A week or so back, Blair asked me on Twitter the following question:-
@paris_b hey, i have a question for you. are we obligated to blog about the events that we attend?
— Blair Tan (@BijinBlair) March 14, 2013
I thought it was an interesting question and one that I asked myself a lot in the early days. Events can be fun places to be, and I know many people do aspire to that. For beauty writers, journalists and editors, its just another day on the job. For bloggers who may hold humdrum desk-bound jobs, it sounds glamorous and lots of fun.
I won’t deny that that in many cases, press events are fun. There is that little thrill of getting a “preview” of something new to come and sometimes, generous hosts will ply you with lots of lovely food and drink. It is also however, to be remembered, work. Like it or not, when we attend these press events, we have to remember what we’re there for – not to snaffle all the food and get drunk on the wine, not for the goodie bags, but for the product or event being launched.
There is no right or wrong answer to Blair’s question. It is ultimately, a question of personal style. If you blog and have or do attend blog related events, I’d love to know your thoughts on this. As for readers (who I think are most important), I’d love to know what you think too – do you want to read about the events?
I told Blair, as I say so now, that whether or not you choose to blog about the event you attended is a matter of personal style on your blog. For some, they like showing the event set up, the food served, the people who attended and what they wore. It could be interesting, I can see that, especially when its presented in an interesting manner.
I don’t because for the most part, it doesn’t fit with the direction I’ve decided to steer my blog to. I prefer to focus on the product that is being launched because that’s what I really want to talk about. Sometimes, I may slip in a photo or two, but its the exception rather than the norm.
The other major reason is that I don’t have the luxury of time very much these days, as the workload seems to have upped itself and I have to look after my ricebowl. Most of my posts are written in advance and scheduled to be posted as the week goes along (which is why often, replies to comments are not on the fly these days – I sometimes don’t see them till days later). So by the time I get around to posting about an event (if I’m minded to do so) its old news and pretty much stale. Most of you weren’t there and I doubt you care if I was standing in my heels for 2 hours while we waited to start a 10 minute presentation 😛 What you probably want to know (I’m guessing anyway) is what’s new?
So that’s what I told Blair and that’s what I’m telling you now. No, to me you don’t have to blog nor are you obligated to blog about the events you attend, unless you are specifically asked to by the organizers, or unless the event is the “product” e.g. a store opening, an event to launch a campaign etc. Then, please do so 🙂
Bloggers: Do you blog about the events you attend? Readers: Do you like/want to read about events?
There is, as I have said, no right or wrong answer. I don’t blog about events, only about the product launched, but it doesn’t mean this is the “proper” way. I know of others who do and it doesn’t make theirs the “proper” way either. Ultimately, its up to you, and what you want to do on your blog, but its interesting to know what everyone else thinks 🙂
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38 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
You are right Paris. We don’t have to blog about the event we attend. I do because I want to let the readers know what product is launched or going to be launched to Malaysia market :). First hand news haha. That’s just me. Like you said every blogger have their own direction and preference. Some mainly blog about events, while I personally prefer if it’s beauty related launches / preview and product reviews :). Other than beauty I don’t do LOL.
Paris B says
I do product news too, not immediately, but I will. Just don’t do the event overview because it doesn’t quite gel for me. No right or wrong way to do anything so long as you think its right for you 😉
As a reader, I would rather read about review of products especially if I am on the look out of say a new moisturiser, serum, lipstick, blush, etc. Beauty events are not really important to me. Like you said, the direction of your blog is more to product reviews and since your blog has been doing so well for so long, I do not see the need to change things 🙂
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing your thoughts as a reader, Victoria 🙂 I don’t plan to change anything (can’t keep up to be honest!) but its nice to know what readers look for and want to see
I dont care which event they attend if they only put photos how it lookes and what food was there. I care even less if there are 10 bloggers posting about the same event. Although if they share tips and trick or swatches- then its interesting.
