Conference season is well and truly in swing within the blogging world. With Blog Camp last weekend and Blog On this weekend it has been quite an intense week or so. I’m glad of a rest now to get my head together again before Britmums Live next month!
Blog On is held in the Museum of Science and Industry, which is rather more conveniently placed for me than most blogging events and only took about 15 minutes to get to – this meant I was even able to dash to my Slimming World class for a quick weigh in!
After a quick breakfast (kindly provided by Brioche Pasquier) we made our way into the main room for our first Key Note talk – all about getting organised with Nickie O’Hara. I’m a right old list maker anyway so I tend to know where I’m at with stuff but I must admit that I need to be a bit more focused with my time – I get to distracted too easily from what I need to be doing.
We were then split into two groups – one to do a photography session and one to do YouTube before swapping after break. This was a bit of a tricky one as whilst I do use YouTube a lot for embedding videos into blog posts (both for reviews and also sharing moments) I’m no vlogger. I have no desire to be a vlogger. I don’t mind talking to camera and there are definitely times where it serves a purpose but for me this is about writing. Between the room being too big to be able to hear / see properly and quite a lot of people in the room not being particularly interested it was easy to lose concentration. It felt a bit of a wasted session really which was a shame as I know that Nickie, Lisa and Kate and really knew their stuff and would probably have been better speaking to a smaller, more focused group.
After break we moved onto photography with Jenny. I’m always keen to listen to people talk about photography and particularly appreciated Jenny’s ability to make it accessible. She spoke passionately about photography, about trying things out, looking from different angles, searching for the things which aren’t immediately obvious and if it all goes wrong? Well that’s what the delete button is for.
— Colette (@Lollinski) May 2, 2015
At this point we were meant to go explore MOSI and take some exciting photos for ourselves but I ended up standing and talking to Jenny about bits of kit and have now added more stuff to my photography wish list including a set of macro filters and another new camera strap (this one she promises will stop me clonking the kids on the head with Jonny!)
Lunch went by in a bit of a blur and can be summed up by this totally comical photo of Helen and I:
The first session of the afternoon was split into a Beginner and Advanced Blogging . . . and what a joy it was. All too often we are told the same things over and over, the same basic information about always replying to emails or what the difference is between follow and no follow (if you don’t know then Google is your friend I promise you). Anyway Nick and his analogies were a breath of fresh air. He pitched the session just right making it all feel really accessible. I certainly came away from the session with a mental ‘to do’ list.
— Colette (@Lollinski) May 2, 2015
The Blogging Skills session was followed up by a bit of a brain break and some epic cake provided by Hungry House – I might have had two helpings . . .
The final session of the day was split into four to enable us to choose our own “niche” offering up groups on Fashion & Beauty, Food, Travel and Lifestyle. I was half tempted to attend the Travel talk but in the end decided that Lifestyle worked as a bit of a catch all and was probably more suited to me. As it turned out I was right, “Lifestyle” was very general and I don’t think it felt like a “niche” focussed talk so much as more general tips and chat on blogging – I’m not really sure what I had expected from the session but that wasn’t quite it! I must admit though I did like Charlie and Dannii‘s theme of “Don’t be a d*ck” – I think this needs to be applied to life as a whole not just blogging!
The day was closed by Evolution PR‘s Duncan, self professed Mummy Magnet – well there’s a title to live up to if ever there was one! I found his talk really interesting particularly as there were times it contradicted things I’ve heard from other people over the last couple of weeks which if nothing else just proves that just as ever blogger is different so is every PR company!
After a day full of socialising and learning we were packed off home with three (yes three!) goodie bags laden with treats – Ben thinks I should go to “writing parties” more often.
All in all it was a great day – very different to last year both in set up and my own personal experience. Special mentions to, amongst others, the prosecco fuelled Kerrie, Jane for being a massive bad influence but keeping me giggling all day long and Jenny for just being a complete star.
Same time next year loves?