Who knew that 6 years of geeking out at Dragon Con would prepare me for the extravaganza that is BlogHer, the annual mega-blogging convention? The 10th anniversary celebration is in San Jose in two weeks, and I can’t wait.
At first I was petrified, but I realize now I’m a con vet. Just for a very different type of convention.
So here are some (slightly unconventional) tips I’ve learned from going geek:
1) Be prepared to wait in line for everything. Bathrooms, elevators, session seating, sponsor hob-nobbing. Now that Dragon Con has expanded to five host hotels and pushing 60,000 in attendance, I just expect to feel like herded cattle. Sure it doesn’t make it any less annoying, but your con experience is dependent on your attitude. Have a good one.
Bored? Try these out:.
- Turn around and introduce yourself to the person behind you. Conversations with fellow Con goers makes any line wait seem quicker. Pull out a deck of cards or a game. My favorites: Cards Against Humanity and Phase 10. CAH is essentially an irreverent and offensive version of Apples to Apples. I love it, but you may not. If you don’t get offended easily, pick it up. If not, stick with A2A.
- Introverted? Pull out your phone and start replying to #BlogHer14 Tweets on the app (It’s the Twitter option in the menu.). Carry a book, a solo game, whatever will keep you occupied.
2) Prep for extreme weather conditions. The years I dressed up as Storm in the middle of an Atlanta summer, I brought extra clothes and undies, because I knew I would sweat them out.
Of course, bring a jacket for those chilly conference rooms, but be ready in case you end up in a sweltering situation (like a hotel elevator that’s maxed out, oy!). There may be that one fateful day you forget your umbrella and there’s a downpour. Bring a hat or scrunchie to tame soaked tresses until you can get back to the hotel.
3) Prep for a random celeb encounter. Mentally train yourself now to come up with an elevator speech if you run into the Bloggess…on the elevator. (Try to get past the, “Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh, if you can.)
Gush if you like, but be mindful of their time. If they look like they are in a hurry or have a handler with them, say hi, wave and go. Don’t harp them for a photo or autograph.
This goes the same for sponsors. You have so many awesome options, so it’s best to be memorable but brief unless you specifically plan a conversation with a specific brand. Give them a piece of your blog’s branded swag and a biz card. I came *this* close to getting a selfie with Tom Felton (Of Harry Potter fame as his nemesis Draco Malfoy). But alas, he just wanted to blend in.
(I did manage to run into Chad Vader on the way to a friend’s hotel room! It was completely empty at that moment, so I had time for shots.)
4) For the love of Pete, eat! Yes, the schedule is packed with awesomeness but you need to make sure your tummy is also packed with awesomeness.
Nuts, fruit, granola bars and water are your best friends in between meals. Of course, use caffeine, alcohol and junk in moderation. (You can’t party at night when you’re on a sugar crash, now can you?)
Other awesomeness: showers and sleep. Don’t neglect those either. At geek cons, they call it the daily 3-2-1 rule: three hours of sleep, two meals and 1 shower. These are at a bare minimum. You’ll need focus and concentration for these events, and neglecting any of these would prevent you from that.
Like anything in life, it’s what you make of it that counts. We are spending a pretty penny to attend, so we need to squeeze every bit out of it. See you there!