Secrets To Hosting A Crazy Successful Blogger & Press Event
I was super excited recently to be asked to organise and host a small, intimate bloggers event at The Library, a b-e-a-utiful new live jazz cafe and restaurant in Sheffield.
The venue has been open since October and is breathing life into an often forgotten about part of Sheffield - Attercliffe, just a short drive from the city centre.
It’s housed in the former Attercliffe public library - a stunning old building, built in 1894 and absolutely full of character.
Described as “A real grown-up night out” the venue has been going from strength to strength since they opened. They were keen to host a bloggers night as a way to harness even more exposure for their business amongst influential people in the local area.
I set to work pitching the event to a select group of eight local bloggers. I recommended to The Library that we host an intimate, invite-only event to keep the air of exclusivity and to give a smaller number of people the best possible experience.
When you have fewer guests at an event, it’s means you can be very selective and invite only the people whose audience aligns best with the client’s target audience - rather than just focusing on numbers.
Quality over quantity is essential and invite-only events have a much better turnout as people feel more commitment to come as spaces are limited.
The event itself was a huge success, with the bloggers joining the venue during one of their weekly jazz nights called Jazz On The Cliffe. They were served a large selection of complimentary tapas and wine in a closed-off area of the venue whilst listening to live jazz from a selection of local musicians.
I also created two hashtags, #jazzonthecliffe for the weekly jazz night event and #thelibrarysheffield for the venue which were used widely in the bloggers’ Instagram stories and will make an appearance in their posts on social media.
The bloggers were required to share coverage of the event on social media as well as writing a blog post, complete with links to the venue’s website, detailing their experiences and published within four weeks of the event.
It's really important to specify what you want from your guests before the event because often, bloggers and members of the press will attend events and not actually write anything about them because it hasn't been specified as essential to attendance.
Though it's perfectly reasonable for bloggers and the press to attend events and just offer on-the-night coverage on social media, if you're giving away complimentary food, drink and your business's time, you need to ensure you're getting as much as possible in return.
Make sure you say what will be included as complimentary in your original email pitch so that the guests know what to expect. As a business owner, it's important not to be tight and go out of your way to look after your guests.
Make sure your staff know they're coming so they don't seem surprised when your guests explain why they're there. You'd be surprised how many time this has happened to me as a blogger and it's awkward having to explain yourself.
Remember that your guests are giving up an evening away from their homes and families to come and see what your business is about and they will spend time writing about their experiences. Make sure they have an amazing time from start to finish - if they don't for any reason, it could creep into their write-ups, though I always ask to see the posts before they go live.
The bloggers who attended the event at The Library had a collective following of 150,000 people and are all prolific lifestyle and food bloggers in the local area. They gave amazing feedback on the food, venue and service and I can’t wait to see the finished blog posts and share them with my client.
A blogger/press event is a fantastic way to create a buzz around your business with the right people but if you’re not in the blogging or PR scene yourself, finding who to invite and establishing good, working relationships with them is a time-consuming task.
I’ve been blogging for over five years’ now so I know exactly the right people to invite to events as well as how to organise and manage them efficiently.
I’ve gone to many events as a guest that have fallen short of my expectations so I know exactly what to do and what not to do to give bloggers and the press an event they will remember for all the right reasons and get your business tones of exposure in the process.
If you’ve always wanted to host a blogger/press event but have no idea where to start, get in touch today and let’s start organising one. I'd absolutely love to hear from you!