Last week, following weeks of hard work, an Empower team and I helped our client Michaels execute a blogger event just outside of Dallas for some of the biggest and most influential craft bloggers out there. The event couldn’t have been better, but success is rarely an accident.
There is power in blogger events. It allows businesses to bring influential individuals into the brand fold and allow them to build real relationships with the people behind a brand, hopefully opening the door for an ongoing relationship.
An event can’t follow a formula. Each one will be different depending upon the brand, the attendees, the location and the content, but there are still best practices to put in place to make sure any event is deemed a success.
Get the Right People. The event will fall flat if the right people aren’t there. This, of course, means inviting the right bloggers. The list of invitees needs to be developed by evaluating content. Having a good grasp on each blogger’s content means you can make sure the right people attend, but it also ensures you’re not wasting someone’s time who wouldn’t be interested in attending. It’s also best to emphasize quality over quantity. Inviting fewer people to make the event feel more intimate and customized may mean it sticks with them more and they have a better time.
The group of bloggers isn’t the only group that needs to be right either. The people representing the brand need to be the right fit to. They should be open to answering questions, friendly and genuinely interested in bloggers and aware of the value they can bring to a business.
Bloggers are the Stars. The attendees are taking time out of their very busy schedules to attend your event, so it’s important to always keep that in mind and make the bloggers feel like stars. Make sure they have a great time and never feel the need to worry about anything. This allows them to focus on the content. Don’t be afraid to go out of your way to make a good impression.
Use Content to Tell a Story. The content is integral to the success of an event. There needs to be a lot of it, so the bloggers walk away with multiple post ideas and inspiration. A wealth of content means everyone will focus on something different, so you don’t have a situation in which all of the attendees write about the exact same things.
With a lot of content, it’s easy to let it get jumbled, but the goal should be to tell a story. Align on what you want the big takeaway to be, and then figure out the RTBs you can focus on to bring that takeaway to life. Those RTBs are your content.
Don’t Stop When the Event Ends. Look at an event as the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Keep the dialogue open by inviting the bloggers to provide feedback and always think of them as being in the brand fold by providing insider access.
Not Exhaustive, but It’s a Start.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but these pieces should be entwined into the DNA of any event. Every aspect should make sure you’re telling the right story to the right people in a way that makes them feel special and more invested in the brand than they were before they arrived.
On that note, I have to say that seeing one of these pulled together is awesome because you walk away with a lot more than a successful marketing effort. I walked away with some great relationships and new blogger friends. You have to love that.