When creating a media list for a conference, don’t forget your list of bloggers. An increasing number of trade shows are accepting and even seeking out bloggers as members of the press.

It wasn’t long ago that some companies and industries thought of bloggers as a nuisance, as young people behind a computer with nothing better to do than rant and rave.

Times are certainly changing. Newspapers and other media continue to shrink in the wake of decreasing ad revenue and falling readership/viewership, and many of those outlets are expanding Web ventures and creating space online to interact with an audience.

Similarly, trade shows are beginning to embrace bloggers. The MarketWatch blog recently spoke to Jason Oxman of the Consumer Electronics Show:

“Oxman didn’t agree that three lines in a USA TODAY story about digital cameras is less valuable than a picture and a brief on Engadget, but he believes both have their place. That gadget blog had almost 1 million visitors during CES week, according to Nielsen/NetRatings (NTRT).”

Bloggers also were invited to New York fashion week in February.

Instead of relying on the trade show itself, General Motors took matters into its own hands and invited bloggers to the Detroit and Los Angeles auto shows.

How do you know which bloggers to invite? The Blog Business Summit helped the Consumer Electronics Association identify and evaluate bloggers to attend with press passes. They looked at the blog, the number/quality of posts and quantity of links and traffic from other blogs.

So if you’re planning a trade show or conference, or if you’re a company attending a conference, it’s a good idea to think of the blogs that cover your company and industry. They’re going to be talking about you regardless, so why not invite them in and give them something positive to say?

— Tonja Deegan