This week, I’m an official blogger at the World Innovation Forum in New York City. To tell you the truth, I’m really excited–not only because the conference has some pretty awesome speakers and because I’ll get to meet people from a top innovation consultancy–but also because this is a great, great opportunity to promote my personal brand.
Making the most of opportunity
Now, I agree it sounds funny that I’m approaching my Official Blogger status as a way to get my name out there. But, it’s actually a great opportunity for several reasons:
Reason 1: Being an “Official Blogger” instantly turns you into a semi-celebrity. There won’t be too many of you, and you’re likely to be set apart in some way. You could have “BLOGGER” on your name tag, or you could be sitting in a special section. This is great because it sets you apart. You’re no longer one of the many anonymous conference attendees — you’re one of THE BLOGGERS!
Reason 2: You’ll get special access to Bigwigs at the conference. Whether it’s an exclusive interview, or a couple follow-up questions following a presentation, your official status gives you an excuse to get to know important people in your field. And since you’re a BLOGGER and will be writing about them, you can ask penetrating questions and get their contact information to follow up later.
Reason 3: Blogging about the conference will drive lots of new people to your blog! Conference attendees will want to see what the bloggers are saying about the conference, both to see what they missed and as a refresher. Conference presenters will be interested in what you’re saying about them and will come over to your blog for a peek. And, people who couldn’t make the conference will stop by to see what they’re missing.
As you can see, blogging at a conference actually has the potential to bring great visibility to your personal brand. The key to taking advantage of that potential is to come prepared to throw everything you have into making a great impression to everyone who is exposed to you at the conference.
Benefit your personal brand
Here’s what I recommend for making sure you get the most personal brand benefit as possible from the conference:
Make sure you come prepared. Be ready to explain what you’re doing as an official blogger, and why you’re qualified to do it. It doesn’t hurt if you conveniently have a business card handy with the name of your blog on it – so people don’t have to wrack their minds trying to remember exactly how they can find your blog later. (Get their card in return, by the way!)
Know who the speakers are, and have some interesting questions you can ask them, or an angle you can write about. Throwing everything together haphazardly won’t endear you to either the speakers, the conference organizers, or the attendees. Be ready to prove you know your stuff.
Make sure you create great content in your own distinctive way. Be very informative, and don’t be afraid to put your own unique spin on the events you’re writing about. After all, if you’re invited there as a blogger, the organizers already like your style. Just make sure that style doesn’t disappear into a boring recount of the conference!
Finally, spend a lot of your time using your status as an official blogger to meet as many interesting people as possible – and then write them a short friendly note after the conference to remind them to take a look at your blog.
While most people don’t think of being personal branding as the best part of being an official blogger for a conference (usually, the potential free entry is the major appeal), it’s actually a great opportunity. If you get the change to be an official blogger, don’t let a chance to catapult your brand slip through your fingers!
Katie Konrath writes about “ideas so fresh… they should be slapped” at getFreshMinds.com, a top innovation blog.