Sunday, 18 October 2015

Blogging Events & The Free Stuff



As some of you will know, I organise blogging events in Southampton with Amy as part of Sotonbloggers. I love doing these events because it brings together so many of us, we have fabulous brands that get involved and support us, plus it gives all of you guys the opportunity to network and meet new blogging friends. That's why we do it and we're so proud of how much bigger it's become. We have well over 100 of you on our lists now wanting to be a part of something we thought up one Sunday evening after a blogging chat on Twitter and that's amazing. Amy and I spend months of our own time planning these events while both working full time in medicine based jobs, we more often than not spend our own money for things for these events and do you know what? We do it because we enjoy it. 

The downside to organising these events is that you become familiar with a certain type of blogger. Mainly because they stick out like a sore thumb. The type that blog for all the free products, free contacts and free whatever else they can get their hands on while doing zero work for it. These bloggers become even more painstakingly obvious when you put on events with an entry charge because apparently (due to the findings of a secret survey) why the hell should bloggers have to pay to attend a blogging event?! You're the type that make me sick of blogging and also make me wonder why I should bother organising these events! It's also interesting talking to other bloggers that organise events about the issues we encounter because more often than not the same names flag up.

  • We've held five Southampton Blog Events now, only charging for entry on one because it was a charity event, everyone goes home with goody bags from ourselves, the companies that attend and the opportunity to win prizes in a raffle where ALL proceeds go to charity.
  • We NEVER promise companies blog posts and/or reviews of the products they've sent for the goody bags but I feel that it's common courtesy to at least mention what you were given in a tweet or something and tag them!
  • We've had people leave without saying bye or thank you before, we've had others tweet to ask if there are goody bags spare for them to have even though they didn't attend the event and we've had people moan that we weren't paying for their food and drink...The list is endless and nothing surprises me anymore.
  • Not letting us know you're not coming is damn right rude! We all have Twitter, it takes two seconds to send a tweet even if you're 'dying' in bed. You holding that space and not letting us know has just cost someone else the chance to come and that's not on. The worst are the ones that tweet you AFTER an event... Just no. 
  • The quickest way to not have bloggers interested is to hold a charity event with an entry charge and no goody bags. Sad but true and increasingly common. 
  • Another thing I've come to realise is you won't hear a peep from certain bloggers after holding an event until the tweets start about your next one and if they miss out on a spot, they're always the first to publicly moan over Twitter.

Unfortunately while blogging, we are all going to come across people like this, bloggers who ruin it for the rest of us and continue to give us a bad name. Event planners are cottoning on to it, companies are realising more and so are plenty of other bloggers which is sad because it just goes to show how common it is. I don't know how long Sotonbloggers will run for, hopefully for quite a number of years to come but some of the reasons above genuinely put me off doing them in the future. 

If you're one of those bloggers that would rather just come along for the free products and whatever else, sort your life out. Life isn't free, you need to work for what you get like everyone else around you. 

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31 comments

  1. I may be naive, but I had no idea people would be so rude?! Especially regarding entry fee and not paying for food and drinks! That's shocking.

    Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    xx

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    1. People are so damn rude :( nothing surprises me now xx

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  2. Who do these people think you are? Their mother? Why should you pay for their food and drink, especially after you've already took the time (which is even more valuable than money) to put on these events for them, and actually, you've already put some of your own money into the event. I'm still fairly new to blogging but even I know that you don't get everything handed to you on a silver platter, and that you get out of things what you put into it. Wanting free items is totally the wrong reason to want to blog, and just gives all bloggers a bad name, even when some of them are actually doing it simply because they enjoy it. If you get free items given to you than it's a bonus and it's a privilege. But it certainly isn't a right.

    http://johannamontana.wordpress.com

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    1. I know, people have stood there, straight faced as anything and said these things. I almost spit my cocktail out. It is a minority but it's always the minority and the people like this that stick out like a sore thumb xx

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  3. This post made me so angry! An event is to meet up with other bloggers and just chat about everything etc - not to have a luxury, free getaway so you have something to instagram later! I can't believe you're getting people like this going to your events! I wish I lived near Southampton I'd totally be there! Getting free products is like such a nice thing to happen, and if it happens to you then it's just amazing - but it shouldn't be the reason why you're attending an event! I'm so much more desperate to meet up with blogger friends than I am needing products to tweet about!

