As many of you know I recently joined the Pa Bloggers group in my area and attended my first meet-up at the beginning of the month. This group, organized by Lauren of Say What You Need To Say, meets every few months to catch up, engage in some great conversation, welcome new members and try out some new foodie items (amongst other things!) It’s a great opportunity to meet other bloggers who are into the same things as you… and check out blogs you might not have instantly been interested in. Now you might be wondering how to organize a similar type event for the bloggers (or other similar group) in your area. While you can’t have Lauren, you can have some great insight from her today on The Event Crashers!
Do you want to know a great way to meet new people who share your same interests, network in an industry that you love, and support local business at the same time?
You plan a meet-up!
I’ve been blogging for a long time now and I can honestly admit that one of the very best aspects of this job is meeting fantastic people who share the exact same passion and love for food, health, and life in general.
I started doing meet-up’s with other bloggers a few years ago and since then, I’ve made some of the most incredible life-long friendships because of them. Even if you don’t think that there are many local bloggers in your area, I urge you to reach out because I’m sure there are more than you think.
Last year, I initiated a PA Bloggers group and I’ve been working to grow this community ever since. I’m not going to lie, putting these events together takes a lot of work and planning but it’s definitely worth it.
Here are a few steps to keep in mind when planning your own blogger meet-up:
1. Build your group: Start with any local bloggers you know and ask if they know any others. Compile a list of local bloggers and send out an email, introducing yourself, your desire to connect likeminded writers, and the possibility of planning a meet-up. Ask for everyone’s contact information (name, location, blog URL, Twitter handles, etc.) and put these into one central list.
2. Pick a date: This is one of the hardest aspects; depending on how many people you have in your group. You are NEVER going to accommodate to everyone’s schedules. Try to give the group a few different selections and times and see what the best fit is for the majority of the group. Once you have an idea of what time/day will work best, you can work on planning out the event.
3. Seek out a local business: Going into planning my first meet-up, I knew I wanted it to be a success and I also knew I wanted to include the aspect of working within our community. There are so many great business and restaurants in your area that have no idea what you do, so show them! Reach out to a local coffee shop or restaurant with the idea of bringing in a group of local bloggers. Many times, the business will be more than happy to accommodate the group and often extend specials or discounts. You can go as far as to see if the restaurant would want to put together a special menu to feature some of their best dishes.
4. Be on top of reminders: Once you have the event planned, TALK ABOUT IT! Send out weekly reminders, ask for people to RSVP ahead of time, and make sure you send out all of the details well in advance. Don’t rely on others to remember the details because based on experience, they usually won’t. If you want your meet-up to be successful, make it exciting!
5. Don’t be shy: As the meet-up organizer, it’s one of your responsibilities to ensure that the conversation is engaging and everyone has some good talking points. Most of the time, it’s effortless because everyone usually has so much to discuss with each other, but just in case, it’s not a bad idea to print out some talking points or make up a game, like 20 Questions or 2 Truths and a Lie. You’d be surprised how much there is to learn about each other.
6. Stay connected: Once the meet-up is over, make sure you stay connected with the people in your group. Exchange blog URL’s and be sure to take note if they’ve posted anything on the event. You will want to send these reviews to the business. A great way to stay in touch is to start a Facebook Page, that way people in the group can connect with each other and you can continue to build more of an audience with other readers and local businesses.
If you are thinking of planning a meet-up or have questions, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help you get started. Oh and if you are a blogger in a PA Lehigh Valley and you haven’t reached out yet, SPEAK UP and email me. I would love to include you in our group contact list.
Do blogger meetups happen in your area? Are you interested in meeting with us in the new year?