I will forever remember the first blogging event I was invited to. It was in my first year of uni and I was going through a stage where – sure, I had a blog, but I would update very sporadically (i.e. next to never). As I often spent my time during uni, I was napping, and when I woke up from my nap, I had an e-mail in my inbox inviting me to an AX Paris blogger party, and I literally couldn’t have been more excited or more gassed. Before even checking my uni schedule or my plans, I immediately RSVPed, then started planning out my outfit. I turned up to the event in Proud Cabaret alone, but immediately struck up a conversation with the girl ahead of me in the queue as we waited to get in. I filled myself up with tons of fruity cocktails that night, and stumbled out slightly tipsy but also having met some amazing people. From then on, I’ve had the pleasure to attend loads more blogger events – and more often than not, I turn up to these events alone, and figure the rest out. But as we all know, turning up to events alone can often be quite nerve wracking. So, how do you navigate a blogging event, when you’re navigating alone?
1. Look up the event on Twitter beforehand
I don’t always look up blogging events on Twitter before I attend, but if I’m going to be going to quite a big event (for example, the Quiz clothing store launch some weeks back), I’ll have nosey around Twitter to see who else will be there. I can guarantee you that 95% of the time – you will find someone on Twitter asking “is anyone going to event X?”
The first time I did this was for Scarlett London’s Bloggers’ Festival a little while back, I looked up the hashtag, had a look at what people were saying, and saw an entire thread where there were a bunch of girls who planned to meet up beforehand and go to the event together. Although I knew a few of these guys from blogging, I hadn’t met them in person, but I put myself forward anyway and let them know I was going, and met up with all of them in Starbucks before the event. Obviously turning up in a group that I had spent some time with before hand was a lot more comfortable than turning up to what was such a huge event alone.
2. Find a friendly face
Although it’s great if you can organise something beforehand, this is not always the most practical case. For example, I work really long hours, so if I’m going to a post-work blogging event, I likely won’t be able to make it to the event on the dot, and I know therefore that I will save everyone a lot more hassle if I don’t do any fancy meet-ups before hand, and just show up by myself and when I’m ready. But of course, you don’t want to spend a whole evening sipping your cocktails alone, so what I do is just look around for a friendly face – and introduce myself. You’ll find that a lot of bloggers are actually very friendly, and you’ll also funnily enough find yourself chatting to a bunch of people that also turned up to the event alone. As such – everyone will be very open to getting to know someone new! I’ve actually met some amazing bloggers this way that I still keep in touch with today.
3. Exchange contact details
Whenever I go to a blogging event and meet new people, we always exchange contact details (more typically in the form of exchanging social media links). As we know there are literally hundreds of blogs out there, and although you have your favourites there are always new blogs you have yet to discover. Through exchanging contact details with other bloggers at events I’ve honestly come in to contact with some of the most amazing blogs that have quickly become staple favourites of mine. I can also say that the large majority of people I have exchanged contact details with at events I still follow and actively engage with on social media. – It’s a great and easy way to expand your network!
4. Be professional
This point hasn’t got too much to do with going to blogging events ‘alone’, and has more to do with your general etiquette regarding the PR company that has invited you over to the event. Although this isn’t the case for all events (of course), some events you go to may require you to write a blog post about the event. If this is the situation for you – try to make sure you get up a post in a timely manner and also that you post is of good quality (try to come equipped to events with a high quality camera!) Even if a post isn’t required, it doesn’t hurt to get in contact with the PR company again with a little thanks for the invite. Again, build you network. I find that the more polite I am regarding my e-mails, the more professional I am and the more I am able to keep the PR company in the loop regarding what I am doing with the brand, the more repeat opportunities that come my way from that PR.
Hope these tips could prove helpful for a lot of you! If there are any more blogging-type questions/topics you’d like answers to, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Leaving off with my #1 tip regarding blogging events – take the opportunities that come your way. This doesn’t have to mean you accept every request – not at all – but if you’re interested in something grab the opportunity. Don’t let a little detail such as having to get to the event alone stop you from pushing yourself out of your box!