Rock the Blog is part of CeBIT, hosted in association with Blogfoster and Global Events. This year, the event was held in Hanover, on March 24th 2017. The day long event promises to educate, facilitate meetings with marketing specialists and PR managers, and provide a platform for bloggers to meet like-minded people. I went down to test all their claims, and found them somewhat…exaggerated?
Let’s take it from the top. Sandra, of Majoli, was kind enough to gift me a ticket (which otherwise costs 70€). Hannover Living arranged for a luxe bus to transport a gofeminin blogger gang, an IT journalist and myself, to Hannover Messe. We got on the way at 6:00 in morning, which meant I woke up at 4 (okay, 4:30 – hence, I couldn’t do my hair, makeup, or nails), and was out of the house at 5.
I asked a lone girl (Kimm of kimmlaurine.com) for directions at 5:40AM- I didn’t know until then that we’ll be going to the conference together. It was still dark, and everything looks just a tad bit more notorious before sun rises. Soon, a few more girls joined the group and conversation flowed easily. I would have actively participated if I could speak in German. Bless Benedict International for I can at least understand some, and nod when situation calls for it.
Bus arrived, we boarded, and got on our way to Hanover. I am usually a cranky pest who you steer clear off in mornings, but somehow I was wide awake and borderline chirpy that morning, which helped break the ice and make acquaintance of perfect strangers within an hour.
We arrived at Deutsche Messe Messegelände around 11AM, registered for badges, and started the tour. So far, the trip had been great. I had made new friends, was fueled by XL cappuccino and loved my brand new white casual jacket from C&A.
We had to cross almost all CeBIT halls to get to Rock The Blog venue, which gave us an unnecessary insight into the world of trade tech and dealings of software merchants.
Hall 8, dedicated to RTB, was hardly impressive. Footfall was shockingly low, and I barely saw any interesting brands. There was a swanky white car parked in the centre, apparently serving no purpose. The hall was designed with quirk and decorated with zest – floor to ceiling wallpapers, wooden encasements for kiosks, swings hanging from the ceiling, and the works. However, there wasn’t much to fill in the moulds.
Talks and presentations were mostly held in open setting, with another being hosted just across from one. This led to compromised sound, and lack of impact. There were hardly any brands or PR professionals, which killed the purpose singlehandedly. There were no refreshments, and we had to walk to Hall 17 for lunch.
On the upside, there were two presentations that I really enjoyed. First one was by the lovely girls at gofeminin and Blogfoster, where they discussed how can bloggers make money – the ultimate dilemma. It was particularly insightful as the world of bloggers differs significantly in Europe when compared to that in Middle East. Lessons learnt ranged from earnings to impact – for example, I learnt that the average payout for a sponsored post on a blog that grosses over 10,000 impressions a month is 200€. Also, brands are now looking to invest in micro-bloggers alongside heavyweights, who have a well-defined niche and engagement, even if they don’t meet the 10,000 impression threshhold, said a Blogfoster respresentative.
Second one was by Simon Staib, co-founder and head of product, Blogfoster, where he spoke about a blogger’s reach and impact of engagement on their own profile. He’s an insider, and has a wealth of information about what works for bloggers. Unfortunately, my inept language skills didn’t let me soak much in, but I did walk away with a handful of precious learnings. For example, instead of exhausting energies across a number of platforms to attract visitors, bloggers must focus on two – ideally Facebook and Pinterest. These two platforms have a much higher potential of reaching the audience for your blog.
To summarise, I think the initiative definitely has the potential, however it needs to majorly attract brands and bloggers, who are the cornerstone for this venture’s success. Will I be back for 2018? I am not so sure. But hey, never say never!
Here’s what a few other bloggers had to say about Rock The Blog 2017: