As bloggers, we are used to talking about digital marketing; after all, much of our brand is built through online channels. However, events are a terrific, offline way to build your brand. Events can range from small and informal luncheons to industry wide conferences. Before I started working with brands on the marketing side, I experimented with events to meet other people in the fashion blogger community. My experiences ran the gamut from attending IFB conferences and networking events to organizing tweetups and private shopping events. Here is a list of some key events you can use to build your brand in the real world. New to the event scene? Experiment, get out there and build your brand one event at a time and don't forget to have fun doing it!
One low key way to connect with bloggers in your community? Organize a meetup over a meal.
Bloggers often brainstorm and build partnerships over delicious and Instagram-worthy quinoa salads at lunch or dinner. Other possibilities include meeting for breakfast or coffee. Want to take your brand building to the next level? Contact a restaurant that might be willing to barter exposure for a free meal or a substantial discount.
Networking events are like going to the gym – the hardest part is simply showing up.
Living in New York gives me access to some of the best networking events for the fashion, tech and blogger verticals. However, over time, I have gotten lazy and stopped attending these events simply out of sheer respect for my sanity. Recently, I began reincorporating networking events into my weekly routine. Making a good connection with someone inspirational and doing something related to what you are doing makes a difference. Even if you don't live in a city where networking events are the norm- take initiative and build an event of your own. You would be surprised how many people in your community were waiting for an event like the one you just built.
Remember when “tweetups” were big? Maybe it's time to introduce the world to a “vine-up” or a “pin-up.”
If you are organizing an event- think about incorporating some type of fun online interactive element into the mix. You may recall the “tweetup” craze when every brand was trying to court bloggers with the promise of a stimulating “tweetup” session. For your next event, get innovative and leverage the skills you have on Vine or Pinterest and incorporate a live event with a live Vine or Pinterest session. You never know, you could be the one to trigger a whole new “vine-up” or “pin-up” craze.
Host a shopping event and be part of that magical online to offline conversion path.
Luxury brands admit to having problems driving brick and mortar purchases through their digital channels. But what if bloggers could be part of the solution? Host a shopping event in your community and build a reputation as a brand ambassador. This is not necessarily an opportunity that will arrive on your doorstep, unless you have had experience hosting similar events in the past. Get proactive- call up your favorite local boutique and pitch an event idea to them. Even if they don't have the marketing budget to host a full blown celebrity DJ fueled shopping night, perhaps they would be amenable to a split of the sales proceeds. Once you build a successful first event, you can build a case study around the results and present it to the next store or brand for a more lucrative collaboration.
Think you've got unique skills? Teach a class.
As blogging continues to grow, there will be a certain amount of knowledge transfer that can happen in a formal or informal classroom setting. Teaching a class not only positions you as an authority in the blogosphere, but also helps you hone your technique and keep your skills sharp. A whiz at photo editing? A pro at writing snappy blog posts or titles? Find speaking opportunities to share your skill or better yet, host your own class through a platform like Skillshare or through your own social channels.
Is there any event you don't see on this list? If you think it would be a fun and productive event for your brand, I say, go for it!
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]