One of the perks of being a professional blogger is that I’ve gotten to rub elbows with some celebrities. Now, I know what you’re thinking: How can I get on the list to attend star-studded events? And how the heck did you get the list? Well, fear not my fellow celeb
stalkers fans! In this post I’m going to tell you how I ended up sitting on Mario Lopez’s lap and how I convinced a bodyguard to snap my picture with Tim Tebow — and how you can do it, too.
Step 1: Build your blog.
Your website/blog is the heart of your pitch to event organizers. It’s the hook you’ll use to entice them to add you to their lists for free entry into shindigs featuring celebs! Because of this you should have a blog with working links and more than one post on it. It also helps to have a decent reach. Being able to say that you have 10,000 unique visitors each month is much better than saying you just started blogging but that you expect rapid growth even though your mom, your uncle, and your cousin Carl are the only people who have actually seen your site.
Oh, and seriously, if your page cannot be displayed when someone clicks on it, your email request for free tickets will be promptly deposited into the event organizer’s spam folder.
Step 2: Do your research.
There’s this little thing called the Internet that makes it pretty easy to do your homework. Scope out the events you want to attend; find out what celebrities will be there; and come up with an interesting angle you can pitch to event organizers to convince them that your attendance will be beneficial (to them).
Side note: One of the neat things about attending events as a blogger is it can lead to other opportunities — like photographing events that celebrities attend. I was blogging for a local news site and as a side gig they asked me to handle some event photos with extended captions. That led to a magazine finding me on Facebook and offering me the chance to be their red carpet photographer for a charity thing. One of the celebrities there was Evan Longoria, who plays for the Tampa Bay Rays. He was really the only celebrity I knew by name at this event so I asked him to take a pic with me and voila — big boost to my street cred.
Step 3: Start the bombardment.
Send 10 to 20 emails to each person you see listed on the organizing company’s website. Beg and plead and call every day until they say you can have a ticket to the event … just kidding! Actually, you’ll want to craft an email pitch that explains who you are, what your blog is about, why you would like to attend the event, and why the organizers should want you there. Most media requests are handled through a public relations person via email or through a media contact box on the event’s website.
Your pitch might go something like this:
Step 4: Visualize success (aka Wait for a response)
While crossing your fingers or saying your special success mantra or doing whatever you do to help ensure things go your way, accept that you have a 50/50 shot of getting into this event for free. And you’ve got even less of a chance of actually meeting the celebrity you hope to meet. I personally have been turned down more often than not. The higher your number of readers, however, the more likely you’ll be to get that much-anticipated “yes!” If your pitch recipient(s) don’t respond within a week, email again or see if there is a phone number you can call to inquire.
If you get a “no,” stop calling/emailing/begging shamelessly immediately. No one likes a crybaby. Head back to the list of upcoming events, keep trying to grow your readership, and continue pitching event organizers. If you get a “yes,” proceed to Step 5.
Step 5: Show up
You’re in! Now that you’ve been granted admission, dress like a professional and head to the event with your camera and either a notebook or digital recorder. Show up early and ask if the celebrity is still coming and/or will be on time. Remind the organizers you want to
drool over meet the celeb for a quick photo and interview. Instead of holding up the bar, make smart use of your time at the event by recording your observations, networking, and seeking out additional post opportunities.
Step 6: Meet the celebrity.
Take the picture, ask your questions, and move on. Happy dance AFTER! Avoid giddiness in the presence of fame. I totally broke this rule, however, when I met celebrity wedding guru David Tutera. Sorry about that, David. I just was stupid excited!
In my Mario Lopez situation he was only supposed to walk the red carpet for photos and then head to VIP and his private cabana. I got lucky, though, and saw Mario’s manager escorting him off the carpet. I flirted my way into VIP and begged for a photo with him. This approach is not recommended, but in my case it worked. Oh, and sitting on his lap was a complete fluke. There was just hardly any room in his cabana so I had to kind of fall on him for the photo. #SorryNotSorry
I got super lucky at an event featuring NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. He was leaving the event and I just happened to be purposefully following him out. I asked his security escort if I could get one photo because I was such a huge fan. Again, not a recommended approach, especially when their security is armed, but I guess they took pity on a desperate blogger. Win for me.
Worst case scenario, you don’t get into the event for free, but you find a way to buy the ticket. You tap into your enterprising personality and figure out a way to get good pics. Even if you don’t score a celeb interview, you’ll probably still have plenty of fodder for an interesting blog post or two. When you publish, you give shoutouts to organizers and famous attendees on social media. Then? See Step 4.
Alright bloggers, spill! Who is the most famous person you have met as a result of getting onto a press list? Leave a comment below with your best tips to meet celebrities!