    Keep going though gal you're doing so fab with your events!!

    Robyn / www.phasesofrobyn.com

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    1. Oh I wished you lived in Southampton, would be great for you to come along! We are lucky that we have such a fab network of bloggers that come to the events so it is just a minority but one that definitely sticks out! xx

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  4. Well, you kind of right in some but I disagree at some points. I hate when companies invite you for an event, ask you to pay entry and you can exchange that in cosmetics and then write about them! This is a double cheekiness! Not even we do spend time to write the post, edit photos and actually go and watch and BUY (yes this is driving sells for them) but after the genuine gave us (well sold us) the cosmetics then they expect us to post and tag them. The only free staff is the cupcake really.
    So, here the idea of 'meet bloggers and collaborate'' is more of 'come and buy our products'.
    When you organize an event, you see this from different perspective, you ask for payment or to mention company. Of course, I will mention company and write a post after an event but I hate when company give a tiny sample of shampoo, and expect a full blog posts and all that... where you can get that sample in a counter in Boots or Debenhams just by saying you want to try the products!
    So, if the reason you attend the event shouldn't be the product why bloggers are expect to promote , tweet about it?
    Same as there are bloggers who only fetch free products, there are also companies who genuine use bloggers to get free advert by giving something that is like the sample above. You will never find a balance unless you carefully select bloggers for event and not just accept anyone but same with companies. It suppose be a healthy collaboration. Company gift, showcase product, blogger give an honest opinion- all in a nice environment.
    I have attended endless events. Some were amazingly organised with no goodie bag but great entertainment and worth to blog, some were poorly, literally blogger organised event in a dark, cold smelly cafe- in a table few sample of products you can get from counter and expected to follow and glory them. Come on.. !

    Blogger events are to meet new people, new brands, enjoy and chat- following by blogging and mentioning each other. A healthy networking. If you organise event, promote that rather promoting brand or products etc. Many blogging organizers keep promoting the brands, forgetting about what the events are about and this way both bloggers and companies focus on products! Start promoting the idea of networking rather. If you ask bloggers to do a work and spend hours blogging and editing post for a few samples of shampoo or perfume then I am sorry yes, you will have above results. Bloggers also need to respect themselves and their work, we not free tool machines driving sells companies for an exchange of free shampoo sample. We work hard gaining our followers trust and we won’t blow that out for sake of free candle.

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    1. We are not a company, we are two bloggers who put on these events more often than not free for bloggers to come and attend to network and meet like minded people. This post has nothing to do with company blog events, this has to do with the self entitled bloggers that come to events purely to gain the free goody bag they always expect. The MINUTE you put on an event with no goody bag and entry fee, the SAME type of blogger is disinterested and it's people like that, that I'm on about. Bloggers always bang on about this so called lovely community we're in and when it comes to events like this, it's very obvious that this community doesn't always exist.

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    2. I gave several examples. I have never attended your event, ( I am Manchester based) so I wasn't saying whether you do good or bad. I don't know. If you unhappy then I am only guessing there is something you could change? There are people who are only after goodie bag, never tweet, barely post. Easy way to find them, check their blog and social media before sending an invite or accept them. To there be organiser on an event you need to have balls of steel and maybe this is not something for you? You seem to be very emotional and getting upset over silly things. Blogging worls is lovely community. Its not ''so called lovely' it is lovely. You just need to find the right ones. Don't get upset, select brand carefully, don't just accept any-brand, look for what bloggers want and this way there will be interest. If I see an invitation to a blogger event, in shitty cafe, Brands I am not interested in and barely any bloggers I know or follow, I 'll pass. Goodie bag or not. Again, there are people who are after the freebies, but its easy to find them. Organize event full of entartaiment, in suitable location for everyone, with bloggers in few similar niche and I am sure you will have better frequency on attendance. ps. don't stress yourself. Its sunday ;)

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    3. and just to clarify! I am on YOUR side :)) What I am saying is that brands sometimes literally use bloggers for free advertising and you are in the power of making it good again.
      There are few people who organised it badly and companies who did it wrong. It may have put off bloggers. Sorry if my comments gone as against but nooo!Never :)) I am really on your side and just giving you an opinion of a blogger who attended many events and never been on yours! In milion year not my intention to be rude or smart ass :D Is just me saying things, as I always say- if you were sat next to me I would poke you saying -Oi! Come on girl :) Internet has this bad thing that you can't show what you write as you were saying it!

