What NOT to do when inviting bloggers to an event

By | January 2, 2013

hpcn-1

A group of bloggers were discussing last year’s events, what’s good what’s funny what’s bad, and then the conversation turned to what’s the most annoying thing we’ve each encountered in these events. There were so many but some of them kept repeating so  I’ve decided post about those point in hopes that the next time someone decides to throw an event and invite bloggers, they’d take these points into consideration:

1- Sending out an invitation for one only is frowned upon unless seating is limited.  Sending out an invitation specifically for one person to try your restaurant menu up to a maximum of 10 KD only and if you eat more than that you’ll have to pay the excess? Downright cheap and vulgar. Social media are apparently not for everyone and until you can fix your uncle Scrooge’s attitude, you better not send invites to anyone.

2- Given that Instagram usage have boomed this past year, we would appreciate it if you don’t take our pictures and post them without referring to us even if it was your event. Its unethical and very rude. Always add a “By @blogger” if you decide to use our pictures.

3- If you are handling the invites, please do let the event owner know that you’ve invited this and blog and this blog. How do you think it feels, we make the effort to go to the event and introduce ourselves to the person of the event and they greet you back with this big question mark inside a bubble over their head screaming who the hell are you and why are you here, who invited you? We’d look for the nearest crack in the floor to disappear into. It happened before, we desperately wish it won’t keep happening.

4- We know that there can be a lot of people trying to gate crash a private event, we do appreciate it however if you let the person at the door know that this blog/person is coming especially if you’ve sent out email invites only. Taking time of our lives and driving all the way to your event only to be denied access at the door by someone who doesn’t know the difference between an email and a blog is the single most insulting and time-wasting thing you can do.

5- We also know that sometimes you are stranded for space, but it is unacceptable to give us a chair on the side of the event when every other guest has their own table and ask us to sit there just because we are blogs and we are supposed to “cover” the event not be in it. If you want to invite us, treat us with repsect like every other guest you have in the event or we will leave. Period.

6- We, and by we I mean me and the bloggers who discussed this, do our event coverage and posts absolutely free, there for the event giveaways stand for the thank you reward for the upcoming post. Therefore, it’s really unfair when at the end of the event some bloggers get a big lavish giveaway and others get a teeny tiny one just because that blogger is deemed “more successful and more important” than the other attending bloggers. If they are, then why waste time inviting the unimportant ones? The gesture is degrading.

7- If you want to send out physical invites to your event, either send it out to all the bloggers you want to attend or if you can’t afford to, only send email invites to all. It’s not cool to send an actual fancy invite to “important” bloggers and send other “less” important bloggers last-minute email invites only. What ettiquete less statement are you trying to make exactly?

8- If you invite us to a restaurant, please don’t hover over our heads expecting us to take photographs + make small talk + eat + tell you your food is excellent when we are trying to answer you while chewing sonic fast and gulping food so we can talk with an empty mouth. Make an appearance at the start and end of the meal and ask whatever you wanter after. Also, don’t be offended if we say something is not good. We don’t mean it because we are vengeful. If you cannot handle constructive criticism maybe you should not invite people then.

9- Sending out press releases every week demanding they are posted in our blog and then when you have an actual event you don’t invite our blog? Seriously? Don’t send press releases in the first place, they won’t be published.

10- Blogging about events/restaurants/reviews is not done with a click of a mouse. We have to empty the camera’s memory card, choose pictures, edit them, watermark them, upload them into the blog, write a post, re-write it sometimes and check all the boxes in the screen. It’s not easy and certainly not fast. We’d appreciate it if you stop nagging about “when will you post about the event you came to” on all social media platforms in front of the entire world. Its bothersome and childish.

