Asking what to wear to a blog conference is a typical question of anyone who has never been, and even for some that have. For those of us who sit behind computers all day, blogging away, we are not used to necessarily interacting with other like if we were in the corporate world. But blogging conferences are kind of like a corporate meeting, interview, and casual meet-the-people-you-only-know-from-online type of event. So really, what are the rules of what you wear to a conference?
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Think of blog conferences like a casual interview
Because blog conferences are interviews, really.
You want to make a great first impression, even for the people you have “known” forever online and in the blogosphere. You are interviewing in ways that you might work together in the future. You are also interviews with companies and brands that come to the conference. And that’s a money maker, right? So wearing your ripped jeans or favorite t-short may not be the best idea when approaching brands or even some of the blogging masterminds that you may cross paths with.
So how do you dress for an interview while still being comfortable and not over the top?
- Know what materials you find comfortable.
- Layer clothes and/or bring a cardigan that goes with everything.
- Find functional pieces that can be dressed up and down.
Rules of what to wear to a conference
Pick a nice pair of shoes
Whatever is your style that says “I thought about what I put on this morning”. Make sure that you have worn the shoes before though and given them a trial run at walking and standing for extended periods of time. You don’t want to be uncomfortable because you don’t want to miss out on anything (even chatting and networking between sessions) because your shoes are bothering you. And while there is lots of sitting at conferences, there’s also lots of standing. Between cocktail parties, meet and greet times, and chatting in the halls, you will have your fair share of being on your feet.
Wear something comfortable
Same with the shoes, you need to be comfortable. Choose something that expresses who you are your own style and that you would be comfortable enough to lounge in (but wouldn’t actually lounge in). I personally choose long skirts and dark jeans because they are very comfortable, express my style and who I am, and can be dressed up and down. This all part of packing light for me because I don’t want to check any luggage — carry-on only. So the same bottom that I wear to a cocktail party is part of what I wear one of the days to the main conference.
Choose an accessory
Find something that can be a conversation piece. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but is something that people might talk about or ask you about. Maybe it’s something you sell, maybe it expresses part of your blog, or maybe it’s just interesting enough to catch someone’s eye. Or, maybe it’s a simple pen necklace — stylish and functional. A
Also, don’t forget a sweater or cardigan. Sometimes hotels can have their air conditioning very cold!
Do your hair and makeup like you have it on your business card or blog.
Make it easy for people to recognize you. Whether it’s because they know you from your blog and it was instant recognition or they know you later because they remember you looked just like you were on your business card (if you have one on there).
Have a carry-all bag
You need something to carry your notes, your business cards, the business cards you collect, snacks, a bottle of water, writing utensils, chargers, your laptop, phone, and other devices. You will have quite a haul of stuff. So choose a bag that fits it all and that you’re comfortable toting around. For me, I LOVE my Epiphanie bag because it fits my camera, laptop, business cards, wallet, tablet, and notes all in one bag that also goes over my shoulder.
Express your personality and/or your blog’s personality
It everything you wear and have on you, let it be a reflection of your blog. This goes back to the interview part. You want to make sure you are marketing yourself in light of the blog you have an/or want to have. For instance, my business cards (while not my attire, but something I come to conferences with) are all made on recycled paper and with biodegradable ink because that’s part of what I stand for on my blog. I also chose one of my accessories to be a diffusing necklace, because I use essential oils on a regular basis. And while I look professional, I don’t hide the fact that I am a mom. Even to the point that in some instances, I wear my babies to be able to attend the conference.
Keep the must-conference accessories with you
At the end of the day you’re going to feel like you were wearing your phone, a pen, and your business cards. They are with you everywhere and at all times. Even when you go to the bathroom, there are people you wind up talk to and you won’t want to forget to exchange information or at least a mirror pic with them, right?
Share a picture or describe what you wear to blog conferences!