If you've somehow managed to miss me on my social media streams this weekend, I was at Blogstock! It was the first blogging festival, and held in Elstree, London. I was lucky enough to be asked to present a session, as well as take the place on the final debate panel. Eeek!
Now, I'm not a natural camper, so I was pretty relieved to hear that Hertz would be putting me up in their VIP tipis, which would be pre-pitched and complete with mattress. Phew. My glamping essentials started with my make-up and a half wig that I'd brought pre-curled. The half wig would mean that I wouldn't need to style my hair after a night in the tent!
There were a few afternoon sessions on that first day, and the weather was pretty pleasant, so we felt at home right away.
Imagine a long-lost cousin's wedding. The DJ is playing unusual dance mixes of music you know, and there is free wine. Throw in torrential rain and a photobooth and you're basically alongside me, dancing like a crazy aunt right at the front. Lots of fun had by all, including the St. Johns Ambulance men who engaged in an instagram war with us. You probably had to be there to fully understand how or why that happened.
The next morning I had to find my serious hat buried in my tent, ready for my talk at 9:15. All that wine didn't feel quite as great in the morning, but some coconut water and espresso soon sorted me out.
I was wearing a gorgeous Collectif dress that they'd sent me for the occasion (remember you can use REE10 for a wee discount), and the sun was shining gloriously, which made last night's storms seem a distant memory. I'd opted for DMs rather than wellies, and they did me proud.
The Fashion Galleries hosted the Fashion Tent, and my talk kicked of the day's activities there. My presentation was called "The Power of Niche", and I shared my passion and belief that appealing to the masses while blogging simply won't/can't work anymore. I shared some examples of niche blogs (including my own of course!) and explained how and why I thought it was so crucial to narrow the breadth of your content, and the audience you target. I also shared some of my tips for managing social media and other random bits that popped into my brain as I went!
I took a break from the blogging workshops and sessions to take part in a cocktail masterclass with Appleton Estate Rum. I'm traditionally a vodka girl, but I made a Daiquiri (with extra sweetness and without breaking the shaker!) and it was bloomin' delicious. I may well have enjoyed a few more later in the afternoon (none quite as yummy as my own one of course!).
The final event of the day was the one that had me the most nervous. I'm not a nervous person as such, but I definitely wasn't that sure how it would turn out! There was debate panel, hosted on the main stage, debating the future of blogging. There would be four panel members, and I'd be representing the fashion/beauty blogging industry (the others were travel blogging focused).
I've never taken part in something like a debate panel, complete with scary microphones, and I really appreciate everyone who tweeted me afterwards, you all made me blush (and glow a little with a smidgen of pride). Thank you, as even those of us who seem pretty confident get self conscious too!
There were some great brands involved in the weekend, and I loved meeting half of the Pinterest UK team, heckling during the Expedia pub quiz (too many geography based questions!), grateful for the Contiki bus that took me there, Hertz for providing such amazing sleeping quarters, and of course Blogstock, we all had such fun.
Now....I wonder if Blogstock are brave enough to invite me back next time ;-)