This is something that is getting chatted about quite a bit recently, it is the season for blogger and youtuber events and lots of folks aren’t a fan of going by themselves. To be fair, I didn’t used to be either, I may have even bailed on the odd one or two…I dreaded going alone, but I made a few changes and gradually this has improved! I’m actually now a fan of going by myself…yep…so how did this happen I hear you cry?! Let me share my secrets with you.
Do your research
Whether you’ve been invited to a release, or it’s a blogger meet up, do some research. Find out which brands are going to be there and learn all about them and if they’re a brand you would like to work with. Figure out why they would want to work with you! Find out who is going – there’s generally a hashtag associated with it, so search it on twitter. Find people that you are likely to get along with and ping them a hello! You can both share in your excitement of going. It’ll take some of the nerves away if you know you’ll see a friendly face when you arrive.
When I first started going alone I would plan absolutely everything to the eyeballs. I would know what outfit I was wearing well in advance and the makeup I would wear with it. I picked an outfit that made me feel like a badass, so pick your confidence outfit. If you have to travel to the location, book your train, bus or just figure out your route. I use apps like the national rail live app, I can see when trains are due and on which platform they’re expected, so if you have to transfer between trains, you know where you’re going. Do what you need to, to remove any panicky feelings from the journey. If you have to walk or get a bus, make sure you’ve enough data on you phone. This means you can use google maps to follow the journey so you know when to get off the bus and where you’re walking. Top up if you need to!
Something else to plan – business cards. I know they might seem dated but they’re very handy for swapping with other bloggers, although not necessarily – so don’t panic if you can’t afford them right now. If you do get cards, make sure your blog url, email, twitter, instagram, youtube, all social media links are on there. I’d also really recommend putting your face on their too – it makes it easier for both bloggers and brands to remember who the card belonged to.
Get there early
This is sort of obvious, but not for the reasons you think. Most people aim to get there early so that they’ve time if something goes wrong in their journey. I try to get their early so I can find the location, then wander off and either grab a coffee or a cool drink. I also like to freshen up. I have a tendency to walk quickly, which may bring on a bit of a glow. So I will have a mini deodorant in my bag as well as whatever concealer and lippie I need – you may need a top up! You have a chance to catch your breath, grab and drink and make sure you’ve had a few minutes to sort yourself out. It’ll help enter the room with confidence.
Plan to meet 3 new people
Now that I’ve been to a fair few meet up and events, I’m starting to recognise faces and it’s excellent when you can chat people you already know. However, one of the best things I’ve started doing is to make sure I talk to at least 3 people I don’t know. Don’t worry, everyone is nervous and is often more worried about their own nerves to notice yours, so take a deep breath and say hello. Think about it, when you turn up at an event, aren’t you thinking – What are people going to think of me? Did I wear the right thing? Is my lipstick on my teeth? So chances are people are thinking the same. Put someone else at ease by saying hello and asking their name. I know there might be the odd person that is rude or that won’t chat, brush them off and move on – they are not worth your time. Or if you see they’re nervous rather than rude, smile and see if you can get them chatting – if you are nervous, make an effort to chat. We’re adults and it will do you all power of good to talk and get used to chatting new people.
I have met some epic people at blogger events and meet ups, some of these new people have since become firm friends, I’ve discovered new blogs from them, I’ve been given new opportunities from them and they become another ace I recognise when I attend events! You start feeling popular when you walk in the room and can easily start chatting lots of different people! I find business cards are handy, or ask for their twitter handle – you can follow each other so you don’t lose contact.
If you go somewhere thinking you’re going to have a crappy time, chances are you will. If you go expecting it to be a good time, chances are it will! Now I know there are instances where we go somewhere all positive and it turns to shit, but ya know, if you go being all negative it will show. I have resting bitch face as standard, so I have to make a conscious effort to put a smile on my face. Are you more likely to approach someone that is smiling or is a grumpy bum? Remember to smile.
I now almost prefer going to events on my own, or with just one or two other people – particularly if these people are like me, independent! I like to have the time to myself to talk to the brands I want to and to make those connections. I want the time to myself to meet other bloggers. If I was bringing a non-blogger friend, I would be responsible for them and making sure they were happy and not feeling isolated. This limits what I can do and who I can meet! So the way forward is to remember we’re all in the same boat and we all generally want to meet new people.