I never thought I'd actually come up with a part three of this series, since I never imagined I'd end up wanting to post about event invitations. I had always thought that things like these are commonsensical, but it turns out that I've really run out of common sense. (From overworking and overstudying at the same time?)
Up until a couple of events, I only had two rules about accepting invitations: (1) Will only accept three per week; and (2) Will only go to causes/product launches that I truly believe in. Unfortunately, I had found myself accepting the wrong invitations, which sometimes had me scratching my head in the middle of a multilevel marketing session or worse, an event that actually had me paying thousands for something I thought I'd be getting for free. (I realize now how silly I had been.)
I have, of course, no one to blame but MYSELF. While blogging has been around for quite some time and I had been on the web for 14 years, PR and ad agencies have only recognized bloggers quite recently. They are just about as new to viral marketing as I am about coming out of my web hermitage and revealing who I really am. (14 years ago, we webmasters hid behind pseudonyms.) We are both learning something new about each other as time progresses.
So as I sat in my bed, nursing my literally bleeding feet (looong story, but it is event related) and crying out for my figuratively bleeding wallet, I drafted additional rules for myself. I'm actually hoping I had become wiser. Haha!
- Must only accept an average of 2-3 invitations per week. (Original rule.) Especially now that I have my "me" time back. As someone who has not had a decent weekend in two years, I realized that rest days are sacred.
- Must only go to product launches/causes I truly believe in. (Original rule.) A personal blog loses its opinion if all it had to say are good things about everything.
- Never more than 1 event per day. Blogging is one of my (numerous) hobbies. I don't want it to become work. I already have a day job and I'm also a doctoral student. That's already enough stress to last me a lifetime.
- If I'm going to commute, I should be in my trainers. Meaning, no cocktails, formal parties or anything that requires me to wear heels. I'm sorry, I still believe in proper attire so if I can't go to an event properly dressed, I'd rather not go.
- If I'm going to commute, the place must be walking distance to an MRT station or in the middle of Makati CBD, where cabs area easier to find.
- I must resist the urge to purchase anything beyond the gift certificates given just because I don't want to walk out of an event empty-handed. This is very psychological and I realized that as a social scientist, I should have recognized that my emotions get the best of me. Pinoy bloggers' response to loot bags (free or paid) is the same as their response to the word "SALE". Without getting too scientific in my explanation, I'll just say that both instances stimulate the same area of your brain. Don't get me wrong. There are times when I am very happy with discounts and stuff...it only becomes sad -- and again, I have no one else to blame but myself -- when I realize my emotions tricked me into spending good money on a "want", not a "need".
- Whether or not you had a great experience, remember to thank the organizers. This is not only a sign that you have been raised well by your Momma, it also helps spread good will. Of course, it's a different story if you were treated shabbily in the event. Fortunately, all the events I had been to had extremely courteous organizers. (I can even name a few where I found myself being pampered by no less than the CEO herself/himself.)
At the end of the day, it really is all about the quality of a blogger's posts. Events may or may not break this quality; it's really up to the blogger how to make the best content out of every situation.
Comic strip from http://catandgirl.com.
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