Before you attend your next bloggers event, ask yourself, are you getting anything back from it? Are you going to be out of pocket? Is it worth it? Or are you just a pawn in the grand scheme of things?
It’s great to attend events, you know, schmooze and be ‘Papped’ for the ‘gram, but it’s worth noting that many “brand events” are just a way to get bloggers to work for free – and more times than none the organisers are the ones getting paid. “Here’s your invite to XYZ’s Baby Food Launch!” Who’s benefitting from your attendance? If the answer isn’t you, then why are you bothering?
Is this a brand networking event or a free advertising opportunity?
Be careful. Again, this could be a ploy to get you to work for a brand for free. PRs can be darn sneaky (not all of them, a lot are pretty darn cool). But if you’re unsure what this self-proclaimed VIP event is about, ask.
Ask questions before you go
Networking is brilliant, and it’s fun to have a chance to catch up with fellow bloggers but make sure you know which one you’ll be doing. Is this an opportunity to draw in work, or are you there to find out the latest gossip?
Remember, you don’t need to spend money on a ticket to meet with bloggers friends. You don’t need to wait for the next blogging event to have a natter and catch up. WhatsApp is great, long live the group chat!
Attending blogger events to create work opportunities is fabulous. However, it’s only to work out if you get to meet someone directly from the brand itself. Who will be at this bloggers event? Will there be opportunities to speak to representatives? What type of bloggers are they looking for? Do you need to have a specific follower count?
If you’ve asked all the right questions before confirming your attendance and you’re unsure if the brand fits your blog, do some investigative work.
Check out their social media platforms. Do they re-share bloggers images? Do they tag them? Do they share blog posts? Do they work with bloggers on sponsored content or is it all gifted? Don’t waste your time trying to work with brands that don’t sit in line with what you’re trying to achieve. That can be anything from payment to gaining followers, make sure you know!
STILL FEELING UNSURE ABOUT THE BRAND, BUT YOU’RE KEEN ON ATTENDING?
A good way of making sure that the PR/Brand know that you’re in no way obligated to share the event in your social platforms or even blog about the bloggers event, is to have a disclaimer within your email signature. If you’re brave enough, just let them know within your correspondence. That way you don’t feel pressured into sharing something that you don’t want to.
Although, if you’ve done all the right things; research, stalked them on social media for a bit, be prepared to want to write up the event on your way home(!), then as you start RSVP’ing to the more worthwhile blogger events, you’ll want to share.
Blogger events can be quite nerve-wracking
Don’t go if you’re not going to talk to anyone. It’s pointless. Especially if it’s not a panel discussion and it’s all about networking. If you’re going to bottle it and hide in the loo, don’t waste your time and money. Make a conscious effort to exchange details with at least one other person. And if all else fails, make a beeline for the quiet person standing on their own. Together you can be confident and savvy. Work the room together and be each other’s cheerleader.
Last, but not least, have fun!
It’s not school; nobody cares what you’re wearing or what size your clothes are. You’re all in the same boat, and I’ll bet there are lots of people who are as nervous as you. And if you’re one of those smug b****es who doesn’t get anxious about these things, do me a favour and spot the ones that do. Hang out and bring them with you to talk to your mates.
Chat, work the room and be seen. Some of the greatest friendships have blossomed through bloggers events.
Work the room, be the best version of you and attend on purpose. And by that, I mean, go in focused, with clear intentions. Are you there to work or are you there to make new friends. Either which way, put your best foot forward.
*Images: Pinterest Creators Brunch. Event Photography- Nicola Bushnell