November #EventBlogChat – Content Strategy

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Last month Myself and Irina attended an event organised by Pickevent, an online community for event professionals. The topic was about creating and leveraging engaging event content – something that as a blogger I was very interested in! The panel of speakers included our own Irina (The Mice Blog) & fellow National Blog Award winner/Event Journalist Annie Byrne (Exhibitions New), as well as Kim Benjamin (Event Magazine) and Hellen Beveridge (Who’s Who in Events and Pure Rocket Science).

At the event Sli.do, who are a live question and engagement platform, facilitated audience questions and interaction so that we  could ask the questions via our phone & then vote for the questions we wanted the panel to answer. Which was a brilliant experience, as it wasn’t as nerve-racking as having to stand up & try to get across your question – at the end of the post is the info graphic that was produced post event to show the most popular questions!

The only thing was so many excellent questions were asked, but unfortunately not all of them could be answer in the hour. This is why Irina and myself  decided it would be a great discussion for our #EventBlogChat as is also why there are so many questions for Mondays chat!

The questions are:
  1. How do you encourage people to respond to posts?
  2. How do you research what content your audience wants to hear about?
  3. How much of your time does maintaining your blog take up every day?
  4. What is the most engaging blog post you ever made or saw??
  5. How to engage the audience with my content during and after the event?
  6. Are blogs purely your opinion or from insight/what the industry is interested in?
  7. Does content sharing during event detract from the event itself
  8. Should we be embracing event blogs and sharing our knowledge with other event professionals? Or just industry news?

Don’t forget to use the #EventBlogChat hashtag during the discussion and feel free to tweet us any future topic suggestions to @EventBlogChat.

Irina and I look forward to chatting with you all on Monday 3rd of November at 9pm GMT! 

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Also in case you aren’t following #EventStudents on twitter – an official LinkedIn group is all set up with discussion posts going up every Sunday & there is also a Facebook group with posts going up every Wednesday! If you are a current events student then I highly recommend you join and start networking and connecting!

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New Design & New Home

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So last week there were no new posts on the blog – it wasn’t becuase I was away on holiday or being lazy (in fact I started a new job last Monday!)  but becuase it was MOVING WEEK!

By now you will have noticed the completely redesign – which was done by the wonderful Kate Jordan from Relokate – but we’ve also moved from blogger to a self hosted wordpress account!

This hasn’t been a quick process, I fact I first got in contact with Kate 6 months ago at the end of May, and we’ve had a few issues here and there (google has changed a lot of things since I first started blogging back in 2007) but we finally made it & moved last Friday!

After winning the National Blog Award & graduating from university I realised that my main interest and the reason I love writing this blog and continue to do so, is helping others who are at University. However I felt that the design on blogger was too ‘personal’, I was unable to customise the site enough to allow for a more conhesive look & really it was just time for a change – something to represent what this blog is actually about!

My favourite thing about the deisgn is the menu bar! Simply becuase it is now split into sections, which means you can click the Freshers category (under University) and read all the posts that are relevant to that!! Not only does this mean you can just read the posts that you are interested in but it also means the 200 of so posts I have written are easier to find, which is a big deal for me as I think a majority are still relevant and helpful!

Another great thing is that the sidebar is less cluttered, you can easily see all my social media links (go follow us on BlogLovin!) & the header design is simple but also features the full name of this blog!!

So what does this move mean?

New posts will still be put up every Tuesday and Thursday – just like its been for the last few months, with a stronger focus on providing posts that fit into all the main categories above!

#EventStudents Project is something I am extreamly passionate about & this will continue to be a major focus on this blog – with a fair few interviews coming up soon!

But the biggest change is the fact that I am looking to make this blog more about YOU – I will still be sharing the things I am up too but more and more posts and time will be spent creating content that is relevant to what you are telling me you want to read!

This blog has always been about providing honest advice and opinions for students, alongside sharing my own knowledge with you – it has led to some amazing opportunities, allowed me to meet & make some fantastic friends as well as giving me the platform to launch a project that I truely think can help both students and the industry!

So the summary of this post is basically WELCOME TO OUR NEW HOME!

Why not go and have a wonder round the new features, drop me a comment below if you have any suggestions of posts you would like to read or what you think of the new design – or send me a tweet!

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@imdamnstudent, @blogbykobrak, Facebook, Instagram & Google+

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Festival Volunteering & Greenbelt 2014

I’ve spoken about Greenbelt festival countless times on this blog, due to interning with them in 2011 & volunteering with the programming team for the last few years! I know I am bias when I say this festival is brilliant, but thats not going to stop me from saying so! Not only are they an amazing team of people, but they gave me my first real opportunity to learn about how a large event is organised and managed!

In 2011, I was a 18 year old events student who’s only events experience was 2 weeks in an office organising hotel rooms and speaking to volunteers; and sadly for many organisations that is a no go zone. Why? Because it takes time to train and help someone who has no experience in that particular area. We all know that there is a vicious circle within the events industry in needing to gain experience but to get that initial chance you have to show you have previous experience!

Which brings me on to why Festival volunteering is such a great opportunity for Event Students! You don’t need to have tons of experience to be a good volunteer, just a focus to work hard & be willing to learn and do a range of different jobs!  Whilst the idea of stewarding isn’t for everyone it does involves many different skills from dealing with the general public through to artist liaison & if you volunteer for the same festival or volunteer group you will gradually gain more responsibility that will add so much to your CV.

Because I first interned with Greenbelt I have been able to volunteer and work with the programming team, which I absolutely love because it is much more to do with event operations than other stewarding work i’ve done in the past at other festivals. But I know a lot of people who have volunteered as Stewards for some big UK music festivals & then been given the chance to work backstage main stage, managing large volunteer teams & even getting the chance to do some longer work experience!

Showing passion, working hard & getting involved will lead to some amazing opportunities! 

The great thing about festival volunteering is it takes place outside of term time, mainly during the summer months & there are so many different types of festivals to work at, you will be able to find one that suites your interest! Festival volunteering doesn’t have to mean music festivals, there are many art and literacy events across the UK – plus a large number of music festivals cater to a smaller number of attendees!

If you are in your first year of Uni & are struggling to find work experience or are looking to fill in some of that free time during the four months off at the end of every year – I would highly recommend that you look at the opportunities to volunteer at a festival. Most festivals put all their info up on their website, with a majority of events promoting their volunteer opportunities from the end of the year; i’ve listed just a few websites & festivals that I would recommend having a look at!

Have you volunteered for a festival before? How was your experience?

Remember that the #EventStudents project has both a Facebook & Linkedin group; come join in the discussion & send across your tweets to our twitter account!
 
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