I remember my first ever blogger event, I travelled to central London leaving plenty of time to find the location and handle the butterflies in my stomach. I’ll be honest, it felt completely surreal to be invited to a blogger event, as luck would have it, the day was fantastic. We cooked, we ate and I gained some interesting information and blogger friends I’m still in contact with today.
If I’m honest, I wish I’d had some advice on how to network at the event, what to expect from the event and what would be expected from me after?
Before agreeing to attend an event I’d consider the following:
*How would this fit with my blog? – Will it be of interest to be readers or is it for my own pleasure?
*Can I get to the event with ease? – Travelling for several hours is tiring and sometimes expensive, I always take this into account before accepting an invitation.
*How can I make this content useful? – Does the event require a certain skill/product that I could or should cover on my blog?
So, you’ve said yes to attending, what should you take with you?
The day of the event has come and if your anything like me, feeling a little anxious beforehand is completely normal. I tend to follow these rules to get the best out of these events:
- I wear something I love – Feeling comfortable is one of my highest priorities and I’d hate to be at an event and constantly obsessing about what I’m wearing.
- Reach out to blogger groups or Twitter – My biggest concern before an event is not knowing anyone, fortunately blogging is a board topic and it’s easy to start a conversation. But, for reassurance, I’ll reach out on Twitter using the hashtag and start talking to other blogger’s beforehand, which means I’ve already got a starting point/contacts at the event.
- Try something new – Even if it sounds intimidating, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.
- Take notes and ask for more information – 9/10 times the Public Relations Company will have notes or a summary of the event, don’t be afraid to ask for this before or after the event. Remember, this works both ways, they want you to have a good experience and create content that is useful and informative.
- Avoid getting drunk – At times, there’ll be alcoholic drinks, whilst these are tempting to calm nerves, try to avoid getting drunk. It’s tempting to enjoy a few too many drinks and emerge a new social butterfly, but that’s not always productive for photography, notes and networking.
Common concerns/situations when attending events…
What if you find yourself alone? I’d use this opportunity to make some notes, interact with the hashtag online/update Instagram stories etc.
Should I approach other bloggers? Yes! If you see something alone, even if you don’t know them, take a moment to strike up a conversation.
I don’t want to introduce myself to a group. This is something I completely detest, I normally start by telling people this fact and try to keep it short and sweet if possible. If all else fails, I’ll panic, ramble and hope that everyone else is too busy thinking about themselves.
How to handle feeling uncomfortable? Now, this is a hugely personal situation and the idea of a ‘one fit’s all’ solution is not always possible. I won’t deny that I’ve had to leave early, providing you’ve thanked your host and gathered information, there shouldn’t be an issue.
I’ve said yes and now I can’t attend. I’m of the understanding this happens all the time, I think the most important thing is to give as much notice as possible so that someone can take your space. Its bad manners, rude and completely unreasonable not to turn up without taking the time to contact the organiser beforehand, unless of course, it’s an extreme circumstance.
When to say no…
The event topic doesn’t fit your blog – This is completely reasonable and it’s better to let someone who is a more organic fit attend.
Your having a bad mental health day – I’ve had to cancel event’s as I simply didn’t have the confidence and my anxious mind completely took over. Suddenly the idea of interacting with new people feels like my worst nightmare, I detest having to cancel and it rarely happens but on occasion, I have to put myself first.
It simply doesn’t appeal – Again, it’s better to reply and decline and let someone else attend instead.
I hope you’ve found this helpful, is there anything else you’d add?