How to Connect With Sponsors at the #BlogHer16 Evening at the Expo

BlogHer Original Post

In the weeks leading up to our annual conference, people often ask others to name their favorite part of the BlogHer conference experience. Naturally there are many different answers (Voices of the Year, also known as VOTY, comes up a lot!), and to be completely honest, I am personally unable to choose only one favorite thing.

But one activity that makes my list every year (in addition to VOTY!) is the Evening at the Expo.

Evening at the Expo is on Thursday August 4 from 6-8PM. It is a great time to walk through the expo hall and connect with the sponsors who are not only eager to show off their newest products and services but also make our entire event possible.

Whether you prefer to stroll in with no action plan whatsoever or you've already been furiously plotting your course with assistance from the #BlogHer16 app, the evening is great fun and provides a preview of what's going on for the next two days. Light snacks and beverages will be served as we all walk around, getting to know each other.

We just wrote a helpful guide of dos and don'ts for connecting with sponsors, but here are a few additional strategies you can use to connect with our sponsors at this conference-kicking-off event:

Introduce Yourself

Seems obvious, doesn't it? The fact is, walking up to strangers and saying hello doesn't come naturally to all of us, but Evening at the Expo is made for it. The fine folks who will be standing at brand exhibits are there specifically to get to know attendees.

By putting your best self forward, you can have a great two-way conversation about why you're both at the conference. I am still in touch with people I met in the expo halls at my first couple of BlogHer conferences.

evening at the expo

Get Interactive

Many exhibitors will have actual product on hand for you to try. For example, Baskin-Robbins will be back with pink spoon samples of their latest flavors. Others will have photo booths (Eggland's Best, Lansinoh, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and Tableluxe).

Ancestry will have people there to help you start looking into your family tree. FabFitFun will be offering manicures at their booth. Some of our sponsors will even have some surprise special guests you'll definitely want to meet.

evening at the expo

Enter To Win

But wait, there's more! Many of our sponsors will have high-end giveaways that you can enter to win by either participating in a social media activation or giving them your business card (or contact information). DreamHost will be giving away a California-themed package, Garden of Life will be giving away a Breakers Palm Beach trip, and Mixbook will be giving away $500 worth of products, just to name a few.

evening at the expo

Now that you've gotten a peek at what's going on, make sure to mark your calendar for Evening at the Expo! Expo hall hours for the whole weekend are:

Thursday, 8/4 = 6-8PM
Friday, 8/5 = 10AM-4PM
Saturday, 8/6 = 10:15AM-4:30PM

Mark your favorite sponsors in the #BlogHer16 app and make plans to go for a return visit and talk to them in depth.

One more thing: check out this post that our Chief Community Officer Elisa Camahort Page wrote a couple of years ago about the unethical practice of outboarding and why it's so important for us to express our appreciation for (and return the support of) our conference sponsors.

I'll see you all at the Expo on August 4th!

You can't see the show if you don't go to #BlogHer16. Register now for your seat in sunny Los Angeles August 4-6, 2016.

#BlogHer16: Experts Among Us is THE largest conference for women content creators in the world.

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Melisa Wells
Expert Bedazzler, Detail Wrangler, and Eternal Optimist
Social Media Researcher @BlogHer
My personal blog: Suburban Scrawl
@MelisaLW

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