What can I say about Blogtacular, when the title sums it up? If you’re a blogger, thinking of blogging, a creative business person or just someone who is thinking of stepping up their creative game into something that can make them some money, then Blogtacular is the event for you.
What is it: The Creative Blogger Conference of the Year. Here you will actually learn stuff and not just see brands plugging their wares.
When: this year, it was 9th & 10th of June (you can just go to the second day which is the main conference but you miss so much if you don’t do the photowalk or party)
Where: etc events 200 Aldersgate. A modern, airy conference building near St Paul’s.
Expectations & Goals: This being my second Blogtacular conference, my goals and expectations were different this year. My first year goals were just to soak up as much information as I could and I had zero expectations based on other work related conferences, I thought I knew the drill.
This is like no other conference you may have attended. It is probably one of the only one where you will meet people that instantly “get you”. There’s no judgement, no “don’t you know who I am”, no finger pointing if you don’t have a blog! It has been described many times as “walking into a warm hug” and that is so true.
Let me be straight with you – I am not a people person when first meeting people. I can be socially awkward, quite stand-offish. I’ve even been described as “kind of unapproachable” (that one hurt, believe me! I was trying really hard on that occasion too!) It’s the nerves that do it! I have a really close network of friends who would not describe me as any of those things, in fact they probably wish I’d pipe down a bit more often!
There’s something about Blogtacular that brings out the better side in you – I know I’m not the only person that finds it. Maybe it’s finding your tribe, that allows you to cut through the nerves and ditch the stand offish facade.
Anyway – this time my goals where to meet loads of fellow creatives & have fun. I definitely put less emphasis on my swotty side of learning everything I could. I did that too, but I wanted to meet people, get to know them & build some friendships so we can all have a support network. This made it essential to go for both days of the conference & I could meet people at the photo walk and kick off party.
I was on Nikki McWilliams East walk which was in Shoreditch. If you don’t know, Shoreditch is well known for its colourful street art which makes a great backdrop for colourful & fun photos. I was quite relieved to bump in to Rach from @sewholchester, as there was no one else there that I’d previously met. It was such a friendly group, that it took no time at all to get chatting with Laura from @diglotetc (turns out I already have some of her pins!), Maria from @mariyoula, Joanna from @adventuresandteaparties and Joanne from @teacakeandrockandroll
As luck would have it, my hotel Qbic- London City was 20 minutes walk from the photowalk. I got a good deal, the hotel is super comfortable, modern & friendly. The best bit was I found a new tribe of fellow Qbic blogger guests which made the stay even better.
Westelm in Tottencourt Rd hosted the party at their store.
- Getting to know fellow bloggers I’d just met, catching up with blogger & makelight pals
- Checking out Westelm’s lovely homewares & their store which I’d never been to before
- Tasty food & drinks. The fruit ciders by Cranes were yummy! I had the Raspberry & Pomgranate one.
Things I know I can improve on next time
- We were fashionably late (unplanned – terrible traffic getting across town)
- Being late had a knock effect on queuing for food, getting a seat at the live discussions etc (I have odd hearing & can’t cope with sitting on the periphery so missed all the discussion)
All-Of-It. Okay, am I going to have to be more specific? Then let me tell you my highlights:
- Creative writing by Greta Solomon. Object writing is a tool I’m going to add to my blogging bag
- Creative Business Masterclass – it validated some things I needed to hear.
- Meeting kindred spirits. Fellow makers & bloggers that just get each other like no one else does. (shout outs to Julia, Emma, Adele, Jenny & Rebecca the Qbic tribe who really made my weekend!)
Things I know I can improve on next time
Do the talks that scare me. I realised after the conference I played it safe. I stayed in my comfort zone as far as the sessions go. Working with Brands, an intro to Illustrator, Video Making are so beyond my current skill set but I didn’t really consider that until reflecting on the weekend.
Key Take Aways
- It’s fine to side hustle
- You don’t have to do all the things. Either ask for help, pay someone else to do them prioritise what’s really moving you forward.
- The world won’t implode if you take a break from blogging / social media etc
- The blog is not the business, you are.
Plan of Action
- Keep in touch with everyone I met & support each other
- Keep up with the personal development but make time to have a life too.
- Keep doing what I’m doing but only when it’s pushing me forward. This is my year of yes, and I’m saying it to the right opportunities