11- Every reader creates a certain look for the blogger behind the screen in their head and almost always the moment they meet them in real life they’d find out the real image of the blogger is different from the image in their head. If you are so superficial as to want bloggers with certain looks to attend your event and you are disappointed at the turnout, at least be polite enough to contain your disappointment until the event is over and next time, ask around for what you want. Better yet, how about you introduce a dress code, a weight limit, and a no-no’s list with your invitation? Save us all the trouble.

12- So you invite a blogger, you like the way they look and you charm them. The invites to  other events you throw are always sent to them and the blogger keeps attending. Then one day the blogger can’t make it to one of your events and BAM the blog is black listed and you don’t invite them anymore. What’s up with that? Sending someone an invite is not the same as signing a binding contract to attend each and everyone of your events or else.

13- Another point to take into consideration is that when a blogger is approached by a rivalling business of yours, it doesn’t mean they are a-  owned by that business and b-automatically an enemy of your brand and therefore should be x-listed. This business politics and rivalry is between you and your competitors and unless that blogger is actually sponsored by that rival business of yours, you shouldn’t punish by x-listing them. You’ll end up looking juvenile and unprofessional.

14- We also don’t understand it when you invite a group of bloggers for an event or tasting, then you have another event and invite half of the first group and ignore the other half, and then a few events later you decide to invite the bloggers you ignored the first time. We understand you might want a variety of bloggers to attend your event but usually when a blogger is not invited back to an event while other bloggers are translates to “your blog post about us sucked big time, you are not good”. Yeah, the drones behind the screen got feelings too!

15- Last, and most importantly, always make sure that most self-respecting blogs will NOT call you up asking for an invitation. At least I will never, ever do it. Nor will any self-respecting blog crash your event/outlet and demand free services or threaten you with a bad review. Period. We are blogs, not the mafia.

Now that’s a load off our chests. We can start 2013 with less baggage on our minds. Dear fellow bloggers, if you have anything you’d like to add to the list, please do share.


15 Comments

anon on January 2, 2013 at 10:30.

If it were anyone else I would have said this list is crap.
You are one of the rare blogs left that give honest opinions and do occasionally provide criticism/negative feedback. That is why you, alone with the other rare ones, are the only blogs I trust and check regularly.

I’m sorry to say this but most bloggers want the freebies, they are paid for their always positive reviews, and do not have opinions. I do not trust them and believe they are an insult to blogging. I wish companies would realize that positive comments from these obviously paid bloggers mean nothing.

I have so much more loyalty and respect for businesses who accept criticism and take it to try to improve. I’ll pay a premium for those, while I boycott those that are obviously trying to just have positive reviews plastered all over the place.

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danderma on January 2, 2013 at 14:38.

I’m glad one of my readers still think I’ve got some integrity left. I rarely get comments that believe in my honesty anymore. For that I thank you.
As for the freebies, well they are fun indeed, but sometimes they come with a price. Interestingly, freebies are no longer enough these days to grant you a post, not anymore.

I do too have respect for professional businesses who recognise constructive criticism as valuable feedback and actually do take it into account. It means they do indeed care about their customers and are willing to evolve to keep things up and running.

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American Girl on January 2, 2013 at 11:05.

If a business invited a blogger to an event and didn’t like the way they looked (and made that evident), I think it’s important that blogger share that information with their readers. I, for one, would absolutely NEVER shop/eat at a business knowing they had treated someone with such disrespect.

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danderma on January 2, 2013 at 14:35.

The good thing its not usually a restaurant or a store that gives you the attitude, its mostly the individual and unprofessional events that do. What can I say, one shouldn’t leave the house without one’s diamond tiara apparently. Would they get a post? Hell no!

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Ahmed Al Musallam on January 2, 2013 at 11:34.

I have not been invited to many events and such..
I have only been invited to two events, the Zain Shojoon Play and the tour before opening the Avenues districts.

So I have not been into most of those situations you mentioned. ;p
BUT even as I just read them and imagined the situation, I got insulted even though I have nothing to do with it. Keep in mind that not all those event organizers know what Social Media is all about. The difference between them and real social media people is that the social media people know what it is for, know its ethics, and know how and when to use it. For those people you mentioned though, all they think about is “free advertising” and mistake us bloggers for a big billboard with their name on it.

