There are tons of ways to interact with other bloggers, but one of the best ways by far is interacting in person. Blogging events are pretty common nowadays (particularly if you’re lucky enough to live near London) and I wanted to give a bit of a low-down on what to expect if you’ve never been to one before. Blog events take on many different forms; from small intimate gatherings, to large events with tons of brands helping out, so there’s probably something to suit your comfort level. Equally, some events are run by bloggers and some are run by brands so you’ve definitely got options!
I’ve had this post in my drafts for ages but didn’t get around to posting it. After going to the #BloggerPitP event last week, I figured now was the perfect time to finish it up and get it out there. All pictures are ones I took at #BloggerPitP, more to break up the text than because they’re especially relevant!
So, what are blog events really like?
First off, it’s probably going to be a bit awkward. Even if you’ve spoken to someone online beforehand, that initial meeting is always a little awkward as you settle into natural conversation. I hope this isn’t just me at least! You will probably forget the names of the people you’re sitting with at some point, but it’s all good because you have the excuse of ‘hey, let me follow you on Twitter’ to subtly look it up. Awkwardness aside, here are some FAQs when it comes to blogging events.
When will I be invited to an event?
This is a tricky question to answer as every blogger is different. I’ve been invited to a few events in the past few years, but the events I’ve mainly been to are ones I’ve found myself. I follow LDNmeetup on Twitter as they run a lot of events in London (obviously) so I’m always notified when they schedule something new.
I’d say if you’re looking to be invited to an event, you’ve probably got to have a bit of a niche. Brands will be more likely to invite you if they think you/your audience will benefit from their event, which might be difficult if you cover a large range of topics. That said, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest getting a niche just to be invited to events as there are plenty you can find yourself.
How can I calm my nerves before an event?
I can honestly say that I’ve never not been nervous before an event (soz for the double negative). I think being nervous is a massive part of meeting new people, particularly if you’re turning up alone to a place you’ve never been before. There are lots of things I like to do to calm my nerves on the day of the event, so here are a few examples.
If you’re worried about not being able to find the venue, Google map it first and arrive with plenty of time to find it and possibly grab a drink beforehand. Try and get engaged with the hashtag if you’re worried about not knowing anyone and see if anyone wants to meet first. If that’s out of your comfort zone, a little stalking never hurt anyone. Visit the blogs of anyone you can find attending the event, and try and come up with some things to talk to them about. You might not actually meet all of the people in person when you get there, but you’ll be well prepared.
It is completely normal to feel a little nervous, and I guarantee that everyone attending will feel the same way. Try to relax and remember that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Events are supposed to be fun!
What Should I Do if I’m the first one there?
I’d honestly say this is not as big of a deal as it sounds. I’m often one of the first to an event if I’m honest! You won’t be completely on your own as the host(s) will always be there before you. My advice would be to use this to your advantage. Get familiar with the venue, make yourself comfy and be a friendly face for the next person who arrives!
What should I talk about?
Small talk is not my strong point. I’m often worried about what to talk to new people about, but the good thing with blogging is you already have something in common! Asking what kind of blog someone has can be a generic talking point, but there’s also scope for a proper conversation. Be interested in what others are doing. Share stories from your own blogging experience and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Should I bring anything with me?
My only ‘must-have’ for a blog event is my camera. If you plan on writing a post about the event (or have been asked to do so by a brand) then definitely bring something that you can take photos with, even if it’s just your phone! You could also bring a notebook with you to make notes of people you’ve met or points you’d like to make in a post.
What should I wear?
Last but not least, the most important question. Planning an outfit for a blog event is a tricky task. What if I’m too hot/cold? Should I bring a coat? To be honest, the answer to this depends on a lot of factors. Think about how far you need to travel to the venue and if your outfit is appropriate for different weather conditions. You should also check if there is a dress code. I haven’t encountered dress codes at most of the events I’ve been to but it’s always nice to check! Chat with other bloggers on Twitter to see what they’re wearing but above all, make sure you’re comfy! It can be intimidating to be surrounded by fashion bloggers if you aren’t one, but as long as you’re comfortable it’ll be fine.
I hope this post helped shed some light on what you can expect at a blogging event. Each event will be a little bit different, and depending if you go to one organised by bloggers or by brands, they’ll be very different. Blog events are one of the best ways of meeting new bloggers though, so if you’re wanting to broaden your social circle then you should definitely give it a go.