Influencer Events: Are They Worth It?

I know how lucky I am to live in a city where influencer marketing is booming. But sometimes, it comes down to picking and choosing what’s worth it.

Today I’m taking a page from my gals Alicia and Laura Leighs books and writing about influencer events. I often get asked by people who aren’t influencers about the cool events I get to go to (and most likely able to bring a +1). Since these two are doing this thang full time, I thought I could offer a different perspective since I work full time.

On average, I probably get 3-4 event invites a day in my inbox. I’m not saying that to brag either, I’m just saying it to give context. There’s A LOT I need to sift through on a daily and weekly basis. Here’s what I think about when RSVP’ing to influencer events.

Does it fit into my schedule?

Since I still work that traditional 9-to-5 job, this is usually the biggest deciding factor. A lot of events I’m invited to are in the middle of the morning or late afternoon. Unfortunately, I just can’t come into work late or leave early, so this is an easy way for me to weed through events. On the flip side, I do miss a lot of really great opportunities because of the whole traditional job thing. It definitely is a huge downside to having both of these jobs.

How does this benefit me?

Going back to the whole 9-to-5 thing, I really need to make sure this event is going to be worth my time. I know JUST how hard these PR/Marketing teams work to put on an amazing event for their brand and/or client. But at the end of the day, I need to do what’s best for me, my business, my schedule, and the limit time I have to work with.

There are a few questions I ask myself when I get that invite in my inbox:

  • Is it a brand I absolutely love and adore?
  • Is it a new to me brand that I want to know more about?
  • Are my influencer friends going?
  • Will it be a good networking opportunity?

Oh and then there’s another factor that comes into play…

Is it paid or not?

This part is a bit difficult for me to explain because I don’t want you to think I ONLY go to events if I’m being paid.

I look at it this way: My time is WORTH the money I get paid to go to events. Since I don’t have much time to dedicate to going to events, being paid is a way of validating that. When I’m being paid, I know I’m contracted to create awesome content for this brand ALL while being able to network.

Typically, if I’m not getting paid for events, I’ll make sure there’s no minimum post obligation. While posting at events is pretty natural and organic, I need to make sure I’m not being taken advantage of. Sure, events are typically awesome, but free content is not how I run my business. Yes, I get to go to cool events, but it’s essentially taking on an unpaid project.

Oh and then there’s another thing I need to thing about…

Will it lead to a collaboration? A connection?

Another way to look at events is to think about what the future could hold if you attend events and network. I’ve walked away from events feeling really good about what the future will hold in terms of working together more. It’s also so great to have these amazing connections in New York City. You never know what will come from attending an event – you might meet another influencer that you IMMEDIATELY hit it off with. Or you might run into one of the PR team members, keep in contact with them, and end up being first on their list for a paid collaboration!

While I know it is SO amazing to be invited to events by brands, it can sometimes be super overwhelming to plan accordingly given my schedule. I wrote this post to give some insight on why it’s important to weigh all of your options when thinking about attending an event. It’s important to realize you CAN say no if it’s too much for your schedule, and won’t directly help your brand.

photos by allie provost

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