Often times it seems bloggers go to events but something that we haven't covered yet is the other side of events. HOSTING. After having a few successful events under our belt we definitely feel like we have a solid handle on how to be the hostess with the mostest. Something that has been popping up more regularly is what are some steps to setting up a successful event? Now that we are launching our Ambassador Program this post is even more important. We hope these tips and tricks will help you to feel confident that you can host too, and not just attend.
Step 1, brainstorm - this really takes the most time honestly. You need to think about 5 main things before getting started. First, what kind of an event you want to have? What is your theme? What do you envision? Next, when? Before you can reach out to people you need to have some dates in mind. We always have at least a few dates that we know work for us before reaching out to the brand/company that we hope to collaborate with. Which leads me to the next point, where do you want to hold the event? A brand/boutique? Restaurant? Hotel? There are so many options, have a few place in mind and reach out to all of them. Some will get back to you, some won't. The more you reach out the better chance you have of having someone accept your collaboration offer and always, always, always follow up. They are busy too, sometimes you need that follow up email to remind them that you are really interested. Finally, who do you want to be there? Is this an open event people can bring friends, family, significant others to? Or is this exclusive to your audience or blogger friends? Depending on where you end up hosting your event you may have a cap on how many people can come. People will always ask if they can bring someone, so make sure to take that into consideration before you dive in.
Step 2, reach out & follow up - have a template for when you are reaching out. Be specific but not wordy. There are 3 main points that you want to touch upon in your template when you reach out. First, introduce yourself "Hi I'm Leanne, a Boston based lifestyle blogger". Add a brief summary of what you're looking to do, this should be like 3-4 sentences. If you need an idea of what to say you can check some of our previous posts on pitching to brands. Finally, compliment and say why you think it would be a good fit before a simple closing like, "Thank you for your time, looking forward to hearing from you!" Then, you wait. This is the most frustrating part. Fact of the matter is you'll wait a lot. Always follow up 5-7 days later if you haven't heard from them. This is why you reach out to more than one person/brand.
Step 3, while you wait plan your details - this is important because when they get back to you they are going to want to know what more you want. What will they provide, what will you provide, will this be completely collaborated? Will you pay a fee? Be sure to have an idea of different places you can pitch to in case they don't provide everything. If you're getting a free space, maybe you try and collaborate for cupcakes, wine etc. Have an idea of what each party will be doing and how they will be contributing.
Step 4, promote - once you have found a place and details have been sorted out you need to promote, promote, promote! This means on all social media channels. Tell your friends, have them share. The nice thing about Bloggers Live Boston is if you are a member and you're hosting an event LET US KNOW. We will always promote what you are doing even if we cannot be there personally.
Step 5, prep first and have fun later - the final step, the day has come. Event day! Come early, be prepared. Know who your contact person is. Help set up. Another thing I would recommend is know who is coming, if possible. I always try and get a list of who is coming before they get there. You'll meet people you have never met before and knowing their name and face is the icing on the cake. It makes them feel special and appreciated. Which is important! Finally, have fun!
Once the event is over we always recommend a thank you note or small gesture to your host for having you. People remember those little acts kindness, after all they are putting in a lot of effort just like you are. Most importantly we do that because we want to keep that relationship. We cannot make these events happen without them!