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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blog World Expo: A Report from JoeTech

Guest post from: JoeTech:

I had never been to the BlogWorld and New Media Expo before. I'd heard a lot about it, especially about BlogWorld 2007, but I wasn't quite as serious about blogging back then, either.

Things have changed and this year. As my blog grows, I find it more and more important to find new tools and sites to help it grow.

When I go, there's a lot I do to get my money's worth:

Brand Recognition A key focus for me at BWE08 was getting my brand name, "Joe Tech" and logo more recognized. What better place to get my business card and brand in front of the right people than THE blogging expo of the year?

Just remember to bring a lot of cards and always have them with you. If I spoke to JoeTech's Business Cardsomeone within the walls of the expo, they usually had my card in their hand before we parted ways. Learn from Experts No matter how good you think you are, there's usually someone better.

I paid the extra $300 for Full Access so I could take advantage of the panels. Good panels are comprised of experienced speakers who are known as experts in their fields, and focus on topics that will help the rest of us get a little further up the food chain. The panels I attended included such speakers as John Chow, ShoeMoney, Zac Johnson, etc. Reading their blogs is helpful, but having the opportunity to sit in the same room and get real-time answers to your questions is invaluable.

If you're serious about blogging and can afford it, you should attend the panels.

Although I only attended the few that I felt were very important at the time, there were about 50 to choose from, so you can't go wrong.

Visit Every Booth OK... Admittedly, there will be booths that you know will hold no value for you, and you can skip those, but hit all the rest. The companies you've never heard of are some of the most important because skipping over them may mean missing out on some great software, monetization opportunities, information, or business contacts.

I found what may be (pending testing) an incredible tool for blog posts, because I Discussing John Chow's Sitewent to every booth and talked to everyone I could. Visit the booths of the companies you're already familiar with, too. Visiting the SezWho booth, I was provided with an opportunity to share suggestions for updates they might add, a stop at the Unique Blog Designs helped me learn that they're also in Arizona (we'll probably sync up for a beer soon enough), and a quick hello at the Market Leverage booth turned into a spontaneous marketing opportunity with John Chow.

Don't forget to take your business cards with you and ask questions. Being there in person makes question asking so much easier.

Be Social I am a shy person in the flesh. It can take some deep digging, but I try my best to come out of my shell for these events.

Don't be afraid to go up and say hello to someone if you recognize them or their blog name. Have conversations, and above all, go to the parties you can get into.

Social events are relaxed and open a lot of people up to new contacts. It's also a nice relaxing distraction from the "business" end of things during the day. Still, bring those business cards, but try to have some fun. You'll still make contacts and can swap cards if it doesn't feel pushy.

Twitter It, Blog It, Tag It These days, most of these events provide attendees with their preferred hash tags and keywords to use when talking about your time there.

For BlogWorld 2008, the standard is to tag all blog posts, videos, and photos with "bwe08" and on Twitter, include #bwe08 in any tweets.

Not only does this let the organizers know what you're talking about, but people searching for these tags will easily find your post, tweet, or media.

Additionally, your update may end up syndicated at the official site, which is a nice way to reach people who couldn't make it.

Come Prepared You'll be asked 100 times about the focus of your blog or what you write about. Know your answer. Bring your business cards, a note pad and a couple pens, some way to post from the event (laptop, smart phone), a narrowed down schedule of just the panels and events you plan to attend, and medications to aid with headache, sinuses, etc. Bring a camera and extra batteries. Everything is so much more relaxing when it runs smoothly.

Copyright JoeTech 2008


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