Disclaimer: I have chosen to the blackout the names of the people, event and minor details in order to not draw negative attention to this specific event or the people involved.
I was recently approached about covering a local event here in Portland. I was thrilled to be asked and was really excited about the event. The initial e-mail didn’t include any details beyond when, what and a link to the event so I responded that I was interested and looked forward to hearing more. Finally 18 days later I heard back from my contact stating that media bloggers would be receiving standard passes and that more details would be sent soon regarding the event. This was my first red flag.
A standard individual pass for this event has a value of $20 however at the time this was all happening you could buy a standard pass for $10 via groupon. This standard pass basically included admission and few minor things that really had little to no value.
My response to this email:
Five Days Later this is their response:
- 2-3 Weeks of Social Media Buzz –> 2 hours
- Attend Event and Interview Sponsors, Interview Key Note Speakers, and Live Social Media Coverage –> 8 hours
- Blog post about event –> 4 hours (this includes time to edit photos, work on the post, edit post, social media around post )
- Blog post review for the kit –> 3 hours (this includes time to edit photos, work on the post, edit post, social media around post )
Total Time: 17 Hours
Value: $80 = $4.70/hour –> I do not consider the Blogger Power Hour or VIP seating to have any value in the situation. As for a Blogger Exhibit space a. I don’t have a newsletter and promotional material beyond my business cards to hand out and b. I am not sure how I am supposed to attend the event, interview companies and key note speakers and try to work an exhibitor table; honestly it’s easier for me to walk around and interact with attendees and pass out my business cards. The Kit valued at $50 really shouldn’t be in the “what we’d love to offer you” section but rather in the “what we’d love from you” due to the fact that there is an expectation to do a blog review and company profile with it; as you can see this blog post is included above in the hours.
For fun let’s consider the giveaway option as well:
- Blog post prior to event –> 2 hours
- Standard sidebar AD
Total Time: 2 hours
Value: $30 – $20 for sidebar AD = $10
Total Value for both: $90/19hours = $4.73/hour <– minimum wage in Oregon is $9.10/hour and LIVING WAGE is $9.42/hour
Needless to say I declined participating as a blogger at this event because simply the cost/benefit of attending was just not worth it. I honestly felt insulted by the imbalance between the offer and expectations.
Curious about how much I’m worth? My rates basic rates for a sponsored blog post including 3-5 social media shares starts at a value of $100 however the average is $175 –> what is that hourly? $175 divided by 7 hours (prep, photos, post, edits, social media) = average $25/hour. While I do some free work/product only work I am selective about who I work with and only tend to work with companies that I already have a relationship with or ones that have a product/service that I love or think is a good fit for me, my blog and my readers.
How much are you worth? Consider this next time you are approached to review a product or attend an event.
Update: Since I wrote this post I did end up attending the event however not as a blogger but with a company that I work with frequently. The event overall was unfortunately poorly run and has resulted in a lot of negative feedback from attendees. I have to say in the end I am glad that I did not participate in this event as a blogger because I honestly would have had very little positive feedback to provide my readers. I also ran into a fellow blogger at the event who also had been invited to be a VIP blogger and she also declined due the requirements and the simple fact that their expectations versus the compensation was simply insulting.