I am not a foodie. I'm not a food blogger. I don't have the foodspotting app. I may occasionally tweet a picture of my food to Yelp or foursquare, but mostly to represent the venue experience, not the food itsetlf.
Since I am not a foodie, there was absolutely no reason for Burger 21 to invite me to their Very Important Blogger (VIB) event yesterday. But I knew that a lot of my friends were going to be there so I decided to stop by anyway and check things out. It wasn't a hard decision. I love and it is a short walk from work. Fortunately, the Burger 21 staff felt similarly and let me hang out a bit and chat, even though I wasn’t a VIB.
The event was great! It was well organized. There were two large tables set to the side with a smaller area for laptops for Burger 21 staff to use. The attendees included people from the more mainstream food review media, representatives of the familiar alt-weekly, and independent foodbloggers and a variety of Tampa social media folks. Westchest Patch’s very own was there!
People were in good spirits the entire time. Of course it helped that the Burger 21 staff was constantly dishing out sliders, hotdogs, shakes, fries, and more. Since I was more of a casual observer, I only nibbled here and there but I can say that the the Rubin dog was very tasty. The black and blue burger was tangy and delightful. But the Bananas Foster shake was the bomb!
Since I'm not a foodie I'll leave it to the pros to tell you exactly why the food is amazing. What I loved about the Burger 21 VIB event was that they had pulled together a lot of great social media folks all the way to Westchase for an afternoon.
I had a great time meeting some new people, talking shop, and following the action on the hashtag #B21VIB.
All Westchase businesses should take a look at what Burger 21 did and think about how they could do something similar. Events like this are a win-win. Social media people are, by definition, social. They love to get out into the community and interact with others. Social media events such as meetups, social charity fundraisers can also be great for business. Not only can get help get the word out for you and your brand at very little expense, but it also strengthens relationships with its customers. And it doesn’t have to be only at restaurants and nightclubs. In 2009 I held the first Westchase Tweet up a Bright Eyes and we filled the place up!
Want to learn how to put together an event like this? Read up on Burger 21 on their Twitter and Facebook. Or better yet stop by, grab a bite to eat, and ask them. Then tell us when you are having your own social media event!