I took no photos at my own event,
so here's one from the Crafternoon
earlier this year.
Tips For Planning a Meet Up Without Having a Mental Breakdown
I've finally awoken from my post #ScotBlogMeet slumber and figured it was about time I wrote some sort of post about it. If you weren't already aware, #ScotBlogMeet was a charity blogger event that I decided to put together myself a few months ago and it took place at the start of the month. In the end we raised £327.50 for the charity (The Scottish Association for Mental Health) and I was totally blown away by how positive the response was. If you saw me on the day, you would have probably realised quite how stressed out I had been in the run up! Here are a few of the things that I've learned from the experience of planning my own blogger event, which I'll be bearing in mind should I ever do another in the (very distant) future...
Write Everything Down
Seriously - spreadsheets are your best friend. I had hundreds of lists and schedules, all colour coded and in numerous formats. I don't know where I would have been if I didn't have all of this! I kept notes of who was attending, contact details for the contributors for the raffle & goody bags, the timings for the day, what I needed to remember, who to thank afterwards etc, etc. It was chaos, but at least it was semi-organised chaos.
It Isn't Personal
People will say no. Venues will turn you down, brands won't have the budget to contribute, there will be last minute drop outs and people upset that they couldn't make it/weren't invited. You just have to remember that it isn't personal. I felt so bad having to turn people away when my invite list was full, to the point where I decided to give myself a little bit more pressure and open up a few more spaces, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time. I tried to be as fair as possible but this still meant that some people were left unhappy and it sucked.
Not every brand has the budget to provide numerous samples for your goody bags or amazing packages for your raffle, even if they did contribute to this, that and the other event earlier on in the year too. It's frustrating and can be really disheartening but you just need to move on!
Wave Goodbye To an Organised Inbox
When planning #ScotBlogMeet I was sending out a ridiculous amount of emails every day, so my inbox turned in to a bit of a bomb site. Between auto-replies, people who refuse to put all of their questions in one email and having to send out lots of reminders you will be racking up a lot of screen time. I got kind of sucked in to this and wasted hours staring at my inbox, willing it to sort itself out, but it's better to allocate some time just for your event emails and then leave them alone outside of that time. You may also have to send a few novel-esque messages to your attendees to keep them updated - as anyone who attended #ScotBlogMeet can attest to!
Boxes Everywhere (a.k.a cat heaven)
If you have me on Snapchat (which you should... @dougallpants) then you may have seen how much my bedroom resembled a sorting office. It's difficult to keep piles and piles of boxes organised - especially when you don't have all that much space to start out with - so maybe try and make sure that you have somewhere where you can keep them all. When I started packing the goody bags I ended up taking over two rooms of the house just to keep everything sorted... it was a little bit crazy. Luckily I drive a reasonably big car so I was able to fit it all in!
Don't Give Up
I can't gloss over the fact that planning a meet up by myself was probably one of the most stressful experiences of my life, but the relief that you feel when it's over is incredible. I had the best night's sleep I'd had in weeks! At the end of the day there isn't anything that major that can go wrong (as I was advised by Briony from Yelp Glasgow, a.k.a an absolute saviour and @glasgow_food on Twitter) and the attendees probably won't even notice anything that does!
Like I said before, I was totally blown away by the response to the event and I'm so so so glad I did it. If I do it again, I think I'll be asking for some more help, but I think I managed to do an alright job if the blog posts I've been reading are anything to go by - check them out on the #ScotBlogMeet hashtag and see for yourself!