Freebie Express: Kalalabas lang!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Unofficial Blogapalooza Survival Guide

If local tattoo artists and aficionados has a yearly event called Dutdutan and rock bands and headbangers stages what is known as Summer Slam, Pinoy bloggers have definitely found a grand gathering they can call their own after the success of the first ever Blogapalooza at Fully Booked – Bonifacio Global City last September 17, 2009.

With its high rating in the fun meter and calls from both participants and non-participants (those who heard about the event) for a repeat soon, the experience promises to be an annual happening for years to come.

It is for this reason that I feel like there is a necessity to come up with an Unofficial Blogapalooza Survival Guide for would be delegates, first-timers and repeaters, to the next episodes of this ultra cool event where the 150 “most influential” bloggers got a chance to meet with 50 established and up-and-coming businesses.  The innovative idea came after Vince Golangco of When In Manila thought of giving the companies asking for blog features a better flatform to reach out with bloggers and online readers. Thus, Blogapalooza was born!   And boy, oh boy, did we celebrate it in style! 

To easily remember this guide that I made, I will rundown my list using the name of the event. The tips are based on my experience during the occasion. So if you want to make sure you’ll have an awesome and memorable moment, just think BLOGAPALOOZA.

Be sure you are there.  If you registered for the event, take all necessary steps to be physically present at Blogapalooza.  I heard that around 20 registrants were not able to attend (so sayang for them and bloggers on the waiting list).  But of course, some unavoidable reasons do come out when you are about to hit the “Go” button.  So what will you miss in case you are absent in Blogapalooza? Continue reading and you’ll find out.

Leave home early.
  It is in Blogapalooza that I realized that the I-thought-then-was-a-cheesy-saying “the early bird catches the worm” rewards those who follow it.  Well, the first 50 bloggers got extra gifts and double chance in the raffle.  If I only was there before the cut-off, I could have had a cool limited edition umbrella and was not soaked after the event (yes, it rained that day to coincide with the shower of prizes and freebies that afternoon) or I could have been that lucky guy whose raffle stub was called twice with the option to choose between a portable mini-speaker he earlier won and a Tripologie luggage on the second time he was called.

Organize your things.  You can skip this tip only if you’re an octopus.  There are so many things that will get your attention at the event that you’ll find yourself in situations like taking a photo of a speaker while shaking the hand of a newfound friend after giving a card to a sponsor and nodding to another blogger who just pointed to you where the free bottled water and burgers are situated.  Good thing I was able to program my self before the event that all things on my right hip are expensive like my android phone and wallet while I have my handkerchief and comb on the other side which pickpockets are free to get if they even dare.

Grab a chair.  Secure a seat as if you are getting that ".com" domain names for your blogs.  I tell you, it’s not only a chair--- it will be your home base for the duration of Blogapalooza.  Who wants to roam around the venue with the magazines, flyers, umbrella and other freebies you got from the registration booth?  Leave your things on the chair before you make the rounds but make sure to say hi and “paki” to your seatmates who will be forced to guard your belongings until you come back.  Be kind enough to give back the favor if he/ she would do the same thing.

Answer the call of nature during program breaks.  Unless you’re not really interested in winning instant prizes like back packs, pairs of shoes, gift certificates and other cool freebies, you can frequent the comfort room anytime you want.  At Blogapalooza, you should listen attentively to every presenter who might end up to be your wish granter of a thingie you have always been dreaming of.  If you happen to be in the “unloading station” when your name is called during the raffle… goodbye prizes!

Put a smile on your face. 
Think about this: you are in the event with 100+ bloggers and 50+ sponsors and for sure, you want to invite them to view your blog/s.  The easiest way to do get someone’s attention is to put a smile on your cheeks.  Isn’t it that we would more likely to approach someone who has a friendly and happy face than somebody who has a rainbow shape lips and meeting eyebrows.  Remember that Halloween should only be celebrated once a year.

Always turn on your camera during the program.  Of all numbers, one sponsor picked a piece of paper from the fish bowl-full of raffle stubs bearing the number 09… or 60.  It just happened that both holders of the said numbers were present in the exhibitors hall.  How do you resolve who should win the Php 5,000 worth of backpack?  Play the Rock Paper Scissors game!  It was one classic impromptu "match" fitting two bloggers slugging it out for a coveted gift.  I was not quick enough to capture the moment because my digital camera was turned off that time to save battery life.

Listen to the presentations. Don’t just attend Blogpalooza for the freebies and raffle.  There are other great reasons to be there like meeting new friends and learning new stuff.  Presentations can also be entertaining like the way people from LazerXtreme went up on stage ala-Mission Impossible and how a guy from CreatiVoices showcased his skills of changing his voice numerous times for an amusing skit.  He even confessed that he was the voice behind ALL the characters in a popular kiddie TV commercial of a local hotdog brand.

Offer your Blog card.  You never know how far your blog card will go but you have greater chances of getting a response from a sponsor if you have one.  The presenters are definitely looking for bloggers who will help promote their respective products and services.  That’s why they are at Blogapalooza in the first place.  Just make sure your card doesn’t look like a motel discount card or text heavy like a pamphlet.

Observe for sidelights.
  Blogapalooza offers a lot of things that will keep you moving the whole afternoon.  So I suggest that you refrain from just sitting on your chair from the moment you arrived to the time you will get your lot bag.  First, I pity the chair. Second, there are things that you should not miss.  In the first Blogapalooza, we were amazed by the skills of a pole dancer, amused by the creativeness of Mr. Kamerman and  surprised by someone from HTC who intentionally dropped a unit of the expensive phone just to illustrate the toughness of their phone.

Zooming to the loot bag counter is not necessary.  No need to practice your running skills and boxing out ability just to get your oh sooo full-packed loot backs (note that there is an "s"... meaning you’ll get more than one bag since one was not enough to hold all the freebies) because the organizers assure that their is an alloted loot bags for everyone. Of course, we can’t blame those people who are just too excited to see what’s inside the bags and wanted to have the first crack.  Who’s not?

Attend again next year.  I want to make it a tradition to attend every staging of Blogapalooza if possible.  I can see big potentials for bloggers to meet new partners for possible ventures and prospective sponsors for contests and events.  But the real reason why I want to do this is because the first Blogapalooza experience is really that great that I want more!

If I would be asked to write a book about my Blogapalooza experience, I think I already have a great title and it might be an instant hit among bloggers.  Below is my draft cover of the said book:

Below are the main characters of the book. which hopefully will interest a publisher and have it printed. There were scores of friendly faces and interestin individuals during Blogapalooza and here are the people who caught my attention the most.

A guy who is willing to drop a brand new unit of a latest phone model on the floor and will still smile

The friendliest polecat of them all --- all stunts, no bite

Mr. Kameraman and his amazing backpack--- shoot and print while you wait.

A down-to-earth CEO who is also a basketball fan

... and the cool DJ/ blogger who started it all!

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