When you’re a small business owner, it seems mandatory to build a substantial social presence online. But how important is it to connect offline with followers, clients, and potential customers? Cece Olisa and Chastity Garner, bloggers and co-founders of The CurvyCon event, felt it was extremely important and decided to get offline and connect with curvy women in person, through a plus-size event.
The two dedicated fashion bloggers have spent years building an online presence and blog platform that inspired other plus-size women to embrace their body and beauty. Now, with a combined following of more than 104,000, these fashion-forward ladies felt it was time to take business offline and create a community-driven experience, a show of appreciation for their loyal followers.
The CurvyCon, scheduled for June 20, 2015, is an all-day event that will bring plus-size brands, fashionistas, shopaholics, bloggers, and YouTubers together through shopping, panel discussions, and chats focused on positive body image, fashion, and more.
When BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Garner and Olisa to talk about the inaugural event, they gave five tips that would help entrepreneurs take social experiences offline via conference or meet up.
Here’s their advice.
Olisa says the most important thing is to know your audience. If you have a blog, it may be helpful to pay attention to comments left on posts. They may give you an idea of what people want, or don’t want, to experience while attending the event. “It always helps to know that you’re giving an audience exactly what they’re asking for.”
When it comes to planning, “know how to break down an event into small tasks instead of one large one,” says Garner. Keeping the over-arching goal in mind is good, but don’t let the magnitude of the event overwhelm you.
Be prepared to convince people that the event is worthwhile. “Convincing people–especially sponsors–of a vision they haven’t seen before was a challenge,” says Olisa.
Decide how you’re going to fund the event. Garner and Olisa turned to the Internet to raise money that was needed for CurvyCon, each selling about 100 pieces of clothing on their respective blogs. The items sold within five hours.
Don’t set goals based on what other people are doing. Olisa suggests doing things you really love and it will resonate with others. As long as you’re doing what your follower likes and responds to, there’s no need to compare and contrast your hard work with the hard work of others. “Do what works for your lifestyle,” says Garner.