6 Tips for Sharing a Room at #BlogHer16

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Several years ago, I found myself attending a conference where I knew absolutely no one. While my objective was to grow outside of my comfortable circle of blogging friends, I had failed to realize that this would leave me with quite a dilemma when it came to my hotel arrangements.

Did I pay for a solo room or attempt to find a roommate out of the dozens of strangers who also found themselves in this predicament?

I took the leap that conference and roomed with a stranger. It was one of the better experiences I've had at a conference, and I made a ton of new friends from it. Look at it this way - picking a roommate for the weekend is just like internet dating except it's not as scary because there is one main thing in common – #BlogHer16! Here's are my best practices when rooming with a stranger.

how to room with a friend at a conference

Use social channels to look for mutual friends

While I didn't see anyone that I knew that was looking for a roommate, I took a look through the friends list of the people that were and started with those that I had mutual friends with. Then I rolled through their public Facebook posts and took a look at their social channels.

Does what they're posting seem to be in line with who I am as a person? Not to sound judge-y, but I found that if you have similar interests and philosophies, it's a better match.

Work out the deal-breakers ahead of time

Do you snore? Have to sleep with the tv on? Need to have the room at near-frigid temperatures just to survive? Are a total party-animal? Before you decide to take the plunge, make sure the basics of living together for a few days are compatible.

Get the money sorted out before you arrive

Given that the room block at the JW Marriott is sold out, one of you may already have the reservation in your name and have your credit card holding it. Figure out exactly what the room rate will be with taxes (the hotel can help you with this), and what each of you are responsible for.

While most hotels won't allow two credit cards to be on file, they will allow you to make a payment on the account with a different card than what is on file, and split the bill between two people at the time of checkout. (I always do this when I room with friends.)

S-H-A-R-E

Make sure you both names are added on the hotel room so you both can check in and get keys if there is an issue. The first one who checks in should order an extra luggage rack and hangers so you both have enough. Don't take over all of the counter space and drawers.

Realize that your room is going to be FULL before the end of the weekend and try to set up areas so you each have personal space. Figure out a shower schedule and be flexible on getting up a little earlier than you are used to so you both can look amazing and be on time.

Keep your inner freak out of the room

Unless otherwise mutually agreed to, don't throw a party in your room, make a mess that you don't clean up, use the bathroom with the door open, walk around in just a towel or naked, blast loud music when your roomie is sleeping, and generally act like a character from Animal House. Unless you are both into that kind of thing. In that case, have a blast.

Introduce your roomie to your friends, but don't expect to spend EVERY waking moment together

This is a tough one because some people are getting a roommate because they don't know anyone, and others are sharing a room for purely financial reasons and already have a tribe in place. Be inclusive; extend the invitation to your new roomie but don't be offended if they want to go do their own thing.

Swap cell phone numbers so you can check in with each other. Make plans to at least grab one meal or a drink together.

The best experience I ever had was walking to dinner at that same conference I mentioned earlier with a group of people I didn't know. Years later, some of these women are my closest friends, and we talk every day. Had I not taken a chance to room with a stranger at a conference, I never would have met them!

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