Today was back to reality for me. I can’t believe the long awaited Blog On Conference in Manchester is already gone past. I have to say I am so glad I decided to go and I have already booked a ticket for the September session.
For me it started all off on Saturday afternoon. Around lunch time I left the kids and hubby behind heading off to the airport. I was super excited. My flight was delayed unfortunately but it wasn’t a big deal. I was in no rush. Some of us bloggers met up for something to eat at 6.30pm before the launch party.
Once checked into the “hotel”, I made contact with one of the bloggers to see how we get there. It was pretty much on the other side of Manchester and I don’t do public transport in a city I don’t know. So we all decided to take a taxi between us which was cheaper and quicker than the tram in the end. Nandos was packed. Thank god AK booked a table in advanced.
Shortly after our meal we made our way to the venue which was just across the road. Took us a bit of time because some of us decided to put on some heels including myself. I don’t get to go out much after all. As well as the launch party there was also one of the biggest hen parties taken place. The launch party was narrowed down to 75 people while the event itself had 200 bloggers attending.
It was absolutely brilliant to meet some bloggers I have been following a while and the ones I met last time at Blogfest. We all did a bit socialising, drinking and there were also some games presented by Paladone. It was a pretty good setup. They even had food and dessert. I missed that part though. Can’t believe I actually missed the dessert part! We left the party at 11pm. I could have a lie in the morning. Bliss, right?
8am my alarm went off and it was time to get ready for the big blogging conference. But first some breakfast near the Museum of Science Industry. I went for the traditional breakfast and of course some coffee. We then walked to the venue and arrived for 10am, right on time.
Time to dump suitcase and jacket to have a browse around. There were so many nice companies. It was lovely to talk to a few, handing over some business cards before Laura started off with the introduction and keynote.
For the first session I decided to attend Tim’s Advertising & Promoting. Honestly I learnt a lot from that session and when I caught up on my blog and I have one or two hours spare, I will go through the bits again and start working on them for my blog and social media. Well done Tim.
It was time to grab some lunch. We had the choice between tuna and cheese. I didn’t see any chicken, unless that was all gone. Inside the bag was also a bag of crisps, a cereal bar and a pack of shortbread biscuits. My drink of choice was apple juice. I settled down in the corner with some of the other bloggers to eat my lunch and decided what session to go next.
I was really tempted to go to the Photo Technical one but at the time, I had a banging headache (that’s what alcohol does to you!) and there was no way I could take in that much information then. Instead I decided to attend Aby’s session “6 Steps to Going Pro” and I am glad I did. It was so informative. I am in one of her groups on Facebook as well and I find she is brilliant at helping other people grow their blog.
Another break ahead… This time with some cake and wine. One of the brands was Swizzle who celebrated their 60th birthday. There was a huge drumstick looking cake and the best part… it actually tasted like drumstick inside too. Amazing!
For the next session I arrived a bit earlier because I knew it would be popular. This was Instagram hosted by Harriet who blogs at Toby and Roo. She talked about things that I would have never even thought of to do on Instagram to gain more followers. So yeah that was definitely a good session and I took a lot away from it. You really need a day off to take all this information in and embed it into your blog/ social media.
The last break was the big raffle. I didn’t enter. Why? Let’s be honest… carrying three goodie bags in a cabin sized suitcase and a tote bag was enough for me. Can you imagine if I won a big prize and couldn’t fit it? Maybe next time.
The last session for me then was Facebook. I wish I did the photo editing though. Hopefully somebody will have the slides available to download maybe. The Facebook session was grand. A lot of things I personally wouldn’t do and I know it’s hard to grow followers on a Facebook page anyway. In fairness Clare from My Fussy Eater did a great job hosting it though.
The conference was coming to an end and the plan was to have a big Q&A. Nobody had any questions though, so basically it was straight onto the part everyone has been looking forward to the most…THE GOODIE BAGS! What a maze it was. People grabbing their suitcase, trying to get to the goodie bags corner. I grabbed my three bags and started packing outside in the hall. It was quieter and more space, too. I wasn’t in a hurry because my flight didn’t depart until 10pm.
Once all packed, I was ready to go and catch the next train to the airport. Luckily three of the bloggers I have been chatting to also had to go to the airport and we all decided to share a taxi instead. A blogger likes the comfort. As I had to check in my bag, I had a bit of long wait before I could do so. Lesson learnt for September… book a different airline that is earlier than 10pm!
Overall I really enjoyed this event. I can only compare to Blogfest from last year and Blog On is so much better. The blogging community is amazing. It’s so nice how we can all connect in the same way. I definitely enjoyed meeting some of the bloggers I have been following for years but also the ones I know only a few months. Just to name a few… Donna from What the Redhead Said, Chantal from Capturing These Days, Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks, Jade from Raising the Rings, Jenny from Lets Talk Mommy, AK from The German Wife and Becky from The Mummy Adventure.