#BlogOnMOSI 2014 - My first blogging conference

Friday, May 09, 2014

On Sunday I went to my first blogging conference organised by Laura from Blogs up North. I really wasn't sure what to expect as I knew there would be a lot of parent bloggers there and didn't know if I'd fit in.

The Venue

We were on the conference level which is on the top floor of MOSI which is an astounding venue. I love how this building looks. It’s industrial, historical, and modern. I adore spending time in the building. The conference level is split into a number of different rooms as well as a central space which is where we had the breaks and the brand tables were set up. What I really liked was a number of the people who were at Blog on had family members going round the exhibitions. I’ve been meaning to go myself for well over a year if not more. This year I will visit.


I took around 100 pictures and most of there were blurry so I've done some collages of my favourites. I have put an album on my facebook page
I started my day in Nero having a quick drink before wandering my way down to MOSI. I arrived early and Lisa from Hollybobbs recognised me and came and invited me to sit with them while they had a brew. (Sorry I didn’t catch the names of the other people who we sat with)

It was good to go up with other people as it didn’t feel as daunting! I go to MOSI a fair bit with my day job so at least I knew the layout and where the Loo’s were!

As we signed in we were assigned coloured lanyards which indicated which sessions we’d go in to and which times. There was also a breakfast spread with yogurts and Danish pastries.

The day was split in to keynote speeches then 3 sessions on different blog related topics as well as chances to meet brands, socialise, eat and drink.

Keynote

I didn’t really understand a lot of the keynote speech, I found it really hard to hear most of it and I think that time could have been used for some ice breakers within our respective groups as I only spoke to about 3 people in my group! When I say Icebreakers I don’t mean the cheesy 2 truths and a lie, or here is something witty. I could have been a “speed dating” 3 mins per person, swap a blog card. Just something to get those of us in the group that didn’t know anyone else to learn some names.

Session One

My first session was creative copy. This was led by: Penny, Helen and Jane

I wasn't really sure what to expect. It was an open discussion which was centred on parent blogging. I’ve read a few posts where people really loved this session and I don’t want it to sound negative but it wasn’t for me.

Negatives – A lot of the advice and tips were aimed at parent bloggers. Get a partner to read over what you’ve written, I haven’t got one. Save up anecdotes about your children, I haven’t got one. Relate blog posts back to historic memories of family times – I do have a family but not sure how reviewing a dress relates back to my granddad putting his cigarettes out in the flower beds outside his front door as ash is good for the roses. I digress. I think this session made me feel like I didn’t belong, I was in the wrong place and that I was at a parent blogger conference and not at a blogger conference. Which wasn’t a great start for me.

Positives – I did get some ideas and tips that I will try and use, however I’m a lazy blogger so I might not keep it up!  Top tips, Keep paragraphs short, plan or don’t plan, write and write from the heart not the wallet. Think, look for other words, and use headings.

Lunch

I came in to the landing area and was so overwhelmed and feeling a little despondent. I don't know how many people were there, but it felt like a lot. I was get me out of here and raced for the exit.

Once I calmed down and had some “fresh air” I was amazed at the number of people who came up to me and said hi and they’d read my blog. I'm not sure if they were just being polite but it was so nice to meet everyone and I'm sorry if I came across a bit odd it was just so crazy!

I spoke to the Swizzle Matlow people and they were delightful, really cheery and nice to chat to. Plus they gave me sweets which is always a bonus.

I also spoke to Rachel from Neals Yard. She remembered me from the event last year and now is a party host for them as well as doing treatments. I do adore Neals Yard products. I need to pay them a visit soon.
There were a few brands that were specifically for children which I didn’t go over to, maybe I should have but I didn’t even catch the names.

I did speak to the guy from Illuminasia he was such a nice chap. It looks like a fab attraction for those with little ones and as he said it’s indoors the weather doesn’t matter.

Hotter shoes had some beautiful shoes as we all know I have a poorly back paw and I’ve seen some called Mabel that I’ve got my eye on, even better they come in a spot print!

There are more it was such a whirlwind it’s hard to step back and remember it all.

Lunch was a cold buffet provided by MOSI and there were plenty of choice. Sandwiches, potato salads and the most delicious crisps ever. There were also chocolate brownies and flapjack as well as the BlogOn MOSI cakes.

Session Two

The photography session. This was right up my street. The room was set up into tables and after an introduction by John Arnold about how the hour would work and some top tips (Light, light and more light)

I was so excited for the photography workshop beforehand and I could have stayed in there all day.

The fours tables were DSLR by John, Props and Styling by Lucy, editing by Emily and Mobile Apps by Vanessa

I decided I wanted to hear what Lucy had to say about styling props, I guess I’m my own prop as far as OOTD photo’s go but it’s good to get ideas for jewellery and make up shots and I fell in love with an egg box (I guess you had to be there)


I did pop over to the table taking about mobile phone apps but all the ones that I like the sound of are only for iPhone and I love my Samsung too much to switch. Maybe one day they will be available on android. I have bought Beautiful Mess but need to have a play about with it. 


I got home and cropped a few of the pictures I took with Lucy’s props, it really is worth taking the time to have a play around. I use picmonkey but I’m sure there are lots of other options out there. 


Wine Break

As we came out of the second session we were met with the sight of lots of bottles of Jacobs creek wine.

This perked a lot of us up and there was a lot more chatter. I spoke to someone I’d never met before Becca from Amuse your Bouche without the aid of wine but it was whilst we were pouring wine!

I also got to meet Jenny from The Brick Castle we also had a funny moment in lift with a child dresses as a policeman and my frock!

Session Three – Social Media

This session was made up of round table discussion groups with tables from Collective Bias, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest and Youtube. There wasn’t enough time to get to all the tables.

I started with Facebook led by Jen from My Mummys Pennies. She gave us lots of tips and advice on using facebook. Some I knew and I didn’t realise all the information you can get from the insights.

I did also visit the Google Plus table but I came in mid-way through and didn’t really want to ask them to repeat what had been said. I did learn about the Auto Awesome function where google knits together pictures it sees as the same to make a flip book effect. Awesome is a pretty good description.

For the last ten mins I went to the collective bias table, this isn’t something I’d heard of before blog on, it was interesting to hear what they do and what they want to offer bloggers. I have signed up and you never know they might accept me.

Closing Keynote

We all gathered together to have the conference closing and Laura thanked the speakers and handed them there special goodie bags before we were led out to collect our goodie bags.

It was at this point I said my goodbyes and left, I’d forgotten to buy a raffle ticket and I was on public transport home I decided to head on home.
The goodie bags need a whole post of their own! Laura did an amazing job. It was such a good day I’ve already registered for info about the next one!

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