This year and every year there are a number of fitness festivals that take place. I love to go to these because I get to discover new foods and often meet people that I have interacted with via Social Media.
Over the weekend I attended Balance, a celebration of Food, Fitness, and Wellness. I have to say it was probably the best value for money when I compare it to a number of others I have attended. There were brands there I had never heard of (which I love because I want to try new things) and there were lots of talks and classes. So on a whole, it was really good but for some reason, I left it feeling totally disheartened.
It’s quite hard to actually understand why. I went by myself which I think forced me to observe the environment I was in, in a lot more detail. When I go to these things I don’t sell myself to brands and be like ” Sorry I run a food blog, hint hint freebie *flick hair*. If they ask I say it, otherwise, I go about my business. I was quite taken back when I saw this nonsense happening around me. (TBH I have seen it before when I attended BeFit and Bodypower last year. Although I just thought it was because of the brand I was there with.) I witnessed mini-herds of “instafamous” groups cascading upon these brands like vultures and being utterly demanding. It was an eye-opener, to say the least. Is this really how the industry has gone or has it always been like that? Is it all about getting free things? Do they really think having 20k+ followers gives them the right to act like that? Don’t get me wrong who doesn’t love a freebie but I would never in my wildest dreams act like that. If I did I would expect Mike to tell me to stop being a little princess and rightly so.
What’s frightening is that actually, influencers have so much power over brands these days. They’re afraid to stand up to them, in case they say something nasty on social media, resulting in a backlash against their brand. In my opinion, some brands need to grow a pair. It should be a two-way relationship where both parties benefit. End of. I’m close to this subject because I am friends with a number of brands, small businesses in particular, who have unfortunately tried the influencer route and have given up. This is simply because of how ungrateful and demanding some influencers can be. It needs to change. I come at this from two perspectives personally as a blogger but also professionally as a Social Media Manager. I want this industry to survive and I want it to be built on trust and respect. This attitude needs to change otherwise this type of advertising just won’t be respected.
Are you a brand? Have you experienced this? Are you a passer-by, have you noticed this? Have you worked on the stalls and been like “Do one!”. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Disclaimer – This is what I’ve witnessed and I’m not saying every blogger is like this.