After months of prep, the #BBBSOCIAL is just one week away! If this is your first event or you are just looking for tips to spruce up your networking game then you may enjoy this handy guide to blogger networking events. This guide will help you make the most of the social and any other events you have lined up. Lets dive in!
SET A GOAL
Figure out what you want to get out of the event and be determined to make it happen. This could be anything from swapping business cards with a particular brand or finding one blogger to collaborate with on your next post. It's easy to get overwhelmed at blogger events especially if you are shy. Having a clear goal stops you from grabbing a goody bag and making a speedy exit.
GET ON SOCIAL
Most events will have a dedicated hashtag that they'll have been promoting for months in the lead up to the event. Use this to find other guests and start getting familiar with who will be there. This will make you feel less like you are walking into a room full of strangers.
Some events will have dedicated event pages and pre-event Twitter chats for their guests. I'll be hosting a Twitter chat for #BBBSOCIAL guests this Saturday 3 - 4pm so you can get interacting before the big day.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
This one ties in with your goals. If you want to make a connection with a brand that is exhibiting or one of the speakers, make sure you go in with a clear idea of what they are about. I've done blog posts on all the main exhibitors at this years #BBBSOCIAL. Find them here. You can also follow them on social media and see what they've been up to. This will give you a great talking point when you see them in person.
DON'T FORGET YOUR BUSINESS CARDS
If there is one thing that is absolutely guaranteed at any networking event, it is the exchange of business cards. Come prepared with a stack of cards that reflect you and your platform. While it may be tempting to exchange cards with every single person you come across, try and form meaningful connections before handing over a card. This stops you going home with a purse full of cards from people you have no intention of contacting.
EMBRACE YOUR NERVES
Listen, everyone is nervous! It's a completely natural reaction to an unfamiliar situation. Acknowledge the nerves but don't let them get the better of you. Think calm thoughts and remember that everyone is there to meet new people.
Networking events sometimes come with a line up of speakers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with scribbling down notes that you can refer to later. If you are so inclined, you can tweet your favourite quotes and share the wisdom with your followers. I also love having a notebook handy as I usually start drafting my event coverage posts on my journey home.
You had a great time, met some cool people and picked up some fab swag. Keep the good times rolling by following up with those cool people you meet. Drop them an email referencing something you discussed and start cementing those relationships. This goes for any brand/PR connections you made. Be sure to send them links to any reviews you do on their products and/or tag them in posts they are featured in.