Reflections on Planning a Blogger Event

Planning #EastMidsMeetUp Refections
Cute stationary c/o That Lame Company


This month, one of the biggest things for me blog-wise was the #EastMidsMeetUp, a networking event for 40 bloggers that I helped to organise. This post is the third and final post in the #EastMidsMeetUp line-up, and you can read about the event in Part 1 and the raffle and goodie bags in Part 2. I just wanted to take a moment to share everything that I felt about planning a blogger event for the first time.


Planning #EastMidsMeetUp Refections
Image Credit: Charlie Jones

THE POSITIVES

The event was amazing! 

The feedback from the other bloggers was brilliant. They said that it was relaxed, inspiring, not intimidating, friendly, there was praise for the venue and their drinks. You can read more about the event and blogger's feedback in this post.

Going out of my comfort zone

I had never planned an event before, (although I was Prom Comittee regular!) and it was something I had always wanted to do. I'm generally not the most organised person, so setting myself a challenge like this really helped me develop my skills, and is something that would most definitely look great on a CV!


Contacting brands

I mentioned before that my main role was getting brands involved for the talks, goodie bag and raffle. I've never been one to make the first move contacting brands, mainly because I'd reached out to a few that I loved earlier on in my blogging career unsuccessfully. After that, I thought "if my blog is right for the brand, they'll find me".

I got back in touch with many brands and PRs I worked with previously for this event. I also researched a lot of brands through social media, found their PR contacts and reached out, gaining valuable contacts with brands that I would have thought too big for our local event.

This has put me on the radar of brands that I would love to work with in the future, and it has made me more confident to reach out to brands that fit my blog. Now that I have honed in my niche, I will be looking for more meaningful collaborations, so this is something that will definitely benefit me in the future.


Planning #EastMidsMeetUp Refections
Image Credit: Charlie Jones

THE NEGATIVES

Dealing with hiccups on the day 

It wouldn't be an event without a couple of things going wrong. We had a couple of issues with brands setting up and having to cancel one of the talks at the end because of time constraints. It wasn't enough to ruin the day, but seeing as the brand was one that I had invited down personally, it meant having to let them down, and I'm such a people pleaser! We also had a little issue with the goodie bags, which I won't mention again as I went into detail in this post. Although it is shit that this happened, it's all a learning curve as an organiser, and it just means that we will have to rethink how we do things for future events.

Getting behind and feeling overwhelmed

For me the main downside to the event has been getting so behind with my blog. I wanted to put my all into this event, and I really did dedicate a lot of my time to contacting brands. I had also recently started YouTube, which I absolutely love, but it is so time intensive. These last few weeks I've been desperately trying to catch up with blog work, but that time also comes with more events, more emails from brands and new collaborations, meaning that I don't feel like I've even touched the sides yet!

Blog motivation

Something that this whole process has ingrained in me however, is refining my blog and focusing only on the content I really want to create. There have been a few brand collaborations that I've regretted saying yes to, so I'm going to be more choosy in the future. I want to increase the amount of fragrance posts, and think about whether I'd actually buy the item rather than "oh heck, it's free, I may as well try it".

I've also been thinking a lot about events, and the coverage I give. I often find writing up events a chore, and I don't feel proud of the posts because they don't fit in with the style of my usual posts. It pains me to say no to events, but I need start saying no to those that aren't in keeping with my blog niche. I may write this in the "negatives" section, but I'm sure in time to come, I'll see this as a turning point in growing my brand.
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Having to take the rap for bloggers not giving coverage 

Having dedicated so much time into convincing brands to take the chance on our event, it's hard to see only a few brands get the mentions on social media and in blog posts. This unfortunately reflects on me as an organiser, and I really want to see all the brands get a ton of love! A lot of the brands that worked with us are those with whom I already have solid contacts. I do worry about being binned by a brand I adore because of not getting enough coverage from the event.

And with that, let's assume normal Behind The Blog business shall we...


Planning #EastMidsMeetUp Refections


MOST LOVED POSTS OF AUGUST 




I was honoured to work with one of the most prestigious heritage fragrance brands, Penhaligon's. I took the themes behind two of their new launches, Luna and Endymion ConcentrĂ© and gave it a creative reworking. Luna EDT is such a beautiful rose-based fragrance with a twist, definitely worth checking out! 



