The Complete Guide To Blogger Meet Ups

The Complete Guide To Blogger Meet Ups

Happy New Year! If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably just made some resolutions for 2016. Did attending a blogger meet make your list? I think they are a great way to help bloggers to grow and learn. Here is my complete guide to everything you need to know about attending blogger meet ups!

What’s the difference between a Blogger Meetup and a PR Event?

 In a lot of ways they are quite similar but there are usually some key differences that it’s worth you being aware of:

  • The point of a blogger meet is usually just to provide a time, date and fun location for bloggers to get together and socialise, rather than there being a particular launch or promotion attached to it (although brands may become involved – read more on this below!)
  • Most of the time Blogger Meetups are organised by bloggers rather than a brand or PR company, so they may be less experienced and learning as they go along. 
  • Tickets/spaces for blogger meets are often allocated on a first come first served basis rather than via invite.
  • You almost always need to be a blogger to attend, but you don’t neccessarily need to be well established or successful yet. This generally makes them less exclusive but more inclusive than PR events.

How To Find Out About Blogger Meets

Twitter – Be social, interact with other bloggers and take part in chats. Keep your eye out for people mentioning events using hashtags – these are a great way to find out what is happening and who the organiser is. Even if you’re too late for that event, you might be able to register your interest for other events.
Facebook – Join some blogger facebook groups in the UK/your area. They will often have a thread on upcoming blogger meets.
Blogs – Sometimes you’ll read about an upcoming event that someone is attending, but more often than not you’ll see the write up of an event that’s just happened. Don’t worry though, from this you can look up what it was and whether the organiser is planning any more. Then you can contact them and ask to be added to the mailing list.
Word of mouth – Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know! If you’ve been to an event before, you’re likely to have met and made friends with some lovely blogger chums, who will then be regularly whatsapping you to check if you’re attending ‘this’ meetup or ‘that one.
Mailing lists/Blogger Meet Organisers – Here are the good UK ones that I’ve come across. If you know of more please let me know and I’ll add them to the list!

London:

ScarlettLondon
30 Plus Blogs Collective (by LondonBeautyQueen)
LDNMeetup
SouersDeluxe

Elsewhere in the UK:

Robowecop – Leeds
Pretty Lovely Bloggers – Birmingham, Bristol, Portsmouth
CambsMeetUp – Cambridgeshire
Norwich Bloggers – Norwich
Suffolk Blogger Meet – Suffolk

Useful hints and tips for attending blogger events. 

Before the Event

  • Keep an eye on the Twitter hashtag and make sure to send out your own tweet to let people know you’ll be there. It’s a great way to start up some conversations beforehand and get to know some of the other bloggers in advance.
  • If you’re really nervous about walking in on your own, pop out a tweet to see if anyone else attending would like to meet up early near to the venue. (Obviously when agreeing to meet people for the first time meet in a public place – bloggers are lovely people but always think safety first please!)
  • Order some business cards or make your own at home. They don’t have to be super fancy, the main thing is to include your social media handles and blog address so that when people ask you for your details you can just hand them a card. It’s usually quite noisy at a busy event and super embarrassing having to ask someone to repeat their twitter handle 3 times, so I always appreciate it when someone gives me their card!
  • If you are planning to take your camera, I’d recommend ordering a camera strap if you don’t have one. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been stood there with a drink in one hand, bags on each arm and my mobile in the other and desperately want to take some photos.
  • Make sure your camera is charged!
  • Plan out your journey and make sure you give yourself enough time to find the venue, especially if you’re not familiar with the location.

Things to take with you on the day.

The Complete Guide To Blogger Meet Ups

  • Battery chargers – By the time I’ve travelled to the event on the train I’ve usually already drained half my phone battery. Periscoping on the day or using your phone maps doesn’t help either. USB Makers* very kindly offered to send me a bundle of personalised power banks recently, so I emailed them my logo and the very next day they were delivered to me at home! I chose the ‘Venice’ slim compact design as it fits neatly in my handbag and hardly weighs a thing, and man do I love the freedom it has given me to use my phone and camera as much as I want to, what a lifesaver they are!

