How to Leverage Events to Build Your Brand


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!  

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19 Responses

  1. Arlene

    Such good ideas! I’ve been wondering how I can branch out and introduce people to my blog and now I think I may start an event with a boutique nearby, thank you! So helpful 🙂

  2. Hey Mishka

    Confession: I reached out to a bunch of NYC-based bloggers for a New York meetup last year and nobody showed! I had a great time drinking margaritas anyway, with the owner of the restaurant, who had been prepared to shower the attendees in complimentary appetizers and drinks! It was a shame.

    But I know New Yorkers are busy and it’s so true — sometimes you’re so overwhelmed with life that you don’t even want to go out and do something fun or network-y.

    Perhaps if IFB announced informal meet-ups on the 3rd Friday of each month in different cities or something, some members could spearhead and we could get something rolling. T’would be fun.



    • Nadya Helena

      Sorry to hear about it, big city folks aren’t exactly known to be fond of network-y stuff unless they actually see a real benefit from it, I guess.

      Like you said, maybe if IFB the one spreading the news and organizing the meetups, words would spread faster and wider.


    • tiffany

      Let me know if you ever decided to do one again! Or, IFB takes your suggestion that would be great. I’m NYC-based and just started blogging this year so the more I can network and learn the better! Btw, checked out your blog and love it!

  3. Krystal Orr

    This is awesome!!! I am definitely planning to have a few meetups and these are some great ideas. I had to look up what a tweetup is…but know that I know, it sounds doable!

  4. Arlene Beltran

    Awesome idea! I’m still new to blogging and reaching out to host an event would really allow me to branch out! Thank you for the helpful post :))

  5. Mine

    I live in Turkey, and i’ve been blogging for 2 years, but still the blogger network here is so limited, unless you are well connected or have enough money it’s so hard to host an event or even organize a meetup

  6. Kendall with Sex and the Suburb

    We will often become media sponsors of events. It’s a great way to be able to attend fun events and is a great ice breaker since it shows your connection to the event. In exchange for sharing information on the event to our readers through our social media our logo goes on various event materials such as their website and print material.

    We have greatly increased our readership this way and made some great connections offline.


  7. Jennifer Rose

    Yes, I agree with these tips! My favorite is going after hosting events for free to use as a case study. We’re actually in the process of doing the same thing. This is very helpful!

  8. Fatima Tania

    This is a great article. When you initially moved to NYC how did you find events such as this? I just moved here 5 months ago.

    Thanks in advance.