Top 10 tips every first-time ProBlogger attendee should know!

The countdown is on for the highly anticipated ProBlogger Training Event in my home town, the Gold Coast, on August 29-30.

Seasoned attendees are semi-prepared but newbies are no doubt slightly unsure of what to expect. I went last year and was completely clueless and I wish I had known some of the things I’m about to tell you.

So there are my top 10 tips that I think every first-time ProBlogger attendee should know:

1. Think fast.

If a person makes a beeline for you and gives you a massive hug and you have no clue who they are, cast your eyes down to their chest to see their blog or business name on their lanyard. I also put one of my business cards there which helped when I was introducing myself to people.


Also be warned, not everyone looks like they do on their blog or social media profile photo so don’t do what I did last year and make a big deal about someone looking completely different in real life – sometimes being too honest is not a good thing.

2. Clothing choice.

Unless you’re a fashion/style/beauty blogger then try not to stress about what you wear during the day. Smart, casual but most of all comfort is the key because it’s a long day in air-conditioned rooms. Honestly very few people will remember what you’re wearing, does anyone recall the threads I wore during the two days?

In saying that get a kick-ass outfit or accessory for the Friday night shin-dig because it’s a lot of fun. This year’s theme is nautical which is fitting considering the venue is themed that way and it overlooks the canal.

Last year I wore a snake! ProBlogger event

Last year I wore a snake!

3. Sessions.

Take the time to research the sessions and figure out the ones that best suit your blog/business. In saying that if you get there and realise it’s not what you expected then get up and move to another one.

Of course be quiet, discreet and respectful when you do but don’t feel trapped. You have paid to be there and learn so if you’re not getting what you want out of a certain session then there’s no point in staying.

To get a good seat get in early and if you want to be up the front there’s no rules it’s first in best dressed. Don’t be afraid to sit up the front just because you’re not a sponsored blogger or big business, you have just as much right to be there as everyone else. Think level playing field and you will enjoy your conference a lot more.

TIP: If you see a particularly amazing slide or quote use your phone to take a photo of it, this saves writing everything done and means you can actually enjoy the session.

4. Be brave.

Be prepared to be starstruck by the guest speakers and blogging royalty but don’t be shocked if they are shorter, taller or quieter than you thought they would be.

Try not to be intimidated and if you get the chance to say hi just do it, they don’t bite. Yes they may travel in VERY different circles than you but that doesn’t mean they aren’t friendly and genuinely nice.

In saying that don’t spend the entire conference stalking someone, well at least not in an obvious way!

Last year I ended up buying Clare Bowditch a coffee because she didn't have her wallet. Of course I just had to get a photo with her!

Last year I ended up buying Clare Bowditch a coffee because she didn’t have her wallet. Of course my roomie and I (Amanda @ Cooker and A Looker) just had to get a photo with her!

5. Footwear.

Don’t wear new shoes and ditch your high heels unless you’re a seasoned stiletto gal or have a hang up on your height. There’s nothing worse than having to stuff tissues in your shoes at every break to make them wearable.

5. Social media.

Get your Twitter on! There are certain hashtags for each session and they are a great way to join in the discussion or share information, there’s also competitions running with great prizes up for grabs.

It’s also a good way to see what’s happening in other rooms without moving, but be warned you might get session envy and wish you were somewhere else!

The inspiring Carly Findlay  from Tune into Radio Carly was a machine on Twitter last year and I reckon she has three hands because it seemed like she had a tweet up before a speaker had even finished their sentence!

Don’t be afraid to take selfies or ask to have a photo with someone you admire or respect. Sure they might not have a clue who you are but they’ll appreciate the attention and kind words.

The man at the helm of ProBlogger, the down-to-earth and insanely clever Darren Rowse.

The man at the helm of ProBlogger, the down-to-earth and insanely clever Darren Rowse.

6. Friday night network event.

If you like a tipple or two try not to go OTT at the Friday night networking event because there’s so much good info that you need to take in the following day, eg the Saturday. You also don’t want to do anything as silly as, well I don’t know, lose a shoe!

