This October I am attending IZEAFest 2009. I’ve been to many blogger conventions over the years (Blog World Expo, PostieCon, and IZEAFest) and I’ve come up with a list of essential items that you must have to go to one of these blogger conferences.

Did you know that you can Enter to win many of the prizes on this page. Enter BenSpark’s Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack Contest.

10. XShot – This simple gadget for your digital camera is the perfect accessory to have with you at a blog conference. I had the xshot 1st and gave it to some great bloggers. Ted Murphy has taken the use of this gadget to the next level though.

With an XShot you can make sure that you are in the photos with everyone. Being seen at blog conferences is very important. And being able to share photos of yourself with cool people like John Chow is fun.

XShot with John Chow

9. BluFrog Energy Drink – I’ve been drinking this stuff for the past month. I won a case from Martha Decker and also received one for Blogs, Brews and Belly Laughs from Jeremy Kendall. BluFrog Energy Drink is pretty amazing stuff.

I’ve done my own trials with it and I can tell you it keeps you awake and alert during meetings and on those boring days. Of course IZEAFest will be anything but boring. But the nights will be long so you are gonna need a healthy pick me up.

Swag Table #3

8. Digital Camera – So many cool things happen at blogger conferences and you are going to make so many great friends. So what better accessory to go with the XShot than a digital camera to capture everything. My camera of choice for a quick shoot is the Canon Powershot Digital Elph. I have a Canon SD800is and there are many newer ones out now.

Canon cameras are fantastic. There is even a group that has hacked the camera to run some great scripts. I use one all the time called the Ultra Intervalometer. This allows me to set the camera to take pictures at a specific interval. I’ve used this in a few creative ways. Like attaching it to the shopping cart to take Eva to the store.

7. ZINK Paper – ZINK paper is some pretty fun stuff because you can use it in interesting ways. I use this product with a Polaroid Pogo, my Canon SD800is and my XShot to take pictures with people. Then I print the image out, remove the back of the ZINK paper and stick it to my business card. That way the person has both my business card and a photo of themselves with me. It makes the interaction so personal and gives you at least a minute or two to talk with that person while the image prints and you put it on the business card. I did this at Blogs, Brews and Belly Laughs and will be doing it again at Blogs, Brews and Belly Laughs II. This is how I use ZINK Paper.

6. Portable Hard Drive – A small portable hard drive is a perfect thing to have with you because you can take a ton of photos and a ton of video and never have to worry about running out of space. I have a Simple Tech 320GB hard drive that weighs so little and is so small.

You don’t want to run out of space when you get that great video interview with Missy Ward or Chris Pirillo.

5. Power – We’re all looking for a little power but in this case I’m talking about power for your gadgets. I’ve had an iGo for years and after 7 years it gave up the ghost, that was seven hard travel years. I was able to power three laptops, seven cell phones, and various other gadgets. When the iGo died I got a Targus that did the exact same thing, in fact I was able to use my iGo peripheral charger with the Targus. With these products you can power up in the car, at the wall socket and even on the plane.

4. Flip Mino HD – HD is where it is at. And the Flip is a perfect device to have with you at a blog conference, it is small, it fits in your pocket and powers up so quickly. I was watching the cake plow at IZEAFest last year and John Chow was able to scoop the video of Ted Murphy being slammed into the cake. I had a different video camera and it wasn’t fast enough to catch that moment. If you want to catch a moment you have to be ready all the time. And even if you capture a moment you want to make sure you get that moment posted quickly. The Flip Mino HD has all the software you need to edit and upload your movies.

3. Business Cards – Two years ago I made 250 free cards with VistaPrint. They were good but sort of random. I had printed out 100 of my photo-a-day photos and stuck them to the cards. Creative but didn’t get my message across. This past year I made Moo cards with two designs one with my hands everywhere and the other of a rubber ducky that looks like me. These cards made a visual impact on everyone who got them. This year I plan to do something similar but to incorporate the PoGo, ZINK Paper and XShot into the mix.

2. Netbook – Portability and battery life are the two biggest concerns when at a blog conference, you don’t want to be weighed down with a ton of stuff and you don’t want to lose power when you have that great tweet to post.

Allison owns a Lenovo IdeaPad S10 she is able to do so much more now online because she is portable. She’s even applied for a job with Ravelry, I hope she gets it.

1 – A Ticket to IZEAFest 2009 – This is pretty much the most important thing that you need for IZEAFest, you need a ticket. You can buy one at $229.00 which not only includes an incredible lineup of speakers including 2 full days of amazing speakers and events plus a blogger takeover day at SeaWorld!


So is that the definitive list? No, there are many other great tings to bring, why don’t you let me know what some of them are in the comments.

And look here for a contest where I will give away some IZEAFest tickets. Heck I’d love to give away this complete list to some lucky bloggers, but I need some sponsors to help me out. Contact me through the contact form and let me know if you are interested in being a sponsor. I already have sponsors for the PoGo and ZINK Paper, XShot, IZEAFest Ticket and Flip Mino HD.

Today’s assignment for Day 2 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge is to write a list post. I’d been toying with the idea of this list for a while and the assignment gave me the push I needed.

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30 Responses to “10 Essential Items for IZEAFest 2009”

  1. Laura says:

    Maybe you will do a business card post. They aren’t so easy to design well. I’d like to see how the new one comes out when you are done.

