My experience at my first bloggers event #BlogOnMOSI
I must admit that I didn’t really know what to expect and I only really knew my sister Danni over at itstartedwithasquish so I was a bit apprehensive about basically going on my own (although I’m sure I wasn’t the only one!). I was also bringing L as he was only just under 2 weeks old and breastfeeding so I had him to contend with as well as myself – eek!
I’d decided that I was going to use my Ama wrap to baby wear L rather than bring the pram as I couldn’t be doing with pushing it around and I’m glad I did – it was so much easier to get around. I was driving into town which was stressing me a bit as I’m not too familiar with driving in Manchester and to add to the stress, they had diversions near the MOSI and I only vaguely knew where I was going. Cue me being late as per usual as I couldn’t get to grips with the diversion and ended up driving around in circles for a good 20 minutes before finding another car park no too far away (I blame the baby brain!).
Rushing in 10 minutes late and to the front desk, I was able to pick up my fab Moo business cards (that were such a bargain) and was directed to the main room where the initial keynote was taking place with speakers from Collective Bias and Jo from slummysinglemummy.
We then split into our groups (I was in orange group) to our first workshop. My first workshop was Creative Copy featuring the lovely bloggers Jane from northernmum, Helen from actuallymummy and Penny from aresidence. This was a very relaxed and open house session allowing us all to ask questions about all aspects of blogging using their experiences as a means of planning and improving the content of our own blogs. I loved hearing about their own experiences of blogging and how they had developed their blogs over the years they had been writing them, as well as tips from other bloggers in the audience in how to plan your time as well as plugins and apps to help you do this.
After the first workshop it was time to mingle with other bloggers, have dinner and go and see some of the great brands that had attended the event. It was at these times that I missed most of the mingling as I had to feed and change L but I did manage to have a look around the brand stalls (albeit being a bit too shy to talk to them!) with one of which catching my eye – The Essential One. The Essential One are a clothing brand specialising in clothing ranges for children in their first year. Their product range really is lovely and extensive, catering for the essentials as well as lovely outfits perfect for any boy or girl! I had a great chat with their team and they made me feel very welcome, even though I’m a relatively new (and very shy!) parent blogger. I would like to thank them for lovely samples that I was given for L to try – take a look a how lovely their products are!
Before I knew it, lunch break was over and it was time for the next workshop – Photography. I was most looking forward to this session as I feel its something I really need to improve on. I don’t personally have a decent camera so I very much rely on my phone to take photos so I was thrilled when Vanessa from hpmcq took us through a range of phone apps to help edit and improve our photos using just our phones and tablets. She demonstrated the apps well and I learnt a lot about how to improve my photos and then use other social media apps to upload them to my social media platforms. We then moved onto Emily from amummytoo who showed us all how to edit photos using Photoshop Elements. This was also great and really highlighted how we can improve photos simply by tweaking certain elements using simple tools in the software (I now need to get myself the Photoshop Elements software which Emily said was relatively cheap to purchase and more user friendly than the full Photoshop software package). It was then I realised that time had elapsed and I’d not managed to get to the lovely Lucy from capturebylucy who was walking us through making our photos stand out with the use of a range of exciting looking props, and John from photowalkthrough who was demonstrating using DSLR more effectively to take better and more stunning photos. I could easily have spent all afternoon in this session!
We then had another hour to mingle and talk to other bloggers and the brands but alas, feeding time for baby L was calling but I had to say he’d been a superstar all day with not a peep from him. I did have lots of people coming up to me admiring baby L and I thank you all for making me and L feel so welcome, as I will admit to being very shy and I would not have had the courage to talk to you allhad you all not come up to me first! Sadly I’m rubbish with names and with me being relatively new in the blogging world, I’m still linking faces to blog names so I cannot thank you personally. I did have a lovely chat with Collette from we’regoingonanadventure – it was lovely to meet you!
Our last session was on social media with a range of bloggers specialising in each social media platform: Pinterest – Rebecca -from herecomethegirlsblog; Vlogging/Youtube – Ruth from geekmummy; Facebook – Jennifer from mymummyspennies; Google+ Aly from plus2point4 and Twitter – Gemma from helloitsgemma. Again I only managed to get around two parts of the session – a chat with Jo from slummysinglemummy about becoming part of Collective Bias, and the lovely Jennifer about enhancing and promoting our blog facebook pages. I would have loved to have got round more but that hour certainly was the fastest hour ever! So my apologies for not getting round to you all.
The whole day was completed by a reflective and thoughtful keynote by Jenny from cheetahsinmyshoes on the ethics of blogging, thinking about writing the truth but also how this can affect others.
I had a great informative day and have taken some key tips and points to help improve my blog which I am hoping to implement once baby L is a bit more independent (which could be a while at this rate haha!). I was that in awe of everything that I totally forgot to take any photos – big blogging fail! But a big thank you to Laura from tiredmummyoftwo for organising the event so well and to all the lovely and well informed speakers. Also a big thank you to the brands who attended the event and those who provided such wonderful goody bags to take home. I very much appreciated all the samples we’ve tried and vouchers for some great treats and products. I’m pretty sure that a great day was had by all (even baby L)!
Looking forward to attending next year!