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13. Why you should go to events

If there was one thing that enabled me to succeed as an influencer it was going to events. Meeting people, talking to them, making connections and getting hands on with products was the key to the early success of my blogging career. I am not just talking about the types of events I organise, although you should absolutely come to all of them because they are awesome, but also smaller pr and media events. Within the toy industry alone my yearly calendar features the January London Toy Fair, April INDX Toys and Nursery (INDX do other niche events too!), May Harrogate Toymaster Show, May Distoy London, September CIJ Showcase, September brand and licensing show, November Dream Toys. They are just the ones I can remember of the top of my head.

I found the more events I attended the more I got invited to which made sense as I was showing on Instagram that I attend and share the events, something that PRs definitely want to see.

Conferences

When I first started out there were a lot of conferences for people like me, Cyberher, Britmums, Blogfest, Blog camp, Blognix, Blogtacular, sadly most if not all of these no longer exist but they were always a great place to meet like-minded people, talk to people in the flesh who you had only ever met online and meet various pr people. We needed the conferences back then, we needed to learn how to use SEO, what a follow link was and how to take better pictures because back then we were paving the way for future influencers and I am pleased to say that the influencers we see as part of our outreach now are absolutely smashing it. Whether you are a blogger or social influencer or a mixture of the two there will always be something new to learn but thankfully with the communities available, online courses and of course google these things are not out of reach anymore. That doesn’t mean that events don’t still have a place. You can ask anyone who has been to one of these events what the best bit was and I would be very surprised if the first answer wasn’t the people or networking or not feeling weird taking photos of your lunch. The people at these types of events are your people so if you can get to something like this then do. And if you can get to BlogOn in October, well that is the best one of them all 😂

Media events

One of the key events in the media calendar now is the CIJ Christmas SHocase, CIJ used to be called Christmas in July and was a large event featuring lots of different brands. The event moved to a more appropriate month of September now media lead times are not quite what they were in the past, the joy of the digital age. To register for the CIJ Showcase you do need to have a certain number of followers ( I think it was 15k on one platform in 2021) but the requirements change each year and have not been released for 2022 yet. The event is a must-attend if you want to work with brands and you do usually get to go home with some nice goodies as well.

July is still a key month for lots of media events to happen in London with brands and supermarkets wanting to showcase the products that will be available in the festive season. Christmas in July used to be three weeks of back to back shows full of mince pies and prosecco in the boiling hot sun. It is an odd experience but a brilliant one. If the shows come back this year I will share the details in the forum for any invites I receive. I now pick and choose which ones to do along to as I cant take as much time out of day to day life as I once could but I would recommend trying to get to some if you can.

PR Invites

Depending on the invite these might be for a stand alone pr event such as a cinema preview or it might be to attend an event like a normal person/family and then share about it. We tend to get a lot of invites for days out and festivals (see the extra members forum for ones that I have shared). Stand alone PR events are a great way of connecting with that PR but remember to post bout it on your channels, each person who attends will have cost the PR money so make it worth their time as well. You should always ask if there are travel expenses or budget but be prepared for the answer to be no in most cases.

Remember events may seem scary but they are never as bad as we imagine. If you are going to a conference why not find out if any of your online friends are going as well so you can meet up and if you are going to a media event then you are there because you deserve to be there and you can always hide behind your camera if you want to. If you have any questions or if you are worried about going to any events let me know as I am more than happy to share my experiences with you and give you some advice on getting the most out of any opportunity.

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