Jenny’s Life Klass: How NOT to behave at a blogging conference

JLK blog conference

Well, hello there my pretties and welcome to another edition of Jenny’s Life Klass. For those of you who are new to the Klass, let me give the you the rundown. It works like this: I tell you what to do, and then you do it, and your life gets awesomer. Easy-peasy right? Let’s get started!

Today’s edition of JLK is very timely as Emily and I will departing in about 72 short hours for the fabulous conference, Mom 2.0 Summit (thanks to our amazing and generous sponsor, Lands’ End). It’s our fave conference ever and we can’t wait! But before we leave, I thought I’d better teach this Klass on how NOT to behave at a blogging or social media conference. So listen up, fellow attendees. I’ve been the victim of these bad conference behaviors and I want to keep you from being a victim as well, or even worse – a perpetrator! Please don’t break these conference rules and make me DM Emily snarky comments about you on Twitter. I beg you. Here goes!

1) Shut your face when a speaker is, you know, speaking. Although the concept seems fairly simple, I’ve seen attendees screw this one up at conference after conference. When someone that you have come to hear and learn from is talking into the microphone, you should in turn, NOT be talking. {Take a moment and let that set in.} This applies even when a speaker is talking during a meal. I know we all look forward to meal times as social happy fun time, but sometimes a meal time speaker is on the agenda and they deserve your r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Plus, you should be shoving food in your mouth (because who knows when your next meal is on the agenda??) instead of flappin your flippin’ gums. So please to zip it, lock it, and put it in your pocket, mmkay? Don’t make me make YOU sit criss-cross applesauce. That could lead to a whole host of other distractions. And possibly a whole other Jenny’s Life Klass.

2) Don’t ask the speaker a question that is unrelated to their talk during Q&A time. That’s just awkward for all of us, but especially the hallowed speaker who has to figure out how to be gracious to your dumb self. This will also result in me immediately sending Emily a hilarious text at your expense. So basically, the two coolest people at the conference will be silently laughing at you. Can you DEAL with that kind of shame? I hope you never have to find out.

3) Don’t ask the speaker a “question” during Q&A time that’s not actually a question but an inappropriately long telling of your entire life story. Oh conference attendee, if you don’t take away anything else from this Life Klass, take away this: when someone else is on stage, it is not your turn to be on stage. You wanna try and corner that speaker after the session and give her an oral history of your life from birth to blog, go right ahead. But please do not try it when dozens of others are waiting to ask applicable questions from the experts. Or I. Will. Cut. You.

4) Don’t block the buffet. Look, I know sometimes you have to take advantage of the moment when you finally connect with that brand representative or blogger you’ve been dying to work with. But please, for the love of all that’s holy, hold your life-changing meeting AWAY from the food line. My blood sugar is low, I have food allergies, and I’m eating on a schedule dictated by the conference organizers so MOVE IT TO A TABLE SO I CAN GET TO THE GLUTEN-FREE CHICKEN SKEWERS! Ahem. After all, if I pass out from hunger in line next to you because you won’t take your business away from the bacon, your meeting is going to be interrupted by my lifeless body landing at your feet. So. Move along.

And finally, and most importantly:

5) Don’t put Baby in a corner. In this Dirty Dancingesque scenario, YOU are Baby. You are also Baby’s father, who put her in the corner, and Johnny the hot dancing man who springs Baby from the corner and takes her onstage to show the world her true talent and potential. There are tons of opportunities at a blogging/social media conference –  to connect with other bloggers, PR reps, brand managers, and knowledgeable speakers. But you won’t benefit from any of those opportunities if you don’t get out of the fishing corner and start shaking some hands. And raising your own. My boss, Shelly Kramer, likes to tell women to “raise your hand”. Make yourself seen and heard, take a chance! If I hadn’t raised my hand and spoken with Shelly after the panel she spoke on at last year’s Mom 2.0, I wouldn’t be working for her today. And working for her has been a great blessing in my life both personally and professionally. So get out of the corner, Baby, and get into the spotlight. Show us what you can do! Hot man-dancer totally unnecessary (but also totally optional. If you like props).

All right, Klass! These are your directives for your next blogging and social media conference. I hope all of my fellow attendees at Mom 2.0 this week get an A+. You know I’ll be grading with a red pen!

See ya at the Ritz,  my loves!

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14 Replies to “Jenny’s Life Klass: How NOT to behave at a blogging conference”

  1. I love these tips and I’m so bummed that I won’t be at Mom 2.0! I’ll be there the day before on Wednesday for Mom Pulse’s Women in Video conference at the Ritz but I have to fly up to SFO for work and I’ll miss you. Boo-hoo! You look gorgeous and as always you’re classy!

    P.S. I hate when somebody block the buffet talking to a brand or another blogger!

  2. I’m so glad I read this. I almost did all of them. Now to re-strategize. Although, the thought of your lifeless body just feet from the bacon would make for a fantastic blog post…

    1. Since you make me swoon ALL THE TIME Jeannett, my lifeless body will probably be lying at your feet multiple times over the weekend.

  3. This Life Klass came at the perfect time since it is not only my first Mom 2.0, but first blog conference. Eeeek! Hope to say hi, and I’ll make sure to steer clear of the corners of the room. 🙂

  4. Haha … love this Life Klass, momma. And I’m grateful that you raised that hand, too!

    Seriously, it’s important for attendees to realize that speakers attend conferences on their own dimes. Yup, that’s right. We come because we love you, we love what we’re speaking about and we’re passionate about helping you do what you want to do better. And we might get a comped room here and there, but we leave our businesses, our kids, our hubbies and our lives to come to these conferences, and I’m not sure most attendees know that. So not only should you consider showing up to hear what we’re speaking about, you should go out of your way to get away from your clique of besties and step outside your comfort zone and find us, stalk us and talk with us at social events and/or meals, etc. Get to know us better – and allow us to get to know you better. Who knows what kind of opportunities might present themselves as a result.


  5. LOVE this. I must have been sitting just a few feet from you at Shelly’s talk last year (obviously not talking to you, because that would have been rude), but your advice is fantastic. Especially since this year I’ll be speaking. I’m not a “serial panelist,” and I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a little nervous. When people disengage it’s so hard to feel like you’re doing a good job, which is what we all want to be doing.

    And, as Shelly so eloquently said above, let’s keep the conversation going. Mom 2.0 is my absolute favorite conference, because it feels very inclusive and accessible. I can’t wait to see you!

    xo b.

    1. Thanks, Betsy! I look forward to connecting with you, too. Looks like we just missed each other last year. Excited to hear you speak, too.

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  7. Ha! Love this. And I’ll be fighting you for the skewers, mama! Xo can’t WAIT to see you!

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