I remember feeling a bundle of nerves attending my first blogger event in October 2015. I felt at that point I was ‘late’ to the blogging game. Especially considering lots of bloggers I followed had already formed a group at a previous event I’d missed as it was when I first started.
The first event I went to was assigned seating, which was great for someone like me, who didn’t already know anyone. I was seated next to Celia and Kate, from what I remember and they were all so kind to me!
I’ve attended a mix of blogging networking events such as Bloggers United and also brand events such as LUSH, Divine Woman, Priceline, Sephora etc. I’d say I enjoy the networking events slightly more as you have a variety of brands to speak to, however, I love love love brand events to find out more about the brand, get some samples to try, and catch up with blogging friends.
5 Reasons To Attend A Blogger Event
One: Gaining Confidence As A Blogger
You’ll gain a lot more confidence for what you are actually doing with your blog. Many a time I have talked about my blog with friends in real life to be met with “… oh, are you still doing that thing?” or similar. Blogging meetups give you the opportunity to meet other bloggers in your niche and area, but also to usually listen to influential speakers who have been where you are. I normally don’t tell anyone I even have a blog for quite awhile. Unless I need to explain why I’d like a last-minute annual leave day (looking at you, Sephora Pacific Fair Opening ha!), or how I know so much about WordPress, SEO, Social Media and the basics of photo editing.
Two: Meeting Likeminded People
You’ll meet people who actually ‘get it’ in terms of time management with a full-time job or a full-time family. These bloggers will totally understand what you mean when you want to have a whinge about missing the best lighting for blog photos. As well as other blogger related challenges! They understand the pressures of learning new skills like WordPress, SEO, Social Media and also competing for brands attention.
Three: Goodie Bags and Catering
There is almost always a goodie bag of items to sample, plus food and drinks. Who hasn’t sparked up a conversation while enjoying food at an event where you didn’t know anyone? When attending an event where I don’t know anyone, I usually go straight to the food and drinks area and start introducing myself to people as, hey, we all love food, so that’s a great start to a friendship!
Four: Inspiration/Content for Future Blog Posts
The people you meet and brands you discover could be fodder for future blog posts like this one, or featuring a blogger you met, or a brand you were introduced to, or an experience you hadn’t had (like getting your nail done, or a facial). I always read blog posts about recent events, especially if they weren’t in my city. You also get to know a few more bloggers behind the blog by doing this as well.
Five: Networking With Bloggers and Brands
The first blogging event I went to, I wasn’t particularly interested in the brands themselves. I was mostly interested in meeting other bloggers and speakers. By introducing yourself to other bloggers, you might be able to collaborate with them on a post in the future. By introducing yourself to brands you might be able to work with them directly on a gifting or paid basis in the future. Events are what you make of it, you get out what you put in, yadda yadda yadda. But it really is true in this case. If you turn up to an event, don’t bother to introduce yourself, and sit in the corner looking at your phone for hours, do you think you look approachable? Nope, not at all!
Tips for attending a blogging event solo
- Make sure the event is in your niche if it’s brand-related. This means brand that aligns with your values i.e. for me, I only attend brand events which are cruelty-free. I had to pull out of a Bioderma event last year when I first went cruelty-free! Or see if fits your demographic if it’s a general networking event.
- Prepare an opening sentence such as what your blog is about, and a general overview of yourself. This is for when you introduce yourself.
- Come prepared with some business cards, or your media kit on a USB stick if it’s a networking event. If it’s a solo brand event, they likely already have your details as they invited you, so I wouldn’t bother.
- Be supportive of other bloggers who also don’t know anyone. Go up and introduce yourself, and if you do already know a few bloggers, introduce them to each other! It can be super hard in blogging to actually know who a blogger is behind the account. You might find you actually already know bloggers but didn’t recognise them!
- Plan an appropriate outfit for standing, sitting, eating, trying out products etc. I never go glam for events in clothing as I want to be comfortable, but I definitely spruce my makeup up if I can!
- If the event gives a goodie bag, find out if you should bring extra bags to help carry that home. The last thing you want to be in transit and the heavy bag breaks (been there, would not recommend!).
If you’re new to attending blogging networking events, and you’re in Australia and close to a capital city, I would recommend looking into Blogged United Australia. They usually hold one event per year per city. You can even get involved in assisting with the organisation if you are interested in that sort of thing.
For brand events, a lot of the ones I have attended have either stemmed from being approached via email or Instagram DM, or by a blogging friend posting in a Facebook group that the event organiser is looking for bloggers to attend the event. Join a few local, relevant Facebook groups, and good luck! Everyone was new and nervous at events at least once!
Have you attended any blogger events? Let me know your experience in the comment section below!