TIP: If there’s someone you really want to meet then send them a personal message or tweet because time flies and before you know it the conference is over and the one person you were DESPERATE to say hi to will be gone!

7. Logistics.

Once the day of learning is over there’s a mass exodus to get upstairs and the elevators can be backed up for 30 minutes. So be prepared to wait in lines or maybe organise to catch up with some of your bloggy mates at the bar, cafe or beach while you’re waiting.

Also be patient in regards to the tech side of stuff, catering and finding a place to charge your phone. Power points are HOT property once the conference starts to bring a four-point power board or something portable to charge your phone/device with.

8. The day before.

If you can stay at the QT do it, if not then it’s really worth getting to the venue the day or night before to register and familiarise yourself with it.

You’ll feel a lot more comfortable on Friday morning when the conference starts if you know where the coffee is, the bathrooms are and where the sessions will be held.

Trust me this will greatly reduce anxiety levels once the event starts and you’re vying for a spot among some 400-500 people.

TIP: If you feeling overwhelmed or need some peace nip up to your room or outside for a breath of fresh air, it can be quite an overwhelming experience with A LOT to keep up with!

A view looking down on the space where morning and afternoon tea is served. It gets a lot busier than this photo though.

A view looking down on the space where morning and afternoon tea is served. It gets a lot busier than this photo though.

9. Location.

The QT is minutes from the beach, a convenience store, restaurants, a bottle-o and is a 10-minute walk from The Helm Bar, the Friday night networking event venue.

In the past year a tram line has been constructed and the G:Link is now operating VERY QUIETLY in and around Surfers Paradise, so be careful when you’re out and about at night, especially if you’re half deaf like me!

10. Just breathe.

It’s easy to get caught up, stressed and overwhelmed with the massive amount of information and advice you get but don’t worry if you’ve forgotten something, have session regret or didn’t ask that question you wish you had.

As attendees you also get a virtual pass that gives you audio recordings and slides of most sessions, it’s the gift that keeps on giving and means you don’t have to spend hours scribbling notes.

BONUS TIP: Just have fun and put yourself out there. For most of us ProBlogger means two selfish days away from our everyday lives, no kids, no work, no cooking. You will leave with a to-do list that is 45 pages long but you will feel alive and on top of the world!

Have you got any tips to add?

Or questions? Fire away, you know I’ll answer honestly!

Joining in with IBOT hosted by Jess at Essentially Jess for IBOT


  1. I’m so jealous too! Really, really planning on going next year!

  2. Oh my. Now I feel really nervous…should I even be going to this thing?? Heck. Oh well. Will see your lovely face there, and some others I am looking forward to seeing, so it’ll be worth it. Thanks for the tips Em! x

  3. I have a huge case of ProBlogger envy and every second blog post today has had some reference to the event. Hopefully I will be able to make it next year.

  4. Great list! Maybe wear boots this year so you can’t kick them off and lose them? I look forward to catching up again. Rachel xd

  5. Em, this is awesome!! I really wish I had read something like this before my 1st time last year. I can’t wait to catch up (and learn something too) xx

  6. Fantastic tips Emily. I’m so jealous of your Clare Bowditch moment. She’s amazing. I’m glad I’m staying at the QT for that ‘go upstairs and breathe’ potential. But as you say, there’s the whole of Surfers there if you need a few quiet moments. I definitely need to put some thought into information management – chargers, note taking options etc. And comfortable shoes. Getting excited now!

  7. Hey there Emily! Fab tips. This year, you’ll be getting stalked, not being the stalker! x

  8. Now I’m *really* excited!

  9. After reading this post I am so excited about ProBlogger even though I can’t go 🙁 .
    But I am determined to make it next year! 🙂
    Have fun and learn lots! I will enjoy vicariously.

  10. So much help! Thank you! I’m a newbie this year, so I’m so grateful for all this brilliant advice.

  11. Very exciting and I agree with EVERYTHING. Jacob and I are staying at the QT this year so Phoebe can sleep in the room while I’m at the sessions and Jacob can bring her down or I can go up to feed every couple of hours. Looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces too!

