My Blogtacular journey began with a bit of trepidation as the last time I took the train from Manchester to London I got travel sick, and on the return journey, too. Then I had my hubby alongside to look after me, but for the creative blogging event, Blogtacular, I was heading there alone.
I wasn’t going to take any chances so I popped a couple of anti-sickness pills and waited for the drowsiness to hit. Fortunately I didn’t get too sleepy and they warded off any nausea. Before I knew it I was in the capital, meeting up with my blogging room-mates, Jen from Love Chic Living who I’ve known for a while now, but also Katie aka Miss Enchanting and Lucy from LISH Concepts, neither of whom I had met in person before. So it was great that we all got together as a group and we really hit it off. Just as well, as the four of us we were sharing a dorm at Generator, a very trendy hostel as you can see…
Our room for four was compact but comfortable and very clean, costing just £45 each for the night which for central London you can’t beat, I would recommend it and it really was an ideal stopover for the event.
Blogtacular is the first blog conference of its kind in the UK, aimed at design/craft/creative bloggers and it did not disappoint. It was held in the very charming surroundings of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
Our keynote speaker on that first night was the very lovely American blogger, graphic designer and author Joy Cho of Oh Joy fame. Joy is hugely successful; to give you an idea, she has over 13.5 million (check it) followers on Pinterest alone. Obviously driven and hard-working with all her various projects, but also very sweet, she told us about how she got into design and the brand partnerships she has enjoyed cultivating, amongst other things.
The four of us headed off afterwards to a great little Italian restaurant near the hostel and went to sleep looking forward to an exciting and full day ahead!
Next morning bright and early we grabbed a latte and danish pastry and caught a cab back to the venue. The day was a whirlwind of workshop sessions covering design, branding, vlogging and much more, interspersed with welcome teabreaks and lunch. Some brands were there to mingle with in between workshops, such as Thomson Holidays and B&Q…
Plus there were opportunities to shop some lovely brands such as Betty & Walter…
The day kicked off with Will Taylor of ‘Bright Bazaar’ fame, who couldn’t be there in person, but had recorded an interview with Kat Molesworth, one of the event organisers, which we all watched on a giant screen.
If you don’t know Will, he is a British home interiors blogger and journalist who adores colour and he has a ‘mahoosive’ following. The reason he couldn’t attend was that he was in America on a book signing tour. Yes, that’s where blogging can lead, if you work hard enough – whirlwind international book tours, imagine! Just to prove it, there was a session at the event called ‘From Blog to Book’ where this very topic was discussed.
Anne Ditmeyer, a designer, editor and travel consultant living in Paris gave a very humorous and thought-provoking talk that made us bloggers stop and think about our value and what we are worth to the brands that want to work with us.
‘Hands On Styling’ was a great session with Ellie Tenant, an interiors stylist and journalist with a ton of magazine experience. She shared her tips for achieving the best room and detail shots, then we got to play at styling some gorgeous props. Ellie was really great to listen to, funny and knowledgeable. I took a lot away from her workshop.
I also found Cathy James’ talk on ‘Social Media with Intention’ very informative; what this lady doesn’t know about social media isn’t worth knowing. She gave really clear, practical advice about how to maximise your impact as a blogger using all the social media platforms.
Secrets of the Editors was an entertaining and interesting panel discussion, with an opportunity to ask the editorial experts questions at the end.
There were other sessions I would have loved to have attended, but the day’s programme and breadth of workshop topics on offer meant that you had to decide what workshops were the most relevant to you. The day was closed by Natalie Lue, author, blogger and businessperson who was very smart, sassy and engaging. It was a great note to finish on.
It really was a ‘wow’ event on so many levels and there was a genuine, warm buzz about the entire thing. Armed with our goodie bags, that included some fab gifts from lovely event sponsors…
… we dashed off for our trains home, heads full of ideas and feeling motivated to make our blogs the best they can be!
The event was very well put together by the two Kats (pictured front, above) and their able helpers; it must have been a huge undertaking to plan and run, not to mention exhausting, but they did a great job. It was good to connect with so many people there and put faces to names. My attendance at the event was made possible by sponsorship from a company I have collaborated with before, Lakeland Furniture, who specialise in reproductions of modern design classics like Eames chairs, plus tables and furnishing accessories. So I must give them a big mention and an even bigger thank you.
Bring on Blogtacular 2015!
Some of the photos I have used above are my own, others (i.e. the professional looking ones!) were taken by Will Ireland on behalf of Mollie Makes.