Despite writing this blog since 2011, I attended my very first blogger mixer last week. It was an event for local bloggers, by local bloggers Jesse Coulter and Anita Cheung. It was held at local boutique Raven + Lily, an absolutely beautiful and inspiring space. I was really excited to be among a group of creative women, but was a little nervous about how it would go. The thought of walking into a room full of strangers was intimidating. Would I be the only mom blogger there? I wasn't. Was I going to be the only breastfeeding blogger there? I imagine that the answer to this will be yes 99% of the time! The night before the event I was up late (early?) and decided to do a little googling. Looking things up online was helpful, but I thought I'd put together a list of a few things for anyone else headed to her first blogger event.
1. Bring business cards
This was one of the things I knew to do ahead of time, but feel like it's worth repeating. It's that important. Imagine having a great conversation with someone you just met, but not knowing how to contact them again. Avoid the frustration by saying, "I'd love to keep in touch, here's my card," at the end of your chat. I also feel like having a business card also made me look like a serious blogger and helped solidify my brand.
2. Have a pitch
"So what do you blog about?" was the question of the night. My answer was, "I blog about motherhood, breastfeeding, and style, especially breastfeeding-friendly clothes that aren't nursing clothes." Being able to answer the question in a sentence or two helped people understand what I was about. I spoke with women who blogged about everything from food to photography to style to sewing. Their eyes would glaze over if I gave them my whole spiel about studying to become a lactation consultant and how I got to this point with my blog. If they wanted to learn more, I gave them additional info.
3. Dress like yourself
I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what to wear to this event. Should I wear a dress? Business casual? What the heck do I wear?? The event didn't specify attire, so I followed the hashtag on Instagram to see what others wore. It was a wide variety of styles, but everyone in attendance looked confident. That became my goal - wear what made me feel like a million bucks. I ended up settling on distressed skinny jeans, a split back top (in black, of course) and some killer accessories. It was very me.
4. Wear comfortable shoes
I had to walk several blocks from my parking spot to the event location and was grateful I chose practical yet stylish flat sandals instead of anything too crazy. There was a couch in the beautiful event space, but I ended up standing the whole time. Bottom line: it's not the night to wear a brand new pair of shoes. Go with something you know won't hurt.
5. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
There were a wide range of topics covered by the women in attendance: fashion, photography, food, travel, even sewing. My blog and I didn't mesh with every single person we spoke to - there was not a lot of interest on either side, and that's okay. Not every conversation you have will be productive. However I wouldn't say that the conversation was a waste, not by a long shot - hearing women speak about their passions and the way they can positively impact each other was very motivating. Their enthusiasm was contagious! On the other hand, there were some women I met that I definitely wanted to stay in touch with. That's where those handy dandy business cards come in!
All in all, I had a great time at the event. I met a room full of enterprising women, made a new friend, and even won a prize of unlimited yoga for a month! Not too shabby for a Thursday night. I am looking forward to the next #ATXBloggerMixer and will be keeping my eyes open for others in my area.