Sunday 18 October 2015

Blogging Events & The Free Stuff

As some of you will know, I organise blogging events in Southampton as part of Sotonbloggers. I love doing these events because it brings together so many of us, we have fabulous brands that get involved and support us, plus it gives all of you guys the opportunity to network and meet new blogging friends. That's why we do it and we're so proud of how much bigger it's become.

We have well over 100 of you on our lists now wanting to be a part of something we thought up one Sunday evening after a blogging chat on Twitter and that's amazing. Amy and I spend months of our own time planning these events while both working full time in medicine based jobs, we more often than not spend our own money for things for these events and do you know what? We do it because we enjoy it.

The downside to organising these events is that you become familiar with a certain type of blogger. Mainly because they stick out like a sore thumb. The type that blog for all the free products, free contacts and free whatever else they can get their hands on while doing zero work for it. These bloggers become even more painstakingly obvious when you put on events with an entry charge because apparently (due to the findings of a secret survey) why the hell should bloggers have to pay to attend a blogging event?! You're the type that make me sick of blogging and also make me wonder why I should bother organising these events! It's also interesting talking to other bloggers that organise events about the issues we encounter because more often than not the same names flag up.

  • We've held five Southampton Blog Events now, only charging for entry on one because it was a charity event, everyone goes home with goody bags from ourselves, the companies that attend and the opportunity to win prizes in a raffle where ALL proceeds go to charity.
  • We NEVER promise companies blog posts and/or reviews of the products they've sent for the goody bags but I feel that it's common courtesy to at least mention what you were given in a tweet or something and tag them!
  • We've had people leave without saying bye or thank you before, we've had others tweet to ask if there are goody bags spare for them to have even though they didn't attend the event and we've had people moan that we weren't paying for their food and drink...The list is endless and nothing surprises me anymore.
  • Not letting us know you're not coming is damn right rude! We all have Twitter, it takes two seconds to send a tweet even if you're 'dying' in bed. You holding that space and not letting us know has just cost someone else the chance to come and that's not on. The worst are the ones that tweet you AFTER an event... Just no. 
  • The quickest way to not have bloggers interested is to hold a charity event with an entry charge and no goody bags. Sad but true and increasingly common. 
  • Another thing I've come to realise is you won't hear a peep from certain bloggers after holding an event until the tweets start about your next one and if they miss out on a spot, they're always the first to publicly moan over Twitter.

Unfortunately while blogging, we are all going to come across people like this, bloggers who ruin it for the rest of us and continue to give us a bad name. Event planners are cottoning on to it, companies are realising more and so are plenty of other bloggers which is sad because it just goes to show how common it is. I don't know how long Sotonbloggers will run for, hopefully for quite a number of years to come but some of the reasons above genuinely put me off doing them in the future. 

If you're one of those bloggers that would rather just come along for the free products and whatever else, sort your life out. Life isn't free, you need to work for what you get like everyone else around you.
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