In a few days time it’ll be exactly a year since I went to my first ever blogging event #MyChocBloggers and it’s safe to say a lot has changed since then. I’ve grown a lot as a person, I’ve made a lot of amazing friends and I’ve done some things I never even dreamed I’d do all because of this little piece of the internet. To put this in perspective, as this posts I’m on my way to Centre Parcs with a group of friends, 10 of which were (aside from the odd tweet) retaliative strangers this time last year and most of that is because I put myself out there and went to my first event. So I thought it would be an ideal time to talk about why I think saying yes to events is important for you and your blog;
The first, and some would argue most important, reason to say yes is for your blog and what kind of content attending will give you.
Product launches – These are hosted by the brand or a PR company working for them and are a great opportunity to give your readers a sneak peak of upcoming launches. Because of this, posts are normally expected up in a shorter time frame so be aware of this when agreeing to go.
Openings, brand awareness events and activities – Personally, these are my favourite kind of event to attend. Things like #MyChocBloggers, #WimbledonSummerParty and #NuffNangFilmClub that not only give you chance to meet other bloggers, but to enjoy and experience and in some cases even learn something!
Meet Ups – Usually hosted by another blogger (or group of) these are a lot less formal than the above. Normally a great place to socialise and meet other bloggers from your area; these can take all sorts of forms be it a lunch, gathering in a local park or bar and sometimes the organisers even work with brands to arrange goodie bags and raffles for attendees. As for content, the organisers do really appreciate if you can tweet, post and instagram about the meet and any goodies you’ve been given as it shows, if they’re working with brands, that it’s been worth them providing the products.
What you get from it;
Fresh content – Different types events mean new, fresh and different content that you may not have thought of or done yourself.
New experiences – Be that trying out a new restaurant or bar, going to a class or just something you wouldn’t have done if it hadn’t have dropped in your inbox.
Make new friends – We all love to have friends that share similar interests (and in my case won’t judge me for buying another pink lipstick) and events give you the perfect chance to find other people that share your passions or even just understand why you’re taking so many photos.
Plenty of photos to instagram – I know I can’t be the only one that likes to have a selection of pretty pictures ready to put on instagram right?!
A confidence boost – As nervous as I was before my first event, it was worth it for the feeling of “yes, I did it!”. Remember, it’s always someone’s first time so be nice to everyone and smile, it’s more appreciated than you’ll know.
Sometimes products to write about – But this isn’t to be expected, it is a nice bonus though!
But before you say yes;
While it’s super exciting to be invited or have a place offered to your at an event or meet up, before you say yes ask yourself a few things;
Will I really be able to write about this? Much like accepting your first ever PR sample, especially when it comes to brand events ask yourself if it’s really something you’ll be able to cover on your blog. If you have no intention of covering it, you may be taking the place of someone who will.
Does this fit my blog? While content is fluid and you don’t have to stick to a niche, you don’t want to be see as that person who’ll turn up anywhere with a goodie bag.
Can I make it? Or, if situations change and you can no longer make it for whatever reason, let the host know rather than taking someone else place.
Why am I saying yes? In the case of brand hosted events, do you genuinely like and want to promote the company hosting.
Have I mentioned any issues? Not with the event but more “I don’t finish until 2 so may be half an hour late” or “I can’t have gluten” when food is mentioned. This helps in case there are any ice breakers etc and means things are clear all round.
Lauren at Blonde Vision wrote an excellent post on etiquette expected at events, which every blogger should read in my opinion.
Where do I sign up?
This is by no means a full list and obviously doesn’t include events hosted by brands or companies, but if you’re looking for meet ups here’s some databases to join;
LDNMeetUp – London
ScarlettLEvents – London
SheffieldBlogrs – Sheffield
HullBloggers – Hull
Sotonbloggers – Southampton
SEBlogCircle – South East
If I’ve forgotten anyone let me know in a comment!
What’s your favourite thing about blogging events?