I realised recently upon reading through a few others blogs that I haven’t actually ever uploaded anything about the art of blogging. I see so many posts about personal tips or tricks, opinions on happenings or drama, assumptions that come with it etc and I always pick up new information from them but have never thought to do it myself. Whether it’s because I am still a relatively new blogger, I don’t know.
I only class myself as having “properly” started my blog when I went self-hosted in August 2017 as that’s when my consistent blogging and dedication to it began. I did start up my WordPress site back in January 2017 but to be quite honest in my eyes it was awful – sporadic posting, unedited photos, extremely casual grammar to mention a few things. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a “bad” blog as someone is putting their creativity and heart in to it but personally I look back now and cringe slightly! I wonder if I’ll do that about this post in a years time? Despite all this, I haven’t deleted these posts as I find it so nice to look back and appreciate just how much hard work I’ve put in to get where I am now!
Enough rambling about that. I’ve been to quite a few events now aswell as reviewing some food places in a more personal setting. Some of them brilliant, some of them tolerable for the benefits and some just downright appalling if I’m honest. I won’t specifically name or out any events in this post as I wouldn’t want to cause any trouble and you’ve got to experience the lows to appreciate the highs. I just thought I’d talk about a few things that really should be taken into consideration when setting up or running an event!
First things first, for the love of GOD get the recipients name right. This isn’t just for events either, this goes for all collaboration emails. Oh and don’t send out a generic email starting with “Hi, blogger!”, that would guarantee either no reply or an extremely sarcastic one from myself. Secondly, do your research and make sure you’re inviting the right people to your event. You wouldn’t want to invite a vegetarian to a steak night or a homeware blogger to a beauty event because what real use or benefit would that be for either of you?
Always make this clear from the get go. What is it that you’re trying to promote or do with your event? Is it food, drinks, overall experience, the launch of a new product, re-branding or just simply trying to promote the brand or business as a whole? We need to know so we can 1) decide beforehand whether it’s something we believe in promoting and engaging with and 2) know what to focus our attention and cameras on for the evening so we can create personal and pleasing content.
Although quite a few events I’ve attended haven’t had any requirements at all (which is quite lovely as it kind of makes you want to do more when you don’t actually have to do anything) it’s good to set some ground rules. If a business is expecting a certain turnover from an event or for example you only want people in attendance that have a blog and aren’t just social media influencers, then make it a requirement. We like to know what promotion we need to do as like I said in the point above, we like to know what to take photos of, how much content we’ll need and where to slot the time and space in to our life and blog schedule.
I cannot stress how important lighting is. Imagery in promotion is one of the most important things, am I right? It catches peoples attention before anything else does so your attendees are going to need some good lighting to work with to get crisp and decent images. Decor and entertainment are also quite important for the same reason but aren’t always 100% necessary. It’s all dependent on the nature of the event really and how much money you have to chuck at it but it really does help make the experience come to life and adds a whole lot of fun and colour to an event.
I attended an event recently where I was greeted with, “Oh hello you’re Black Tulip aren’t you?”. This MADE MY WHOLE WEEK. The fact the person who was running the event took time out of their day to check out my content and knew who I was really made such a difference. I felt important, welcomed and wanted at the event and it made the experience so much nicer! I know this is not do-able at all events but even something as small as knowing someones face or bringing up something they’ve posted about shows interest and appreciation for their work – who wouldn’t love that?
Being realistic, if you are not giving your guests monetary payment for their attendance and content creation, there has to be a benefit or some sort of other payment for them doing so. There are plenty of ways to do this and not everybody is going to accept them but plenty will. I’ve seen some “collaborations” going around recently where businesses have offered influencers to come into their store and style some of their clothes to create their content and that’s it. No payment, no item to take home with them. Isn’t that quite literally just the definition of a Sunday stroll except you’re putting your time and effort into promoting them for essentially nothing in return? Sorry but it’s an appalling and offensive “offer” if you ask me.
Some benefits I personally have really appreciated are complimentary food and drinks, goodie bags including products to take away at the end and vouchers to come back and have a complimentary or highly discounted meal/cocktail/item/product of your choice. Another thing I’ll briefly mention is to differentiate between whether you’re offering actual food as in enough for a meal or nibbles/canapés. The amount of times I have been to events full of herds of hangry influencers who have dashed straight from work expecting to be fed but only given bite-size treats is quite hilarious. It’s absolutely fine if you’re not offering lots of food, nibbles are great. Just please state that because then we know to eat before we come – avoiding the hangry situation.
A thank you! A THANK YOU IS ALWAYS GREAT. Whatever form it is in. Whether it be mass or personal e-mail, tweet, Instagram post etc. It is always nice to be thanked for attending. I know it barely ever happens but I also adore it when a brand follows me and engages with my content after attending their event, it shows extra appreciation and who doesn’t love an extra follower!? It puts you in good steed for working together again, too.
One thing I do not get is when a brand says they love the post you produced about them but don’t share it or publicly “like” it at all on any social accounts. Especially when the content is a glowing review of a product or service of theirs? Surely you would WANT your followers to see this. Also, under this heading I have to bring up the topic of crediting. If you’re going to use someone elses image or quote them, you need to ask permission AND credit them. It’s totally unfair (and illegal) to just assume you can take it and use it as your own. So much money, preparation, patience and editing goes into making images what they are. Time and content of any sort is money so please respect that.
Every blogger loves feedback on their content, especially when it’s good! It’s the best knowing someone has taken the time to read through your work and then gone ahead and messaged you their opinion of it. I understand anyone working for a growing brand is extremely busy and doesn’t often have time to read through everyones but it’s almost unheard of nowadays. Also, there are polite ways to express any disappointments you may have with content production and they should be done in that manner. Contacting someone asking them to outright take down or change a post for any reason is not going to end well, in any situation.
Phew that was a long post. I could honestly go on for longer as I have a lot of opinions on this but I’ll leave it there for now. In a nutshell, it’s all about being clear about the intentions, putting effort into the event and investment into the attendees. Have I missed anything? Have you ever been to a god awful blog event?