Well, it’s taken a wee while to post about this, but here we go! A couple of weeks ago we were invited to our first blogger event thanks to the lovely Nicola over at Magic’s in the Make Up. The evening was hosted by the Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards, with a short introduction by the lovely ladies of INAA, who created the awards. INAA is an online reservations portal, where you can book hair and beauty appointments, and one of their objectives is to encourage people into salons.
While neither of us fall into the beauty blogger category, the motive behind the event still struck a chord with us. The mission of INAA is to encourage women back into the salons, to treat themselves to a quality experience over a quick-fix DIY solution. As budding publishers, we’re oddly facing the same challenge. With the rise of self-publishing and online book-shopping, the publishing industry is faced with the task of drawing authors and readers back into bookshops and back to publishing houses where the quality of content is safeguarded and valued. One of the most popular stalls at this year’s London Book Fair was for the campaign ‘Books Are My Bag’, designed to promote books and bookshops. Like INAA, who value experience over economy, many in the publishing industry are dedicated to the experience of the book. Not as a cheap and disposable item, but as an art object, something to be cherished and enjoyed.
Right, time to get down from our soap box!
Being our first blogger event, we weren’t sure what to expect. The night however, did not disappoint. It was held at Apartment 29 in Glasgow: a gorgeous, impressive venue. We were treated to gorgeous long vodkas and canapés, before being whisked through to another reception room where GHD, Bumble & Bumble, Bare Minerals and Lauren’s Way all had representatives on hand. Lauren Goodger herself gave a brief speech and was around to present a brand-new pair of GHDs to one lucky blogger (neither of us, unfortunately).
Clare had the chance to try a new Bare Minerals lip colour – you can see the photo here, tweeted by AJC PR. (Incidentally, everyone we met, from AJC Consultants and INAA, was really lovely.) The event was a great chance to not only to discover new products but to discover new bloggers. As relatively new bloggers it was great to get a better perspective of the Scottish blogging scene. We even met someone who had been blogging for less time than we had. Who knew there was so many of us?!
The night really emphasised the importance of the blogging community as a marketing tool. Many industries underestimate the marketing power of a popular blogger. They reach a specific, and often dedicated audience who they then interact with on a far more personal level than, say, a magazine columnist. Blogs allow readers to ask direct questions and to establish a connection with the people they are reading. They also operate without guidelines and generally write in an open and honest way with no agenda other than the desire to communicate their feelings and beliefs, and it is this honesty which makes their opinions so effective.