I was doing a series on blog tips recently and haven’t really had chance to do another one. I’ve been to quite a few events in the past few months and thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts on blogger and press events and some tips for making the most out of the opportunity. I’m sure that some of you will hate what I’ve got to say, but I hope that some of you will agree. These are more thoughts based on my observations and I hope that it will be interesting to some of you.
You are one in a million, a drop in the ocean…
I’m sure many of you will agree that will the ever increasing number of bloggers knocking about there comes this strange sense of entitlement from some, “I’m a blogger you MUST want me at your event/reviewing your products…etc.”, this drives me nuts.
There are hundreds of thousands of bloggers in existence across the globe now, my reading list of bloggers alone is almost at 500 blogs and they are mostly beauty bloggers. You as an individual blogger are a drop in the ocean, I think this is important to remember. Not only, will this realisation make you appreciate any blogger perks, but it’ll make you feel better about missing out on others.
It’s virtually impossible for every brand/PR to know of every single blogger AND be able to quantify which ones to work with and which ones not to. So, no matter what stage you are at with your blog there are some opportunities you will get and some you won’t. Simple as.
Are you worth the invitation?
I’ve got a few points in this category. Firstly, remember that events cost money to run, a lot of money! Brands/PRs need to justify why they are inviting certain people, as each guest has a value. Are you worth the invite? Think of it in this way, you go to an event, you eat a cupcake, have a glass of champagne and take away a goody bag, the cost of those materials alone could add up to anywhere between £20-100 and that’s not including staff and the venue cost. Venues are not cheap.
Yes, the brands/PRs need bloggers AND press to attend their events, but what can you offer in exchange for that cost to the brand/PR? Are you worth the invite? What are you going to offer them in exchange?
The same goes for when bloggers request samples, don’t be disheartened if you are turned down. Realise that the brand/PR needs to be able to see that they will get some kind of return on the cost of sending you a sample. Is your blog worth it? This is why more brands/PRs have started asking for stats and why stats will always be important in this game.
Another quick point here goes to those who bring along +1′s, yes it’s great that you want to bring someone else, but have a think about how suitable that person is to attend that particular event, are they worth the money too? Also, it’s polite to check first, chances are PRs are too polite to say no most of the time, but at least you’ve given warning.
Events are a privilege and opportunity, not an entitlement…
When you do attend an event, what do you do? Yes, it can be daunting attending events either in a group or alone, but realistically this is a rare occurence where you will be in a room full of people who you can guarantee at least one shared interest with them all! What a better time to network and make new friends? Don’t stick in your groups, your safety zone, talk to as many people as you can, you never know who you might meet.
I’ve met amazing people at events, some of them are great friends now, work colleagues and inspirations. Not only will networking broaden your personal network, it also reflects really well on you as a blogger, it’s friendly, it’s positive and shows that you are making the most of an opportunity.
I recognise you, but don’t know where from…
This happens so much at events, because we’re all online most of the time, chances are you will know of someone quite well without having ever formally been introduced. Don’t be afraid to approach people you recognise, we all know what it’s like and chances are you’ll have tons to talk about. This approach is much better than being too afraid to say anything, which makes you come across as rude and aloof.
The worst that can happen in this situation is that it’s awkward for about a minute whilst you introduce yourselves, then chances are you’ll make a great connection with someone.
Don’t worry if you can’t remember someone’s name or if you only know them by their blog/Twitter persona, it’s a funny situation, we’re all used to it, go for it and you could meet someone amazing!
I’m only going for the freebies…
If this is the mindset you’re in, it comes across. Yes, it’s common for you to receive a goody bag, free drinks and snacks at an event, but if you’re clearly just there for that reason, it’s obvious and doesn’t look good.
Show an interest in the event, talk to the hosts, the PRs and ask questions about the launch. That’s the whole point of events. If it was just about getting free stuff, PRs might as well just stop faffing with costly events and just post out tons of stuff instead.
I think I’ve covered most of my bug bears about blogger events there. I’m glad to have gotten that off my chest.
Does anyone have anything to add?
How do you feel about attending blogger events?
Do you agree or disagree with my points?
Comment, share or tweet me @JayneJRead