If you want to leave a memorable impression with someone at the meet up (and be viewed as a legend for saving their day) lend them one of your personalised chargers!

The Complete Guide To Blogger Meet Ups

  • Flat shoes – Never underestimate how much walking/standing you’ll do at a Blogger meet – ain’t nobody got time for sore feet. I take my heels with me and change into them when I reach the venue.
  • Camera – there’s a wealth of opportunities for photos (selfies, group shots, brands, decor, food) and so many lovely bloggers willing to help take your pictures. The light can also be challenging at some venues so having a decent camera is always going to win over phone pics for me.

The Complete Guide To Blogger Meet Ups

  • Cash – There is usually a charity raffle and you can pick up some fabulous prizes, with really good odds of winning something.
  • Snack/water -You never really know what the food is going to be like (if there is any!) or whether your train will be late. Take a snack with you just in case!
  • Business Cards
  • Lipstick and a mirror – There’s going to be lots of selfies after all…

Blogger Meet Up Etiquette

  • If you have to drop out of attending, let the organiser know asap – Often there will be people on a waiting list who would LOVE to attend but didn’t respond quite fast enough. Give them a chance to take your place.
  • Don’t drop out on the day unless you really REALLY have to! – It’s becoming ever more commonplace for bloggers to drop out on the day or meet ups or events and in increasing numbers. Respect the huge amount of time and effort that goes into organising blogger meet ups. Think: can you REALLY not attend or are you just making an excuse because you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’ that day? If so, drag your butt off that couch and get onto the train. You’ll have bags of fun when you get there and wonder why you ever considered not going.
  • Goody bags – If you’re going to a free event, don’t expect a goody bag as a given. If you ARE lucky enough to receive one, don’t knock three people over in your haste to grab one, or cop a strop if you find out that yours contains a blonde eyebrow pencil and you’re brunette. Organisers do often try and tailor things to the individual attendees, but this isn’t always possible!
  • Accept that sometimes things go wrong – There might not be enough goody bags to go around, the food doesn’t turn up or the venue is late letting the organisers in to set up. Try to be understanding and sympathetic if this is outside of the organiser’s control.
  • Blog Coverage – The blogger might invite brands and prs to either sponsor the meetup, contribute prizes/goody bag items or exhibit on the day. You’re under no obligation to mention or write about them, but obviously the companies are more likely to work with bloggers again or contribute to future events if they can see benefit from doing so. Similarly, there’s usually no obligation to cover the event itself on your blog, but it’s a lovely way to show your appreciation and perhaps even spread the word to help make the next blogger meetup bigger and better!

     

Final tips for getting the most out of the day.

  • Travel light – If it’s busy you don’t want to be lugging heavy bags around and there might not be anywhere to store them.Plus you’re likely to leave with a lot more than you came with, so spare your arms!
  • Think before you accept ‘freebies’ from stands on the day – If there are exhibitors at the meetup then sometimes they will offer you products in return for the hope of coverage on your blog. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and say yes to everything, but it’s fine to say no thank you if something isn’t a good fit for you. Also, if you do accept something, have a chat with the brand to make sure that they have clear expectations of what you’ll be doing and when. For example I was offered a product that I really liked the idea of for Summer, but isn’t appropriate for me to post about right now. I explained this and they were still happy enough for me to take it away on this basis.

 

    …and finally:

    • RELAX AND HAVE FUN! Don’t spend your time worrying about not knowing anyone or whether you’re going to be the one in a dodgy jumper in a room full of fashion bloggers. Just smile and say hello to someone and start up a conversation… the rest will sort itself out!

    Well that was a bumper post wasn’t it? I told you it was a complete guide! If you’d like to read more see my other posts in this series:

    Part 1: The Shy Girls Guide To Attending Blog Events
    Part 2: Why I Go To Blogger Meets

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