Paris B says
Over saturation of news can be boring, especially if you follow blogs where bloggers attend the same events. I think someone who can give a twist to their coverage can make it interesting but if its just “Hey look, its me at X event having a great time” then perhaps not
Hanny Daforcena says
I’ve not yet been invited to any beauty events so I can’t really say anything much about the subject. However, I feel like that there is no “proper” way to anything related to blogging at all. We just do what we feel is right, and what works for us, because everyone is different. 😉
Paris B says
Of course there’s no right or wrong way, just our way 🙂 what do you think as a reader though? As a reader I don’t bother reading event posts if that’s all it’s about with no real “news”
I am too intrigued on this subject matter. When I read blogs, I admit, I do feel a pang (more like two pangs sometimes) when I see bloggers attending events, being lavished with food, goodie bags and also the preview of the said event. But at times, I see bloggers do show off and the review of the said event/item is heavily prejudiced just because they were treated so well by the organizing company/brand. So I feel that the true meaning of being a beauty blogger is being somewhat thwarted as they do not give us the true picture but paint a picture akin to the works of Picasso only to find that it is a just a drawing by a child. Thats why I prefer reading yours, at least you don’t mince your words.
Paris B says
Hi Rica, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject 🙂 I think there’s a thin line between sharing ones excitement and showing off, and its a line that some people cross a little too often for my personal comfort. I also don’t feel comfortable when people “review” a skincare product immediately after an event it that’s a story for another day! Thanks for coming by and for your input! 🙂
From a blogger’s point of view I have no idea if you “have to” blog about the event but I believe you are somehow obligated to write about the promoted product(s) in that event, right? For me, there is no problem about reading the events but of course I would like to see the product more than the food (jealous much, haha!!). Though I must say some events are so colorful that I enjoy reading about the seenary as much as the products.
Paris B says
In a manner of speaking, yes there would be an obligation to at least mention the product at some point. That was the point of it after all, the launch of a new product usually. It’s nice knowing your thoughts on this, Casey 🙂
I don’t blog about every event that I attend especially if I didn’t enjoy the event. However, most of the PR companies have an expectations that we have to do it and will send reminders which I get peeved at. Sometimes when they offer to send hampers, I’ll try to manage their expectations and let them know I may or may not blog about it.
Paris B says
You’re right about PR expectations, Susan. If asked, I set out quite clearly that events are something I don’t blog about and so I choose not to accept an event invitation if the focus is on the event. I just can’t commit to blogging about something with a short lifetime, mainly because I don’t have the time. I have come across pushy PR who send products then badger me for a feature but I have a set timeline and timetable I work to so I explain that, and I’d I’m not interested I offer to send the products back. I’d rather do that than have additional stress 😉
From some unpleasant experiences, some PR expect bloggers to publish their event. I couldn’t comprehend why they wanted me to do so because the event is over and I don’t find any point to blog about it. They still insist and some even threaten not to engage my blog in the future. That’s just some bad PR skills which I encountered before.
Sorry, I am just curious about your message above; did you attend the event knowing that the PR agency wants you to write about the event? Or did they only bring that part up after the event?
Paris B says
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I generally try to find out more about the event and expectations, if its a PR or brand I’ve never worked with. If there is a need to feature the events I choose to reject it mainly because I don’t blog about events generally. It’s good to have all cards on the table so no one feels shortchanged 😉
Oh I like this question! When I first started getting event invitations I was definitely so excited that I blogged about all of them. Nowadays however, I’m beginning to realize my time and energy are limited, so I don’t attend as many events anymore. When I do, I don’t blog about all of them unless they are about new products that aren’t yet old news. And even then, I focus on the products instead of the glorious cake or whatever food that was on offer.
I have to admit some events are impressive and quite an experience, but I want to focus on what my readers can take away from such posts. There’s no use showing them the beautiful cupcakes that I got to gobble down, but they might satisfy their curiosity about some new glosses 🙂
Paris B says
I have cut back on attending events too. Work has to take priority 🙂 so for those I do, I choose hose that interest me personally but I don’t talk about the event, only about what new product was launched. But I think it depends on the focus of the blog. A lifestyle blog will have more event features but on a beauty blog, it may not be the most important thing 🙂
I get the feel that only bloggers wants to read such posts. Readers who do not blog don’t really bother much and in fact, some of them are not keen to read them. I remember giving advice to another blogger to establish a balance when blogging stuff like that because it can unwittingly promote envy. As in everything, moderation is a good goal.
Personally, I hate attending events. I rarely attend, unless there’s something that appeals to me. And, I dislike reading about them too. I think they’re boring stuff. :p
Btw, since you’re obviously more prolific than me, and if you have the time and interest, how about tackling this subject about bloggers who take on social media marketing for some of these brands. I’m a bit two-minded about this one and have reservations dealing with bloggers who approach me to promote a brand. It’s like…so weird and IMO, a conflict of interest. I found myself feeling uncomfortable when they ask me for my advertising rates and so forth. It’s one thing to give advice to those who need help but it’s another thing to give info for commercial purpose, if you know what I mean.
