strangers” (and a few boiling bunny references), these girls were just like their blogs portray…laid back and super sweet. I couldn’t have asked for better roommates, they totally made my experience that much better. I miss them already!
6. Don’t stress about what to wear. My advice is to just be yourself and dress accordingly. I’m a jeans and cute top or scarf kinda girl, so that’s what I went with. No need to go out and buy a brand new wardrobe for a blog conference. I’ll admit that I over-packed a few dressy outfits and pumps that never got worn, but boy was I happy to be in my comfy TOMS at the end of a long day! Oh and I recommend layering, those conference rooms can get chilly.
7. Try to get out of the hotel and see the sights. Maybe even add on an extra sight seeing day to your trip. There was a tulip festival going on at the same time as SNAP and the roomies and I got to see it. At least I can say that I saw a tiny bit of Utah.
A huge thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for partially sponsoring me and allowing me to have this amazing experience!