It is up for us to teach them what social media is though.
My blog is almost dead compared to you guys, but I was delighted when invited to the Avenues tour for example, and treated as an equal. With all the talking, answering questions, and getting the same package. Also what I liked about them was that they never asked me about when I would do my post or anything.

But I did feel irritated when I did a coverage on blogger’s zain day to atttend Shojoon’s play, and was all welcome.. but then never get invited to any of the events afterwards. For example, my blog talks about technology a lot, gaming too, but was not invited to the Zain 4G Gaming test, which was weird lol.

One point I don’t disagree with you about is the re-invitation thing, sure I was irritated, and felt looked down at when I wasn’t invited back. But if the organizer did not like something they don’t have to invite me back. But I just think there can be a better way that to suddenly find yourself sitting home when the rest of the bloggers all suddenly post about events that you didn’t even know existed. ;p

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danderma on January 2, 2013 at 14:30.

If it makes you feel any better, I wasn’t invited to the Zain gaming thing. As a matter of fact this is the first time I’ve heard about it!
You do need to post more, you have a unique personality and something different to offer. Believe me it will help. As for Zain, I know for a fact the social media team are trying their best to accommodate all blogs into their events. I’m not defending them or anything but I happen to know them personally. Sometimes invitations do go awry especially if they are email ones. Do however make sure that your name is never forgotten, give it a 100% for, say, six months solid and see what difference does it make :)

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Ahmed Al Musallam on January 2, 2013 at 14:56.

Thank you :-)
Will try.
I am thinking of including my hobbies in the blog (Finally.. I’ve always been hesitant lol) will add magic, and my learning process of photography.

Khanshoof 3ad hehe.

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danderma on January 2, 2013 at 21:41.

You should! If you have something unique to share, do share.

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Newq8bride on January 2, 2013 at 12:13.

U are amazing , thanks for the post walah mashkoorah bardatay chabdee

one more point , i was invited once to an event o welbnt elee 3azmtne kilsh ma lagatne wayh !! i was ignored !! o 9ij thag khilge

respect , we are doing that for fun ma neshtghel 3ndhom !!

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danderma on January 2, 2013 at 14:26.

Haw laish ya 7afeth? But I know how you feel I’ve seen this happen before. Once, someone I smiled at in the event won’t even return my smile face to face. When I asked her a question she almost sighed before answering me bel zoor. I’m sorry why are you in a public event again if you don’t want to talk to people?

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Ahmed Al Musallam on January 2, 2013 at 14:18.

Replying to the first comment..

I admit I do love the freebies, I do love to get involved in exclusive things, I’m but a human and I can’t not enjoy that lol.

But I agree with you, if one starts a blog just for that, then the blog would fall and lose its integrity. I have been blogging for around four years now but it was all about what I like, and want to share. Sure I was influenced by other big blogs such as Danderma’s and others, I learn from them.

But I would never give false feedback for any personal gain, whether it was positive or negative. That is not blogging, just sucking up for them to give you more freebies.

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D on January 3, 2013 at 02:16.

I did not want that list to end. Some of the things you mentioned are truly shocking though! I experienced both #9 and #11 with the same company. The person actually made a very vulgar remark about my nationality (non-Kuwaiti) behind my back at an event, and to who? To another blogger, who is a friend, and who told me about it afterwards. And the funny thing is that even after that incident and after they skipped inviting me to most of their events, the same person keeps on sending me press releases until this day. The nerve of some people.

I’d also like to add to the list and talk about: 1. Last-minute email invites. We have lives. When you send an invite for an event allow for at least 2 days in advance. Many companies send invites for an event that is happening the next day. I once got an invite 2 hours before the actual event.. 2 HOURS! I usually apologize for late invites politely but 2 hours?? Had to give that one a piece of my mind!

