|Photographs by Tamara Matthews-Stephenson; collage by The Decorating Diva|
During the Architectural Digest Home Show two weeks ago, Veronika Miller and Tim Bogan of Modenus hosted 15 bloggers from England and around the United States for a whirlwind tour of New York City interior design. This event marks the second trip for Modenus, and “Blogtour NYC” drew international attention—the event's hashtag on Twitter, #BlogtourNYC, even trended worldwide—demonstrating the power social media has to reach large audiences and influence brands. While in New York City, this select group of design and lifestyle bloggers was inundated with design inspiration, and wrote about what they saw around the show and the city.
The concept first took off last September when Modenus invited a group of bloggers on an all-expenses paid trip to London to participate in and write about events surrounding London Design Week. London Design Week takes place twice a year and consists of multiple design shows including Decorex and Tent London, which are spread across the city. In addition to tours of the design expos, Modenus also organized dinners, meetings with design companies, and symposiums for the bloggers to participate in and write about. I was one of the writers chosen for the London trip, and it was an exciting opportunity. For me, Blogtour London was about more than just seeing cutting-edge design and attending amazing venues and events, and it became an opportunity for collaboration with like-minded designers and writers. The publicity we created with our tweets, blog posts and magazine editorials caused quite a stir in the design community as well. This model celebrates the idea of design-related tours sustained by the influence writers and bloggers have built with their audiences. Design industry companies are taking notice, and many have signed up to sponsor Blogtour.
During the New York trip, Modenus asked a few local bloggers and designers to offer up their favorite showrooms and design experiences, giving the group a unique insider’s glimpse of the city. Modenus plans to continue working with local bloggers when planning future tours. Tours to Paris and London are in the works for next year, and many are anticipating they will be chosen to participate.
Social media continues to develop as an important tool for networking and for growing brands and businesses. I feel fortunate to have been part of both of these tours and look forward to seeing how the blogging community grows and attracts more opportunities like these.