I should probably title this "A no person, who became a yes person, who is making a calculated return back" but that's a bit of a mouthful isn't it? Up until a few years ago (when i started blogging to be exact) i used to be a no person; i'd get invited to parties and before the person inviting me had finished speaking i had already thought up my excuse.. "I already have a party that day!" Unlikely. Everything changed when i started blogging and i started to get invited to events, i read my first invite and although there was an unusually high rush of adrenaline through my body at the thought of going to something like that, i decided i had to go. I wanted to go, and after a while i got used to the idea of mustering up the courage to go alone but i never quite got used to the feeling that i was actually invited - i don't really know how to phrase it, but i felt so in awe that people were actually inviting me to stuff that saying no never came into the equation. I always thought about it, while skimming an invite when it first popped up i'd always think "Should i go to this..? I have to, i'm lucky to be invited."
Don't get me wrong it wasn't that i didn't want to go to the events or that i shouldn't have gone, it was the right thing for me to do back then, to decide to become a yes person and gain as much experience as possible where i could. Looking back it was the best possible thing i could've done, i broke a lifetime long tradition of excuse making and it meant i learned about all the different events out there. Lately however me and my blogger friends (should be my blogger friends and i but i'm not bloody Shakespeare) have all had similar thoughts about reigning it back when it comes to saying yes to everything.
It's almost like a "been there done that, got the t-shirt" situation; I've had my fair share of weird events where things don't go quite as they're advertised. I always think back to the time i found myself in a low ceilinged hotel conference room with a "voucher" for a glass of juice, when the event invite read "Luxury hotel with complimentary food and drink". But if i had never attended events like that i wouldn't know now how to spot and avoid them, it's the definition of a leaning curve. The discussion we've been having around event attending has branched out a bit recently, there's a type of event i never really wanted to attend but definitely thought i had to. The type of event with a free bar, paps outside and someone who was on love island for 3 episodes as the guest of honour.
All of this sounds great, and to some extent it is; i have a great time at some of these where a big group of people i know are invited, they go on for ages and often have great food, so if you can find yourself a comfortable sofa with some friends, the drinks and canapés will make their way around to you and you have great fun. Except when i remember why i'm there i realise all of this is useless: I go to an event because i want to find out about the new product they're launching and actually learn about the brand, i want to be able to take an instagram picture that consists of more than just standing in front of a wall with sponsors logos on it, i want to be able to create an instagram story that people actually want to watch, above all i want to create something that the people who regularly view what i do will deem as interesting content.
There's a place for blurry photos that wouldn't look out of place on a night out but it definitely isn't on my feed anymore.
I used to think i had to say yes to these things to show i value a relationship with a brand, but i've come to the conclusion now that working out how i can integrate working with a brand with how i like to produce content is the best way to value a relationship and ultimately the most successful. I hate to overuse the phrase "don't get me wrong" because I'm a serial worrier that i don't explain myself properly, so i'll say it once more: I'm not stopping going to events, not in the slightest, i'm just weighing up my options and knowing when something doesn't fit with what i do - no more feeling like i've wasted an evening in a genre i don't fit into.