  12. Oh I feel like crying reading this… because I’m not going!!!!!! Damn work!! Anyway, I am determined to get there next year and meet all you lovely ladies in person!!!!!

  13. I’m not heading off to problogger, but have a great time!

  14. Great summary! Thanks for the reminders. I went in 2012, but I feel like ProBlogger has grown considerably since then. Soooo looking forward to it!

    Only other tip I’d add is don’t be afraid to go up to the speakers to ask them a question if you were too shy during their presentation. I did it twice in 2012 and was blown away by how genuinely supportive and helpful the speakers were one-on-one 🙂

  15. Great tips! I love this. I am somewhere between nervous and excited to be attending. So can’t wait!!

  16. Em, you are a star for sharing all this for nervous newbies like me. See you there xx

  17. Great tips Em! I had been blogging for three weeks before going to my first Problogger! Comfy shoes are a must ~ have fun this year!

  18. I am so excited and just loving all these posts to help me decide what to bring and do. So glad I am staying at QT and will enjoy the splurge of staying on Saturday night as well to just chill and let it all soak in. xx N

  19. Great tips there Em!! I’m a little bit green with envy. I haven’t made it to a problogger event yet. Couldn’t this year because of other expenses (like new camera and lenses and new computer etc!!). Have a great time and I look forward to reading all the posts and nuggets of advice and info in the posts that flow after! xo

  20. Excellent tips my dear! Thanks a lot from a PBevent noob 🙂
    Looking forward to meeting you xoxo

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  21. I’m starting to get excited! My husbands things its a waste of time but I think it will be fun! I will be totally starstruck by some people attending. I just hope I don’t come across looking like a stalker!

  22. I ma just feeling so envious of everyone going, it’s not faaaaiiiirrrrr!

    Ok, whinge over, your tips are great. I could have done with them last year before I went to the DP conference. It was really overwhelming walking in to the room the first morning and not knowing anyone but I learnt pretty quickly that bloggers are an awesome bunch and you will soon be chatting away to people in no time, so don’t stress if you don’t “know” anyone.

  23. I. Can’t. Wait! Thanks for the tips – I’m definitely bringing a powerboard as well as non-painful shoes now x

  24. I wish I was coming. I’m hoping to go next year. I can’t imagine how busy it’ll get with 400+ bloggers in the one place!

  25. Great tips Em, can’t believe it’s been on the GC 2 years in a row and I’ve missed both! UGH! Will live vicariously through you again! : )

  26. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!
    I am being polite because really I think you suck and I am mega jelly!!
    Maybe next year??!!

  27. This is on my wish-list for next year, and these are brilliant tips! I can’t wait to see everyone’s posts about the event.

  28. Now I think I feel even more nervous! But these are some great tips!! Thanks Em… Btw, can I have a photo with u! 😉

  29. Oh, I love this! Such great tips. I’m looking forward to seeing social media explode with all the excitement over this time…
    I look forward to witnessing. Have a drink for me!

  30. Great advice!

    I’m so not ready or established enough to go to anything like this but reading about it makes me want to go so bad. You guys will have so much fun and learn so much. If I’m still alive next year (if my kids haven’t killed me from a stress attack) then I’ll look into going. Really enjoyed reading this 🙂

  31. I know, how quick is Carly Findlay with her tweets?! I’m staying at the Mantra Crown Towers across the road this year :-).

  32. SUCH great tips!! Thank you for sharing them with us. Can’t wait to attend my very first #pbevent!

  33. I’ve been the last two years but sold my ticket to this year’s (financial reasons). I suspect I’ll feel sad when the time comes. Your tips, BTW, are perfect!

  34. I really really really wish I was going too…but selfish hubby just had to have a business trip to Singapore organised first….. ahh well…maybe next year, will join in on twitter though when I can, looking forward to all the goss!!!

  35. I am so sad I won’t be going.
    I think I’m going to need to avoid twitter for a few days over the conference or I’ll crack the sads.

