Last weekend I attended the Northern blogging conference, Blog On, organised by Laura from Tired mummy of Two. This was my second year attending, and the second year of the conference, and after thoroughly enjoying it last year I was looking forward to it again. I met up with my now close friend, Susanne from Ghostwritermummy, for a coffee beforehand and we also bumped into Bex and Tina so all had a natter before heading into the Museum of Science and Industry – our hosts for the day.
One thing I love so much about blogging is I feel like I have found a place. At first when I entered I felt like there wasn’t anybody there that I knew – there are so many bloggers – but when I ventured in a bit further I bumped into lots of familiar faces and felt instantly at ease. It makes me so happy to walk into a room and know people and receive lots of warm hugs and smiles, it is one of the few places I feel remotely confident. There are too many people to name them all, but I have to admit to squealing when I saw the lovely Katie and gorgeous Lucy who both live down south and so I don’t see them very often. I was also delighted to catch up with Chelsea and Tas as well as finally meeting Louisa who I have been speaking to for four years but never met before!
After lots of chatter and catching up, as well as a yummy brekkie from Total Greek, we head into the introduction session with Collective Bias. I do have to admit to sneaking out to go have another little chat to Katie and The Essential One team – whilst Baby J has now grown out of all their clothes *sob* I still hold the company very close to my heart as they were one of the first I worked with, they sponsored me for Britmums and I just love their clothes and their brand so much.
We all then went into our first session, which for us was social media. The room was split into tables where each speaker sat and we could join them and move around as we pleased, in order to get as much relevant information as we could. I have to say that the first session threw us a little as none of us felt comfortable getting up and walking around and there wasn’t really an introduction. I enjoyed Aly talking to us about Google+ and the lovely Jen from My Mummys Pennies had a lot to share about the secrets to gaining over 4k followers! One of the most informative session was on Pinterest with Rebecca, although I did end missing most of it, Susanne was kind enough to share her notes.
After a break with more chatter, food and selfies, we then went into the Creative Copy session to learn about how to inject more creativity with our writing. I do love Helen from Actually Mummy, she is so entertaining and Jane from Northern Mum and Penny from A Residence provided their invaluable advice too. If I took nothing away from this session, I came away with seven new post ideas, which is more than I’ve been able to put together in a long time so thanks ladies for the inspiration!
Next it was lunchtime and we grabbed a spot on the floor, and ended up near the Essential One so cue more baby chatter and Katie and I arguing who was going to have a third baby so we could buy their clothes again!
The final session was the photography session, again a round table set up, this time with Emily discussing editing, John Arnold helping us learn about our fancy cameras, Vanessa talking about mobile photography and Lucy and all her many props to show us how she sets up her beautiful photos. Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough time to get round them all, so I sat in with Emily and learnt some Photoshop basics and then I had to pay a visit to Lucy’s table, if only to wonder at all the props she had managed to stuff into her car!
After the closing keynote we all queued up to collect the monstrous goody bags! Laura definitely outdid herself this year as we collected four bags, weighing a considerable amount – thankfully she had forewarned us to bring wheelie cases and thank goodness I did!
It was a long day and with the M.E. I was completely worn out when I got home, but it was definitely worth it. I wasn’t too sure about the round table set-up myself, I know the reason behind it, but I felt like I couldn’t get round everybody and it was a bit awkward moving from table to table. I did enjoy the different sessions, though. With going to a few conferences, they can tend to be about similar things and with similar speakers, so it was nice to see new faces and hear about different subjects. I know how much went into the day and it ran so smoothly, I think we all had a great day.
Whilst I was there I decided to do some filming, so here is my vlog of the day!