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  5. Hey Alice,

    Although I haven't organised many events for bloggers myself I have seen what's gone on in the bloggers community. Sadly, as blogging continues to grow the more greedy some people tend to get - fortunate for us, like you said they stick out like a sore thumb! You're doing great, happy to see other people shaping the bloggersphere! Keep up the good work doll!

    Zeena Xena ♡ // Founder of Blogging Gals x

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    1. Aww thanks Zeena! Other than the above the events are going so well and we've got such a fab group from it with more getting in touch daily which is great! Thanks for your comment :) xx

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  6. What a great and well needed post! I know exactly what you mean and it's sad that some bloggers have gone into the community just for the aim to live life free. Please don't stop organising events though and let them win!

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  7. I'm sorry that people are being so rude and inconsiderate, keep doing what you're doing and hopefully more bloggers will realise what is and isn't acceptable!

    graceblogslife.blogspot.com

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  8. It's a shame that you feel like this and it makes me really angry. I am currently in Germany and I really miss blogger events. I like socialising and meeting other interesting people who share the same passion. Tweeting only takes second as you say, how quickly can you upload a picture on Instagram? I honestly don't mind paying for a blogger event, I have attended events with and without a charge, but I have also organised an event for bloggers last year at Christmas and there was one or two who just came for the goody bags and left shortly after. I have never heard from them again.

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  9. I rarely go to blogger events because most are in London but I always love being invited! x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness

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  10. I've only attended one blogging event and had a lovely time. I can see that it must take a huge amount of work to put one on, and I can't understand why people wouldn't appreciate this! If an event had an entry charge, I'd want to make sure it was definitely an event I'd be interested in before I signed up, but I certainly wouldn't complain about it! I think people forget that there is a lot more to gain from an event that just freebies. Meeting new people is something lots of bloggers say they want to do - whether purely to make new local friends, or to find someone to go to future events with or to take photos/ act like bloggers with! Going to an event also boosted my page views and gained me new followers. It gave me the confidence to tell friends about my blog, and gave me something to do on an otherwise dull Saturday afternoon! The goody bags were a nice bonus, and I was looking forward to getting one, but it wasn't my sole reason for attending.
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

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  11. IT BLOODY GRINDS MY GEARS. I tell you. That's what it does. I've never personally organised a blog event but am very close to some that have & the blood, sweat and tears that go in to creating them is huge. My first blog event I paid a small, nominal fee & it's the best thing I EVER did. It opened doors to new friendships & possibilities that I thought weren't possible and if I hadn't put my hand in my pocket for a measly £4 I would never have broken out of my comfort zone and met some of the people I have. It's people like YOU that make this possible.
    You know EXACTLY what to do when those people beg & plead to be at your next event.
    "Sorry love, your names not down you're not coming in"
    Bee | QueenBeady.com

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  12. I knew about the people who left without saying bye or thank you but moaning about not paying for food - geez! It also kinda annoys me when people don't network at your events and just stick with one or two, the whole point is to make new friends. I've met someone new each and every time. You do such a good job at organising these events, its a shame people take advantage.

    Charlotte xxx

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  13. Wow, I seriously can't believe that people are really like that? I'm too nervous to go to a blogger event (for now) but I'd go to meet all the people I've spoken to via Twitter and have a lovely day! Everyone who puts on blogger events are incredible! x

    closingwinter.wordpress.com

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  14. I can't believe people are like that honestly! It's really annoying to me to find out there are people like that when I would absolutely love to come to one of your events to meet you and everyone else! It's not at all about getting free products, it's about joining together and getting to know everyone!
    Also adding an entry fee is a good idea in my opinion, especially if it's for charity.
    Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing amazing!

