In July you may have seen that I attended the @LDNMeetUp #BigBloggerExpo at the Danubius Hotel in London. Situated in the perfect setting of Regents Park it was easily accessible from the Jubilee tube line and a short walk from St John’s Wood. It was an event that I had been looking forward to since it was announced, as I attended @LDNMeetUp’s #BigBloggerConference last year and knew that the format was going to be very similar.
Tickets were priced at £5 per blogger and released in batches to manage the numbers attending. Upon arrival each blogger was checked off the guest list and given a wrist band and exhibition card detailing the brands sponsoring and exhibiting before being allowed entry. In order to receive a goodie bag at the end of the event each blogger had to go around the exhibition connecting and engaging with each brand in exchange for a stamp on their card. Goodie bags were then given out at the end of the day only to those bloggers who had connected with each and every brand which I personally thought this was a fantastic idea for a number of reasons;
I have often seen bloggers attend events simply to obtain a goodie bag without connecting or engaging with the brands exhibiting, only for their product reviews never to be forthcoming and the brand to be out of pocket. Similarly I have also seen bloggers attend with non bloggers on the promise of “great freebies”, neither of which of course is ever acceptable. So in having a guest list, providing each blogger with an exhibition card and providing goodie bags only to those bloggers who had connected with each brand these potential problems were totally eradicated.
Blogger events like the #BigBloggerExpo present an excellent opportunity for bloggers to engage with brands and other bloggers, creating lasting invaluable relationships. It is therefore incredibly frustrating for me when I attend an event that is overpopulated, where I am unable to move, network and generally enjoy my day. By having an exhibition card I was able to actively manage which brands I had spoken with and which I needed to speak to. It also meant that there was a steady flow of people between each brand and that there weren’t lots of bloggers around one exhibition and none around another.
I have often attended events where I have been unable to get near to a brand that I am interested in connecting with, simply because there are far too many people there. I can however safely say that this was not an issue at all at the #BigBloggerExpo. As a side note, I can honestly say that I have attended almost all of @LDNMeetUp’s events over the past 12 months and always find them to be well attended without being overpopulated.
I appreciate that there will be some of you out there who are thinking that it isn’t essential to connect with every brand at bloggers event and would be discouraged from attending an event like this where you have to do so. I completely understand why you would want to focus on engaging with those brands who are the right fit for your blog and who you are interested in collaborating with, but you really do never know whether a brand has a sister company, separate venture or contact more suited to your blog that isn’t present on the day. If you don’t speak to these people then you are only closing off your own network of opportunity.
My blog is of course predominantly beauty and whilst I would not necessarily feature food or children’s gifts on my blog at the moment, it was great for me to be able to connect with brands such as Bonnie Boo Gifts and Borough Box at the #BigBloggerExpo for future personal gift ideas. Both brands were engaging, passionate and have amazing ranges who I would not hesitate to recommend to others.
For me blogging is not just about my current written content, its about engaging with people and creating lasting relationships for future opportunities so I really enjoyed connecting with so many different businesses on the day. I have formed some of my strongest relationships (both personal friendships and business connections) at blogger events and would not hesitate to recommend @LDNMeetUp events in particular for this reason. They are always well organised, well attended and always have a friendly relaxed atmosphere where everyone is made to feel welcome and inspired.
So who were the sponsors and exhibitors?
What are your thoughts on blogger events?
Have you ever attended any by @LDNMeetUp?
If you attended the #BigBloggerExpo too please feel free to comment below and share any of your links.