Last week, we discussed the ‘How to’ of Covering an Event Successfully. This week we’re going discuss the other side of things; covering an event when you’re not there. Let’s be real. Sometimes we aren’t invited. Sometimes we are sick or busy. Sometimes we aren’t even in the same city! Reporters on the national level do this all of the time, so why can’t you?
Know the facts. It’s the same as if you were attending the event. Let your readers know the ins and outs. Who was there? Was it a fundraising event or a preview party? Readers should know the facts to help set the scene.
Talk to guests. Maybe you didn’t go, but you might know someone that did. Talk to others on the guest list. With blogging friends, professional connections, and Twitter hashtags, you are bound to find someone that went. Find out what they thought. See if they had an interesting experiences. As always, be transparent about why you are asking.
Look at other coverage. If you are looking to cover a fashion show or major event like the Golden Globes, see what is already out there. Take your own spin on it. Maybe you can focus on a few dresses that caught your eye or a hairstyle that stood out. Find out the little things that matter to you and elaborate on it. You want to write it with your own unique voice and perspective.
Be there without being there. This is the point that you should try to be as involved as possible without actually being there. Regardless of the size or scale of the party, you can find live tweets about the events. Get involved, tweet, and see what people are talking about! If there is a live stream of the event, such as a fashion show, make sure you watch it. Lastly, see if you can find any information prior to the event or talk to someone in charge of coordinating the event. Any information can be helpful!
The good thing about covering an event without being there is that it helps you develop your writing skills for when you actually have an event to attend. We all may not be invited to high-end fashion shows, but when we get the hang of covering them without front row access, we’ll be ready for when that opportunity actually does pop up!