Tips for hosting a successful blogger event

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Blogger events have grown in popularity in recent years and offer brands the benefit of meeting bloggers face to face rather than relying on emails and tweets. Events give you the opportunity to showcase your products and services, answer any questions bloggers may have, and get them excited about your business. Tweets and blogs written about the event also help increase your online exposure. 

Blogger events do take a great deal of organising. Based on our experience, here are some tips for getting it right.

Be upfront about what you’re offering and what you expect in return

When inviting bloggers it doesn’t help to be vague about the event’s itinerary. Give them enough information to make an informed decision about attending. If travel and childcare are involved they’ll want to know what they are signing up for before making arrangements. Attending the event needs to be worth their while so explain who you are and what the day will involve.

Many brands will be hoping that bloggers write about their brands on their blogs after the event. Rather than hoping, or expecting, the bloggers to write about the event, be upfront about what you would like from them. That way they know what they are agreeing to when they accept your invitation, the client is not left feeling disappointed when they don’t get the exposure they want, and the blogger is not left feeling frustrated when they are chased up for blog posts they were unaware they needed to write.

Create a hashtag for the event

Bloggers are prolific on social media so create a hashtag they can use on Twitter before, during and after the event. It’s a great way of gaining further exposure and generating conversation about your business online. It also helps bloggers see who else is attending the event and those not attending can follow the hashtag and be part of the conversation. Don’t create a hashtag that is too long for Twitter, one that can easily be misspelt or misread, or one that another brand is already using. .

Cover travel expenses

Bloggers don’t work for a company who can cover their costs so the ideal scenario is to offer to cover travel expenses (although politely point out that you are covering standard class train travel not first class!). Not doing so limits you to inviting bloggers within easy reach of the venue, which might prevent you getting all the bloggers there you really want. Holding an event closer to lunchtime can avoid you having to pay out peak fares.

Communicate your key messages

Perhaps more important than anything else is ensuring you get the right messages across about your brand, so structure the day to ensure you cover all the points you need to get across about your product or service and allow yourself enough time at the end of the day to respond to questions and gain valuable feedback from your bloggers.

Remember the little details

It can make a real difference to a blogger, and create a very positive impression, when it’s obvious you’ve given careful thought to their individual circumstances. This includes, for example, checking dietary requirements ahead of the event and ensuring any special meals are provided, even if this means speaking to the chef personally or going out and buying the food yourself.

Provide a thank you gift

Everyone likes a thank you so giving each blogger a goodie bag as they leave is a nice touch. Make sure the contents are something they’ll appreciate and avoid anything that’s too heavy for them to carry around for the rest of the day.

Don’t forget to include some marketing materials about your brand in the goodie bag to remind the bloggers of your key messages once they have returned home. Images and logos can be included on a USB stick or emailed after the event.

Keep in touch

Many bloggers will be interested in hearing from you again, particularly if they liked your brand, so keep in touch with them on an intermittent basis and keep the relationship going. Follow them on Twitter and keep in touch by email if you’ve got updates they will be genuinely interested in. Involve them in future events and promotional activities and ask them how they would like to continue working with you. Many could become your best ambassadors.