  36. Soooooo jealous! Have a blast. Maybe next year…:-)

  37. Fab tips, Em. I’m really looking forward to hanging with you. Now, I do have a question. Do people take notes mainly in their notebooks, or do they use iPads or laptops? x

  38. Great tips em. I agree 100%. Love your points about the sessions. I left the SEO one as it was over my head and killing me. On the flip side I decided last minute to follow other people headed to bernadette Jiwa (not on my plan) and it was one of my favourite sessions so I say stay flexible on your plans xxx

  39. I’ve never been to Pro Blogger and unfortunately won’t be starting this year either! Hopefully the next one will be back in Melbourne again and then at least accommodation wouldn’t be an issue. (I do have to say though- 500+ attendees sounds a bit too overwhelming for me :/ )

  40. Thanks for the tips. If I go AWOL from Problogger know I’ll be at the beach soaking up the sand and the sound of the waves, so sick of living 4 and 1/2 hours drive away from the Ocean!
    Can’t wait to meet so many “familiar” faces.
    Your tips have made me feel more at ease x

    • Don’t worry Carla, I live about a 14 hour drive from the beach, so you are doing better than me. I can’t wait for ProBlogger and a child free trip to the Great South East!

  41. Great tips! Thanks for sharing Emily! I’m soooo soooo jealous -wish I could have been there and could meet you! Maybe next year eh? Have fun! Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back!

  42. Thanks so much. I’ve been so busy at work I haven’t had much time to engage with this and I was starting to feel anxious about being ill prepared. Great tip about the lifts and stairs.

  43. Reading this I have insane butterflys in my tum. Nervous.Getting very very nervous xx

  44. Nautical theme? Is this true? How do I need read these things?

    Last year there were a couple of times when none of the sessions really grabbed me, so I grabbed the bubba in a pram of another attendee and took him for a walk along the beach for half an hour. Considering I had arrived from Melbourne for just 3 days, those walks were pretty much the only times I got outside for the day, I recommend them if you need some vitamin D each day.

  45. What a whole lot of great advice Em! I won’t be going, but look forfward to all the info after xx

  46. I ducked upstairs to my room once or twice last year to do a phone charge & take a breather. It was worth it! Also, like all conferences rooms in all hotels everywhere, the chairs weren’t that comfy so lying on the bed for a few minutes was nice. Just don’t fall asleep & miss the conference!!

  47. Fantastic tips, Em. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to meet you!!

  48. Thanks for the awesome tips. I love no1. Looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks. X

  49. Wow! Thanks for the tips – it will be my first conference and I’m trying to calm down and not get too excited about all the bloggers I want to meet and hear from!!

  50. Wow! Now I can say “See you next week”! Love the new blog look by the way!

  51. Great piece Emily!

    #eeeek #wheredoigetasnake 😉

    Amber at Adventures of a Rainbow Mama x

  52. Thank you, I needed this 🙂
    Feeling much calmer now.
    It’s going to be my first #PBEvent and I’m coming with a baby in tow (and a wonderful husband to look after her too ). Logistically tricky, but I’m sure all will work just fine!
    BTW, what did you do for evening meals?
    Hope to catch up with you (the speechless, star struck one – that’s me)

    • Because of the central location you can either send hubby out to get delicious take away or go yourself – or take baby in stroller along broad walk and eat takeaway overlooking the ocean! Or if it’s easier just get room service!

  53. Thanks for the great tips! This is my first time – I don’t *really* know anyone else – and I’m going on my own… but I’m nervously looking forward to it!

  54. Can’t wait! So excited to be coming over from WA. xx

  55. Thanks for all the hints. I’m very excited as a newby to be going. I just got a ticket today…Phew! Need one more for my business partner so crossing all my fingers and toes.

  56. Great post. I’m a GC local and this will also be my first ProBlogger in four years of blogging. I’m thankful I already know several of the QLD bloggers. I’m so looking forward to it all and trying not to get too excited so I can focus on enjoying everything and taking it all in.

  57. I am the excite!!

  58. Awesome tips! Very excited for Problogger this year (and 4 days away from being just “Mum”!)

  59. FAB list! See you there 🙂 I’m going to be trying very hard to be brave. And not get too drunk LOL


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