While posting on the final London Blogger Meet Up for 2008 led by Rob McIntosh of Wine Conversation, I decided I needed an extra post on the year’s LBMs. They’ve been slickly organised by Andy Bargery, and changed massively throughout the year, I was impressed by this final installment so thought I’d post on them.
The LBMs are described as: “let’s get together to share stories, talk about blog promotion, ads, monetisation, platforms, tips, tricks, headaches and more”. They tend to be more social than networking and with the discussions this week around the PR echo chamber, they offer a welcome mix of interests. It’s been great to meet people writing about everything from burlesque to breakfast, and it’s via the LBMs that I’ve ended up getting to write for Londonist and BitchBuzz. But as a marketer it’s been interesting to see how brands, and their clever agencies, have used the LBMs in different ways to generate goodwill and brand awareness. A few examples:
Berocca Post event LBM review from Andy
What - Hooked into the news agenda about overworked bloggers and sponsored the evening with ‘blogger relief packs’ of vitamins
Results - The news hook was of great interest to the bloggers, so lots of posting, as well as first mover brand kudos for getting involved with LBMs. They shortly after launched a Berocca Blogger Relief Pack microsite. Example post by food blogger Epicurienne
Who - Attendee Chris and his then agency Outside Line
Stella Artois Post event LBM review from Andy
What - Sponsored drinks, other goodies and a ‘describe why you love your local pub competition’ with the chance to win an air ship ride over London
Results - Great interaction on the LBM post, and some nice coverage – they maybe shouldve asked people to post on their own blogs though to enter, rather than on the LBM post. Example post by top London tube blogger Going Underground
Who - Attendee Jason & Edelman
Smirnoff Post event LBM review from Andy
What - Held in Smirnoff’s HQ bar, bespoke cocktails were created based on our blogs – I saw the notes on us, proper love and attention invested!
Results - Impressed bloggers with the level of research, set a bar in terms of creativity and time investment by brands – blogger egos soothed and decent posting. Post by Londonist regular and photo blogger Tiki Chris.
Who - Rax & Splendid
LBM attendees have got used to being charmed by brands for an evening, but as described on my post about the wine tasting event, Rob raised the bar on interaction. Working for a cause rather than a brand, he demanded more of attendees – tweets on the night and posts afterwards. In return there were prizes and also a sense of returning the level of effort – Rob and the vineyards had created posts and videos, and Rob multi-tasked on the night to live blog and keep in touch with them on how the wines were going down.
Thinking about why these vineyards were blogging is the kind of eye-opening conversation it’s cool to have at the LBMs, and I’m looking forward to 2009’s events. Both seeing what/how brands get involved, meeting more cool people, and new presentations, tasks, causes etc from other bloggers. Oh and yes, most sponsors do seem to be alcohol brands, that is a bonus!
Kudos to head honcho of the LBM Andy Bargery.
Me enjoying Rob’s wine. Pic from Tiki Chris.