What NOT to pack for ProBlogger 2014


Hard to believe that in just one week, I will be sitting in a room with 549 other bloggers, listening to the first of many sessions at ProBlogger Training Event 2014. The training isn’t para-military, it’s a conference for bloggers, pro and pro-schmo alike.

As the event draws closer there are a multitude, nay, an avalanche of posts on what to pack/what to wear, on stepping out of your comfort zone, using social media to connect with people at the event, and tips on the best ways to tease tantalise your bloggy friends who couldn’t make it with all the best bits of advice, wit and selfies from the bar via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

There are two topics that I haven’t come across in this plethora of pre-PB-postage:

one for the blokes on what they should pack/wear. Yes, there are bloke bloggers, hello Nathan at Smarter Happier who has shared a joke about this with me on Facebook, and of course, among others, Mr Darren Rowse, the original ProBlogger.

Fellas, if you read this, please say hello in the comments, and at the event.

The other post I haven’t seen is what NOT to pack.

The blokes will probably spend 4.6 seconds considering what to pack (fashionable men’s style bloggers excluded), and maybe, for some, if they have loving, ‘you can’t wear that ratty old thing’ partners, they may even get some ‘help’ with their suitcase shenanigans.

Some of the ladies, on the other hand, seem to be in a pre-conference frenzy of shopping, beauty appointments and fretting about what’s hot and what’s not for conference wear. That’s heaven to some, and hell to others. I confess I’ve spent time thinking about these very things, but I will not let them dominate my brain! I’m too excited about the fact that I’m going to my first #PBEVENT. Cannot wait! By the way, my brows and I are now conference ready.

Gorgeous gals of blogland, I beseech you – be YOURSELVES, be comfortable, be bright and bold or beautiful in beige, but please don’t miss your flight because you’re worrying about whether you should have packed that extra pashmina. I recommend that you read one to three of those ace ‘what to pack’ posts, from the style bloggers you love and trust, and then just do it. And while I’m sure I’ll admire a fab tunic or a swishy skirt, I’m MUCH more interested in your inner fabulosity than your carefully curated capsule wardrobe.

So, here comes the ‘take away’ – a bloggy term I’ve learned because Darren’s always banging on about being useful to your readers – it is this, pack light, pack well, then forgetaboutit and focus on the break from the everyday routine, meeting great people, the learning, and hopefully, the sunshine.

To wit, here are my top 5 things NOT TO PACK for #PBEVENT, or for any other conference you’ve got on the horizon:

  • Your worries about being ‘good enough’. Just don’t do it. To yourself, or anyone else!
    Don’t bog yourself down being a Fretsy McFretson. You’ve got a golden ticket, you’re going, you ARE good enough!
    By the way, the ‘good enough’ thing doesn’t really exist outside our heads. Did you know that? Good news, right?
  • A head full of stats, for the purpose of knowing where you sit in the pack. Now I know that stats are valuable, especially to the pros, but I’m really talking to my peeps here – you know who you are, my fellow newbies who are thinking about how little their readership is, how they haven’t done X, Y or Z with their blog yet, how underwhelming their writing is… just STOP that shit! Refer to ‘good enough’ above, outside of our heads, nobody else is thinking about your stats when they meet you.
  • The wrong laptop lead/charger/business cards. A couple of weeks ago, my 76 years young dad called me up because he was having a problem with his laptop. He’s a newbie to the internet and this is his first ever computer, so I’ve been helping him learn the basics of the web, from what Google is to how to save stuff into his Favourites list, and he’s all over it. Anyway, he couldn’t get his lappy to plug into the power lead because, unbeknownst to him, my SISTER had used her lappy in his office and not taken her lead away when she finished. So there we were like cavemen holding a BlackBerry, trying to work out how the hell the lead for ‘his’ laptop suddenly would NOT FIT into the lappy. It was tres Twilight Zone.
  • Negative Self-Talk I am absolutely sure that there will be bloggy information and conversation which I cannot fathom at the conference. It is bound to happen, as I’ve only been blogging for six months. I literally have no clue about how to use Google+, let alone harnessing the power of SEO, monetising (which I still say is one of the STUPIDEST words ever invented) or 90.5% of the technical talk that goes on around blogging. My strategy when this happens – I’m gonna wave my arms in the air like I just don’t care. I might do that to ask a question in a session, or just to have a ‘gosh isn’t this amazing’ hallway dance moment, but I will not be going Negative Nancy on myself because I’m a learner. Every single person in the universe didn’t know stuff before they knew it. Darren Rowse once DID NOT KNOW WHAT A BLOG EVEN WAS. Read that sentence again. Got it, okay then? Moving on…
  • Excess Baggage. I’m not talking about your luggage here, I’m talking about the stuff that we lug around with us in our heads and hearts, the everyday stuff, your schedule, the kids and the bazillion activities which you ferry them to, that problem at work, your money woes… you know the stuff. Hear me well – I am NOT saying you should get your Pollyanna on, I hate that crap. There will be moments for us to have awesome D&M chats with our blog buds, and they’ll be much needed. Just don’t bring that extra load with you, don’t claim that extra baggage at the carousel. The truth is, it will still be there when we get home. Take these days to exhale, to sneak in a walk on the beach, to go for a run, to skip a session to lay by the pool… don’t let your blog be the only thing that gets something out of the conference.

