This weekend I took a trip to London. There was one particular reason. Blogfest was on. I have never been to a blogging event in the UK before and I heard only good things about it from other bloggers. The ticket was a bit pricey but thankfully I got the early bird which was £75 instead of £95.
The original plan was to head over Friday evening and come back Sunday evening to do some shopping and sightseeing but a friend of mine I was supposed to go with, decided to stop messaging me because of other reasons that I don’t even want to go into detail with. So I basically changed my flight to come back Saturday night and booked a hotel near the venue.
Friday night I made my way to the airport. Now that we pretty much live in Dublin, it’s much easier to travel. Previously it took me 2 1/2 hours and sometimes I had to stay overnight when it was an early flight. Now it’s only 30 minutes. It’s so handy. I’ll be taking that advantage more often …that is if hubby allows it. He can go on a trip too I guess.
So after a flight, a train and a tube journey I finally arrived at the Megaro hotel at Kings Cross station just before 1am. Away from the kids for one night and I don’t even get to sleep in. But uninterrupted sleep. In saying that I was too excited so didn’t sleep that much. My room was upgraded which I thought was nice considering the eight hours I stayed there.
I met up with one of the bloggers who arrived into London by train across the street in Costa. It’s the most random thing ever as it turns out she’s German. What are the chances. Her blog is called The German Wife. We got talking and then headed off to Kings Place which was only up the road.
When we arrived we were greeted by one of the organisers. She scanned our ticket and we received our batch. I didn’t really know anyone to be honest so I just tagged along with AK and her friend Sadie who blogs at Tiaras and Welyboots. I did recognise a few bloggers faces but I doubt they would have known me so I just kept quiet. Maybe next time. I left my suitcase and jacket at the wardrobe drop off and had a look around.
Shortly after we were guided into Hall one where the welcome speech was held. It was a bit long winded but I am not a big fan of these kind of sessions. I was looking forward to the blogger sessions.
They had a coffee break then but I already had coffee so AK and I grabbed a glass of water and made our way to the brands on the second floor. We got a free can of coke at the Coca Cola Stand. I wasn’t too pushed what session I wanted to go to so we went to the YouTube one. That doesn’t mean I am going to become a vlogger now but I do post the odd video for example days out or a room tour.
One of the brands there was called Gift Wink. They do some lovely stuff. We took the test to see what kind of shopper we are and I am a midnight shopper which is kind of true. You had to post the picture on Instagram and you could win something. Lucky dust…I won a personalised book which will be sent to me in the next week.
Lunch was served at 12.30pm. There was the choice of noodles with beef, a fish option and some sort of wraps. I went for the beef. It was nice. For dessert I had some sort of chocolate thing and a small slice of cake plus a fruit stick.
Shortly after we went back to the hall to enjoy some entertainment by the scummy mummy. I’m honest, I’ve never heard of them before until this event. It was quite funny in fairness.
I didn’t want to take part in any kind of sessions until later in the afternoon so when everyone was at one the other sessions, we decided to talk to the brands because it’s a quieter time then. There was Dove who encouraged us to write a blog post for and win a flight to Florida. I was really excited to go to the Aveeno stand. As we have been using Aveeno since Matthew was three months, this was great to see. They have launched a new Aveeno baby range which I haven’t heard of. I mentioned to her that I am using the Dermexa range and it turns out this range is only available in Ireland. Learn something new everyday. Their crib setup was absolutely adorable.
Other brands we got talking to were Coca Cola for their tasting and Barclays for their Digital Eagles campaign. They had this cool machine where you tweet something with the hashtag provided on screen. Once done, you receive a surprise gift which is a charger. I haven’t figured out how to use it yet but it doesn’t seem to work for me unless I am doing something really stupid.
I decided to go to a session that focuses on SEO and analytics because that’s something I still need to improve and probably the main reason why I still haven’t got anywhere 2 1/2 years later. Now I know the content is important too and I am trying my best. Alison from Not another mummy blog talked about the importance of focusing on social media and pushing one aside for now that can be worked on later. What I did find interesting was the keywords. I only use one word. There’s no wonder it won’t be seen. All my posts that are kind of decent, I will have to check all over again.
I went upstairs for a little while to see who else I could meet. I got to meet Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks and Alex from Bump to Baby. Both blogs I follow for quite some time. We got chatting for a bit and I went back downstairs for the final session which included the blog awards. After that it was the drinks reception. Unfortunately I didn’t spot any drinks. Sadie, AK and I decided to leave as it was nearly time to leave for the airport anyway. We picked up our goodie bags and left. I had to give some products to Sadie because I didn’t check in a bag with Ryanair and you’re only allowed to bring 100ml bottles. A shame really because I love Dove products.
It was a long day but I really enjoyed it. Something different. I didn’t get to see much of London but maybe another time.
If you have been to Blogfest this year, did you enjoy it? I am interested what other kind of Blog events are a must go to.