Tell us….how do you prepare?

Time flies when you are having fun, and it flies even faster in Second Life, or so it feels! After the busy holidays it is always nice to have some quiet times to return to the normal, daily business of blogging and taking pictures, wether it is for home and decor, art or fashion.

Around this time of year the big annual events are coming in sight, besides the monthly ones, such as the Skin Fair, Hair Faire, Shoetopia and the Fantasy Faire (to name a few, I am sure there are more!).

 

My question to you is, dear bloggers and experts, how do you prepare for those big events? Do you save up Linden Dollars and make room in your inventory? Do you keep track of the WIP’s (work in progress) announcements from designers, so you can add them to your wish-list? Are you scouting in advance for those perfect locations to do your photo-shoots for when the time has come? Do you look for maps and figure out how to quickly do your shopping trip? Do you roam an event in a specific order, clockwise or not? We all have our ways, so…..

 

Tell us, in the comments or in a blogpost on your own blog (and please link it in the comments!):
How you prepare and what is your advice for your fellow bloggers, new or experienced?

I am looking forward to your tips and tricks! Happy shopping and blogging!

Exclusive for  The Darkness Monthly Event March

The Darkness Monthly Event Exclusive by AlmaGris Bouvier on Flickr

 

 

Image credits:
Banner pic by myself, Golden Delta sim at the Fantasy Faire 2016
The other images are all submitted to our Flickr group and have permission set to sharing.

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22 Comments on “Tell us….how do you prepare?

  1. Now this is just me personally but when events come up that I KNOW I will shop a ton at (Skin Fair/Hair Fair/Uber, etc) I make a folder in my Clothing folder called “Events” and in that folder I make a subfolder with name of said event ex. Events-Skin Fair-(new folder in that called 2017 in there I put demos. Going to Uber? Put a folder called “Uber in your Events folder and in there subfolder with March/2017 etc and that way, when you blog what you are going to keep- you can refer back to the event right down to the month and year and you wont be struggling with “Ohh I got this at some event last year” when it was just a month ago..lol It may sound like a lot but it really does help and I will send a texture showing how mine is setup through the group if anyone wants..xo

    • Thank you for sharing your way of keeping your inventory organised! (I wish I was that organised when I go shopping!). And yes it is always a challenge to remember where and when you bought that awesome pair of shoes, right?

      • You are so welcome, sweetheart! Bloggers all started somewhere and we all can help one another… xox… Thank you for all you do and share as well!

  2. Well I am going to mess up the “curve” for sure, but sometimes I feel feisty.

    I don’t prepare at all. And I also shop VERY LITTLE.

    I have so many great things coming my way (almost ten years of blog posts you understand) that I delete about three quarters of things that I do like and do blog! OMG? Yep, she does.

    Even when I was a newish blogger I mostly went to the events to report on “the event”. It was never about shopping. It was about showing off new designers that I admired — oftentimes taking photos of their shop as I didn’t get a lot of review copies the first few years — they were fairly non-existent back then.

    * * * * * * * * * *
    I kinda want to say something else here now that I am wandering down memory lane, and it might be something worth discussing in the future …

    As a designer, I and a TON of other designers have noted the absence of “follow through” from the bloggers — these in the events groups. They just aren’t blogging. Not everyone of course, but in the last year the number of blog posts have decreased tremendously (this in the seven venues I have been in and watching at least — all on Seraphim so not “Sally’s Fleamarket for July” type of things).

    Event coordinators and owners are trying to get “better bloggers” but not finding any to get (apparently ^^). Again, I am not lumping everyone in this basket; I am adamantly against that and hence steer clear of blogger groups and managers for that very reason. But blogging — at least from the CREATOR perspective — has been going downhill for the last year.

    I unofficially but with owner consent blog the events I am in; my posts often outnumber the official bloggers. This is NOT good.

    IF the whole point of being in SL BLogger Support is to get into venues early for shopping (and that has been mentioned officially a few times) then things really need to change. I notice more and more creators NOT giving out blogger packs in events — and indeed, I am in that group in most of the events I take part. Designers get tired of giving away things with no return — some LOL more than others as I can attest from the not so nice comments of some fellow creators.

    So, prepare and have fun and shop —-

    But for ALSO blog the event!!!!!

    That IS part of the process.

    • I love this response! I think that is what I love most about blogging- the different views that some bloggers take when they hit the ground running! Sadly, I have noticed that a lot of bloggers have dropped off and that bothers me a lot especially when several I was following just up and disappeared! Event Coordinators and Designers do the work so I do feel that we need to repay the trust and blog the event they are participating in.

