I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and gained just the right amount of holiday feast weight and splurged on fudge and figgy pudding (just kidding about the figgy pudding) and enjoyed their families, but enough about you, let’s talk about me.
Let me tell you about something I am SO EXCITED about. And no, it’s not food-related.
And I get to go. I KNOW, RIGHT!
So here’s the thing: it’s cheap, it’s close to home, AND I get free room and board thanks to my sister who lives in Nashville. It was really a no-brainer that I should pester my husband until he promised I could go. Because he’s the best, I mean.
Here are just a few reasons why I am so pumped:
- It’s called Killer Tribes, you guys.
- Tripp and Tyler. Also, Tyler once promised to be my food rival.
- Jamie Golden is attending.
- Cake pops, Jamie Golden? (Please say yes.)
- I get to hear some of the best and brightest brains tell me how they found success in their respective fields (ahem, writing being one of them, duh) through this gold mine that is the Internet.
Speaking of bright brains, because I’ve never been to a conference of any kind before, much less one that is GUARANTEED to increase my blogging income by 300%*, I undoubtedly had a LOT of questions about this conference, including what I should wear.
So I contacted conference host Bryan Allain and met with him over Krispy Kremes** and coffee and picked his information-filled brain. What follows are some of the pointers he gave me to ensure that a writer-who-blogs makes the very most out of the brilliance congregating in Nashville come March.
(For the record, Brallain*** had no opinions about what I should wear.)
What can I do as a writer to get the most out of this conference? Bryan saw right through this question, which was really me subtly asking how many copies of my manuscript I should bring to shove into the hands of unsuspecting people who might publish me, or at the very least buy my ebook. Answer? NONE. (Surprise, surprise.)
Bryan: I think the most important thing you can bring to an event like this is a great personality, a willingness to connect with other people, and a willingness to be stretched and challenged.
What are a few EASY steps the amateur writer-who-blogs can take prior to the conference? This is a big thing for me. I don’t have a snazzy site, no truly clear direction for my blog, other than a place to exercise my writing and show off my photogenic kids, so I needed a starting point to launch myself into more serious territory, as a blogger, sure, but more importantly as a writer.
Bryan: Before the conference I would make sure my blog/website was in good shape. No broken links. Best picture of myself on there. I’d try to make sure that at least one of the recent posts on the front page was a doozy. The day before the conference I might put up a blog post that says “I’m going to Killer Tribes!” and in that post I might ask anyone who connected with me at the conference to leave a comment so I could check out their blog as well.
Business cards. Your thoughts. Go. (Disclaimer: I didn’t really ask this specifically, but he had such a good point to share that I edited it in.) (Disclaimer 2.0: I had to disclaim that for journalistic integrity, okay?)
Bryan: At the conference business cards can be a win. You don’t want to be the person handing them out to everyone in lieu of actually making great conversation, but they are a nice to have for when someone gives you theirs.
Another strategy that might be more effective is to get the twitter handle of the folks you meet, and as soon as you can tweet them a “hey, great to meet you at Killer Tribes” tweet that they’ll see later on.
My expectations of that weekend are pretty stinkin’ high, but what else should I be prepared for?
Bryan: Expect to meet some people who are going to be totally lame-o (it happens) and expect to meet some people who will amaze you with awesomeness. (Get out of those lame-o conversations as quick as possible while not being rude).
Drink coffee, smoke weed, or do whatever you need to do to be your most outgoing self (ixnay on the weed, actually). Try to spend more time asking questions of others than you do talking about yourself and you’ll be the person people remember fondly. Try not to rush out of town right after the conference if possible. Many folks will not go home until sunday, so impromptu hangouts will materialize for Saturday night and you might want to be a part of that.
As for the content of the conference, try to find at least one piece of inspiration/encouragement/action from each presenter that you can take with you when you get back to doing what you’re doing.
When it comes down to it, the networking aspect of the conference is the same no matter who you are. Be outgoing, be yourself, and make connections. That’s ultimately what blogging/writing is about, and that’s the best part of going to a conference for me.
The conference is on March 31, from 8:30-5:00, right? I think the MOST important question on everyone’s mind is, WHAT’S THE PLAN FOR LUNCH? (Okay, I fibbed, it’s at least a little bit food-related.)
Bryan: You’ll be on your own for lunch (we’ll give you 90 minutes and a map of what’s in the area). The bad news: it won’t be until 11:45 (Central time!!) at the earliest. The good news: we’ll have snacks and refreshments to keep you from going cannibal and eating your neighbor’s arm.
There you have it, people. Yes to amazing speakers, no to cannibalism.
If you are a writer or a blogger or an artist or a person, then the Killer Tribes conference is for you. Click here to register, but hurry and you’ll get a discounted rate until January 31. March will be here before you know it!
*300% of $0.00 is still $0.00. Boom. Math.
**Or, I emailed him in my pajamas.
***It’s gone viral. Or not.