Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Five tips in organizing company meet-the-bloggers event

Last August, I got the chance to attend Belo Medical Group's first bloggers meet-up. It was an interesting event for me due to the following:
  • I am intrigued and would like to get a glimpse of owner Dr. Vicky Belo.
    I have high respect for entrepreneurs who thrive and survive tough times. Dr. Belo's experience and struggle with her appearance and how it affected her life led to the successful business she has today.

    Her being entrepreneurial and modern in marketing approaches resulted to intrigues and challenges in the circle she is in. Not to mention some of the tangles she had with celebrities. Surely, this woman is learning and getting better in every trial.

    The showbiz side of the event put more color to the meet-up as we get to see first hand the affection both Dr. Belo and Dr. Hayden Kho Jr. have for each other.

  • Whenever there are talks with friends on shaping up, getting services from entities like Belo gets mentioned as one of the many alternatives. Knowing what's new sparked my curiosity.

    Dr. Kho presented the various treatments available, the new ones, and the experience they had dealing with competitors who benefit from the researches they made beforehand. This is also the reason why their campaigns now no longer mention the machine used.

    Also, medical tourism is booming and Belo Medical Group is one of the companies checked out by those interested in getting treatment.

  • Catch up with blogger friends.
    You'll never know who will be there. It is also a great opportunity to reach out.
Although I don't attend corporate events as a blogger that often, there are many things that happened there companies can learn from when organizing their own. This includes:
  1. Let a blogger invite another blogger
    I noticed that bloggers who initiate invite to peers are more than welcome especially if the person is known to be warm and sincere with their dealings.

    Companies should always remember that most bloggers attend events on their own free will. They may or may not write what they see, hear, or experience especially if it is not something new for them or relevant to their audience. However, the information they'll learn may be of value in the future.

  2. Importance to the event is further shown by the person who speaks to the bloggers at the event.
    Having Dr. Belo and Dr. Kho talk at the event made me feel that those of us in the audience are important. Oftentimes, meet-up with top owners are only done at media events but this one was different. It was also informal and we get to see them in their most relaxed mode.

  3. Make it experiential
    More than just talk, it is important to have the bloggers try the product or service out themselves.

  4. Be social, Internet, and camera-ready
    Bloggers, in my observation, are people who love to document events. Expect a lot of videos and photos to be taken. Those who are shy will sooner or later overcome it as bloggers tend to warm up and express interest to meet new peers in the blogosphere.

    So it is important for blogging event organizers to provide Internet access, allow time for bloggers to socialize as they are there not only there for the event itself but equally to catch up with each other.

  5. Set expectations for the future
    What was most unexpected at that event, after all the product and services glimpse, is their announcement of an upcoming corporate social responsibility activity where they want bloggers to get involved in disseminating and possibly refer those who can benefit from it.

    So rather than a one time event where you just get to try, see, or hear something, it created an impression that there will be follow-up activities where those who attended can take part. The company was also able to show a side of itself that is beyond the traditional product/service sales pitch.