  3. I have to agree with Chic. As a designer taking part in events regularly, I find some bloggers tend to be VERY selective in what they blog in events, focusing on fashion and on items from particular stores. Some are conscientious and try to blog a mixture of fashion and home and garden fairly. Now my preference is to just send our blogger packs to our own store group of bloggers, who do a fantastic job and regularly include our items in their blog posts.

  4. Thanks for the comments and input sofar! I do feel I need to explain a bit more, as my blogpost was not specifically aimed at or for bloggers who get packs and are ‘official’ bloggers for a brand/designer – excuse my lack of mentioning that. (that is probably due to the fact I do not blog fashion and/or items). I was perhaps somewhat naive in asking for tips on ‘how to shop’, as I assumed -wrongly in most cases I understand – that you go to an event to find cool stuff. And blog about it.
    I, for one, go to events on the last days, to…well, shop. I do not get (nor want) free stuff, as I am an ‘independant’ blogger and spend money on stuff that I like. And I may blog or mention the item on flickr, but maybe I do not. Which is my own decision, in the end I am a consumer who spends money, blogging it or not.

    I do get the point and most certainly the frustration designers experience. Blogging has, and I do not mean to generalise – changed, specially when it comes to fashion blogging.
    I know some only apply to our group for the previews and the hopefully free stuff that may happen.

    I cringe when I have to tell someone that applications are closed temporarily (we do not add members when a preview of an event is announced) and their comment is ‘ so now I cannot blog about skin/hair/gacha- event’!! YES YOU CAN!
    You can always, ALWAYS blog about an event and the items.
    You do not need previews or free stuff for it. You do not need to be a designated blogger for a brand to blog about it.

    I do appreciate the previews that are given to us, as a group, as I know the majority of our members uses them for lag-free, actual, shopping. It would be courteous indeed, to blog about it as well. As an appreciation.
    When you shop, when an event is open for the public (after the preview) and you spend your money on the things you like – by all means, blog it too :).

    Anyway, sorry for the rant-like comment, I hope I made it a bit clear what my post initially was about. Discussion is good, so please don’t let me keep you from it ❀ !

    Happy blogging!

    PS: for the record, you will not see me often at preview openings. And when I do, it is to see how many of our members show up and what the event is about. Occasionally I may buy stuff during preview, but I usually come back later to shop for myself when the masses have been there and all is quiet :p

    • “Blogging has, and I do not mean to generalise – changed, specially when it comes to fashion blogging” – I’d love to see you develop that point. (Maybe you have, already, in another post, and I have missed it?)

      • Hi Ricco, thank you for the question! I’ve thought about it, and actually I think I need to generalise, as in: blogging has changed over time. This is, however, not a bad thing! It is how it goes, for RL and SL blogging. As in: 10 years ago – or even before that, a (web)log was a journal in which one wrote experiences or reviews. Text and the occasional image.
        Then came Social Media, and visual content became more important, images were needed to get attention and keep readers coming back.
        For SL Blogging this was no difference, over the years we’ve seen (fashion) blogs evolve/change from actual written/textual reviews with opinions and motivation on why said blogger loved or did not love the items, to picture-posts only.
        In a lot of cases the only text other than a list of credits is the title of the post. And even that, the title, is now ever so often reduced to either mysterious quotes that often make me think I am missing the secret message (as no explanation in the article whatsoever) or just a ‘LOTD #456″.
        I am not saying this is wrong, those posts are apparently still attractive and get views.

        Another thing is of course the arrival of Social Media, to either complement a blog or to in some cases taking over the whole ‘blogging’ – hence we at SL Blogger Support consider an SL Facebook Page with posts that have credits and text and Flickr(with text and credits) also: blogs. It would be arrogant to dismiss Social Media and I am convinced the term ‘blog’ is no longer exclusively for platforms as WP, Blogger, Tumblr etc. (though Tumblr is more a mix of a webblog and social media combined).
        I have had the discussions on why Flickr is or is not a blog, but in my view I do not see a difference between a well made photo on Flickr with a full description and credits and a blogpost named #2134 and a list with credits.

        In both RL and SL the next thing is coming, or is actually already here: vlogging. First pictures took over from text, now videos are taking over from pictures.
        As a blogger/vlogger you have many options, and so does the reader/viewer. While I do enjoy the occasional vlog – I prefer written articles, with pics, and preferably with actual text/opinions/reviews. But that is me and I am aware this is a personal preference.

