“Does a company cover the expenses to a media event?” should not be your 1st question you ask.

SOCIAL MEDIA | | October 8, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I know the question about whether expenses should, could and would be covered for media events have been covered extensively before, I am not going to discuss that. There is an even more important question to be asked. No, I am not saying that financials are not important; heaven knows I know how hard it is not to keep your eyes focused on the bank balance. What I am saying is that before you ask that question there is another question you should be asking.

The question is “What does this event mean to me?”. Because seriously the same event means different things to different people. If you are focusing on just the money aspect you are saying that as long as someone is willing to fork money out you are willing to jump – no matter the impact. You, and your brand, should be the most important focus point.

Here are some reasons you may want to go to an event

  • It’s in your neighborhood.
  • You have always wanted to go to this event.
  • You are doing it as a favor for a friend/client/PR
  • You want to hang out with your friends
  • It makes me look important
  • I can get rich content for my site.
  • The swag!
  • There is a blogger/client/PR that you have been trying to meet
  • You believe that you will add value to the event
  • You are trying to build your community
  • More…I am sure I am missing out something.

So that trinket you get may not be worth your time. Getting to events takes time, yours, your child’s, your spouse’s and more. It takes effort – prepping up kids for events, school, arranging pickups, drop-offs , extra activities, setting special activities, calling on favors from friends/family, parties etc. Getting to the airport- eating the crap while you wait after sitting in traffic getting there. And when you are exhausted as hell when you get back home, as much as you would like to plunk in your own bed, your spouse happily hands you the reigns before you step in the front door.

So that event better be worth what you are giving up to be there. And if it is then talk expenses. Or not. I recall making my way to some events at my own expense and using creative means to get there cheaply. People snickered and sniped as they learned I left home at 4am to drive 2 and half hours  to the next state  to take the local train for almost 2 hours. It was easy on the budget, but not so on the body. I could see the deriding looks from people thinking “man I could never be that desperate” but I knew I wanted to network among bloggers and brands. I also knew I did not want to spend my time moaning about opportunities but rather working hard to earn them. Some of my best opportunities came from moments I invested my own time and money, and some when money was the tightest ever. Having met some of my goals I am reaping those investments this year and can be a little more selective.

So to bring back to my original point; look deeper into that media opportunity to see what it affords you before seeing whether you can afford it.

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