Paris B says
I think you’re right, Sesame. Events will likely interest other bloggers who may wonder why they weren’t there 😛 I have cut back on attending events, so I am more discerning and I don’t care for reading about events too.
Thanks for the idea for the post/topic. Personally speaking, I find that there is a bit of a conflict of interest between people who blog in a niche and work in social media for the brands in the same niche. I have seen a few and it bugs me although I can’t quite out my finger on it. When I get approached by another blogger, it feels odd. Do I treat them as a fellow blogger or as a brand representative, especially when they approach me as a blogger? I haven’t been asked for my rates and stats yet, but if I were, I’d be uncomfortable about sharing them too. I’ll think about this one 🙂
I used to blog about the events when I just started out but I quickly grew tired of it. I do think it’s very dependant on the event. When you get an invite for some very exciting previews of your favourite brand you might want to share that. Well that’s what I do sometimes.
So yes, I only share product previews because it does interests readers very much apparently, but that’s about it. I don’t attend every event anymore either, it’s mostly too time consuming for what turns out to be a 10 minute presentation of something that might not interest me.
Paris B says
I know how you feels Teri. Most of us start out thinking its all fun and then it turns into work. Gah! I don’t usually talk about the event but I will talk about some things that happened e.g tips shared, or if I took some nice pictures. It isn’t my focus, but its sometimes nice to add some life to the product 🙂
Thank you for this discussion, because I have so many feelings regarding this topic 😀
I am so sick of posts about product events! Especially when a bunch of bloggers post about the damn same event at the same damn time with the same damn pictures with the same damn circle of bloggers with the same damn reactions and the same damn conclusion that X event was awesome and so were the products! I’m like, goddamn; you people already receive a lot of free products just to advertise for us readers. There’s no need to advertise how lavishly the products were advertised to you and then later advertise the products again via reviews etc. All this meta-advertising makes me sick. I think it is fair that bloggers receive products, but at some point, it is just way too much. Sure, if there’s this particular event you just can’t keep to yourself, then fine. But there has to be a limit, and this blatant advertising just makes bloggers appear less trustworthy.
I am especially wary of bloggers who only blog about products they received for free. But that’s for another day 😀
Paris B says
Hi V, thank you for sharing your view on this 🙂 it’s always interesting to read what readers or other bloggers think about this touchy subject. I know how you feel, because I basically feel the same way. I can tolerate it on a lifestyle blog because I think that’s what they usually blog about anyway -their lives – but maybe not on a review blog. It does create bias and it, as I feared, makes bloggers look like greedy, event grabbing, grubbing people. Sigh…
I don’t blog about events unless the food is particularly awesome 😉 Due to work commitments, I have to turn down quite a number of press / blogger events because they are usually held on weekdays and in the city. And you know my insane schedule, I normally work from morning until night.
I prefer to focus on the products and not where I’ve been or who I’ve seen. I skim past event posts as I don’t find them very interesting. So yeah, continue doing whatever you’re doing 🙂 I enjoy reading your review / foodie / travel type posts more than anything else.
Paris B says
Thanks Lyn 🙂 I read beauty blogs to learn about new products and how they fare. If I wanted to read about events, I’d go to a lifestyle blog 😉 keep up the blogging streak!
Makeup Morsels says
Love these types of posts from you! I’ve actually never thought about this before, because the few times I was invited to events in high school, I had weekend Chinese School LOL, can’t make this stuff up. I think what you said makes sense though, it all really has to do with the tone of your blog and staying consistent to it. I wouldn’t mind reading about events from you though because I feel like you’d make it so interesting, even if it’s coming a little late.
