A word on sponsorships, self-promotion and brands at PBEVENT

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ProBlogger Event is a great place to network, make new connections and collaborate with other bloggers. As the event has grown we’ve naturally been getting more questions and interest in how to promote yourself and your business. We’d like to offer some guidelines and tips on how to do this in a positive way that doesn’t commercialise everyone’s event experience and change the nature of PBEVENT.

We couldn’t make this event happen without the support of our awesome sponsors. They’re the reason we can keep blogger tickets low and way below cost. Our sponsors add a lot of value to our event and to attendees and according to our surveys each year, you guys love ‘em!

We would like to return their awesomeness by supporting them, and ensuring that un-sponsored activities don’t detract from the focus of our event.

What do we mean by ‘un-sponsored activities’? Well, we really just mean being respectful of our sponsors, speakers and attendees. Here’s some examples that don’t fit with that:

  • Handing out flyers, promotional items, samples or offering services. Officially it’s called ‘suitcasing’ and makes you look like an annoying sales person. Bloggers don’t want to be sold to while they’re trying to connect and network. There are better ways to promote yourself or your business (see below).
  • Bloggers or brands organising events to take advantage of all the bloggers in town and trying to pass it off as an official ProBlogger event – no explanation needed why that’s not cool, right? Ok, maybe it does. Officially it’s called ‘outboarding’ an event. It takes people away from official events and activities that sponsors have paid to support. It’s also letting someone else pick up the tab for conveniently bringing everyone together in one place, without adding any value to the event for the majority of attendees.
  • Using the ProBlogger brand to offer attendees discounts and specials to try and get business without adding any value to the event.
  • Hijacking the official #pbevent hashtag or Facebook group to promote yourself or your sponsor, especially with promotional messaging or offers.
  • If you’d like to interview PBEVENT speakers for your podcast or video, please respect their time and commitments and consider contacting our team to see if it would be appropriate.

So how do I make the most of the opportunity?

ProBlogger Event is about the community and meeting face to face. So be social and network! Start a conversation and get to know people. Focus on relationships first and if it’s appropriate you can sell or pitch later.

We totally get that it’s hard to stand out in the crowd and for people to remember you after the event. Take business cards if you want to, and feel free to give someone you meet a fun badge or small gift – just don’t stand on a corner trying to hand them out to everyone! We also print your twitter handle on your name badge, so start following each other and then follow up after the event.

If you have a small business or sell products or services aimed at bloggers we’re working on some opportunities for you – stay posted. If you’re a brand or agency and want to do something at the event then get in touch about sponsorship opportunities by emailing eventadmin@problogger.net.

Can a brand sponsor a blogger to attend the event?

Some attendees contact brands to help them cover costs of attending the event. Here’s some guidelines on what you can offer them:

Thank them on your blog and social media. You can offer them advertising and editorial on your blog and social platforms and you can use the official event hashtag #pbevent to mention they are sponsoring you to attend. Just don’t use it to promote your sponsor or their messages/offers or infer they are a sponsor of the event. Spamming the official event hashtag or official sponsor hashtags also annoys the audience trying to follow the event content and will have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve for your sponsor.

Wear their brand. You can wear branded clothing or other apparel (bags etc), but don’t try and hand them out for others to wear. A side note to brands – recruiting a whole bunch of bloggers to wear your branded stuff isn’t clever – it’s kind of uncool.

Add them to your Business Cards. As for anyone at the event, handing out flyers or distributing other promotional materials won’t be appreciated. Consider adding your sponsor to one side of your business cards and if people show genuine interest in your sponsor then have a chat about it – word of mouth is powerful!

Host a Private Party. You could offer to host a private party for your sponsor, but not on-site at the event venue without endorsement by PBEVENT organisers. Only official event sponsors can use the ProBlogger Event brand or use the official event hashtag #pbevent in association with the promotion of their event. If your sponsor would like to host a party at the event we would be happy to discuss, please get in touch with us at eventadmin@problogger.net.
We look forward to welcoming you to ProBlogger Training Event 2016 and thank you for helping us to make this a wonderful community for bloggers to learn, network and have fun.

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