This post is by Christina Brown of LoveBrownSugar:
Tonight’s the night. After months of correspondence with the infamous PR representative for your favorite brand, and after sending over 23,764 links to your coverage of brand X including the desperate email explanation of your obsession, you’ve finally scored an invite to their annual party! Now what?
Gaining access to exclusive industry events might seem like the end all be all, but the name of the game is consistency. While this may be your first invite, you don’t want it to be your last. Making a lasting impression with live event coverage not only satisfies publicists for brands you’ll be highlighting, but it also can truly help build your blog’s reputation in the industry. As glamorous as fashion parties and live events may seem, there are certain rules of etiquette to be followed. So before you step out in your cocktail dress and stilettos, take heed to the Five P’s of Fashion Partying:
1. Preparation – Don’t leave home without the essentials! A few necessities to have on hand at a fashion event include: Business cards – for the networking that will undoubtedly take place, memory card (cleared and ready for use) – for snapping event photos, cell phone – for those Twitpics and impromptu status updates on your social networks and finally a smashing outfit! It might sound cheesy but it doesn’t hurt to throw on a piece from last season’s lineup of this particular brand. If you don’t have it, no problem, be yourself and look fabulous. And above all else, be comfortable. No one likes perusing an event in bothersome clothing and/or shoes.
2. Prudence – One of the great things about exclusive fashion & beauty events is that they’re almost always open bar. Whether it’s an all night open bar or just the very first hour, you will more than likely have an opportunity to drink at the event. This is where prudence kicks in. Keep in mind that you’re still working! Although they’re offering free liquor, your main priority is representing your brand. One drink at the beginning, just to loosen up your nerves, is acceptable but beware of your limit. People are always watching and the last thing you want to do is “drunk stumble” over the toes of some important industry figure. Spare the risk and save the double shots for your next Girls’ Night Out.
3. People Watching – Unless you have a copy of the guest list, you don’t know who else will be there. You’re best bet is to smile, be friendly and scan the room often. Smiling opens the imaginary door between you and other unsuspecting party-goers who might end up being people you need to know. You may spot a fellow blogger you love, a photographer you follow on Twitter, or an editor you’ve been dying to meet. So slap on those invisible people-spotting spectacles and keep your eyes open for opportunities.
4. Photography – We all know the age-old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the world of blogging, try a million. Taking great images at an event is a surefire way to please picky publicists, and give your readers a unique event recap that they won’t be able to find anywhere else in the blogosphere. Important things to capture:
- Product shots: whether it’s a fashion line with models, or a jewelry line with displays, be sure to get a good angle and good lighting for product photos.
- VIP guests: Believe it or not, a lot of fashion & beauty events revolve around A-list red carpet arrivals. If there is anyone notable showing up or hosting the event, be sure to snap pictures (preferably one with you in it).
- Event sponsors – If brand X is partnering up with brand Y and offering free gifts, snap pics! This will give you the opportunity to make another contact by sending coverage links to brand Y and asking to be placed on their listserv as well.
5. Promptness – The event is over, but your work has just begun! Always make it a point to email coverage links to publicists, promptly after the event. 1 – 2 days is the normal courtesy. Anything more than 3 days later, you’ll look late and the publicist will disapprove. Remember, these people have limited invites to send out. If they send one to you and your post becomes outdated, for them it’s a wasted invite they could have given to someone who would’ve covered it in a timely manner. Relationships are everything, so be prompt to send coverage and the pubs will promptly send you more invites to fab events!
What are some of your tips for live event coverage? Post them below!