I’m all for honesty and transparency in my writing, and it’s not often I’ll write something negative on my blog, but an event I attended last night really grated on me. I’ve had the privilege of working with All Bar One before on my blog, and bar a minor service issue, they and their PR agency have been great to work with. Now don’t get me wrong, I feel more than appreciative to have even been invited to events in the first place, and don’t want this to come across in the wrong way, but I feel this needed to be said.

To clarify a few things first, myself and several other blogger friends as part of the Edinburgh network we have here, were invited to an ‘exclusive invite only’ event, a night of cocktails and canapés, cocktail masterclasses and insider tips. All sounds very fabulous and worth taking the time and effort to go right? Something I’m fairly sure most of us thought was a blogger only event, a chance to catch up with friends and chat to likeminded people. But what was actually the case was a little different. Sure, I got to see my friends, we had a good laugh over a cocktail together, but there was a certain undertone where we, as bloggers, felt totally unwanted there, isolated even, only invited so we would post about it for some free exposure for the brand.

It’s a shame because in my photos we are having a great time, we were making the most of seeing each other and having a laugh after a long day at work, these were all taken as we first arrived unaware of what was going on. There were canapés indeed, but they were swiftly ushered away from us, we were looked down upon, told that they were for the ‘VIP’ guests on the tables over there who had already eaten three times over, now don’t get me wrong, but if we are all invited to the same so-called VIP event here – aren’t we all equals? Similarly, we politely asked if we could sit at one of the several tables which were empty, to be told that they had been ‘reserved’, assumedly for someone deemed more important, which again brings me back to my point about being equals. Said table didn’t turn up to the event, and we were once again shunned away for even daring to take a seat. My personal favourite was when we had watched food pass us by so many times being blatantly ignored, that when I asked if we could possibly grab something to eat like the rest of the ‘VIP’ tables, a woman came back with a platter of mini burgers, amazing we thought – finally, for her to ask “are you going to take a picture of these or not?” then walked away and gave them to a table which again, had already been served three times over, whilst we just watched in dismay and swiftly left to go to McDonalds, it was clear they weren’t interested at all in hosting us, and we were definitely not welcomed there. I for one put a lot of time and effort into my blog, and I know many others do too, but it felt like we were only invited to be there to provide some free advertising for a brand that quite frankly, has let us down. Have you ever felt used as a blogger?