2. Never, ever, EVER, send an invite in the tone “we have this event and we are giving you the chance of attending, if you would like to attend, send us an email”. You’re actually asking me to request to be invited to an event that I’m supposed to take from my time to attend, take hundreds of pics of, edit them, and post them on my blog, all free of charge, and you can’t even send a respectful invite? You can be Donald Trump himself and you’d still be ignored and blacklisted.

3. companies should really realize this by now: the blogging community in Kuwait isn’t very big, we know each other and we talk, outside events. When you invite one blogger a week before the event and another blogger one day before the event like you’re filling some extra space.. We will know.

This is everything I can think of for now. Great great post Dandi. Keep ‘em comin’ ;)

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danderma on January 3, 2013 at 11:41.

Oh my! Who made that remark about you! That’s quite rude! So what if you are not Kuwaiti? If you invited me because “supposedly” you liked my blog, you shouldn’t care about what I turn out to be even if I was an alien with three heads and a unibrow extending from head one to three. Then again this is what clearly screams “unprofessional”.

I had three more points to add last night, I might go on and add them to the list after all. One of them is that “Bloggers do talk” and we know. We know if you sent that lavish invite two weeks before everyone else, or if you just decided to invite us because you others can’t make it. Its an event, not 7ashoo with a quota of bloggers attending.

Thank you for your points love, and you are most welcome :*

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Jacqui on January 4, 2013 at 00:01.

I remember when we were discussing this days earlier I was thinking of points to add but blame my early-Alzheimers I kept forgetting then remembering the point which our dearest Froyonation mentioned..

The Late Invites. Or rather the invitations that are either sent the day of the of the event or the night before it. We actually have jobs, if we wanted to attend something and it would conflict our working hours we will need notice to plan for it. It’s really rude to think that we will drop everything at the drop of a hat to just come and be your free news source. There should be a minimum time frame limit for these invitations and they should be at least 3 days before it! Otherwise consider that I will not be coming to you because it’s just so rude!

OH ONE OTHER POINT. (Finally I actually remember something!)

*When inviting bloggers or anyone really, and we send an email apologizing or whatever please acknowledge the email, reply back stating hope to see you soon or whatever, just 1 line would be enough to ensure that you actually received that email. Hell sometimes we actually care for the event and would wish to carry a press release even if we didn’t make it there simply because its something we are interested in. So don’t ignore!

*Also, and this is something that annoys me sometimes I come home and find a package and not know who or how it was sent, an email stating that there is a package on its way is more than enough. At least if you don’t get something you will know that it was undelivered, and you were not looked over.

*Companies should not overshare our personal information (their blogger database) without seeking our permission first. Yes events are fun to attend, gifts are fun to receive but this is in the end our privacy and if we give an okay for you to share this information then perfect, but I don’t want XYZ to know where I live or what my phone number is :s

I think that’s enough right? :P

Anywho awesome list and I love #10 who gave you that awesome insight :P Ehem Ehem! :P

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danderma on January 6, 2013 at 09:41.

Precisely. Its not as if we’re lounging around all day everyday waiting for an invitation to arrive so we can fill our lives. I personally won’t be taking time off work to snap a few pictures of your latest prouduct. I also deserve a stress free weekend where I’m not obliged to make nice and spend it in your event. There are more days in the week for that.

I agree with the personal detail thing. Its always creepy to come home and find something sitting there from a total stranger. Another aspect of this is that sometimes I really don’t want to receive such a thing, but now I feel obliged to write about it and thank them or otherwise it would be rude. I’d like to have a say on what I receive and who knocks on my door. A simple “do you mind” is all I ask for. I’ve stopped answering strange numbers on my mobile for quite sometime now.

I don’t mind businesses not acknowledging my apology or RSVP though. I think by us apologizing there is nothing more to be said. They invited, we said we can’t, finito :p

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