Blogging is a funny thing right? After awhile you realise that in no way is it just sitting here and typing a post up, then letting it go to the winds. It is a huge tool to increase your network, your friends and your community. And one of the best ways to do this is through blogging events.
When deciding whether to go to an event, always try and keep in mind what you want to get out of it. If you want to meet brands, then maybe go to an event held by a PR company. If you want to meet other bloggers, then a more casual meet up might be more up your street. Always go to events you are going to feel comfortable with!
That said, here are 10 tips and tricks for making the most out of any blog event especially if you want to meet new friends or if you are feeling especially nervous about it.
1. Go by yourself. I know this may scare some people, but if you really want to get out there and talk to new people then you need to go it alone! When you go with a group of friends it is really easy to get stuck in your own group catching up. Of course, it’s fine to catch up when you are there but at least try to arrive alone and talk to some new people first.
2. If you are super nervous, ask to help out or arrive early. A lot of people thinking arriving late will make it easier to just slide into the action, but that is not the case. It means that all the people who got there early or on time have had chance to mingle and get through the awkward, ‘so what do you do’ phase. This makes it harder to jump into conversations. Ask the host if you can help set up or come a few minutes early and you can have smaller one on one conversations before you get into the thick of it.
3. Bring business cards. Honestly, just get some. Even if you only give out one because when other people have business cards you will be jealous. And there is something about business cards which is just… legit. (I recommend mini cards by Moo!).
4. Follow people on social media at or before the event. Usually, there will be a hashtag you can follow along on. Have a squiz and follow some people before, maybe have a chat. If the event doesn’t have a hashtag then I find it easier to follow people whilst I am with them (as guaranteed you will forget their handle later on (unless you brought your business cards)).
5. Follow up with people after the event. Don’t wait for people to get in touch. Be proactive! Tweet people, follow them, comment on their blogs – show that you are interested.
6. Thank your hosts, any brands and any PR people, even if you aren’t going to blog about it! For blogging events where brands are present or you leave with a goody bag, you aren’t under obligation to blog about it. Events aren’t about the free stuff. But it takes a lot of work to put the event together, so make sure you thank the organisers and the brands. That way they are more likely to do more!
7. It’s all about the seating. Always be aware of seating when you arrive. If there are benches or booths then you do risk getting stuck in an area where no one is talking to you! Make sure you are somewhere you can freely move about and don’t be scared to move seats throughout the event.
8. Linger. Similar to the point of getting there early, if you can’t be early, then try and linger afterwards. There will be smaller groups and it will be easier to talk to people.
9. Have questions in your back pocket. Hopefully, conversation will flow naturally when you arrive. But more often there may be a couple of pauses, think about some questions you can ask people before you get there, like what other meet ups they have been to, their favourite part of blogging etc. This means when you are put on the spot something will come to mind quickly.
10. Go to one and the rest will be a piece of cake! Your first event will be scary, and you won’t really know what you are doing. But after that, you will know how awesome bloggers can be and you will be ready for a whirlwind of events!
Do you enjoy blog events?