How to Plan A Memorable Mom Blogger Event...in 7 easy steps

"You're invited to join an exclusive group of bloggers for an all-expenses-paid trip to..."

invitation airplane suitcase

I have received 6 e-mail invitations like that in the past year.

Guess how many events I attended? Zero. But it was not for lack of desire. I have either been pregnant and super sick (1st trimester), pregnant and super big (third trimester), or in that precarious postpartum state where your clothes don't fit and your baby nurses round the clock...for all of them! Perfect timing, right? That's okay. I know there will be more events in the future. I'm secretly hoping for events by Nordstrom, Apple, Home Depot, Lowe's, Google, Sony, and Toyota.

If you've been around the blogosphere for any length of time, you've probably taken note of the various mommy blogger events that big brands and PR agencies put together. Essentially, companies invite a small group of bloggers to their "headquarters" to tell them about their brand and - in essence - to encourage brand loyalty. The participants are not required to blog about anything or tell anyone about it (but, boy do they!).

Events are the way to go when it comes to marketing to moms, in my humble opinion. At an event, you get a mom's undivided attention - an opportunity to share your brand/product and to invite feedback. It's really a brilliant concept.

Disney, Sony, Hallmark, Pampers, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, and T.J. Maxx have all held events. And more and more brands are jumping on-board with this trend (which is very smart).

Here are a few tips for companies that would like to plan an event for mom bloggers:

steph adventures in babywearing1. Pick the right attendees. The best event planners carefully scour the blogosphere for the most influential, personable, and professional bloggers that fit their target audience. They pick individuals who stand out, people they would want to work with on a daily basis. If you need recommendations, just shoot me an e-mail and I will send you a list of 5-15 names of the brightest, most capable, and most fun bloggers that would be right for your brand.

I used a thumbnail of Stephanie Precourt of Adventures in Babywearing for this point because she gets invited to a lot of events...and for good reason! She is accomplished, amicable, and absolutely charming - and she has a loyal following of readers who are swayed by her opinion. That's the kind of mama you want on your team.

baby2. Think about her family/kids. Keep in mind that you are inviting moms and think about how you can make the event accommodating for her family. If you know that she has a nursing babe, invite her to bring the baby along. If you're inviting her to a family-friendly destination, offer to fly out the whole family. If you can't do that, send a special gift home for the mom's kids. These kind of efforts will make any mom's eyes dance and shine. Please her kids - and you'll please her. That's the way it goes.

hotel3. Splurge on accommodations. Pick a nice place with fun amenities - a swimming pool, suite-style rooms, a walking path, etc. If possible, select a pedestrian-friendly location - a hotel where moms can walk right outside their doors and find shops, restaurants, and other fun venues.

leisure4. Leave some opportunities for socializing and "down time." I know you want to maximize your moments with these mom mavens, but she'll appreciate a little down time too - time to mingle with the other bloggers, to blog, to read a book, to go for a swim, etc.

exercise5. Give her an "experience." Information sessions are good (and can be very fun & productive). Interactive experiences are even better. Do you have a food-based company? Let her prepare some recipes with a chef in your test kitchen. Is your company all about fitness? Do fitness assessments or offer an early morning pilates class. Try to offer something for her to DO - and the whole event will be more memorable and "talk-worthy" as a result.

bag6. Give swag. Send her home with her bags full. Although these kind of events are fun, they also take time and take women away from their families. If you're not offering compensation for attendance, it's nice to provide her with some gifts for her participation.

gift to give away7. Give her something to give away. As soon as a mom receives an invitation for an event, she's likely to tell the whole world about it through blogging and twittering and facebooking. How exciting would it be if she could host a contest to give something away to one of her readers after the event? That's extra press for you...and lots of fun for the mom blogger. Try it. You'll like it.

For more tips on reaching mom bloggers, read "Mom 3.0: Marketing WITH Today's Mothers by Leveraging New Media & Technology" by Maria Bailey.

I am also available as a consultant for planning events that are outa-this-world. Contact me at stephanie@metropolitanmama.net.

YOUR TURN: Bloggers - Have you attended any blogger events? If so, what did you think?

