I was totally ready for Lucky FABB, the Lucky magazine fashion and beauty bloggers conference held here on the west coast, or so I thought. I haven’t attended many conferences in my life. (As a designer I’ve spent most of my time working at a desk. We were rarely sent off to talk to the trade.) It cost a pretty penny to attend FABB and I wanted to get the most out of it so of course I prepared my bag the night before and arrived early. Well, I tried, which brings me to my first point.
Print out a map of your destination
I’ve lived in Los Angeles most of my life and I’ve driven up and down La Cienega Boulevard about eight million times. Of course I could find the SLS Beverly Hills hotel! I’m sure I’d seen it before. Well, I would probably still be driving up and down the street trying to find the address if I hadn’t seen the line of young women dressed to the nines in high heels, neon dresses and oversized bags lining up along the street at 8 am.
Bring more business cards
I take my business cards with me wherever I go and have never run out in my life. I filled up my cute little card case the night before and felt comfortable that I had plenty. Nope. By the time I left I was out of cards.
Charge your camera’s batteries the night before
One of the best things about Lucky FABB was the people watching. Fashion bloggers dress to impress and I thought I’d get some great photos for the blog. As I snapped away that morning I noticed my camera’s batteries were on red. Good thing I brought a sketch pad.
Bring an extra camera in case your main camera freaks out, dies or misbehaves
Whenever my husband goes to a professional shoot he brings and extra camera just in case. I wish I had taken his advice! Even my ancient point-and-shoot would have been better than my ancient I-phone.
Bring a note pad that can double as a sketch pad
This is probably the only thing I did right. I got at least a dozen sketches of the event, and prolific notes, even if they are decorated with doodles.
Bring an extra i-phone battery
Lucky had set up a charging station so we could all stay connected throughout the day. That was thoughtful, but my phone still died twice and the line to the chargers was long. I had a back up battery in the car but forgot to put it in my bag.
Sit down in the conference room early to get a good seat
The people speaking on the panel were often as well dressed as the audience. I wish I could have seen them better. I DID manage to get a good seat to see Betsey Johnson. (You can see the sketch I did of her outfit here.)
Hang in there
By the time the last panel had finished their discussion I was exhausted. My shoulders hurt. A headache was coming on. I was thirsty. Home was a short drive away and the chilled bottle of chardonnay in the fridge was calling to me. Drew Barrymore was on next. As sweet and inspirational as I’m sure she is I wasn’t all that interested in seeing a celebrity. Instead of leaving I plopped myself down on a big, comfy couch in the waiting room outside the conference hall. After a nice thirty minute rest and a great conversation with Drew’s personal hair dresser on the subject of his favorite hair products I felt refreshed. My batteries recharged I found a good spot in front for Betsey Johnson’s appearance. She’s one of my favorite designers, so I did really want to hear what she had to say.
I’m a conference newbie, but I’m sure there are pros among my readers. Do you have any great advice for me? I’d like to go to the next networking event fully prepared.