If you’re a blogger headed off to BlogHer 2012 in NYC in a few days or another social media conference in the near future based on my past experience of traveling to multiple social media conferences here are my top 3 tips to help you connect with brands and PR. Good luck!
Tip 1: Take roughly 250 business cards and have some handy in the airport because you never know who you might be sitting by. At the conference put your business cards behind your name tag on your plastic lanyard. This makes them very accessible so no digging is needed! Consider adding a photo to your card and a QR code that links to an about me page or media kit.
Tip 2: Ditch the hard sell. The person behind the booth or table is most likely not the decision maker you need to talk with. Leave your business card, get their business card and ask them who you should contact if you wanted to work them in the future. This is the time to ask about the brand, learn about the products, their mission statement and what they stand for. Are they a good fit for you and your brand?
Tip 3: Fold down the corner of the business cards of people you really want to follow up with. Tweet them the day you meet them that it was great to learn about x, y and z and make sure you follow them too! Then 5-7 days later send them a follow-up email to build a relationship, do not pitch. After you have established a relationship then you can pitch them about writing for them, reviewing a product, working for them, etc., etc. This is usually the second or third email after the event.
Good luck and happy connecting! See you in NYC!