        Hope I made sense!

  5. Hi ya being a new blogger! I really didn’t have a game plan for skin fair! This was my first major event. I did have a limited budget thus it limits meh to what I can afford and get! I had about 5-6k to drop total. Though I did hit up one of my favorite creators! and found few items from creators I never heard or seen from before! That I am really excited to blog! I would love to have a limitless budget that allowed meh to partake in a bit of everything. Thought sadly that not the case so I do have to pick in choose!

    To the Designers
    Being new only 7-8 months old it can be extremely hard to get into the blogging event blogging groups due to requirements or they just hadn’t been open! Though did recently apply to a event and am waiting to here back!. I am not the type thought that would ask for freebie just because I have early access. I have limited my self to place I have applied for sponsorship from. I ask my self one thing! Can I do the brand justice! do I feel the brand is something I can represent properly. When the answer is yes I apply! Accepting a sponsor to me isn’t about freebies its about making a commitment. Then honoring that commitment! The designers trusting me to do a proper job of showing there items off making them desirable. To those who look at my flicker and read my reviews and blogs!. I really appreciate the early access SL bloggers gives meh but with limited budget in SL and no SL income. I do have to be selective! I know I have pushed my blog hard and try to blog items I do get from early access! I recently hit two big milestones for meh as a blogger! over 1k views on flicker on a photo in under 24hrs and consistent 25+ likes in the same time frame! I hope thought to continue to grow. I really enjoy what I do and will I will continue to do it for as long as I can

  6. “You can always, ALWAYS blog about an event and the items.
    You do not need previews or free stuff for it. You do not need to be a designated blogger for a brand to blog about it.”

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!

    *****************************************************************
    I also want to be clear about my personal blogging preferences.

    I don’t do blogger groups because way too many times “I” got yelled out (in mass but still yelled at) for things I had not done. If I blog for any designer that has a group I am not “part” of that group (as understood from the designer — mostly because I was often there WAY before the group came into being *wink*).

    I never sign up to blog an event if the rules include something like “you must blog everything”. Honestly I am sure that every blogger gets things that are SO not their style; I don’t make promises I will not keep. I do try to blog as many things as I can (I blog daily most of the time) and show a cross section of both “my designer’s” and “event designer’s” work.

    *Also, for the bloggers out there, blogging events well is one of the best ways to become a “personal” blogger for brands.*

    Think about it.

    We ALL blog differently, for various reasons and in numerous styles. For those that never accept review copies? Hey, do your thing — but still it would be only fair to blog an event now and then where you got early access. The folks that ARE on the roles of blogger groups, event or brand — “do you job” and follow what you agreed to do. Not following through taints us all.

    The stories running around among the designers (this mostly for events but sometimes personal groups too) are dire. If things keep going as they are, it won’t be long until there will be nothing to blog UNLESS you buy it.

    Let’s be fair. Let’s be equitable.

  7. I might be mistaken once again I am really new but Chicaeon wouldn’t this boil down to event managers and blog managers needing to do a better job of screening people? The designers it sounds like aren’t really focusing there frustrations on the correct people! Perhaps they need to focus more on these events!

    The first thing I ask myself if I was a designer is! Why isn’t my items being previewed and why aren’t they being blogged. I go look through my items I go thought the flicker! I contact the event coordinator and I contact there blog manger! I expect answers and I want to talk! I would look to see if perhaps my items just don’t fit the theme of the event! example! We<3RP vs Uber there two different events They really cater to different crowds. We<3RP is exactly that. The stuff I expect to be there will follow a fantasy theme of some sort where Uber I expect more urban and fashionable clothing!.

    That is not the case then the next thing looking at is why aren't the bloggers picking up my items! I might request that the Event manager/blog manager for the event contact people get me some feedback on why there not blogging my items! Why are things not showing up.

    Perhaps it's not there style that falls back on to who ever set up the blogging team. There needs to be balance! There needs to be people who enjoy fantasy flare and can make it happen regardless of what they wear, There need to be people who can make furniture look amazing and houses look spectacular! Then there needs to be people who do just every day run of the mill photos that don't have fantasy in them! Those photos have to look amazing also!

    To me this almost sounds like a balance issue if a certain store isn't getting coverage the answer shouldn't be! The bloggers are at fault the end! It should be why is this store not getting coverage whats happening. Are the bloggers doing their jobs! Are they blogging the event and doing so within the commitment! Perhaps there focusing on other stores! Perhaps simple note card explaining are saying designer XYZ didn't get much coverage last round we love to see the love spread out! This could easily be a issue where the bloggers are doing as they were asked just that you know a certain store isn't being covered properly by the blogger team.

