Like the Boy Scouts “Being Prepared” is a great motto

At some point in life we all should try something new and if this is your first social media conference it might be nice to take your time and prepare… For me I pretty much live out of my truck/suitcase/hotel these days so through experience I’ve come to know what needs to be in my suitcase for events…It doesn’t matter if you’re the speaker or the listener these tips for being prepared are sure to help you enjoy the journey.

It starts at home

  • Well in advance of the conference you should start asking your customers/clients if they are using social media in their leisure time and as a marketing tool for their business. Then ask them which networks they believe are benefiting them the most.
  • Keep track of where their eyes are going each day – Is it? Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogging… these valuable clues are great little nuggets of information for you. One of the most powerful attributes to social media is being “Top of Mind” and we will show you how to achieve this during the conference.
  • Once you have figured out where your audience spends their time on the internet you can then start to review the list of over 50 sessions at Social Media Camp Victoria 2013
  • Create a Needs List and a Wants list… Prioritize. (Don’t forget we don’t always get what we want, have a back up plan)
  • Before signing up with a specific speaker do your own research on them and make sure it feels like a good fit for your business plan.
  • Always commit to challenging yourself with something new – in this case a workshop on something you’ve only heard about but never tried – when you hear someone mention a specific social media network does it make you curious or excited?
  • Once a week go back to the website for the conference and check on anything new that has been posted.
  • Share what you’re doing with people who might want to join you, it could help you save money by sharing the costs.
  • Buy a book on networking so you can maximize your conference experience “Work the Pond” by Darcy Rezac was a book I read several years ago. Why not get a little practice in on networking and attend a few events ahead of time.

What to bring

  • Always reduce the load as much as possible, simplify and be practicle…funny I’m laughing as I type these very words…
  • Go on-line and check the weather forecast, but remember you’ll be inside most of the day and it can go from hot to cold in minutes, bring the appropriate sweater or coat.
  • A word of advice from another mentor of mine Peter Legge – People will make a judgment call on you within the first 4 seconds of meeting you, based entirely on your wardrobe. Wear the wardrobe of your company proudly.
  • Think about your shoes especially because at conferences you usually do a lot of walking. Bring your runners in a bag.
  • Check the bus schedule on-line before you leave and make sure if you are taking public transport you know the times the bus runs.
  • Don’t forget your phone-charger or other electronics if DEEMED necessary.
  • Extra pens, business cards and notebooks including digital if that’s how you like to take notes.
  • Always charge your battery before you leave.
  • Make sure you know how your phone goes on silent or vibrate.
  • Even if you don’t have a Twitter account try to set one up ahead of time. Download the Twitter app on your smart phone. (Be prepared) Ask me to follow you @KeepItSimpleSM is my Twitter handle (name on Twitter)
  • Try to add the hashtag for the event so it will appear in your search bar #SMCamp (This way once you learn how to use Twitter, tweet and gain followers you can also keep up to date with everything happening at the conference.

The day of the Conference

  • You must be really excited…and hopefully you slept well the night before. Getting plenty of rest and arriving hydrated is a bonus to attending any conference.
  • Bring a few headache pills, sometimes we get information overload and I don’t want you to miss anything because your head is pounding.
  • Bring some water too & maybe a little snack… I like a chew of gum or a mint. (If you have a cough bring some cough drops)
  • Update your Facebook personal profile to let everyone know where you are
  • Check-in on FourSquare and other social sites you belong to
  • Take lots of photos of the speakers and tweet them out – It’s fun to add their tips in the tweets.
  • Bring a recycle bag for any merchandise or handouts you receive.
  • A little cash is a quicker way to buy a coffee or treat.
  • Put your name tag on during the conference and introduce yourself to everyone, hand out your business card
  • Does your business card have your Facebook Business Page or Twitter handle on it? Have some made at Staples just for the conference that say “Met you at Social Media Camp Victoria 2013”

The main focus of Social Media Camp Victoria 2013 is to learn, network, share and explore, so come with an open mind and a positive attitude. Try doing a check up from the neck up before you step through the door…a smile is universal and can take you places….plus it is highly contagious and well worth spreading… If you see me please come and introduce yourself, I’d love to connect…..

I am so excited to spend three days networking, caring and sharing ideas… I’ve decided this event is going to ROCK and I’m going to come away with a bundle of new ideas to implement… Let’s have some FUN together. I’m planning on attending as many social events and sessions as I can…I’m looking forward to seeing you in Victoria (YYJ)

My name is Heather Clifford and I live in beautiful Nanaimo BC, I teach hands on social media all across this wonderful province. I am a speaker, consultant and social media strategist who is passionate about helping you to bridge the distance between technology and marketing with focused power on the internet…

ps – YYJ represents the Victoria International Airport or in our case Victoria BC Canada because when we refer to Victoria on Twitter we want people to know we are talking about BC as there are many Victoria’s around the world and the globe becomes mighty small with when using social media!


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