We had another premiere this week. We attended a travel blogger meeting. We do not regard ourselves as travel blogger but we call ourselves ‚content producers‘ because we do not fill our own blog with stories but give away the photos we shoot and the texts we write and publish very often as guest bloggers.
Read our photostory: At the Luneburg Heath at Bispingen
Therefore we do not care as much about our own blog as travel bloggers would do. Furthermore you won’t find any hard facts on our site. I do not write about historic dates, opening hours, entry fees or other details. Instead we want to inspire. It is all about making the reader want to go where we have been and visit the hotel or the destination.
Thus the Heide blogger event – as it was called – was a tantalizing experiment. We tried out whether such an event would suit us.
What we learned about fact finding tour or travel blogger tour so far was that a group of bloggers is carried to the assumed highlights of a a region and everybody takes the same pictures and posts them on the respective channels. And that no consideration whatsoever is shown for the circumstance on-site like weather, exposure to light, visitors concentration and much more.
All the more so since we were happy that we had been asked before what we would be interested in and what we would like to see. We were especially interested in the beautiful landscapre of the moorland and in the ‚crazy house‘. But after our arrival we were given a programme, with not much space for something individual. In the end nearly all the bloggers did the same things. The group stayed together with just a few exceptions. Which was a pity because we just were not interested in some things at all and would have liked to do something different during that time.
Also our overall reluctance towards touristic guided tours has been confirmed once again – unfortunately. Only a handful of guides are able to adjust their tour for the group and change it accordingly. Instead the ever same text is recited with the same jokes and anecdotes and all the same knowledge questions like: „What do you think? How old is this?“ or „Do you know what X means?“ And „Do you know what this device is for?“ We much more prefer to discover things on our own and we like to ask questions. Mostly the guides cannot answer those apparently because they have not learned them beforehand.
We organized some blogger events ourselves before but those were more about exchange of knowledge similar to bar camps. At the Heide Blogger Event a workshop was offered with very interesting subjects. – at least in the programme. Unfortunately this part was way too short and we could not discuss the really exciting questions. Too bad! We would have been interested in the opinion of the participating companies what they expect from bloggers.
Talking about companies… We would have loved more exchange with the participating hosts and touristic companies. Sadly nearly all companies just presented themselves and did not take advantage of the huge expertise of all the different bloggers. When do you have the chance to have 15 experts for a special subject sitting in front of you and can openly ask them questions?
Instead they only talked about their companies. That was a lost opportunity. A long time ago I wrote about „what bloggers can do for companies“ (in German). Some things changed meanwhile but overall the text is still applicable. I also wrote about blogger relations. (also German) Also here not much has changed.
We will keep in mind the incredible landscape and the ‚crazy house‘. The Heide was stunning – even without pink or lilac blossoms.
The crazy house was made for us. Here we could go wild and act out our creativity. Passive consumption is not really something for us. But being active is. So we had much fun to come up with new ideas for photo motives all the time. And that had an impact on the group as well. That was great.
We got great photos anyway. Though the weather was not playing along. And it was nice to see the Luneburg Heath with its own special landscape. And networking is always good as well. Therefore we are happy that we met so many new bloggers so that we can recommend one or the other in the future to hotels or destinations when we are asked whether we know someone.
Conclusion: Some things were exactly as we have suspected. But we will take part in such an event in the future if the subject suits us and exchange of knowledge is not neglected. And if some conditions are met. We actually have invested in this meeting because we did not earn anything during that time. We also did not have enough time to produce content. That is editing photos so that they can be published and writing texts. We can not deduct this time from our next customer. Therefore these hours will come from out private time. And some of the events in the program already wasted a lot from our precious time. During this time we could have been productive or could have enjoyed some private free time. So we will have a closer look in the future on the organization of such a blogger meeting. We do not exclude our participation completely but there are some mandatory conditions:
- enough time for content creation
- selectable items from the program
- no peer pressure
- enough space and time for networking and exchange with participants but also with hosts and touristic companies
- to be able to share expertise
- optionally refund of expenses
- fast WIFI! Especially the upload
- optionally organized networking
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