Sunday, 5 October 2014

Lifestyle | How To Organise A Blogger Meet Up

If you follow me on Twitter you will know for the last good few months I have been organising #LDNBloggerMeetUp
I have really enjoyed organising the meet up and was a great way to establish new PR contacts as well as meeting new bloggers at the actual meet up itself.

Whilst getting the meet up all sorted I had a few people ask me questions about how to organise a meet up from scratch and what main things should you consider etc. I decided the best thing to do would be a little post for you all as a little 101 on hosting your own meet up.

Take some time to look on Twitter and see what other meet ups are happening in your area and when they are happening. This will prevent clash of dates with other meet ups as well as you having more chance of blogger sbeing able to attend if there isn't another meet up around the same time.

Put Some Feelers Out
Just send a quick tweet to see who would be interested in coming to a meet up, you don't want to say you're going to organise a meet up for 40 people and only 15 decide they want to come. I did this and the response was overwhelming, the amount of people that were wanting to come or wanting more information once things where more confirmed. This way when you start emailing PR companies/brands and venues you'll have a rough estimate of attendees.

Decide A Hashtag/Meet Up Name
This is a hard one to do. You will spend ages trying to think of something short and that can easily be remembered and that hasn't be used before. I was lucky that #LDNBloggerMeetUp appeared to have not been used for a good while on Twitter. So I quickly snapped it up and now feels that it perfectly captures the meet up as it's not specifically for one type of blogger.

Decide What Kind Of Meet Up You Want It To Be
There are so many possibilites for this! A meal, a shopping trip, a party, a networking event, the list goes on. I originally planned for #LDNBloggerMeetUp to be a sit down meal however as the number of people interested grew and this changed into a more casual networking event with goodie bags, food and cocktails. This will be something that you can gage from the amount of people interested in attending and what venues you may have already in mind.

Find A Venue
This may sound silly but I literally googled "best places to host a blog meet up in London" I had no idea where to start so though Google would give me the answer and in some aspects it did. I stumbled across a blog post of someone from a year ago about the venue that #LDNBloggerMeetUp was held. I gave them a quick email and they were more than happy to accomodate my needs for the meet up and super duper friendly. I also organised a meeting with them so I could see the venue in the flesh and plan out where exactly I would be able to place things on the day.

Make A Guestlist
You will be surprised how many PR companies will ask for you attendees blog links and emails to decide if they would like to be part of your meet up. I decided the best way to draft a spreadsheet on excel that held names, blog URLs, emails and twitter handles; this way everything was in one place when I needed the info. I also used colour coding for when people were 100% confirmed.

Be Prepared To Spend Your Own Money
No matter how successful you are blogging you will have to pour a bit of money into your meet up. This time round for me it was a hefty amount, don't get me wrong I full love everything that I've paid out in order to make the meet up more special but if I could do it again I definitely would think about maybe making a small charge as unfortunately I'm not that wealthy and all the little things add up. I kept another spreadsheet detailing all my costings so I knew exactly what I had spent.

Be Pro Active When It Comes To Contact PR Companies/Brands
Twitter is a great way to make first base regarding your meet up with regards to brands being involved with your meet up. However you will need to up the anti by emailing them, get your best professional head on and wow them with how amazing your meet up is going to be. Also dig out any previous contacts you've made and see if they would like to be involved. Do be prepared to be told no or not hear anything back, also don't be crazy and expect every single brand you contact to say yes. I once again had another spreadsheet detailing all the companies I had contacted and if I had received a reply as well as if they would be sending any products or press releases.

Keep Your Guests Informed
Send emails out a regular stages just to keep your bloggers informed of any updates etc. This way they fill more at ease regarding the meet up, especially if it is anyones first time attending a meet up. Also get them using the hashtag on twitter, it's a great way for people to see who is coming and also shows the brands that are involved that there is a buzz around the event.

Write Lists
This will be your lifesaver along with your spreadsheets. Keep to do lists and make sure you stay on top of them, I had my main list in my notebook with all sub headings as well as reminders set up on my phone with deadlines. This has ensured that I've stayed on top of everything as well as not getting super stressed regarding the whole meet up itself.

And that is pretty much my top tips on how to organise a meet up...whether or not #LDNBloggerMeetUp was successful I let the bloggers who attended be the judge of that! I do however now have the urge to organise another meet up in the near future and would love to expand #LDNBloggerMeetUp into something. If you would like to be part of the team, I'm scrambling together for this let me know.

Until Next Time...

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