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17 comments on “How to Plan A Memorable Mom Blogger Event...in 7 easy steps”

  1. Ive been invited to quite a few events and all of them have been an absolute blast. The PR are awesome to work with and very accommodating.

    What I have noticed about the events I have attended is that I have created more than just a mommy blogger relationship with them. I work with them constantly and love promoting them and sharing about their product. It's more than just a blogging event, your creating relationships that last longer than just a couple of days.

    Well, at least that's how it is for me. But see I am passionate about what I do and I think they see that.

  2. I don't usually pop into the "conversation" on my own blog posts, but something that Steph {Adventures in Babywearing} said made me want jump in!

    She said: "I recommend going 'off list' and doing the homework to invite the right, engaging people for your company." I agree with this 100%.

    I'm going to use Darcie {Such the Spot} as an example. She's not really into the product review and PR scene, BUT (a) she has a very loyal readership, (b) she is engaging and professional and fun in-person, and (c) she has her "hands" in a lot of things, both on and offline. So she would make an excellent choice...even though companies might not think of her right off the bat.

  3. Great tips! I really liked how you included down time in the list.

    Even the most extroverted moms can benefit from unscheduled hours to call home, follow up on business cards, or simply enjoy some quiet time by the pool.

    This breathing room allows them to come home from conferences refreshed!

  4. Wow! You've been invited to 6?!! Good for you.
    Maybe someday I'll be in that realm.

    I'm sorry you haven't been able to attend. Here's hoping a Nordstrom offer comes your way soon! :->

  5. I can honestly say that I have never received those kinds of invitations! Sadly. I did get to go on a travel bloggers tour of Hutchinson, Kansas but I'm not entirely sure that counts since it's only an hour away and I had to drive myself there. It was fun to be put up in a hotel with space-themed carpeting and pool decor, though.

    I'd love to do more blog-related travel. Someday!

  6. In NYC, there are mom blogger events all of the time. (I'm so lucky to live here!) I've also traveled for events (and turned down traveling for others).

    I have 2 kids (5 & 2), so I don't do a whole lot of out of state travel. Family consideration (i.e. letting attendees know as far in advance as possible) is the most important thing to me. Disney (amongst others) is really great at that!

  7. These are excellent tips for PR Reps planning these types of events. Also it is nice for all of us who have never been to these types of events to know what kind of things to look for if we would ever happen to get an offer.

  8. This is a brilliant post! Thank you! I've been invited to a half dozen of these events this summer, and I think they're a fab idea. I wish I could accept all of them. And your input is great.

    I would add, please offer to pay for childcare and misc expenses (cab fare, airport parking, etc) so that it doesn't cost the blogger anything out of pocket. I request this when invited, and some are more accommodating than others. I had a GREAT experience with Fleishman-Hillard at iRobot (and with the Night at the Hyatt campaign) and I'm looking forward to working with RocketXl at the TJMaxx event next week after hearing your endorsement, although I have to say, I was disappointed with how my request for my babysitting expenses was answered. However, it's such a cool trip that I accepted anyway. :-)

  9. I have not attended any big blogger events. I definitely want the chance to experience that though. Sounds like many great opportunities out there.

  10. I would love to attend a Nikon event!

    I've yet to attend, or even be invited (eeek) to any, but if I were to go I'd like a car service too and from the event and anywhere else that I'd need to go.

    I don't know if that is common, but I'd hate to be in a new city and have to worry about taxi's and all that jazz.

    Nell

  11. Great tips! I got the chance to go to one event and it was fantastic! I would love to get invited to more! :) (hint, hint PR reps!)

    and yes, it was great when the company offered to ship all the swag home, especially now that airlines are charging so much for bags, etc.

  12. Oh, I'm flattered. Thank you for mentioning me!

    I'd like to add that when given lots of swag at the events, it's a nice option for the company to offer to ship the items home, as sometimes not everything fits in my suitcase or is too bulky to fly home with!

    Also, it seems like often all the same group of Mom bloggers gets invited to these events- I recommend going "off list" and doing the homework to invite the right, engaging people for your company.

    Great job, Steph!

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