The more popular you become as a blogger (cringe), the more you find your inbox fills up with invites to all of the latest press days and industry events. Some of them are amazing, and some of them not so much. I’ve been blogging for going on three years now and I only started receiving invites in the past year or so, but in that time, I’ve probably been to only three or four events. That’s a pretty small amount, considering during the busy seasons, I probably get invited to that many each week (I’m really not trying to be a braggy twat here, I’m just being truthful with you guys). So why am I not going to more blogging events when it seems every blogger worth their salt is living the life on Snapchat?
Before I begin, I thought I would just mention quickly all of the new homeware bits that I’ve featured here – in a post about not going out, sharing new additions in my home seemed particularly apt. The lovelies at Ocean Loans offered me £50 for a mini-homeware haul, so I headed straight to Primark to get some cheap and cheerful items.
Like every blogger ever, I picked up some new bedsheets in white and grey, plus some pink pillowcases which I grabbed more for flat lays than my actual bed. I fell in love with these copper hangers when I saw them, and I think they were only £3 for a pack of five so they were an absolute steal. Keiran was horrified when I put them in my basket though because he likes all of his hangers to be the same, whereas I literally have so many clothes that this is an unrealistic dream. Add to that a candle and literally the softest and most beautiful throw I’ve ever seen (and only £15!!!), and you have a mini bedroom revamp for only £50!
Now, back to the subject at hand…
Industry events are nearly always held in London (in fact, make that always), so that means I have to organise travel for the day (and even possibly a hotel for overnight stays) in order to get there and back. The more notice I have, the cheaper booking train tickets in advance can be, but the nature of the beast means that you’ll mostly only be told the week before. Then there is the multiple tube trips I have to pay for – not that pricey if it’s just one day’s worth, but if I’m attending multiple events throughout the month, this quickly adds up. Obviously travel expenses aren’t covered as hundreds of people can be invited to the same event, so that’s totally understandable, but when it’s coming out of your own pocket, travel can get pretty pricey. If there’s more than one event in a day then it’s certainly more economical, but as many bloggers will be able to vouch, this level of heavenly organisation rarely falls into place.
I’m not clever enough or successful enough to blog full time, which means I have to hold down a normal 9-5 job to sustain both my love for the Zara TRF section and my bad habit of buying 3000 different flavours of tea that I ultimately shun for English Breakfast. I was a student for four years and worked every summer in-between, and now I’m in marketing full time, I can hardly swan off at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon to drink Prosecco at the latest blow dry bar. A girl gotta go to work! I know lots of other bloggers who balance work and blogging and it’s not easy, requiring the organisational skills of a God just to keep everything afloat. Weekends are dedicated to shooting, editing and scheduling, and any free time after that is reserved for doing absolutely fuck all (I love to nap and I don’t get to nap enough). So, in short, reason two is that I’m too bloody busy.
I feel like I’m pretty fucking socially awkward, so the idea of going to blogging events alone in a room full of strangers that probably know each other fills me with enough anxiety to bin the idea altogether. A lot of gals and guys have go-to blogging friends they they hook up with for every event, but since I never go to any, this obviously doesn’t fall into place for me. I know, I know, this could easily be solved by just turning up to one and reaching out, but this girl is caught in a vicious circle. Sometimes I get asked to take part in campaigns alongside other bloggers, and I automatically refuse out of fear that I won’t fit in or the other girls will already be best buds. It sounds silly, but I feel like I don’t fit in much in the blogging world, and blogging events are like the literal embodiment of everything that I don’t fit in with. Pit this against a day spent with my nearest and dearest, and it’s a no brainer to which one always wins. ***sob story over***
And sometimes they are – it’s just a case of trying to decide beforehand which category any particular event is going to fall into. I’ve been to events where I’ve had amazing experiences and amazing food with some amazing girls, but I’ve also been to events where I’ve been invited to create content (so I’ve been working, but for free) and said content has never seen the light of day and I’ve never heard from the company again. It really can be hit or miss, but when you’re shelling out your own money on travel and having to take time off work, you literally can’t afford to waste your time. Unless an unbelievable opportunity comes along, I tend to err on the side of caution (but this also means I miss out on a lot, so don’t necessarily follow my lead on this one!).
Do you enjoy seeing the behind the scenes of press days and blogging events? I often feel like not going to events invalidates me as a blogger and makes me seem almost less professional, but even I know that’s setting up an impossible standard to live by. What do you guys think? If you’re a blogger, what are your views on attending events? And if you’re not, how much do you enjoy seeing them? Let me know in the comments down below, or drop me a line on Twitter or Instagram (@chloeplumstead)!