This was the first time I had coloured my hair in such a long time, and I was hooked from the word "Go" with Naturigin. The brand is natural, vegan, SLS-free, ammonia-free. It didn't smell like a traditional box dye and still gave a great, hi-shine colour result. 



If you're in a bit of a blogging funk, I have 64 lifestyle blog post ideas. There's everything from travel to TV to food post ideas! This post had a surprising amount of love, especially from Bloglovin'. My posts are rarely featured in the "explore" section, but this one earned a whopping 36 loves and 61 saves! 



I'm really passionate about my fragrance content, so it means the world to me when they become some of my most popular posts. When I saw that my go-to suncare brand Hawaiian Tropic had launched a line of body mists, I knew I had to pick them up. I grabbed two, Summer Dreams and Golden Paradise, and it's safe to say they smell just as amazing as their sun products! 



This is the first instalment of  #EastMidsMeetUpPosts. As the title suggests, I cover everything from the planning process, what happened at the actual event and what the bloggers said about the event. I love that this has been one of my most popular posts this month! 


Planning #EastMidsMeetUp Refections


THINGS THAT ROCKED DURING AUGUST


Instagram

I've been really focusing on my Instagram (cheeky plug: follow me here!), putting some real effort into the quality of my snaps and developing a theme. I felt like this made a real difference, and began to see my follow count increase a lot quicker.  

Instagram is kinda also on my "things that suck" list because I decided to have a clear out. Due to the new algorithm, I wasn't seeing any of my favourites on my feed, so I cut almost half of the accounts I was following. Although I now love being able to interact with more of my favourite IG-ers, it has unfortunately affected my own follow count, which is dropping progressively. I'm going to try and make up for that drop with engagement and continuing to post regularly with good quality snaps. 

Sponsored Posts

I don't do all that many sponsored posts in general, as I find a lot aren't in keeping with my niche/quality of content, and I don't want to compromise my integrity and encourage blackhat SEO with paid-for follow links or non-disclosure. This month I did a sponsored post for a great company and was really proud of the content I managed to produce. I've also got another sponsored post in the pipeline. It's great to finally find companies to work with that aren't dodgy AF! Check out the post: 5 Rituals for a Better Sleep


Reaching my goals! 

This month I reached my first milestone on my YouTube channel. I reached 100 subscribers, so I won't be getting my silver play button in the post just yet, but it's better than 0! I mainly make beauty videos and vlogs, so if that's your jam then please do come over and join the fun, I'd love to make it to 200 by the next Behind The Blog post! I also reached 1500 Bloglovin' followers, after being so close for so long! Why is Bloglovin' SO hard to build?


Planning #EastMidsMeetUp Refections


GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH


Catch Up

The main one for me is catch up with all the posts I've pushed back. It's not a nice feeling, being behind, and it's definitely had an effect on my mental health. Once I'm caught up, I'm planning to reduce my schedule to around 3 posts per week.

I've attempted to keep up with videos, and I've posted at least one a week, but I've been a bit slow at getting the vlogs out there. I'm hoping once my load lessens, and editing gets easier, I'll be able to stick more to a schedule. I'd love to put out at least one main video and one vlog per week.

Plan out my days

At the moment, I'm working more towards daily to-do lists, and this is working well. I'd like to plan out my days more effectively so I'm giving a balanced amount of time to writing posts, photography, filming and editing videos to ensure nothing gets left behind. I'd like to be more productive too. I tend to have my email (and Facebook, oops!) open all day and I find it distracts me a little, so it might work better to check it periodically throughout the day.

Be more engaged 

This includes commenting on more blogs (ideally at least 10 per day) being better at replying to comments on my blog, and doing more blogger chats. I want to interact more on twitter and blogger chats give me all the old school blogging feels.

Work on DA

Honestly, I was fuming to see my DA decrease, so I'm going to dedicate more time to removing broken links etc, which I think is my downfall due to having a ton of old social media links on old posts from before my rebrand. Who the hell even invented DA anyway? Ugh. 


What's been your highlight of the past month?
What are your blog goals for September?
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Hi I'm Kirstie & I'm the Girl with an addiction to perfume

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