April is set to be a busy month for me in terms of blogger events (#humblebrag) and I thought it might be useful to write a little post about the various types of events and my top tips for attending, to hopefully help some newer bloggers, or those who have yet to venture to an event.
It can feel scary and a bit of a minefield when it comes to blogger events. What should I expect? What’s the etiquette? Will everyone else be “proper” bloggers?! I was terrified for my first event (organised by my, now, good friend Jenny from Secret Beauty Box) but I had such a great time, I’ve been hooked ever since!
The first type of event, is a Blogger Meet-up. These are much more casual and low-key than other events and usually just involves a group of bloggers getting together to chat about the world in one place. Occasionally there will be a raffle or something, but usually it’s just a very chilled catch up with friends. It’s amazing to be in a room with people who understand that you can’t eat until you’ve taken the perfect flat lay, so these are a lot of fun to go to.
Another event is a Blogger-run Blog Event. These are one of my favourite things to do as bloggers get what others bloggers like! Some of them are super structured and others are more relaxed but often there are talks from brands or other bloggers, perhaps some games, a raffle (blogger raffles are insane! So many amazing prizes!) and general happiness. At some events we have done craft workshops or watched a Lush demonstration, whereas at others we have enjoyed quizzes and pass the parcel – all blogger-run events are different and that’s what makes it fun! They also often have goody bags full of samples and products from brands. These are amazing, some of my favourite things have come from goody bags! That said, it’s important to remember that these are not just “freebies”, and the brands are hoping you mention them, either on your blog or on social media. There are often a lot of the same faces at these events so it’s great for making friends, but I would say, step out of your comfort zone and go to events by different people so you can make your circle even wider.
The final type is a Brand-run Blogger Event. These are, as you can imagine from the name, events run by brands (genius!). I’ve recently been to Lush, Kilner and The Body Shop and coming up I have a crafternoon run by Viking. These events are often to promote the launch of a new product or venue and are a whole lot of fun! Each event is different and specific to the brand. For example, the Kilner event involved a lot of food and cocktails in jars, and demonstrations as well as special offers and a lovely goody bag. I’ve been to spa events where we took part in workshops and used the facilities and for the most recent Lush event we had tours of the spa, could make our own Comforter Bubblebar and a whole load of sample pots.
Both parties should always get something from the event. Whether that is exposure for a product/free samples, awareness of a brand/posts online or just good old fashioned networking, it’s important to work out who gets what from an event.
Go! There will be loads of other people who are nervy beans too, but you will not regret going!
Grab some business cards. You can get them dead cheap online and it’s a great way of finding new bloggers to follow.
Be brave and speak to people. Ask them about their blog to break the ice and get chatting.
Take a notebook or iPad for notes. Whether that is tips from speakers, names of brands or blog ideas, it’s useful to have.
Take change for any raffles or collections, spare batteries/chargers for any phones or cameras you want to take and gum or mints – you won’t have to worry about your breath (garlic bread always seems like a great idea until you remember that you have to speak to people) and it’s a great ice breaker to offer them around.
You might not feel “bloggery” enough, but you really are! If you have a blog, you are a blogger, and no one really cares how many followers you have; whether you blog full time or just when you can. Everyone is just excited to meet new people who understand the weird world of blogging!
I am so glad I started going to events. I’ve met some amazing people and gotten some incredible opportunities (it was after an event that Lush were in attendance at, that I received the phone call that lead to this: Lush Spa Review!). I’ve made some great friends, with wonderful blogs, and in celebration, here are a few of my favourite blogging pals that I have met through events:
Although of course they are my pals, I also love them as bloggers too and really recommend checking them out. I would also, 100% recommend heading to your local blogger meet up too – keep your eye out on Twitter for what’s going on, and get yourself there!