Also, I can be a little clueless at times. Oh yes, I can. Here's all the proof you need--from one of my BlogHer07 follow-up posts. I had this to say about the writer's panel:
On the "writers panel" one panelist wrote books first, and then took to blogging in order to promote her book. One blogger blogs short stories. One blogs every day. I am not impressed. BlogHer executives: this is not the equivalent of having Janet Evanovich, Anna Quindlan, and Norah Ephron up there.
The blogger who blogs every day? Was The Pioneer Woman. And I'd never heard of her. So obviously, in some respects, I'm a know-nothing dimwit.
On the other hand, I've done this conference thing before. So here's my advice.
1. Everyone tells you to pack light (I do myself--see my post about sex toys and why you shouldn't bother to bring them) but nobody tells you to dress lightly, too. I'm not talking about the weather.
Here's what I mean. You'll be carrying a laptop (yes, bring your laptop!) and maybe a purse. You'll have business cards to hand out. You'll be wearing a huge conference name tag on a lariat around your neck. And most of the time, you'll be schlepping a lot of swag around.
So do yourself a favor, and don't wear a bunch of dangling necklaces, or a scarf, or anything too fussy from the waist up. Keep it simple. You want people to be able to see your name tag. And your face.
2. Be prepared to accumulate an amazing amount of stuff. If you can manage it, pack a second soft-sided suitcase inside your regular suitcase. Don't bring a tote bag unless it zips shut. I live in Chicago, so I didn't have to worry about getting all my BlogHer07 loot onto a plane, but getting home from BlissDom09 was a challenge.
3. Think twice before grabbing everything being given away. Especially if you end up having to check a bag. There will be free books, CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, tote bags and trinkets--you name it. Keep your priorities in mind. Checking a bag costs $15 or $20. Did I need all six copies of the romance novel someone was giving away at Blissdom? Not when I had all those boxes of Little Debbie 100-calorie Nutty Bars to pack. First things first, people!
4. Bring an extra Zip-Lock bag for the business cards you'll accumulate. When you have a moment, jot notes on the back of the cards about the person who gave it to you. You need to do it while the experience is fresh in your mind. If you had a great time chatting, you'll want to shoot an email to anyone you really connected with, and you can't do that if you can't remember which person is which.
5. Memories. But you knew that.
(Are we excited???? Squee!!!)