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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

So You Want To Plan A Blogger Meetup

since throwing socal blogger meet-up number 1 & 2, Stephanie and i have both received an overwhelming amount of e-mails asking for tips on how they can plan a meet-up in their area. we love hearing about people in other areas of the country wanting to get together and finally meet face-to-face! we also thought it might be helpful to put together a list of tips to help make your meet-up a success.

we (along with olivia & kelsey) planned the first socal blogger meet-up in about 2 weeks and expected about 15 people to attend. we organized the event through a simple evite site, and were not prepared for the amount of people that ended up rsvping! we had to cap the event at 30 people, and although the event was a success, we were all pretty stressed out come the day of. the first meet-up taught us a lot, and allowed us to think about how we could make the next meet-up even better!

when we started planning the second socal blogger meet-up, we (along with olivia, kelsey, hollie, & kai) knew we wanted to do it on a much larger scale. we started planning months in advance for the second meetup and planned lots of late night get togethers to discuss details and make plans! we guesstimated that we could get together 45 girls, and we were again way off. we ended up having to, again, cap the event at 60 people. the fact that we still had a waitlist after that blew our minds! the event ended up being a huge success.
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so with the trial and error that we've learned after having 2 meet-ups, here's some tips on how you can make your meet-up a success!

+ have help
make sure that you have help, even if it's only 1 other person! DO NOT try to plan a meet-up on your own. you will only stress yourself out.

  + well... not too much help
on that same note, a lot of people will want to help you plan and be apart of things. that's great! but depending on how many people you want to have attend, try to keep a core group of 3 or 4 girls that you know you will work well with and will be productive.

+ promote, promote, promote!
make sure to make a button for the event so people can share it on their blogs, and utilize your resources! twitter, facebook, and of course your blog are all good ways to get the word out there about your meet-up.

+ staying organized
create google docs to keep track of sponsors, decorations, attendees, to-do lists, anything! share these documents with your fellow planners. it will help you stay on the same page about things and keep track of what needs to be done.

+ how did you get such awesome venues & sponsors?
a lot of people have asked how we get so many sponsors and such awesome venues. the key is to HAVE NO SHAME! you guys, companies love bloggers, and those companies that understand the power that blogging can have? they will love you even more. we had no shame in asking people if they would like to contribute to the event! some companies said no, but the ones who understoond blogging were so excited to help. {it's okay if you get some no's in the beginning. don't let that discourage you! just keep on being your shameless self.} thankfully, we were lucky enough to come in contact with amazing companies and brands who understood and were more than willing to become sponsors of the event and donate. this is the reason why we were able to have almost $3,000 in raffle prizes and send something home with everyone at the second meet-up. some people even received 2 prizes!


+ how do i contact said venues & sponsors?
when you contact these companies do not use a premade email template. personalize the email, explain the event, and tell them how their contributions would help them gain business and why your attendees would be interested in their brand. furthermore, don't be afraid to walk into a shop, talk about your event, and explain how you will promote their business. people want to hear your voice when it's in relation to their company!

+ charge for your event
charging for your event, even if it is just a small fee, helps in more ways than one. people are most likely to commit to attending when they have paid to attend an event. we didn't charge for the first meet-up, and had a lot of people who did not show up the day of. we understand, things happen! but it really does help to have a semi-accurate headcount. especially because we had informed the venue how many girls we were expecting and we had spent time preparing swag bags for each attendee. the money from ticket sales went to decorations and the candy bar we prepared for the attendees as a little way to say thank you. we used eventbrite to keep track of rsvps and ticket sales and charged $5-$7 for our tickets depending on how far in advance the attendees bought their tickets.

+ breaking the ice
understand your guests and put yourself in their shoes! they're walking into a room of women they've never met before and have to hang out with them for the next 4 hours. it can be a little awkward, right? it's important to help ease people into the situation and make them feel comfortable. this is where games come in... we're not talking first day of class in high school, stand up and say your name and 1 fact about you sort of games. games that no one should feel awkward participating in! blogger bingo {creating a "bingo" sheet with 1 fact about each blogger, making everyone go around and figure out who is who. first one to get 5 in a row wins!}, tape a celebrity to everyone's back and have them ask yes or no question to find out who they are, and don't say the words "blog", "blogging", "blogger" were some of the ones we found a lot of success with

+ have a photographer
you are more than likely going to be busy busy busy trying to make sure that everything is going over smoothly, so make sure that you have someone that is there to document the event. we both know from experience that we did not pull out our cameras once at both meet-ups, which is why we're so happy that we still had someone there to make sure every little detail was documented!

+ make it worth their while
after the meet-up, make sure you follow up with everyone who helped with your event. this includes sponsors and attendees! make a link-up list to allow everyone to stay in contact, e-mail your sponsors with pictures of their product thanking them again. make sure they know that you appreciate them and their contributions.

+ make sure that you have fun!
you just planned this huge event and it's so easy to get lost in making sure everyone is having a good time, but remember to have fun and mingle too! take the time to talk to each one of your guests and let them know how much you appreciate them coming. afterall, isn't that while you planned this whole meet-up in the first place?
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woo! we hope that we answered some questions that you may have had. if you need more information or have any other questions, feel free to send an e-mail. happy blogger meet-up planning, everyone!


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7 comments:

Kara said...

I think a meet-up would be so fun! I'll save this link once I know more bloggers in my area. LOVE the new layout!

Nicole Marie said...

great tips girls

Daisy said...

These are great tips! I can't wait for the next meet up so I can go :)

Jordan - Queen of LA! said...

seriously, fantastic tips! i cant wait to come to the next one! :)

Courtney B said...

I want to come to one of your bloggy parties :) How FUN!

MJ @ Teaching in Heels said...

Great tips!! Now when is that next one in the OC :)

ally (the ruffled lace) said...

your glasses are sooo cute xxx

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