I am starting to write this post at 00:45am after being out and about in London for the whole day. I got up this morning, or better yesterday morning, at 5am to get ready and take the train to Kings Cross. Why on earth would I get up voluntarily at 5am on a Saturday? Because it finally was the 8th of November – The day of my first Blogfest.
I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to attend Blogfest, in summer when the tickets first were available for sale, I just started blogging ‘full-time’ and wasn’t sure if it’s for me. Surely, as it’s organised by Mumsnet it is mainly for ‘mummy bloggers’ which I am not, so I wasn’t convinced if it is for me as a lifestyle blogger. Nobody I know was going as far as I knew and I was a bit worried to attend an event with lots of strangers. On the 31st of October I received an email from Skimlinks, offering me 20% of the ticket price and before really thinking about it, I bought my ticket.
I got a bit nervous during the week running up to Blogfest, but was really glad to find out that a friend of mine got a ticket last minute and was attending too. So yesterday at 7:30 I took a cab to the station and got the 7:45 train. I had to change once and wait for fifteen minutes to get the train to St.Pancras/Kings Cross. What a great time to get the first Gingerbread Latte of the year.
The venue, Kings Place, was only a few minutes walk from Kings Cross Station and I arrived a little bit early, checked in and received a lanyard with my name on it, my blog name and my twitter handle. What a great idea. I took the escalators down, left my coat in the cloakroom and shortly after I met two lovely bloggers. Michella
, who writes Mandla The Power of Style
and Zakia, who writes My Nerd Heaven
. At 9:30 we could finally enter Hall One, sit down and listen to Justine Roberts, the CEO of Mumsnet, who welcomed us all. Shortly after the first keynote panel started
: How does technology shape the way we think?. It explored the costs and benefits of living constantly online and how the internet evolved from a geeky curiosity into the organising principle of modern life. It was very interesting to listen to Sarah Vine, Beeban Kidron, Fleet Street Fox, Dr. Linda Papadopoulos and Tim Dowling.
Followed was a short coffee break for half an hour and then we learned how Tara Cain, who writes the StickyFingers
blog, brokered a deal with Coca Cola and met the editorial director of Zone, Gina Schauffer – the agency that put them together. I also learned a lot about using Skimlinks correctly and making the most of it. After this masterclass
, came the most inspiring bit of the day for me. During the Time Boms session, we listened to Camila Batmanghelidjh
, Suzanne Moore
and Francesca Martinez
. Each of them had five minutes to deliver a great speech on the theme of ‘breaking boundaries’ and Francesca’s speech brought tears to my eyes. She is such an inspiration and leaving the day with her words motivated me so much.
During the lunch break that followed I had the chance to speak to Alicia Navarro, the CEO of Skimlinks who answered all my questions about Skimlinks and had a blog clinic session. I learned how to monetize my blog and got some lovely compliments about my design which made me happy. During the lunch break, we are all asked to eat all the food on our plate and upload the picture with the #clearaplate hashtag. I will tell you about this a little bit more in another blog post.
After the lunch break, we had more sessions and because I really wanted to attend the Advanced Social Media class with Paul Armstrong, I couldn’t go to the Beauty Blogging session with Sali
Hughes and Caroline Hirons. Luckily I managed to get her book and have it signed after, so I didn’t miss out. I started reading the book on the train home and it is amazing. Every woman should own it and you can order it here: Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes
. After, I learned a lot about food blogging and the importance of the right light. It was great to speak to successful food bloggers, and while I am not a food blogger as such, I regularly share recipes so it was very useful for me.
I ate so much delicious food during the whole day, Mumsnet really looked well after us. In the afternoon we had afternoon tea and I can’t remember how many slices of cake I had. Ops! After the afternoon tea we all sat down for our last panel session with Nick Hornby
, Lynn Barber
, Rachel Joyce
(The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry), Harriet Lane
(Alys, Always), Lisa Jarmin
(How to be a Domestic Disgrace) and Erica Wagner
: The Power of Writing. The closing keynote was a great stand-up with Lucy Porter
and Justine Roberts thanked us all for coming and announced the morning and afternoon winner for the best tweet, both got a bottle of Champagne.
At 5:30 everybody met at Fever-Tree for the drinks reception and received a great goody bag, filled with lots of lovely products. My favourite is probably the Vitamin E Overnight Serum
from the Body Shop. It smells brilliant and my skin feels so soft. I left at 6:30 as I was meeting a friend for dinner and cocktails, but I can’t wait to return in 2015.
What I wore:
Heeled Chelsea Ankle Boots
Rimmel Match Perfect Foundation