For those who don’t know, I helped co-found the HEY Bloggers community with a team of 5 other girls. We felt there was a missing market in this region for bloggers to get together and wanted to put this right. After hosting our first Launch event in August, we had decided to do a Christmas one (BUT MAKE IT BIGGER!) Now I’ve helped plan a few (and a token workshop event) I think it’s about darn time I put pen to paper on my thoughts. So if you’re planning on organising your own Blogger Event then here’s what you can expect
You’ll have Expectations and Reality
Before an event, it’s well worth writing down your hopes for what you’ll get out of the event. Who you would ideally like to work with, how many attendees you’d like and what you’d like to do. Then maybe write a second column of what may be reality. Pitching Apple for free iPhones probably isn’t going to work if you’ve an audience of 10 with a following of 1000. It’s just measuring up your realistic expectations and going for it!
Brands may not prioritise you
100% expected. Why should we be a priority when they’re running their 501 businesses? We contacted over 100 brands to get involved with our event, we did get some AMAZING responses but you will get ignored by some. Try not to let it get you down, keep pushing for the brands that do want to work with you and tie down the commitment as early as possible. With lots of admin, we were able to work some some terrific companies on both occasions. However, we had boxes arriving the day before our event which had me a little on edge!
SurveyMonkey will be your new best friend
Okay perhaps not SurveyMonkey, but some sort of system for you to allow bloggers to RSVP, for you to collate the results etc etc. It makes it a lot easier for you to get those essential details for keeping in contact with attendees and get their social stats for advertisement purposes. SurveyMonkey was a quick go-to for us on numerous occasions. Be aware though, not all your attendees will fill out the details properly… so patience is required.
You may get a little stressed
Oh boy, SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK. Organising an event is hard. Whether it’s tying down your venue, pitching brands for collaborations or even keeping your RSVP list up to date… it’s a lot of work. Fortunately, with a team of us, we’re able to distribute the work to make it just that little bit easier.
You’ll have drop-outs
I’d love to say that everyone who RSVP’d turned up. This definitely hasn’t happened on both events. With the incredible amount of organising that goes into this (including the brand collaboration work you do) it still surprises me that we weren’t given a polite ‘sorry I can’t make it’ from every respondent. I think if you’re planning an event, expect drop outs. All you can do is keep your reminders going out, and politely remind attendees to inform you if they can’t make it. Hold on to that waiting list.
No matter the Numbers, you will have fun
Honestly, this was a major ‘take away’ lesson for me. At our first event, we’d hoped for 20, we ended up with around 12. Looking back, this made sense, it was our first event after all and we were launching something new. We hadn’t established the trust or social exposure just yet, all in good time pals.
As long as you have the right people in attendance, and the right team helping you with an event you’re gonna have a blast. At the end of the day, we want events to be fun (and that includes fun for all you organisers).
You’ll Want to do it Again
After the event, you’ll still be running on some sort of high. It is incredibly rewarding and you’ll be floating on cloud nine for a little while. After both events, I’ve wanted to get planning the next one to be even better. I’ve learnt that the events don’t always have to be big BOLD parties though. Our next event will probably be a little more chilled as we’re thinking a quicker turnaround.
On reflection, I’ve loved working on these events but they do come with some downsides. I’m still working out some way to make attendees accountable for actually attending, better ways to correspond with brands and ways to make the next event even better. I’m open to ideas so if you have any suggestions then please let me know in the comments.