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To quote Wikipedia, etiquette derived from the French word étiquette’ is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.  Yes, we all have certain rules to follow within the framework of respective obligations and occasions. You abide by these as a social being and a global citizen. You are taught to respect and adhere to laws and bindings for your own safety and that of others. Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are’, thus said Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Being a blogger, you have a few unspoken rules too. You don’t copy or plagiarize. You always credit the original source. You comment on the post, not on the person. You are free to have your opinion, don’t expect everyone else to conform to it though. So on and so forth. But what about Blogger meets that are organized by various forums? What kind of rules would govern them? Would any principles be chalked out at all?

I happened to attend my first ever blogger meet conducted by Indiblogger in association with Stayfree on May 27th 2012. The wonderful camaraderie and the gracious hosts had me wanting to come back for more.  There is another meet round the corner and I could not help but make a list of do’s and don’ts for bloggers, both the newbies and the stalwarts alike.

The Big Dos

1. Do RSVP

While it is nice to reserve a seat for the meet as requested, do consider the viable option of you travelling inter-state, even if it is just for the free goodies. If for any reason, you are unable to attend after confirmation and are in a position to cancel, do so. Considering the limited seats, someone else could attend from the backyard.

2. Do be punctual.

Nothing is more distracting than people trailing in while someone is speaking. Not only is it an eye sore, it also is quite a pain to make a mental note of who the late comerswere and what were they wearing. And then, the additional task to avoid them just in case they want to compare notes on what they missed. Do everyone a favour, take that bus/train/auto/cab 30 minutes earlier than planned. The traffic won’t haunt you, I promise.

3. Do participate.

The fact that you’ve taken time out from your otherwise mundane life to be at the event speaks volumes. Participate in discussions and debates. No one is going to throw you a red carpet with a floral shower for added effect. You want to be noticed, make yourself heard, albeit, in a nice way. A dead pan expression makes for horrible photos. 

It is worse if you are tagged on Facebook. Remember to smile, you are on camera.

4. Do be relevant.

It would be nice to read up a bit on the subject if you wish to make an impression. On the whole, keep your head in the game and be interactive. Look out for opportunities to ask questions that further the discussion or add a dimension. Don’t get carried away while making candid confessions. Not every one wants to know what you did last summer. Also do try not to wrestle the mic.

The Bigger Don’ts

1. Don’t be a pile on!
How often have you been asked by guests if they could just bring in their sibling, far off relative, new neighbor or their adorable dog along for a cosy get-together? Remember how you couldn’t wriggle out of it due to sheer politeness? Well, here too, even though it is a sponsored event and you are entering in free (for simply being an esteemed blogger on a site) somebody is paying for it! Irrespective of the brand budgets or the money the forum is making (which is none of your business really), if every member walks in with an ‘unregistered guest’, the logistics go for a toss. Be gracious, just carry yourself! Unless it specifies that you can tag a ‘guest’ along. 
2. Don’t speak.
As much as we all live in a communicative world, talking among yourselves while the speaker is trying to drive home a point about a product or a service is a strict no- no. You’ve come here for a product associated event and are going to take home freebies at the end. They jolly well deserve your undivided attention. Don’t treat this like a kitty party or a boy’s night out. 

3.Don’t cell yourself.
As much as you have the most happening ringer tunes and yes, your calls are really important, spare the others your musical choices. Even more, don’t subject them to listen in to your conversations. Lift your backside along with the rest of you, excuse yourself, go out and attend that all too important call. Better still; keep the phone on silent if you can find that option on your swanky handset.
4.Don’t forget to say thank-you.
Each and every event requires a great deal of planning and an even greater effort in execution. Respect that. While you grace the occasion with your presence, there are others who have not had the time to even check their appearance before heading to the venue. If you have any feedback, good or bad, present it in a non-biased way. A mail perhaps would be a better idea so that any shortcomings can be worked on. Appreciation goes a long way in boosting morale. Give it generously. If you have promised to blog, donate, volunteer or offered any other form of assistance, keep your word. Chances are you will always be welcome.
Now you may find me pompous (I don’t really care!) or you may be biting your finger nails in nervousness (Did she have to write this now?). Either ways, if you can take this post with a pinch of salt, add the tequila and borrow the lime, I think you have a good ‘shot’ at being a blogger with substance.

Blogger meet etiquette, someone had to pen it down because I did not find it on Google!



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