Receptional have now had more of a chance to assess the potential of their recent Blogger Meet Up and I think our findings are worth telling every blogger.
To recap - we ran a very informal event in a London pub for bloggers to come and just... chat. We wanted to see whether people enjoyed the event and whether it should have structure in the future. Whilst we are fully look at our own options moving forward, I suggest any bloggers try to get to the other event meetup at http://www.meetup.com/London-Blog-Club/ on the 2nd of August if anything in this article rings true.
Getting out of the house and taking the opportunity to meet up with other bloggers will significantly increase the value (whatever you define value to be) that you can get out of your blog. In the early days of any industry, the winners tend to gravitate towards each other. A great example was the dawn of the personal computer industry, through the homebrew club. You will find that the movers and shakers there are some of the biggest names in the world these days.
The problem with not getting out of the house, trying to learn your trade through internet forums and trial and error, is that you will not hear people's inner secrets. People on forums like to talk about successes. Stories in pubs make for better conversations when people talk about their screw ups and more unusual moments. This is where you will learn new tricks. This is where you will find like minded friends that really CAN grow into friends.
We had around 20 bloggers turn up to our event and afterwards I asked what the bloggers thought of it.
I asked Paul Paul. who blogs from www.dontreadmyblog.com what he thought about how we could do things better, He said: "You're doing fine and a bit more structure would be good, a short 20/30 min presentation (of value) would be good.
I think that's a great idea. Whilst we gather our own thoughts, the London Bloggers events usually do just that, which is why I'm pushing theirs on the 2nd August.
Sam from www.thewildbore.blogspot.com said: "I enjoyed it, I don't know what would entice me further ... ". Sam then went on to suggest some things that MIGHT entice... but I suspect they should not be repeated here! :)
Patrick Hadfield also said: "Thanks for organising the meetup!" and "I thought the structure worked well - I prefer unorganised events - though I felt the venue structure with its large tables inhibited circulation."
Jo from www.notmoresocks.com said, "I really look forward to the next one!"
I'm glad! He also suggested: "A list of potential attendes, their blogs, a one line bio and what they want to get out of the meetup." which we mostly managed. See here for our first ever list of UK bloggers.