Paris B says
Happy you enjoy these, MM 🙂 I sometimes never know if I’m being too controversial but what the hey, eh? 😉 I can’t believe your Chinese school got in the way of blogging! *gasp* 😉 I think sometimes, its just to do with presentation and blog focus. Sometimes, events can be interesting, if presented in an interesting manner, not just – oh look, I’m here t X event, here’s what they served, here’s the person who made a speech, here’s the product launched, here’s everyone smiling at the camera and oh wow! The product is so nice! – Those, I don’t appreciate 😛 but thanks for the vote of confidence. If I do blog about an event, I will be sure to make it as interesting as I can 🙂
For me, I don’t. Unless the event was really interesting (like if we went to a circus or something to promote a moisturiser. Really, how cool would that be? Brands reading this, please take note :-P), I don’t blog about them. At some point, it becomes too taxing to blog about every single event. If you blog about brand A, you’re obligated to blog about brand B and so on. Plus it becomes a tad show offy to readers. Like Sesame said, only bloggers would be interested in reading about events, not none blogging readers. Keep the event on social media. I think it’s good enough 🙂
Paris B says
Haha circus for a moisturizer? I won’t put it past anyone to come up with that except I’m not sure there are still circuses in existence! 😛 I get what you mean too about being equal to all. So, in order to be equal to all, I don’t blog about all. Equal right? 😉
Excellent question. As a reader, I enjoy seeing (in order) – the product, the food, the flowers/decorations. I’m really interested in the product because that’s what I’ll be able to buy. As a blogger, well…book bloggers living on the wrong side of the country don’t get invited to much. I do attend author events I’m interested in out of my own interest, but I haven’t written about them (nor taken pics – I’d feel a bit awkward, plus the libraries these events are held in can’t match the budget of a big beauty company!)
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Sam. I’m actually intrigued by the different niches of blogging and how diverse the approaches can be. As you said, for a book event, it would likely be less of glitz and glamour unlike something like beauty. Also, I’ve seen write ups for alcohol events and those are seriously extravagant! I guess we know where the money is eh?
I have somehow blog less about event because I want to focus more on product highlight… but then again if the event is interesting enough I might just write it out to share my thoughts 🙂 And I blog when I like it and not obliged too.
Paris B says
yeah an interesting event certainly is worth a mention. I’d definitely blog about an event if I were taken on a cruise…. for example hehe…
I was a pretty active blogger myself some years back (mostly lifestyle and tech). And I tried to write for almost every event I went to. Even if after the event, i found it wasnt something I like (eg: food/movie reviews), I made it rather neutral as I believe tastes of people are different.
Then later, I started working in the PR industry (focusing on social media) where we engage online influencers such as bloggers, twitter-ers, instagrammers such as yourself. Looking at a PR perspective, they have invited you to this event as they believe you can give coverage/exposure/attention to the event/brand/product as you are considered an influential person within your circles. Looking at it from the brand perspective – i throw this event for 30 ppl, paying for products, food, venue, what is the ROI? If there’s no ROI in it, then why bother inviting bloggers in the future? I might as well just invite the media who are paid to attend events and guarenteed coverage.
So my opinion is, yes, you should blog about events you attend. Even if its just a short post with a few photos. I mean, if you had time to attend the event, then I think you should also set time to write about it. Hence if the event is 2 hours, ask yourself if you can set aside 4 hrs (1 additional hr for logistics and another for writing a post). Another suggestion would be, if the event is not a product based (eg: launch of new product) or location specific (eg: launch of new restaurant), then just ask for a press release which u can just post up as an announcement. Or just say you can’t make it this time but you welcome invites to the next one. We understand bloggers are mostly part-time and will say no occasionally.
disclaimer : These opinions are my own and not of any company I work at or have worked at.
Also point to note, im no longer working in that role. Just thought that it’ll be good to see a different perspective on this issue.
Paris B says
Hi there, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this 🙂 I do remember you and your blog from back when there were fewer of us around 🙂 Thanks for sharing the views from the other side of the fence. My views on this are primarily that if you choose to attend the event you should blog about it in the sense of what was being launched – product, service, event – but not necessarily about the event itself and what went on in it unless that is something that you enjoy doing or that fits your style or if the event is the thing that is being covered. If its a lifestyle blog, then I do have a certain expectation that the event itself will be covered, from the set up to who was there. I have less expectations on a specific niche blog like one tailored for beauty reviews or furniture reviews for example. Still, it will come down to style and expectations on both sides of the fence, so it will be definitely useful knowing ahead what is required, and I do try to make it a point to find out what is required of me at a certain event to be sure I can deliver. I personally choose not to cover certain events because it doesn’t go with my presentation and I choose not to do announcement/promotion posts but there are different bloggers with different styles out there who I’m sure, will be able to satisfy the PR/event requirements one way or another 🙂