Ah blogger events – so if you’re reading this, I bet you’re hoping for some serious pearls of knowledge and genuine practical advice. Well pal, I’m afraid what you’re actually going to get is some cold, hard truthbombs. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I don’t exactly like to hold back – so nothing is going to change here.
When blogger events are done properly, it’s a chance for allegiances to be made with both brand and blogger alike. Working relationships can be formed and nurtured into a profitable one, for both side of the field. If you manage to crack this correctly, the brand will recognise that a bloggers time is valuable, so will compensate them in some way by giving them something. In turn, the blogger will recognise that it takes time, money and effort to put on an event and will listen to your sales pitch and become an brand ambassador for you, without you having to try too much.
But get it wrong, and you could be looking at damaging reports from a blogger, or your blogging reputation in tatters. So let’s look at the top three things that bloggers and brands shouldn’t do when arranging and attending an event:
- Don’t underestimate the power of a Blogger – Our time is valuable, as is our combined social media reach and influence on our reader base. Yes that’s right, we actually put a lot of work into being a ready made PR machine, so remember that. If you put on a great event, well done – you just won Blogger Bingo and now all of their followers will know. If you epically mess up – sorry pal, you get the picture. We like to talk, a lot.
- Don’t get your bloody guestlist wrong – Do not, for the love of God, invite the wrong person to your event, realise your mistake and then LIE about it, only to tell the truth a little bit later. (Yes I am drawing on personal experience – if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know the dealio) And if you do eff up, do something to rectify it. Honour that person’s invite. Ask to work with them on another project. Tell them that they’re pretty (okay maybe not just the last one). Otherwise, they will go on Twitter and they will tell all of their blogger friends and customers that you are a twat.
- Don’t expect us to like your product just because you invited us – Other than being PR Machines, we are also human. If you invite me to a clothing range that only caters for straight sized women, chances are I’ll talk about trends, but you’ll get points knocked off because you don’t cater for my audience. If you are a beauty company but you test on animals, damn right I’ll be mentioning that in my write up. If you give me a dress and I hate it, I’ll be saying that too. We’re an honest bunch (well, most of us) and our readers like us for that fact – we won’t sacrifice that for the sake of a freebie.
- Don’t be a dick – And by being a dick, I mean don’t just turn up and expect to be given “free” stuff for nothing. Brands will notice if all you do is turn up and take, take, take and guess what’ll happen? Those invites will dry up faster than you can say raisin. You are there to network, to help and to give exposure. Some blogger events are just there for you to interact with your fellow blogger bretherin as well as the brand themselves – you won’t always have the luxury of actual things given to you. Your blogging life is more than just freebies y’know? Yes yes I know, what we do is valuable and we should be compensated and blah, blah, blah – we’ll get that compensation once we prove our worth.
- Don’t forget to blog/social media the heck out of the event you’ve just attended – It costs money to put on events and the only way that they are worthwhile are if you put your back into it and promote. Remember you are there for a reason, it’s super shit if you don’t say you’ve attended when that brand has gone to the trouble of providing you with an event. You will take something away from the day no matter what – a few social media mentions are the least you can do. In the same breath, don’t feel like you HAVE to write a blog post about it. You don’t.
- Don’t expect the whole world – If you have agreed to come to a clothing range’s event, don’t automatically assume that you’re going to be given every single piece of their range as a result. You have to work for that, I’m afraid! Strike up a relationship with the brand and discuss what you can do for them – they will compensate you if they want to work with you.
The general thing to remember here is that we are all human, we all have jobs to do and they will only get easier if we work towards the same goal. Let’s stop being idiots to each other and taking each other for granted. Nothing is ever guaranteed – remember that.