Preparing For my First EVER Conference

I have been debating whether or not to write a post about my preparing for the ShesConnected Conference After applying to attend, I have been invited to and am attending in a few short weeks.  I want to share with my readers and fellow future conference newbies my journey. In preparing for this conference I have searched Google many times looking for others experiences and tips and pointers. I am happy to say many bloggers from last year have posted some great tips and pics from their conference experiences. I have found their posts to be very informative and extremely helpful. I had no idea what to do, what I need to bring or where to even start. Luckily I found them and now feel prepared.

Shortly after receiving my initial invite on twitter I secured a hotel room. We are staying at the Sheraton and there was a special conference rate available for the month of August. I was happy to see many of my online friends were invited as well. I am attending this conference for many reasons and I look forward to meeting with the brands and hearing the speakers. However I was a bit nervous about attending a conference and not knowing anyone. So we  (Did You Know Canada and I ) arranged to travel together at first by car, but now by train and meet up with a few others before heading into the venue. I am very excited to meet these ladies in real life. Many of them have been my shoulder to lean on, late night friend or partner in many online promotions. Spending time with them is going to be great. I bet we will be just as good of friends in person as we are online.
So the conference is sponsored by some top notch brands and there for our ticket to attend is free. This is great. But being a stay at home mom I was still concerned about other costs. Hotel, transportation, food, extras and clothes. As many of you have seen in my previous posts I was able to get help in these departments from various sponsors. I approached companies that I knew from previous work, interactions and of course personal experience. I have worked with Wholly Guacamole and Salsa many times over the last few months. They are the perfect sponsor for my blog and I am happy they have helped me get to the conference.  You can expect many more great posts featuring them and many more great giveaways too. As excited as I was to be working with this yummy company I was still concerned about what I was going to wear. (I think most women would be with me on this)


I have been a follower of a great lady on twitter for quite some time. We had discussed working together often and the conference was the perfect review opportunity. Funky Fleece generously sent me a big funky purse, watch and some great jewelry. Everything is perfect for the conference. I will be posting pics of it all too.And yes you can look forward to something for my readers too 🙂  Now to find the perfect outfit.


When I approach a new company, a company I have not spoken to professionally before, I like to make sure we are a good fit. I sent Penningtons a message asking to chat and a few weeks later after chatting back and forth they agreed to dress me for the conference. I would have been shopping there no matter what as I love their clothes. This is just a bonus, as well for you all. there will be a gift card to be won soon. My first visit to the store I had my boys with me and it was not fun. They are not very good shopping companions lol I picked out a few outfits but did not finalize anything. I plan on going back next week and picking up what I will be wearing. Below are are the items I am thinking about. Of course I need to try them on and hope nothing else catches my eye. I will be like a kid in the candy store. 



This top along with these pants

And maybe this dress

I now just need to find shoes. And no I do not have a shoe sponsor 🙂


With the hotel room books, train books and most details covered all that I needed to do was order business cards. I found a great company Twitter and not only did I get cards but I also got note pads. So cool. Oh and I needed a suitcase, I never travel and found a great one when I took the kids back to school shopping. I was able to get a great discount too, buying it with their lunch bags and back packs. 

Did I really need a sponsor? I guess not but it has made things easier. Did I really need note pads? No, but they are great and will surely stand out more than my cards will and last longer. But after everything like family arrangements and transportation and hotel was booked, I was able to relax and do what I do best. That is connect and share.


We are still waiting for a few final details on the agenda. From what I have seen so far it looks like a very informative conference. The entire experience is going to be like no other. The information I will be receiving will truly be valuable to my blogs future. I hope to get some new readers, some great review and giveaway opportunities and see for myself first hand some great new products and some old favourites. I look forward to hearing the amazing speaker that are going to be there too.


If we have any free time afterwards I will be looking forward to having a girls night out with some of my favourite bloggers. Hopefully this will be a yearly event for us. 


A few tips I read on other blogs were
dress comfy and be yourself
-bring an extra bag in case you have swag to bring home
-bring lots of business cards.
take notes


Last year when the ShesConnected conference was on I was not a blogger. I just started my blog in January of 2011. I remember being on twitter and participating in my first ever twitter party. It was the live conference twitter party. It is pretty great that one year I am participating in a twitter party as a follower, reader, mom etc and this year I am attending the conference. If you want to follow along on twitter you can by following the hashtag #SCCTO I have my smartphone and plan on live tweeting from the conference. Who knows maybe one of you will be attending next year as a blogger newbie too. 






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Comments

  1. So looking forward to it!!! Thanks for being my travel buddy, I don't think I'd make it there without you!!!

  2. Just like you last year I read all the tweets while the bloggers were at the conference, they were having so much fun! I'm happy to see you attending and looking forward to reading your tweets! Fantastic blogger to follow and twitter friend, have fun you have earned it!Ginette

  3. Multi-Testing Mommy says

    Maybe one year I'll get there too 🙂 I know you'll have a blast! What a great experience to be part of.A wonderfully written post, Ginger!

  4. Thats awewsome! Hope you have lots of fun! (I like the blouse and pants the most.:)

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