I spent a beautiful sunny Saturday in June at a Blogging Conference in London! It was very colourful, bright and cheery both in terms of the decor, the people and the presentations….oh and the food! It was indeed more than a Conference.
When I booked on to the event I hadn’t realised there was a pre conference event on the Friday; a photowalk followed by a party at West Elm. This looked great fun but logistics (trains already booked and a dog!) meant I couldn’t make it.
I live a 50 minute train trip (and a 20 minute car journey) from Euston and a Virgin Rail offer enabled my to travel for £8 return…..YES £8 crazy! I had an early start as the Conference kicked off at 8.30 with Breakfast (you can see the day’s schedule here). My plan was to arrive at 9ish and partake in second breakfast – I am a hobbit and I can’t leave home without breakfast :).
The Conference – morning session
Things really got started at 9.40, after I’d consumed several Beurre d’Isigny pain au chocolate and pain au raisin, washed down with a bucket of coffee, with an inspiring keynote speech from Natalie Lue . The message promoted Blogging for yourself, doing it because you want to, not copying or comparing but LOVING IT.
Following a short coffee break a choice of 4 workshops were available, each with enough space not to be turned away disappointed. I had met a lovely lady (Jo) at this point. We were going to different workshops, this meant when we met later we were able to feedback and share our workshop experiences. This added great value to the Conference overall.
I attended the Foundations of Marketing workshop led by Kayte Ferris ( http://www.simpleandseason.com/) . I have some marketing knowledge and was interested to get a bloggers view, not only does Kayte blog but she is a Marketing Consultant and Coach. The session was useful. Kayte made me think I needed to look more specifically at who I expect or want my audience to be and to develop a “Buyer Persona”. From this analysis you can develop your stories and how to communicate them. Lots of food for thought and work to be done. Talking this through with my new friend Jo and others in the lunch break started the process!
Lunch was spectacular, I chose roasted salmon pea risotto, lemon butter and pea shoots accompanied with a variety of salads. It was very well organised and plentiful. No hassle, no queuing and plenty of time to chat or peruse the market.
The Conference – afternoon session
Next I chose to go to the Working with Brands workshop presented by Lucy Nicholls (http://www.shinythoughts.net/hello/ ). Lucy has worked for ASOS and now Boden as a Social Media Content Producer. Being a Blogger herself Lucy knows a lot about Influencer Marketing. The packed presentation was comprehensive and a little bit “on the horizon” for me but one can dream! Again it made me realise a scatter-gun approach to my blog was not ideal and identifying my audience is paramount.
Jo had been to the Finding your Niche workshop and came away with a useful handout. Needless to say I stole a copy, a useful tool to help my post conference work.
A short break before the last workshop of the day. Jo and I had selected the same one, the Creative Business Masterclass. Three lovely ladies with successful creative online shops talked us through the importance of Community, Collaboration and Balance for you and your business. They were very lively and at times haphazard. This wasn’t the best session or presentation, the slides were illegible as they were too pale and the lighting in the room couldn’t be adjusted well enough to improve this. There is always a kernel of something valuable tho’ and we did come away with a list of great websites for tools and resources.
The Conference – the finale
The final break and a cup of tea was much needed, along with a smidgen of cake, all fueled up for the final keynote speaker Emma Gannon. Emma was great, very entertaining presenting the changes in blogging from 2010 to 2016 , making predictions for 2017 and championing playing to your strengths:
Ideas first, Platform second.
The Conference was rounded off by Kat Molesworth, co-founder and director of Blogtacular (http://blogtacular.com/team-blogtacular/) and a group photo. I pretty much missed the latter as a dash to the loo pre tube and train journey was a priority! Sorry Kat 🙁
Blogtacular promised to be “more than an event, it’s the catalyst to transform your career. You will leave with the tools, ideas and inspiration to achieve your goals plus the network of contemporaries who’ll help you get there”.
I think it lived up to this. The Conference has helped me to really consider my audience and given me some tools and advice on how to go about this. It sent me away with lots to think about, lots of resources to research and lots of places to look for inspiration.
Have you been to Blogtacular?
Would you recommend any other Blogger events?
Thanks for reading
You can read the Blogtacular write up in their blog here http://blogtacular.com/blog/