So there are my TOP 5 TIPS on what NOT to pack for a fabulous #PBEVENT.

I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to being in sunny Queensland next week. If you happen follow me on Twitter @theverbsblog you’ll see that I’ve already become besties with QT Hotel!

And if just one person (okay, okay, half a dozen) comes up to me at the Stingray Bar, or at breakfast, or between sessions, and says they read this post and liked it, or they know of my blog, I might just faint! I love it when people ask me if I’m that Verbs girl. Why YES I AM! I may not ever be a pro at this blogging business, but Imma gonna carpe diem the bone marrow out of these days in the sunshine with 549 bloggy buddies – and ultimately they are the only ‘things’ I need to have with me! This means YOU! We are what makes our blogs great, so though there will be information and tips and stuff I know I’ll be able to use, I’m looking forward to meeting the bloggers I’ve read for years, the bloggers I’ve met online and the bloggers I haven’t yet heard of!

See you all in a week!

Cue the happy music Mr Sound Guy, I vote Starship – We Built This City!


Annette – the Verbs girl xx


30 thoughts on “What NOT to pack for ProBlogger 2014

  1. Oh crap. Now I have that song in my head.

    I was thinking more along the lines of Pharrell myself.

    You are so freakin’ hilarious. And so freakin’ right. This is a great post.

    And do you know, I am just as excited as you that you are going to #PBEVENT – I cannot wait to get all your updates and read all your blog posts about it. Thank god I managed to fix instagram in time to heart your bar selfies. Have a super great time! x


  2. AWESOME post! have a brilliant time Annette, and I wish I was going tooooo! Never mind… I have high hopes for a blog with pip trip one of these years 🙂
    Are you that VERBS girl? I’m your fangirl! But only one of many. 🙂


  3. As a gentleman blogger I simply had to say hello.


    If I were to discount the time spent considering how to pack my coffee kit, then 4.6 seconds is absolutely correct!


  4. You’re awesome. This is the first time I’ve popped in on your blog. What a great post and I love the way you write. You have given the best tips ever hands down, everything you said is so true……I’ve got your vibe and picking up what you’re putting down. This too will be my first ProBlogger conference after four years of blogging and I’m just straight out looking forward to what I’ll learn and hear.

    I’m all about having a be bright, be bold attitude, I’ll be looking for you bright one to say hi to.


  5. Hi Annette,
    I’m looking forward to meeting you next weekend! I’m wondering what you think about note taking – are you a laptop or notepaper and pen kinda gal? I usually prefer to handwrite but not sure I’ll be able to keep up!


    • Hi Sally, I’m a pen and notebook girl from way back. Read somewhere recently that your brain does better at retaining notes that are handwritten. The phone will be on my lap for live tweeting too. It’s going to be great. I hope I get to meet everyone I want to – you included!!


    • Why thank you Sonia! I’m looking forward to #soniastylinghappyhour in person! I got my suitcase out of the store room tonight, so I’m ready to pack.


  6. Great post Annette! I went to Alt Summit in New York last year and I was terrified and it turned out to be terrifying!
    Knowing a few peeps before you go will make the event a huge success I think. The mistake I made at Alt was wearing what I thought would be best for the event and not the best for me, and yes, your outfit is important. You look good, you feel good and then you can do good!
    Enjoy, I can’t wait to hear all about it x


  7. Wow Annette! I’ve only just discovered your blog and I love it! This post is wonderful and inspirational. Even though I’m not going to the PBevent, as a very new blogger (10days!) I got so much out of your post. You’ve got me all excited for a blogging conference of my own someday. Looking forward to exploring your blog and reading more.


    • Thanks so much Rachel! Welcome to blogging, it is awesome, scary, rewarding in ways you’ll never anticipate and there’s such great community to be found. Congratulations on your new endeavour.


    • Hey Sonia, that’s so ace – thank you! I think a lot of people will be feeling the nervous energy now that we’re so close. Seek me out, let’s have a drink tomorrow.


  8. Oh yeah, now I’m going to be looking for you – So much truth in this post. I have been to a couple of conferences now and I always seem to be nervous and constantly wondering what others are thinking of me. I’m sure it is all in my own head and I have to forget it this year!!


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