So, you got invited to your first blogger event? Not sure what to do? Are you asking yourself how to cover an event you’re invited to as a blogger? Well I got the article for you! It’s 11pm and I just got back from a beauty blogger event, which was more intended, for the general press, pharmacies and a few beauty bloggers. After each event and during the event I try to organize my thoughts and ideas to know what I want to write about so that my readers can have a full experience even though they were not there. Every time after an event I try to convey the entire event and feel that in general I succeed. Every beauty blogger has their own thing and will cover the event in their own fashion. The question I get and have asked myself is how to correctly cover an event. Is there really a good, bad, or better way to cover an event when you attend it?
One thing with being invited to events is that you have to see it as a “business transaction”. You were invited because someone believed that your blog was worth it to be invited to this special event. Yes, this does mean that you are amongst the few privileged ones. I will be writing an individual post on “how to get invited to events” in the upcoming weeks so I won’t be writing about this now, but I will be rather focusing on the current topic, how to cover an event.
Now, these aren’t any set rules at all, but if you really want your blog to get noticed then you have to understand that content is KING. This rule applied 5 years ago, it applies today and will basically matter as to how your blog will grow or die.
When you blog you want your blog to be different, you want your blog to be you! So when you cover an event you want your readers to experience your experience and maybe a feeling as to how the event would have looked like if they themselves attended the event. So, I am going to give you a few tips that I got from a well-established blogger many years ago, when I first started my blog a few years so. If you ever want to step up the game and possibly become a professional blogger I will share some of my well-kept secrets so that you have to see how much effort is required to cover one very simple 1 hour event.
What am I attending?
Before you even agree to attend an event, find out what it is and if it even interests you personal, if it doesn’t it won’t even interest your readers, trust me!
Be our blogger but not guest!
One fact is that you per se weren’t invited as a “guest” but as a blogger. This means that you accepted a “business meeting” which means that you agreed to cover the event from start to finish. Now it’s up to you to decided in what way you want to cover that event.
Timing is everything
One thing you want to do is be on time, or better said if possible arrive before the meeting starts at least 30 – 20 minutes. Basically tardiness in the business world is frowned upon. Are you a businessperson, no but you have to see this as a professional interaction, you are representing your blog and yourself. You are now interacting with business people, behaving like one is key to your success.
Dress to impress
As I wrote above, this is a business meeting. You are representing yourself. If you are interesting in becoming a professional then dress it. Does this mean you have to pull out a business suit? No, This means that if you are known to be a fashion blogger with an eccentric taste in fashion come that way. If you are a makeup artist, come with the best possible face (possibly your signature makeup look)…etc. Whatever you do, do not come in anything that screams unprofessional or lazy. You were invited because they know who you are (or should know).
Write it down
Write down any and all information that you might find that your readers would be interested in. Use a paper and a pen or something like an iPad or if you have an iPhone. Do not, I repeat, do not wait for the pamphlet! Why some might ask? Well during events you get a lot of personal information from the host, which you will not get anywhere else. You can also write who all was speaking, if something funny happened with another blogger, if you did some fun interactive games…etc. Let people see through your eyes.
Camera, Action, shit my battery died!
One thing you need as a blogger that attends events is a good camera or good cell phone camera, something that offers the best quality pictures, possibly HD. I have attended a number of events and figured out that my camera just ran out of battery when I took those two pictures, or that my camera is missing the battery (oh people that borrow my camera and forget to place the battery back in after recharging it) if this happens to you, you need a backup plan and usually it involves two things; your cell phone or asking someone that is another blogger and is taking pictures to use their pictures with permission and link back to their blog and their post where they are covering the same post. Main thing that you get a few shoots of whatever is being present before everyone and their mother gets their hands on it.
Eat, Drink and Celebrate
Depending on the event, you will have finger food and alcohol. Leave the eating and drinking until you got your money shoots. These events will offer food and drinks, before and after the event. Feel free to have a drink and some food before the event starts, but remember you are not there to get drunk or have dinner. If the food is being served after the event then you are free to eat a bit more because you will possibly be mingling and when you mingle you eat more. But remember it’s a “business meeting”.
Awkward – Socializing
This is one of the hardest things to do at events, I still suck at it to be honest. The reason is that I am so business oriented that I refuse to mingle and socialize until I get all the facts and information that I need for my readers. It gets even more awkward if you want to socialize but you are attending an event for the first time and don’t know anyone. Try to see if you can find other bloggers (you can notice them a mile away to be honest) and just go and introduce yourself. You might meet future friends and possibly make new connections. Also, make sure that you have your blog’s business card with you just incase.
Presentations are key
In most cases, people do not know how to make interesting presentations (cause the topics are just plan dull and business oriented) and this is something that is just understood in the business world. How do I know this? While working in the business world I used to teach business people how to make and lead presentation …etc. The worst thing you can do is speak to another person while someone is holding a presentation. This is a big no-no. Even though you are a beauty blogger you are attending a business event and need to follow rules and business behavior codex. I mean sure you can ask someone a question or two but having a conversation during the entire presentation, not only is totally rude but is against business ethics and is just disrespectful towards that person that took the time to make that presentation. During the presentation take pictures of any interesting slide and take notes with interesting and possibly shocking facts (if any).
Write up about the event in a timely manner
When the event is over, some bloggers run home and cover the event right away. This is fine but not mandatory. The main thing is that you cover the event in the next few days. Get your notes, pictures and thoughts organized before you start writing your post. You can write notes on a paper that day while your experience is fresh and then cover the story later. When writing the event post, make sure that your readers can experience the event, they all want to reader what it was like, what you did, what you saw…etc. To some point it will be like retelling the story to your friends. Pictures are just not enough don’t be fooled; pictures and words together make a story and no other way. If you wish, you can write a thank you note at the end of your article thanking the brand or person that invited you. The post can be long or short, but just remember try to let your readers experience the event with pictures and story.
I hope that this was somewhat helpful to future and current bloggers. I think that I came to a time in my blogger life where I want to show people how and why I blog in the manner that I blog. I want my blog to be a source for my makeup lovers but also a source for my newbie bloggers to see how I do it. Does this mean you have to do it like I do, not this just means that this worked for me and I wanted to share that with you.
Last advice: Do you have to do it THIS way? Of course not! Do what you like but now you got an idea what it “means” to be invited to an event.
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