    Then in perhaps a worse case scenario perhaps changing up groups a bit more often!

    I want to point out that I am not not saying it's not the bloggers at fault! It could very easily be the bloggers at fault! Thought most blogging applications are extremely decisive about what they're looking for. They also make it clear that if you don't follow through then you will be removed no hard feelings no if and are buts! Honestly if i am not doing my job living up to expectations will then. I need to move on thought that falls back on the blog manager/event coordinator to make sure that's happening.

    I am looking at this just from a owner/manager point of view! I understand totally that creators are swamped as is. The number of events there are in sl and creating for them and trying to keep enough lindens coming in to continue to exist on is not easy task! I do feel for them! I know being a designer/creator in SL has to be extremely challenging but this really to me isn't just a bloggers not doing there job issue it's far more complex than that.

    • @ purrfectcorner

      I guess I wasn’t as clear as I could have been about the bloggers not blogging. I wasn’t talking about “my” stuff not being featured, although that suffered over the Summer and into Fall and now for the most part I just opt out of blogger boxes.

      But as a long time blogger (almost ten years) I watch carefully what is happening — not only in the venues that I am in but in ones I am not. And in general (again some folks are doing very good jobs) bloggers just don’t seem to be blogging. There could be plenty of reasons for this, but I see a lot of notes from venue folks AND even from designers that I blog for writing to the group stating official bloggers are not blogging.

      I have been in some events where — when I started at them a year ago — bloggers were blogging up a storm; not just my stuff but all sorts of things. Some posts were great, some not so great, but at least they weretaking photos and mentioning stores. Now, when I look at some of the Flickr groups — which formerly were sprinkled liberally with blogger photos — there is very little there. Vendor photos from the creators, photos that have nothing to do with the venues (yes, that is definitely the coordinators fault and it drives me mad sometimes LOL) and my not really official posts.

      **********************

      Yes, things were VERY different in the olden days. There were few “blogger packages” sent out. There were NO “blogger corrals” (my term for the large blogger groups with lots of rules and forms and agendas). The folks that were blogging either bought their own items of featured free stuff or — OMG, actual NEWS! LOL. I remember doing a whole series of free clothes in exotic locales with Windlight settings you could download (those are not part of most third party viewers). We were CREATIVE since nothing was just dropped on our doorsteps.

      But times change and we are where we are. As many of the old time bloggers will attest, it was more FUN back then. There was a sense of adventure, of finding a new creator no one new about and featuring their store, of actually PICKING UP blogger boxes at events (meaning that you had to wander the many sims, see the displays and THEN get the “free stuff” — something I am very much in favor of).

      I am pretty sure that most of the venue owner-coordinators know there is a problem. I know for sure that some creators have complained often and loudly about the absence of current coverage. Honestly? I understand why H and G (home and garden) doesn’t get much press. I don’t have an issue with that OR with the lack of blogging of my releases these last few months (I should note that my sales are WAY up so the blogging has nothing to do with the popularity of the items I am making πŸ˜€ — or at least I don’t see a correlation). I do however have a problem with the OVERALL lack of blogging. The venue folks kick out bloggers all the time (this from notices to the general group) and replace with others — but I haven’t seen any improvement since last Spring and that pretty much makes it a year.

      I am not worried about myself, either as a creator or a blogger. I have been doing both almost since I came out of the pod. What I AM worried about is the state of blogging in general.

      • I’m very clear whenever I sign up to blog for a particular designer or event that my SL time is limited and that sometimes health issues may keep me from blogging as much as bloggers who turn out a bunch of posts that are singular pictures with a credit list. However, many designers choose to keep me on their lists because I write long posts and weave stories around their designs. No, I am not a *prolific* blogger. But I am a *good* one. πŸ™‚

  8. “Occasionally I may buy stuff during preview, but I usually come back later to shop for myself when the masses have been there and all is quiet” yes I tend to only review something I have an option about, if I cam around the event and I don’t see anything that I feel interested in then I won’t blog about it, sometimes I will buy an item if it really catches my eye but say that I will often blog about the event its self as a whole before and after etc, and sometimes the people that are attending. I’ve been pushing out 3/4 posts a week – lately tho I’ve not been doing so well on pictures for styles etc and I ‘ve noticed that people seem to be following me more on FB than on my blog of late. I’ve also noticed that there seem to be some people that go to theses preview that doesn’t blog and I understand that it’s hard to police that, I mean they don’t even advertise that they have a blog on their profiles etc, when I joined this group I never expected to be treated like press etc – which is amazing bonus and has really helped me out. I was on of theses people sitting outside of the sim area and cam-ming in before or writing reviews on demos/ free gifts.