    Gemma xxx

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  15. This is such a shame! To be honest, I rarely blog about brands or products so I actually prefer events which don't focus on that, I just want to meet people and have a good time! I just don't get the people who do it for free stuff, how is that worth it? It's so hard to organise events as well so you should be super proud :) x

    Jasmin Charlotte

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  16. I am so shocked to hear this! I would love the opportunity to attend a blogger event, not for freebies but to get to meet new people and find out about different products! I hope it does't put you off organising more events, it's amazing that you're able to do it!

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  17. I'm really shocked reading this! Some people seem to have no manners or decorum! I guess in every walk of life, there are always a few out to ruin it for others. I hope it doesn't put you off organising more events though because I'm sure the majority enjoy the events & appreciate the effort it takes xx

    Beautylymin

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  18. I've only ever been to 1 blog event so I'm not too familiar of them but I would happily pay for an event! Especially seeing as I never get a chance to go to any. I wish they weren't all so far away though, the ones down south look amazing. Freebies aren't everything, if you make no blogging friends who are you going to share them with x

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

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  19. Oh my god I so feel your pain. I have organised two events now which I have had some amazing brands involved and I'm the same I don't promise brands they will get posts however it is sort of a common curtsy to at least thank them over twitter etc !
    I hate the people who don't even thank you or the people who don't let you know they cannot attend ! I know my next event I will be a lot stricter with the guest list as it isn't fair for people who would love a spot to miss out when others just come along for the free stuff !!!
    I feel like I'm having my own little rant now :| haha !
    Alex ox
    Champagneandlemonadeox.co.uk

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  20. I haven't been to a blogger event yet (I'm too shy and haven't built up the courage yet!) but I always look at your events as I'm based in Basingstoke and not too far from Southampton. I'd happily pay if it meant that what you guys did was worth it- when I do finally attend one it will be to meet other bloggers and have a good time, I'm not fussed about whether or not I get free stuff at all. It's a shame that other bloggers don't see it like that!

    Sian xx Cakey Dreamer

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  21. I completely agree with everything you'd said here. We constantly have people RSVP then never reply, our free events have a big turnover of drop outs throughout the duration of the planning process and some generally rude behaviour throughout. For these reasons, and a million others, our events are having to take a different direction to attract the type of blogger looking to take the event seriously and not just be there for the free stuff. It has meant charging for events but since we've done so, there's been a massive different in blogger to brand engagement post event. It's a shame it has to come to that to sieve out certain types of people but that's just how it is unfortunately. Can't wait to make it to one of yours Alice, you should be so proud of all the successful events you've put on and worked hard for!! xxx

    Lauren - Blonde Vision

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  22. You know, this p**ses me off so much! As someone who would love to go to these events, or to have the opportunity to go to events like these where I live, it makes me so mad that people are taking them, you and Amy for granted. I miss going to events in Southampton and the group of bloggers that are there, so to know that people are just in to for the free stuff is ridiculous. I would happily pay for an event whether it was for charity or not, I wouldn't even care about the goody bags, it's all an added bonus if you ask me. I don't understand where peoples nerve come from for this kind of behaviour, I thought the point of blogger events were to meet fellow bloggers not go home with full stomach and a bag full of goodies for free! xxx

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  23. I get what you mean, girl and totally agree. Those kind of people, as you said, stick out as a sore thumb and at some point in life noone would even invite them to participate in events. It is sad and shame for blogging community, but hey... we should just stay away from those kind of "bloggers"...See if you ask me... i sometimes stay till 12-1 o'clock in the night to take photos for the next day post, even if i know i have to get up at 7 in the morning and get my child ready for school, but as you said, we do it because we enjoy doing it! xxx
    www.ninzbeauty.com

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  24. Okay so I'm a newbie blogger on the scene and I am completely shocked from this post! I cannot believe people would be so rude. I've only been doing this for a few weeks and I can see how much hard work blogging is - you really do have to love what you're doing to stick at it! Don't get me wrong - the idea of working directly with brands is such an amazing idea, but mainly because events look so fun! I'm a chatter, I love meeting people and of course trying out new products but I would not care if I left without a goody bag because you would have met a few new friends and had a blast of a day I imagine! I can't believe people would blog purely for freebies?! It takes far too much time so I can't believe you would stick at it unless you had a passion for it.... not a passion for free stuff! Awful! It's people like that who give us newbie bloggers a bad name!

    Thank you for opening my eyes a tad!

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

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