    Lauras last blog post..Weird/ Odd Art Forms I Like

  2. Drew says:

    Laura,

    When I make the new cards for IZEAFest and ASE I will certainly do a post about them.

  3. MLDina says:

    Don’t forget your IZEA and MarketLeverage shirts to represent the hometown teams (or companies)!

    I’ll be bringing a raincoat in case the cakeplow turns into a full food fight again this year.

  4. Drew says:

    Dina,
    I was going to put in branded clothing too. I ran out of spots. But I am glad you added a couple of things. I may have to do a follow up post all about other things that people have suggested.

  5. smashill says:

    I’ve never been to a blog convention, as there are not as many here in europe as in the US. I really want to hit one sooner or later :) I already have a few good ideas for cool merchandise, but I guess my blog is toooo itzy bitzy tiny whiny ;)
    Anyways it’s good to see so many great posts at the problogger challenge and I enjoy your 1 pic a day project! My challenge post can be found at 33 strategies to Creative Capital.
    I actually found you through a recommended photographers twitter list and added you there, have a fun challenge :)

  6. Blu Frog says:

    Drew:

    I’m liking when your head’s at. Looking forward to seeing you at Izeafest this year (and maybe actually introducing myself this time)!

  7. Drew says:

    Hi Smashill,
    Thanks for following me on twitter and coming to visit my blog. I just dropped over to your blog to read your post before responding, that is some list. Really creative stuff. I may just have to start doing the things on your list. I like the photograph like someone else. That is a great tip.

  8. Drew says:

    Hey Blu Frog,
    Should I call you Blu? You were at IZEAFest this past year? Definitely come introduce yourself, so secretive with the no real name and all that. I’m just a regular guy who loves meeting and talking to people. We could chat about bluFrog, I love that stuff.

  9. Katie says:

    Drew:

    The name automated as Blu Frog; however, ENTER Katie. :) I think we’ve had this discussion before about the name. Regardless, I was at IZEAfest last year (courtesy of one awesome agency – MindComet); however, Blu Frog was still in its pre-conceived stage back then; therefore, unless you’re also into reading minds, you didn’t see it. :)

  10. Drew says:

    Katie,

    I meant we could chat about it this year. LOL. I’m no mind reader. Although that would be great then I could have a jump on things going on. If you met me you could have totally chatted me up about B.F. so I could jump in on the infancy. But probably not, I love the stuff, just not sure I could sell it even though I have nothing at all but good to say about it.

  11. […] 10 Essential Items for IZEAFest 2009 […]

  12. […] Great Reasons to Go!10 Items to Bring With You to IZEAFest 2009 var now = new Date(); // set this value to the countdown date. var then = new Date(“October 1, […]

  13. After reading this list I know I’m going to have to go to IZEAfest in October! What a handy and informative top 10. Thanks Andrew.

  14. Drew says:

    Thanks Martha,
    Stick around and there are going to be some tickets up for grabs. I need to get many of these products so I can pull together a contest.

  15. Pat Curry says:

    Did I miss your contest for a free ticket to IZEAFest? I am anxious to win one if possible. So looking forward to going again this year. See you there, one way or another Drew.

  16. Drew says:

    Pat,
    No contest yet, I’m still working on more sponsors for more fun things to give away.

  17. […] Great Reasons to Go!10 Items to Bring With You to IZEAFest 2009 var now = new Date(); // set this value to the countdown date. var then = new Date("October 1, […]

  18. […] questions and embed your video. Take a look at my 10 Great Reasons to Go to IZEAFest 2009! & 10 Items to Bring With You to IZEAFest 2009 posts. Read them and add an 11th reason for both in your […]

  19. MommaDJane says:

    I can’t wait to enter your contest. I am coming up with ideas for my video and the 11th entry to both of your lists.

    Also I am working on the 31 Days to a Better Blog as well. Good luck with it all!
    .-= Look at what MommaDJane wrote blog ..Happy 12th B-Day T =-.

  20. Drew says:

    Awesome! MommaDJane,

    I hope to see your entries int eh contest very soon.

  21. […] on Ben Spark was the top ten items to bring with you to IZEAFest and to continue that list with my 11th thing to bring I must add a […]

  22. […] sprang forth from the mind of Drew Bennett – AKA BenSpark (@BenSpark) after writing his list of 10 Essential items to bring with you to IZEAFest. While writing that post Drew was thinking about all the conferences that he’s attended over […]

  23. […] forth from the mind of Drew Bennett – AKA BenSpark (@BenSpark) after writing his list of 10 Essential items to bring with you to IZEAFest. While writing that post Drew was thinking about all the conferences that he’s attended over […]

  24. […] forth from the mind of Drew Bennett – AKA BenSpark (@BenSpark) after writing his list of 10 Essential items to bring with you to IZEAFest. While writing that post Drew was thinking about all the conferences that he’s attended over […]

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  26. Vanessa says:

    You need to bring a poken, of course! It’s an eye-catching ice breaker and your social business card. Check them out today!

  27. Drew says:

    Vanessa,
    I wrote this well before I knew of the existence of pokens. I will have to update the post.

  28. […] forth from the mind of Drew Bennett – AKA BenSpark (@BenSpark) after writing his list of 10 Essential items to bring with you to IZEAFest. While writing that post Drew was thinking about all the conferences that he’s attended over […]