The morning of the event was all a blur to me as we rushed around Metrotown picking up the food and drinks for the event. My duty was to run and pick up 2 giant trays from Sushi Garden. For whatever reason, everyone I passed kept staring at me! What, had nobody ever seen a girl in a dress carrying 2 giant party trays? After purchasing the food, we rushed upstairs to get our venue ready. The venue was a large classroom basically and was a blank slate of tables and chairs. Thank goodness we had help, thanks to Sarah and Jenelle! I'm not sure how we would have gotten the projector, food, decor, registration and gift bag station ready without them. As it was, we had the shocker of our lives when people started arriving 15 minutes early!! Let me tell you, arriving early never happens in Vancouver!
Finally though, everyone was inside, chatting and noshing away on our snacks. With a few (loud) pops of sparking juice bottle corks, the event was officially on. The main part of the afternoon was given to the discussion panel. Everyone on the panel did an amazing job and I think everyone, including myself and the other panelists, all learned something from each other.
Some tidbits from the panel:
- Bloggers: Always be professional and accountable for what you do. If you receive products, review them or at least give a shout-out. Not following up IS noticed by brands and WILL result in you being removed from their list.
- Number of followers isn't everything, but it is an easy metric that brands use to evaluate your blog. However, if you look like you have an engaged, loyal following, then that means more than having 1000s of followers.
- A good rule of thumb for a deadline to post a product review upon receiving the product: 1 month
- Mention the brands you talk about in your posts when you tweet your post on Twitter
- Everyone needs Twitter
- Say "London Drugs", not "available at local drugstores" - this simple mention will get brand's attention
- Brands: don't be afraid to state your expectations to bloggers. And always be open to receiving unfavorable reviews
- Bloggers: don't be afraid to give bad reviews! A bad review is still publicity and smart brands will take it as the feedback that it is
After the panel, guests were free to mingle and fill their goody bags with the items we received from our sponsors, Revlon, Almay, Marcelle, Annabelle and Jukebox Print. As well, our venue sponsor, Metropolis at Metrotown and Lush sponsored our door prizes: a special prize pack from Lush and a $50 gift card to Metropolis at Metrotown!
After all the hard work we had put into the event, I was so grateful for the positive feedback everyone gave. It seems like a unanimous agreement that there will be a second Blog and the (Van)city next year!
Thank you so much to our venue sponsor, Metropolis at Metrotown and our event sponsors, Revlon, Almay, Marcelle, Annabelle and Jukebox Print. Also, a huge thank you to our event panelists, Cynnamon Schreinert, Media Representative for London Drugs and Bard on the Beach; Brandi Halls, Director of Brand Communications at Lush Cosmetics; Sarah Murray of Fashion Capsule PR and Alison of Alison*Elle.
So until next year, I suggest you check out my Must Reads section to find links to all the lovely bloggers who attended and check out all these photos from the event!
Getting free hand massages at the Lush station!
Our panelists! From left to right: Cynnamon, Brandi, Sarah, Alison, me
Amy of Vancouver Eyeshadow Addict
Jenelle of Kitten on the Catwalk
Our massive goody bag station!
All photos taken by Mimi Dejene
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