Blogging Basics: Attending Events

I love receiving invitations and I love attending events. They are so much fun, I get to dress up, learn a few things and hang out with other bloggers. Could it get any better??!! But I am fully aware that often I’m only invited because I blog, not because of my charm, funny jokes or great shoe collection.

BloggingBasics

So, when I receive an invitation (and after the initial excitement dies down), I run through my check list.

  • Am I available?
  • Is it on brand with my blog?
  • Would it interest my readers?
  • Is it something I’d be happy to share on social media and post about?

I realise I’m not obliged to blog but if I accept the invitation, I am making sure that I am approaching it from the correct angle for me. If I attend, have a nice time, enjoy the products, then I will blog.

If this makes me uncomfortable, then I ask myself why and then admit that maybe this event isn’t for me. The businesses involved have spent time and money ensuring they are inviting the right people to spread the name of their business/product. Sometimes I am the right person to help and sometimes I am not.

My Event Etiquette list:

1. RSVP

RSVP to the correct person and before the cut off date. If for some reason I can’t make it or I’m running late, I’ll let someone know.

2. Look nice

Just like a dinner party, you respect your host enough to dress appropriately. Plus, you are going to be snapped willy-nilly by a number of bloggers so you want to make sure you have your camera face ready.

3. Ask the PR company for the event #hashtag and follow the relevant brand/business on social media.

I find that is is best to do this all beforehand because on the day you might have trouble finding the relevant parties on social media. I also like to find out if there are any other bloggers I know going. It’s fun to contact them beforehand and build a little excitement.

4. Charge up your phone/camera and make sure you have enough memory left to record the event

Sounds basic I know, but you don’t want to get caught out.

5. Introduce yourself to the host, brand, PR person

They really appreciate knowing who is at their event, putting a face to a name and it’s good manners.

6. Listen and learn

I can be easily distracted by the excitement of meeting other bloggers but it’s important to listen during any presentations. There will be time to catch up but it’s not during brand presentations. This is the time to listen, take notes, photos and gathering information.

7. Don’t hide behind your iPhone, food or alcohol.

This is so easy to do when you are feeling nervous. The iPhone is understandable for a little while (you are a blogger) but I try not to go too crazy with the food and alcohol. Food destroys my lippy and makes me worry that I have something stuck in my teeth and alcohol just makes me think I’m super-duper funny.

8. Use the event #hashtag on your tweets and pictures

During the event I like to Instagram and tweet. I always use the event #hashtag, so the PR & brand can see my tweets/picture too. This also demonstrates to the PR company that they were correct in assuming I would add some value to the event.  I also like to tag other people and bloggers, because that is half the fun of attending the event.

9. Be grateful for gifts, prizes or goodie bags.

Someone has spent money and time putting these together. Always appreciate the effort even if it’s not down your alley. Freebies are not freebies to the company or person that donated them.

9. You don’t have to Blog about the event

If you have attended the event but don’t care for the product, I feel it’s better not to blog than to write a negative post.

10. Have fun!!!

This is a wonderful opportunity to connect to brands, PR and bloggers. Enjoy every moment!

What other tips can you offer?

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Comments

  1. Great tips Rach, some of which I hope to be able to put in to practice one day! x

  2. Love the dinner party analogy and I’m deeply disappointed by the attitudes I see online about freebies. As you say, they’re only free to you. They’re a lovely gesture to thank you for your time not a show bag that you’ve bought with you own money!

  3. Wonderful tips! I don’t get invited to many events, but I am a shocker for being shy, it’s something I really need to work on!

    • I can’t believe you are shy :) You seemed perfectly at ease when we met at Blogopolis. It took me a while to get on radars to receive invitations. Maybe contact a few PR companies and ask to get on their mailing list.

  4. These are all great tips, Rachel!
    I’ve found that PR and marketing dept reps are so much more welcoming, appreciative and likely to stay in contact if I am honest with them regarding the possibilities (or lack thereof) for the brand-blogger partnership. They’ve always been so lovely to me, even once I explain that perhaps the product or service doesn’t suit my readership.
    Oh, and I agree completely with the most important tip of all – if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!

    • Yes, I strongly believe in the whole ‘If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything’. I think brands would prefer that than a negative review but then I personally don’t like to be negative. My blog is a happy place :)

      • That’s exactly it! When I’ve been pressured by PR or marketing reps (which has really only happened once or twice), I’ve replied with the statement that *I* own my blog, and reserve the right to keep it as lovely as possible, and that if they really would like me to write a negative review, or get into the nitty-gritty of why it just doesn’t suit my readers, I’d be more than delighted to post it to my blog, and their customer care site, and Twitter, and Today Tonight! 😉

  5. Thanks Rachel for this list – I read before the event and now after, has been very helpful :-)

  6. Great tips!

    I failed recently at an event when my phone (which we had used solidly for an hour as a GPS) ran out of charge before the event! Gah!

    I took photos and instagrammed on the way home as #latergrams. It was certainly not ideal, but for that day, it was the best I could do…