Monday 28 July 2014

Organising a Blogger's Event

This isn't a post to tell you what to do and how to organise a blogger meet up, it's just a post of tips that I found really helped when Amy and I organised the #sotonmeetup. When we first decided we were going to arrange a meet up, I googled and googled tips and advice non stop and found posts like this really made a big difference. We aren't pros but the event went perfectly and we are now starting to arrange the second one! I hope some of these help and if you have any tips yourself please add them in the comments below.

Being organised is so important, and having a trusty notebook to hand really helps too. I had numerous lists floating around for months in the lead up to the event. Lists of all the bloggers, their blogs, twitter handles, what they were eating (we had to chose from the menu in advance) and all the company information and emails for those who were providing us with goodies for the bags. I love a good list and even on the morning of the event we were sat ticking final preparations off. Who doesn't love an excuse to buy cute stationary? 

Planning Time 
Deciding on a date well in advance is a really good idea. We actually pushed our date back by two months just because we didn't realise how much planning it would take. Giving a few months notice, gives you, the organiser, enough time to find venues, plan how you want the day to go and contact companies if you want to have goody bags and the bloggers coming time to make sure they can make the date, get days off work etc. 

We didn't have a limit of people attending, The reason we didn't limit blogger numbers was because as it was our first meet up and we felt that we couldn't say no to people. Who were we to decide who could and couldn't come? We wanted as many people as possible to come and enjoy the day. Numbers are up to you though, and if 10, 50 or 100 bloggers works for you then do it, but just remember don't take on what you can't handle. 

For the love of make up, sort your venue out first! We were stitched up the week before the meet up thanks to the FA Cup final. I phoned ahead to make sure everything was okay and to give a final head count to be told they couldn't guarantee we would all be sat together as they've had to let the main area go to a big group of lads wanting the TV area. Thankfully Orange Rooms in Southampton took all 25 of us in at the last minute and it was fabulous, if you're ever in Southampton make sure you drop in and grab some food. If people are travelling in for the event, try and keep it in a central location with good public transport links to make it easier for everyone to find. 

I sent the menu out to everyone a week before the event as our only condition with our new venue was menu choices needed to be in beforehand. Everyone chose things and got back to me so quickly and I also had a list of what everyone had chosen just in case any one had forgot on the day. Also make sure you check food requirements, some people have allergies, religious food requirements or it may just be a case of swapping things around on the menu. A yummy cocktail menu is always a plus too!

Spending your own money
Your own money may have to be spent. We had to buy the goody bags, name tags, extra products if not enough was sent from companies, and little extras that we wanted to make the day extra special. 

Goody Bags
You don't have to have goody bags to make your event successful. Most people do as a thank you to those coming. We were in touch with PRs for two-three months before the event and were very lucky to have some fab brands involved. You will probably send fifty odd emails but only get ten replies. It's disheartening but forget about it and move on to the next. Not all companies want to work with blog meet ups so don't get offended. You may even be the 72nd person asking the same thing that particular day. Just remember to be polite, to the point and have blog stats ready to email. Also don't forget to follow up after the event with thank you emails and links to reviews.

Enjoy yourself
Most importantly, enjoy yourself. This is your event too. Mingle, get to know other bloggers and have some fun. Treat yourself to a cocktail and get talking shop or blog in our cases.

Blogger Template by pipdig