Friday, November 9, 2012

New Bloggers: New to Invite Only Events? This Guide is For You

Kudos to Colleen Padilla of Classy Mommy and Whitney Wingerd of Mommies with Style for the rockin' Social Media Mixer they put on at the Hyatt at the Bellevue® in Philadelphia, PA on Saturday, 11/3.

If you are new to blogging you really want to get involved with these! I met so many wonderful people, obtained tons of invaluable information and got some pretty awesome swag! So what are these events all about?

Reason for the Event:
Sponsors are interested in connecting with bloggers in hopes that they will write a post or review to help promote their product or service.

What to Do Before the Event: 
Graciously accept an offer if you receive one and be sure to follow registration directions. Do they want to register online, through email, on the phone? Whatever they are asking for make sure you do it, don't just show up and if for some reason you can't end up going have the courtesy to contact them and cancel. Sometimes they have limited invitations and this will allow someone else to go.  I got an invite through the Philadelphia Social Media Moms Club which I belong to. I don't think it's necessary to belong to an organization to get these invites but it's pretty helpful.

What to Do at the Event:
Well, first of all, make sure you have your invite and bring a print out or have it easily accessible on your phone.

Once you head into the event visit all the tables with brands (don't miss anybody even if you don't like the looks of the product - you never know - it might be good). Listen intently to what the representative from the brand is saying and ask some questions to help you write your blog post later. You may event want to take a few pics to enhance your post. Graciously accept any giveaways they may provide.

Don't forget to give out your business card to EVERY ONE you feel would be a good contact and drop your card in any baskets for a prize. Even if you don't win this will ensure the sponsor has a connection with you.

Photo taken by Little Passports Representative
Be sure to participate in any activities that are set up. For example, at the Social Media Mixer, Little Passports, who sells educational travel subscriptions for children, set up a large map of the United States and provided dress up accessories. Each attendee was invited to dress up in their favorite American icon/landmark and pose in front of the map. A representative took your picture and posted it to Facebook. I then had to tag myself in the photo which allowed all my friends to see my pic and, of course, put the name Little Passports in front of their eyes for promotion. The motivation as an attendee was I was entered into a drawing for a free subscription. I didn't win but it was fun just the same! I went with the cowgirl theme since my little guy was a toddler for Halloween!

Tweet, tweet, tweet!
Many other companies at the event encouraged you to tweet about their product for a chance to win a giveaway. So don't be afraid to whip at your phone or iPad and tweet away. This is one time it's encouraged!

After the Event:
So the events over, now what? It's important that you don't let the event die the minute you walk out of the room. When I came home from the event I continued to check the specific Twitter page that was set up at #mommixer to make sure I didn't miss any information. (there were three sessions and since I went to the second I wasn't sure if anything special was said at the last session).

Then I made sure I looked up all the awesome bloggers whose cards had made their way into my purse. First I 'friended' them on Facebook, then I followed them on Twitter, and then I visited their blog and made some comments. I realize this all very basic but if you were knew to the blogging world you may not think of it. I plan on continuing my dialogue with these bloggers and will be helpful to them whenever I can.

It's important not to forget about the sponsors. They took their time to talk to you and give you some free goodies. Be sure to give them some love back. I contacted each one of them thanking them for their time and whatever they provided then I asked how we could continue out relationship. My main goal was to see if they would provide my reader with a giveaway, a coupon, a discount or all of the above.

Here's the email that I sent to Carolyn and Amanda of Little Passports:
'Good afternoon Carolyn and Amanda,

I really enjoyed learning more about Little Passports this past Saturday (11/3) at the Social Media Mixer in Philadelphia. I had seen your product online prior to the event (kudos to your marketing!) but didn't know much about it. It's adorable! Great idea!

Are you willing to work with bloggers to provide a discount or a coupon? I have a couponing blog, Couponing a Difference, where I promote coupons, freebies, and giveaways.'
Just keep it brief and simple and see where it goes. 

And above all, don't forget to review the products and give your honest opinion about them on your blog. Then promote, promote, promote through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other creative means you can come up with.  

Stay tuned for my review on all the awesome sponsors that were there and the cool things they were promoting. 


  1. Great post Denise with some great tips! Thanks for sharing them...I had a blast at the Mom Mixer and can't wait to attend more!

  2. Thanks Lauryn! Feel free to share with any new bloggers you may know. Can't wait to see you again soon!