The longer I blog, the more I discover how much there is to learn about blogging – social media outreach, WordPress plugins, linkups, guest posting, sponsorship, media kits and the list goes on. Given that blogging can feel like a pretty solitary activity sometimes, I wanted to start reaching out to the blogging world and network with and learn from fellow bloggers.
I first got the inspiration to look into attending a blog conference after reading about Melyssa (of The Nectar Collective)’s attendance last year at Alt Summit, a popular US blog conference. In January, I started searching online for blog conferences in Germany and I was pleasantly surprised to find an English language blog conference called The Hive which takes place once a year in Europe. This year, the conference is taking place in Berlin April 11 – 12. Founded in 2012, The Hive brings together digital storytellers, tastemakers and bloggers from all over Europe for a 2-day conference.
After checking out the website and watching the video of last year’s conference in Copenhagen, I decided to sign up since it looked like a great chance to network and learn some new blogging skills through workshops. I was initially a little worried that the conference would only cater to bigger, more-established blogs but I haven’t found that to be true at all. The Hive really seems to be open to bloggers and content creators of all types and to blogs of all sizes. Since my initial worry, I’ve actually come to be excited about attending as a writer of a small blog since I feel like I’ll have the most to learn and discover.
Once I purchased my ticket to The Hive, I began making other preparations for the conference:
Travel and Accommodation
Given that the conference falls on the last weekend of the 2-week Easter holidays, S and I thought we should take advantage of the time off to spend a little longer in Berlin before the conference. S and I have both been to Berlin together before, but only very briefly. This time we want to fit in as much sight-seeing as possible before the conference begins on Saturday.
We found a good deal for round-trip flights from Stuttgart to Berlin through Priceline, as well as a hotel for 4 nights. We’ll be staying at the Maritim Hotel Berlin which is located near Potsdamer Platz in the Mitte neighbourhood of Berlin. Our hotel is only a few blocks away from the hotel where the conference will be held. Since we’ll be based in the centre of the city, it will be convenient to get around by U-Bahn, bus, or on foot.
In preparation for our trip, I downloaded a free app called Ulmon Berlin City Guide that came highly recommended by fellow blogger Jen at Lady Relocated. The app contains maps of Berlin that can be accessed without mobile data or WiFi, so it’s especially handy for travellers. You can search for landmarks on the app and save them to a list to browse through later. I’ll admit, since downloading the app, I have already saved 20-someodd restaurants in Berlin Mitte to potentially visit during our trip! (Yes, I realize that it will be impossible to visit all of them in 5 days, but a girl’s gotta be prepared for any kind of craving! ) I made note of a few restaurants that came highly recommended by other bloggers as well as some of the top-rated Berlin restaurants on Trip Advisor.
Yvonne, the founder and organizer of The Hive and blogger at It’s on with Yvonne, highly recommended that all attendees order business cards to hand out at the conference. This was actually one of the parts of preparing for the conference that I was most looking forward to. Lucky for us, Yvonne set up a special promotion for Hive attendees to order business cards from MOO, an online print company. I’d never used MOO before and was really impressed with how many options they offered in terms of design, layout, paper quality, corner finishing and shipping. You can use any of the pre-made design templates available or you can design your own layout and upload the completed design to your business card template.
I ended up designing my own layout and am really happy with how they turned out. I am especially impressed with the paper quality – very thick and sturdy (and I only ordered the Original paper quality, thought there are Green and Luxe versions available).
My favourite thing about the process was learning that I could have up to 50 different images/styles on the back of the card. I decided to keep my logo and tagline the same on the front and designed 2 different layouts with my contact information on the back for a bit of variety. I can’t wait to start handing these out at The Hive and receive other bloggers’ business cards, too!
MOO gave me a promotional code to share with friends and contacts, so if you need to order some business cards or prints of some kind for yourself, feel free to use this MOO promo code to receive 10% off your order.
When I rebranded my blog and moved from Weebly to WordPress in February, I set up new social media accounts. I started with Facebook, Instagram and Bloglovin’ since those were the platforms that I was most familiar with. In reading up on blog conference protocol, I gleaned that Twitter is one of the most popular ways that bloggers connect with each other before, during and after a conference. Unsure of how much I would use Twitter, I hesitantly set up an account last week. Having never used Twitter before, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the hashtags and usernames but now I am enjoying following along with other bloggers’ tweets and photos. I’m still getting the hang of it, but can see incorporating Twitter into my social media outreach as I grow my blog. If you’d like to follow along with my blog on Twitter, you can reach me @kaffeekuchenco. If you have any tips on getting the most out of Twitter, I’m all ears!
I’m getting really excited for the conference next week and the chance to see more of Berlin. I hope I will learn a lot of new blogging skills, meet some cool bloggers, connect with brands and have fun!
Will you be attending The Hive? Have you been to a blogging conference before? Any tips to prepare for a blogging conference? Or any tips on things to do in Berlin?