Top 5 Items Bloggers need for Networking/Social Media Events:
Attending your first Blogger networking event can be rather intimidating. Learning the essentials that every Blogger should bring to any social media or networking event is important. I quickly learned what those were and to this day I pack my bag with the same items. If you have seen me at conferences you will know that I always end up with more bags than I come in with but that's part of the Blogger swag that's inevitable.
I have, over the last 4 years, acquired all my equipment and perfected my methods of networking but my bag is always filled with the following 5 items:
1) Camera- Now, I didn't start off with a fancy anything, as a matter of fact my first year or so my phone was my camera. Or, I would ask my Blogger friends to take pictures and then I would post their pictures and give them credit. If you network correctly you end up with the best Blogging buddies, who never mind sharing pictures with you. Of course as the months went by I knew I needed a good camera. Honestly some small point and shoot cameras these days, take really good pictures. A really good smart phone also does the trick now-a-days.
2) Cell Phone- It's a no-brainer, if you are like me, your phone is your everything. I have easy access to all my social media apps. Quick access to recording both video and audio as well as taking quick pictures to post on several social media outlets at once. I also take a ton of notes on my phone. Plus you know people call and text me, by people I mean my Husband and kids. They wonder where I am, all the time. Go figure.
3) iPad/Tablet (or laptop)- I have never been a huge fan of laptops they are not my favorite computer, at all. I prefer a good old desktop or even my phone and iPad serve the same purpose. My iPad sometimes has better features and a bigger view than my cellphone. Or, if I need to multitask and be on both devices at the same time it's super handy. And, since my iPad has a keyboard it's sometimes easier to take notes on it. It also takes great pictures and video. The extra device is always good for backup. Depending on the type of event I might not even use it but I like to take it with me. Just in case.
4) Promotional Items and Business cards- These items are so useful to promote your blog. A simple business card can lead to great conversations with brands. This year I invested in pens, best idea ever. I feel like even if you are a small blog and just starting, creating promotional items is very helpful. I wouldn't invest too much money in the beginning. I purchased my pens in bulk for no more than $75.00.
5) Notebook- Yes, I bring at least 2 notebooks everywhere I go. Not only because I am obsessed with them but because I love to write. Sometimes, I just love my pen touching the paper. I am a bit nerdy. I used to have the best handwriting, these days technology has affected this. So, when I can, I try to write with pen and paper and not rely so much on my phone or computer. Truly sometimes it's faster and easier to simply open a notebook and start writing; as opposed to having to turn on a device and wait for it to load or open.
You will find that some travel lighter than others but at the end of the day being well prepared is better than not being prepared at all. Knowing the type of event and what the agenda is, is always good to find out before hand. I might take these items and only ever use my camera. Other times, I have regretted forgetting my camera or not bringing a notebook. Which is why I fill my bag with everything I need and keep them close by. You will learn what occasion call for a full bag versus a simple purse and cellphone.
Happy Networking and good luck!