It’s always nice to go to a blogger event (we went to #brizblogmeet yesterday and had so much fun, thanks Emily for such an awesome event!) but if there isn’t one near you, then why not organise your own? Through organising #blogclub (and other meetups!), we’ve learnt a few things to pass on to you.
Figure Out The Basics.
So who wants to come to a meetup? Of course, whatever you decide isn’t going to be suitable for everyone, but sounding it out with some local friends will help you decide on a suitable date and time. (Looking for local friends? Why not check out the UK Bloggers Map!)
When organising meetups (whether they’re formal blog meetups, or just everyone going to the pub after work), we love doodle.com. It’s a simple little (free!) website with one aim – finding the best date for as many people as possible to meet up. You don’t even need to sign up for an account, just fill in a few details (event name, description, potential location and your email – so you can get the results!) and choose the dates that you want (so you can check off all the weekends in a month, or whatever you think would be a reasonable day for most people) then just send the link round to those who have shown an interest. All the other people need to do then is to enter their name (and it might be best to ask them to put their Twitter handle in, so you don’t end up with a list of 5 Sarah’s and not knowing who is who!)
The Guest List
If you’re organising something where you need to know the numbers (perhaps because you want to book a table for lunch somewhere, or your venue has a limited capacity), then you might want to look at asking people to sign up to Eventbrite. Eventbrite is a ticketing website – if you wanted to charge for tickets to your event (if you need to cover any costs, or if there you need to put a deposit down for something), then there is a small fee to pay, but if your tickets are free (so if you want to have it to generate a guest list and make sure you don’t have too many people turning up!), then Eventbrite is free. There are also various apps for iOS and Android which will give you a guest list (and attendees can show their tickets on their phones if needed)
You might think that this is a little thing that isn’t so important, but if you’ve never been to an event before, or if you don’t know anyone else that’s going, a hashtag for an event is super useful. We talked about the reasons why you would want to check this out in our post about what to do when going to an event, but as an event organiser, it’s a little weight off your mind that when everyone turns up, they’re not just going to be standing awkwardly in the corner (You want to be encouraging conversations!)
Even if you don’t have any definite plans, a basic idea of what you’re going to do will help calm you a little. For #blogclub, we have a general plan of what we want to cover (giving 30 mins for people to turn up, an hour for the discussion, etc) but make sure to plan in your schedule time for things to not go to plan! That way, when things do overrun (as they always will do), you’re not in a panic about it.
It seems to be the expectation these days that all events will have an insanely generous goody bag. This might put you off organising an event, but don’t let it! While a goody bag is a very nice treat, it shouldn’t be the only reason why people are going to your event. However, if you do manage to secure some little gifts, it’s a good idea to create a list to be printed out and put into every bag with the details of the brands – this will allow the attendees to thank them for the gifts, which will always go down well!
When everything is over, it’s a nice idea to send out an email to the attendees, thanking them for coming, and sending them a list of the other attendees’ blogs and Twitter handles – just in case they weren’t able to meet everyone, or if they’ve lost their blog business cards!
If you do organise an event, please do let us know, so we can add it to the blog events calendar! (Remember, it’s subscribable as well, so you can get notifications of the blog chats too!)