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that only people that do amazing pictures can be allowed to blog, it’s not all about the pictures, yes pictures help a great deal, but if the review is really helpful, ii know personally i would like to see that product myself in person anyway if I was interested in it, a review about the style, texture, cut, size, etc etc.. might tell you a lot more than some photo shot picture. we also have to give people a chance to improve, a chance to develop, maybe the solution is to let people pick a number of major events at the start of the season on the mouth, and just have a guest list of press/bloggers for each event. I don’t know if this would work its just an idea. though I don’t go to every event I haven’t been to the Swank event yet, cause I’m not really interested in it- tho I know people in the group that have gone to the event even if there not attending to blog about it, just to see it there where any freebies/ or for the shopping.
    (sorry if this doesn’t make a lot of sense, maybe I shouldn’t be commenting today, as my body is full of cold, please excuse me)

    • p.s. I applied to join this group, for the fact of the support that was on offer, I thought it would useful to be able to learn how to blog better etc And so far so good. πŸ™‚ I love the fact that we have an opportunity to blog some of they best events in SL, but it is disappointing to see that some people take advantage of that opportunity.

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  11. Organizationally, I used EVENTS (date) Name Of Event to keep track of items I buy, with two exclamation points in front of events I am officially blogging for in order to keep the folder near the top. Inside the folder, if I have enough stuff, I organize by type of item. For example, I blog Genre and we get a lot of stuff, so I have folders for hair, clothing, accessories, shoes, poses, and world items. This makes it easy to construct outfits, and since I remove items from the folder as blogposts go up, I get a quick and easy look at what I haven’t covered yet if I’m trying to be very thorough or have more time. For the Fantasy Faire, I actually organize by sim and then by type of item because I try to do an outfit per sim which can be purchased on that sim because that’s the kind of person I am.

    I try to do at least one “long” post for Genre, with a lot of text describing what I’m wearing, giving details about it, and contextualizing it – usually with some history or outside commentary I either know or research. I build my credits in a separate notecard which usually includes the name of the pose and any set pieces I use. A good example of a “long” blog post is my first Genre one, where I included some information about Valkyrie, then tackled an item a paragraph so that it’s easier to read. I try to cover all of the aspects of whatever I’m wearing as well as contextualizing it as much as I can within what I know about the store from past experience.

    I try to take pictures that offer closeups, but that’s harder to do while also being artistic; indeed, I’m less happy with the second and third images than I am with the first. I used to do a six image spread with different shapes and degrees of closeness but I got tired of how similar so many of them looked and so have shifted to make my images more unusual – which makes it harder to use them to highlight items worn. I flirted briefly with a mixed image format but it got too far away from what I enjoy about SL photography, which is exploring the world and pushing the tech as far as I can to create a meaningful image.

    On the topic of writing a lot of copy – I used to focus on this as much as my images, but I find it a lot less rewarding in general. Writing interesting, clear, informative copy is very time consuming, can be very monotonous, and while I’ve heard people lamenting the lack of it for a few years now, I’ve yet to notice a lot of attention paid to bloggers or blog posts with a lot of text. Some of the stores I cover really appreciate it – I’ve gotten lovely notes from designers – but in general I don’t think writing things is actually valued much.

    In fact, I think critique in general is more likely to hurt a blogger’s reach or access more than help. All of the negative feedback I’ve gotten has been about what I’ve written, since I include critiques or notes about things I like or don’t when I write. Some responses have been awesome – a designer gave me a custom collar after I lamented my lack of “swan like neck” along with my inability to manually adjust her clothing to fit – but I’ve seen bloggers banned from stores they loved for a sentence a creator took the wrong way, and I’ve been asked to take down posts or no longer cover a store or artist because the person who made what I wrote about didn’t like what I wrote. No bans yet, but I could see why a blogger might not want to risk it.

    I think it’s important to not present writing about things as if it were an unalloyed good or something easy anyone could and should do. If I were less bloody minded, I think I would have given up on writing on SL blogposts a long time ago, but I’ll still be writing copy for one of my Genre posts because I’m stubborn. I’ll write other things as well, but they’ll be much more for me and much less for review because I don’t enjoy writing the review part as much as I enjoy writing about ideas, experiences, and things other than fashion.

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