Blog Tips: Making the Most of Blogger Events

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


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14 thoughts on “Blog Tips: Making the Most of Blogger Events

  1. I agree, bloggers are indeed two a penny and PRs really do need to distinguish between the ones that can help them gain the most ROI and blogs that are just an appropriate. It’s not an easy job but I suppose someone has to do it after all a PRs budget can only go so far. Another thing to note is that PRs can also interact with bloggers on a much smaller scale that does not require a large event at an expensive venue. I am writing an eGuide about how PRs can engage with bloggers so it will all be revealed in there.

    1. Thanks for the comment, completely agree. Can’t wait to read your eGuide.

  2. Great post Jayne and I agree with every single point you made. I haven’t been to a whole bunch of events because they’re always in London and I can’t always get there.
    However they are definitely a bonus to be invited too NOT a given. I’m naturally quite a shy person and at a party or work event I would naturally stick to my own group but as a blogger, trying to represent myself and also attending one my own (I’d never dream of taking a +1) I think it’s really important to try and speak to as many people as possible. Even if I do feel awkward about (and not very good at networking)!

  3. Forgot to mention about your point about stats and adding value. I’ve never once been asked to provide anything like that. I would be happy to provide if asked however I do know my visitors and pageviews etc are low compared to other beauty bloggers. Makeup posts etc seem to be a lot more popular that skincare it seems.
    Depending on how they ‘compare’ bloggers value, I doubt I’d be worth the value 🙁

    1. I’ve got a post on stats coming soon. I think lots of PRs aren’t ‘wise’ to stats yet, but it’s going to become more important as budgets get tighter. Lots of PRs I guess just look at GFC followers and Twitter followers, which is annoying as I don’t have GFC and can’t get it.

      I think you’ll always cope very well though as you’re a niche market. When there’s a gazillion identical beauty blogs from girls in their teens-twenties it becomes quite a bit more competitive.

  4. I think it’s really sad that some people still fight over goodies. It actually IS an invite to an event that’s the treat. You got rewarded for your hard work and not just to go there and act all ‘I deserve this’.

    There’s very little gratitude among bloggers these days, I’m sure it could change as soon as the invites stop coming in. Selection needs to be done and I don’t care if I’m not always invited. Makes it all the nicer when we DO get in.

    We’re not professional journalists that are always invited for press, we’re still bloggers who do this for fun, so stop expecting a royal treatment. If you want that, just go and act more professional in how you handle everything. Or make it your job.

    1. Good shout Philippe. I think PRs do need to be more selective of who they invite, but I also think they are under a lot of pressure to have events that are full, so a lot of invites seem quite last minute, I wonder how many people get invited for the wrong reasons at the moment. I would also like to see PRs say no more often too, there’s so many bloggers who aren’t afraid to blag freebies and invites, PRs need to say no to bloggers who don’t fit the bill.

  5. I agree with everything you’re saying. It’s a real privilege to get invited to press events and the goodie bag is just a bonus and not a main priority. I go to events to meet people,view collections and to even start planning blog posts in advance. I don’t go to all of them but to the ones that I’m genuinely interested in . As a blogger, it’s very crucial not to get sidetracked with the goodies and free food. You need to remember why you’re blogging in the first place, if you’re just in it for free stuff then you’re blogging for all the wrong reasons to be honest.

    1. Great comment Mary. The thing is we don’t need events to blog, they are a bonus and a opportunity to network. On the other hand, PRs need to remember that they need to make events more interesting and tailored to bloggers too.

  6. The other things I’ve noticed is that a lot of the time bloggers will blog about the event rather thanwhat the event is promoting. Surely the PR people would rather you talked about the product/service that’s being promoted? What do you think?

    I think the blogging of the events makes it seem like a lifestyle choice which increases appeal to newer bloggers. In reality bloggers spend a lot on train fares and give up their time to go to these things. Some a great and some aren’t. I know that I have been to events where I’ve sat on the train home wondering why I bothered to waste train fare and a whole day of my time- as you know!!!

    Anyway, the event versus product thing intrigues me a bit. There are some bloggers that combine the two amazingly and then there are the bloggers who just blog where and what it was and what they got. That’s not really the point is it?

    1. Totally agree Anna, there is a really weird thing about PRs wanting to encourage event posts, you are right, they give the wrong impression of blogging and doesn’t necessarily help promote a product when you’re talking about what cupcakes you had and how fancy the lifts were in the hotel. It’s a strange world.

  7. These are great tips! I’ve not gone to a blogger event but it’s the same with all events we are invited to – it’s always important to gain contacts and know about the product/event that is being launched! xx

  8. For all the events I’ve been invited to, I’ve only been able to attend 2 due to them being in London. But I still always reply with an RSVP and thank them for inviting me, I think that’s just good manners. Even if it’s an event I would never attend (like a tanning product) I still reply.

    I’ve always told my hubby the day I start being a blogging diva, demanding product and getting uptight about events he is allowed to pull the plug! Event invites and samples are by-product of something I already love so I’m grateful for them!

    A x

  9. […] is key to growing in any area of your life, I’ve written a guide about blog events which might help some of you […]

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