I get quite a few questions on how to get invites to blogger events organised by brands and PRs. I don't really think there is any set way to attend them per say but I have been to a few events via different ways. I thought it would be useful to share some tips or pointers which may help you if you are interested in attending events. I really do enjoy attending events especially events in the evenings. They are just like my little socialising events because I do have a pretty busy boring life (I am not complaining at all). I think this year especially after Summer has definitely been the year that I have attended the most events. Let me just put it out there- I am not in any way saying I am a pro in attending blogger events. Not at all; I have only attended a few compared to other bloggers. Take these tips as tips from a newbie so let's get rolling...
If you have worked directly with a brand especially if it is a big brand, there is a high chance that they would invite you when they have an event. A good number of events I have attended have been directly organised by the brands themselves. I have never had to ask but it does not hurt to let the brands know (if they have already emailed for other opportunities) that you are happy to attend a launch or blogger event. Sometimes, brands may not know you are available to attend events if you don't tell them so it is very useful to let them know your availability for future events. Some brands I have worked with have linked me up with their PR agencies which is always a good thing as you get more contacts. Another factor for getting invites is location. Many events take place in London so if you don't live in London, it may be palaver getting down here. However, if you know you are going to be in London in advance, you can email your contact and let them know so they can keep you in the loop about any events. It may be a little expensive but I hear some brands are willing to cover transportation costs. It's never been an issue for me as I live in London and the venues are quite central and easy to find.
Many beauty events, press launches and blogger events are organised by PR agencies that take care of these brands. I would say more than half of the events I attend are organised by PR agencies and they are always so amazing. I work closely with a few PR agencies who are so kind to send me invites to the events you see on my blog. The good thing is most PR agencies take care of other brands so there is a high chance of getting invites to events where you have not worked with the brands previously. I love discovering new brands and attending events is such a good way to learn more about them and see their products in real life as opposed to online. I am not sure if people approach PR agencies directly to ask to attend events but I don't see any harm in it as far as you remain professional as always.
There are so many Affiliate Networks out there and for a long time I never really understood how they worked. However, I decided to join a popular one called Rakuten (formerly known as Linkshare) and I have to say there are one of the best I have come across. Within a few weeks of joining, they invited me and other bloggers to learn how to optimise the way we use it. I was really impressed because it just showed they care about their bloggers. They take care of many amazing brands and one of the perks of joining them is getting invites to incredible events. I even attended their annual symposium where I networked with other brands and bloggers. They are also so friendly and I have loved working with them.
You cannot even imagine how late I am on discovering Fashion and Beauty Monitor. I only discovered them this year and it is truly what any blogger needs if you want to network with brands and bloggers. The only catch is it is not a free service; you do have to pay to access the full wesbite (there is a regular website but it does not show events, brand contacts, etc). I am not currently subscribed to it but I was given a one-day access to test it. After my experience, I know it's definitely a service I would subscribe to in the future. The good thing is I think they can kindly list your blog (they offered to do so but I think you can ask them nicely) on their blogger database so brands can contact you. The website lists all events that are taking place at least in the nearest month with contact details of the organisers so you can email them if you want. If you love to attend events or want to build your network and relationship with brands, you would adore this site. I can't remember now but I think when I had the one-day access, I was automatically signed up for their newsletter. These newsletters also show upcoming events but there are usually a few days in advance or at most a week. Sometimes, the contact details of the organisers are included so you can ask to attend (I have never attended an event via this way but I am sure it's possible). The only thing is the newsletter shows events with a short notice so the events may already be full when you email to ask to attend. Sometimes the events may be embargoed or the organiser's contact details are not included so this may not be possible. However, I love to receive their newsletters as it gives such good information about what's happening in the beauty world. I really highly recommend them.
Brand and PR Agencies' Twitter and Facebook Pages
I do follow the social media channels of brands because I love to be kept informed. It is such an easy way to find out about events because brands will usually tweet about the event beforehand. I understand that sometimes they may tweet a few hours before the event starts, however, I don't think it hurts to email/tweet them to see if you can attend. I have seen some tweets from some brands actually calling on bloggers to attend an event they are hosting. Even if you are not able to attend a particular event, the brands/PR agencies will have your contact details and can email you for future events. I have not attended any event via this way but I have heard many bloggers can get to attend events by this method.
Bloggers Groups on Facebook
I saved one of the easiest ways for the last and it is utilising the resources created by some amazing bloggers. My favourite Facebook Groups are Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle and UK Bloggers because I have learned a lot from other bloggers on there. Many brands and PRs often come on these Facebook pages to post about events which is awesome. They usually leave an email address for bloggers to RSVP or they ask bloggers to post their links/emails below the brand/PR's post. I have not attended any event through this way but I know quite a few bloggers who have attended events this way. There are also events organised by bloggers themseleves which is absolutely amazing because you get to network with many bloggers.
Good Content and Photography
I don't know if this is a tip or an advice but I find that brands will invite you to event if they like your content and photos. I have had invites to some events recently where I have never worked with the brands before. I am not sure how they found me or my blog but I think it may just be a Google search, Instagram ,Twitter, etc. Maybe my details were shared with them by other PRs; I would never know but I don't mind at all. I am quite flattered whenever I get these kinds of invites and it makes me want to work harder on my content. It goes without saying that your contact email should be very visible on your social media channels and blog so people can reach you easily.
Other important tips
I would not classify these as tips but I think it's good practice and shows professionalism.
1. If you get an invite to attend an event, always thank the organisers and do let them know if you can or can't attend.
2. If you are unable to attend an event, it is always professional to let the organisers know in advance if you can help it. Sometimes, it may allow them invite a fellow blogger in your place so it's good to keep them informed.
3. It is always lovely to talk about or share highlights of an event on any of your social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or just blogging about it.
4. I hear a few brands/PR agencies ask bloggers to blog about an event as a condition for attending an event. I have never been asked to even talk about an event on any of my social media channels how much more on my blog. I would definitely turn down such an invite in a heartbeat. I usually blog about events I have enjoyed so it has not been a problem at all.
5. Always thank the event organisers after an event; it's just good manners. I am sure many people do this already and it does not necessarily have to be an email; it could be a tweet/IG post, etc.
6. If you do post about an event, do tag the organisers and send them a link if possible. I know many brands love this and will always keep you in the loop for future events.
7. If you review a product or mention a product that was in a goody bag, do email the brand/organisers who sent it to you or tag them on your social media channels. That's a good way for them to know you like their brand and be fresh on their data base. Of course, it's also not compulsory to blog about products in a goody bag but if you have enjoyed it, why not?
8. If it's your first event and you are looking for other bloggers attending an event, check the organiser's Twitter to see if they are replies from other bloggers about the event. If not, you can always ask on Twitter.
9. If there is a hashtag for the event, remember to use it so your social media shares can be found and probably retweeted by the brand/organisers.
I do hope you enjoyed these tips and I absolutely enjoyed writing them up. They have been sat in my draft for a little while now because I get questions/emails from other bloggers around this topic. I have a link here and here to some events I have attended which you can check out if you fancy. I have enjoyed many of the events I have attended and I usually blog about them. I don't think it is compulsory to blog about all events you attend but I do blog about the ones I have enjoyed. You all know I love to take photos and I am slowly building my portfolio so that's why I take a lot of photos at events. I also post them on here to have varied content on the blog and I know some of you enjoy it. I have four more event posts (three more to attend) before the year runs out so watch out for them. I actually have an amazing one I am attending today and I am really excited.That's pretty much all my tips for today. If you have any more tips, please feel free to add them in the comment box and your link if you have done a similar post. Have you been invited to an event recently?