There were interesting talks, there were lovely outfits, there were friends, there were hugs, there was lots of chatting – and cake.
I even learnt a new word – and it’s not a rude one. It all happened at last Saturday’s BlogCamp!
The day was so enjoyable I can’t believe this time last week I was about to cancel my ticket, because I didn’t feel up to it. I’m very grateful to lovely friends who encouraged me to go to this free event organised by Tots 100.
Saturday’s event was in Birmingham. I got up bright and early to get the train. On arriving at New Street station, I was pleasantly surprised to see Katy (What Katy Said) – it turned out we had been travelling in adjacent carriages. We met up with Aby (You Baby Me Mummy), Em (Snowing Indoors), and Hannah (Mums’ Days) and made the short walk to the venue.
My favourite thing about such events is meeting my friends. Blogging is a bit strange sometimes because we share so much of our lives, we feel we know each other so well, yet in most cases we have never met face-to-face.
It was lovely to see Kiran (Mummy Says), Vic (VeViVos), and Claire (Ninja Killer Cat) again. It was wonderful to meet Vicki (Honest Mum) for the first time, although it felt like we’d known each other forever – and I enjoyed chatting to her lovely mum. Susanne (Ghostwritermummy) – have got to know each other on social media through being MAMA Academy ambassadors and our #MatExp work, and it was wonderful to have a proper chat. Jocelyn (The Reading Residence) and Louise (Little Hearts Big Love) have got to know one another through Jocelyn’s fab word of the week linky, and it was fabulous to meet and have a proper chat with them. I also enjoyed meeting Em (Brummy Mummy of 2); Jess (Mummy of Boy Girl Twins); Mel (Le Coin de Mel) Alison (Complicated Gorgeousness) and so many others – I wish we had more time to chat.
I got photos with most of these lovelies for posterity:
A particularly special surprise was meeting Lucy from Mrs Bishop’s Bakes and Banter. Bizarrely, it turns out we live just two streets apart – small world, eh?
Oh yes – besides the social side of the day, there were some fantastic talks, too.
The first talk of the day was about pro blogging. I surprised myself by going to that talk, but I am glad I did because I was pleasantly surprised by the content. I thought pro blogging was all about being an ambassador for brands, but as the wonderful Penny and Becky explained, you can define it in whatever way you choose. The talk opened my eyes to the pro blogging possibilities and opportunities – things like copywriting for others, giving talks, writing guest posts for other platforms.
Pro-blogging is like normal blogging, in the sense that you work according your own goals and aspirations, doing your own thing in your own way. The difference is you make your living from it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fashion talk, but again was pleasantly surprised: it was refreshingly down-to-earth thanks to the frankness and honesty of the speakers. They were very generous with their tips about styling fashion posts, which being a lover of pretty dresses I would like to do more of in the future.
The photography session led by Lindy was interactive and hands-on. While I understand lighting and composition, previously I had given little thought to backgrounds and styling. I love bright colour, and I’ve already been having a play at home, improvising with some things I had to hand.
One of the reasons I blog is because I love writing, and Fiona Steggles’ writing session did not disappoint. She gave some excellent tips about writing structure, drawing in your readers and compelling them to read more. It was during Fiona’s session that I learnt the new word – anaphora. It means the device of repeating a sequence of words to emphasise a point. That’s something I often use in my posts (such as in the first paragraph of this one!) but I had no idea it had such a fancy word.
The last session of the day was again about pro-blogging comprising a panel including my wonderful friend Vicki (Honest Mum), who continues to inspire me with her proactive, go-getting attitude. While we have different blogging goals, her attitude is something I try to emulate: if you want something, go for it, and don’t be afraid to shout about how awesome you are!
The food was delicious – celeriac tart with salad for lunch, and waffles with maple syrup for afternoon tea. I didn’t get any photos of it, but I did photograph some of the fab décor in The Studio:
A HUGE thank you to Sally and the team at Tots100 for organising such an amazing event.
The dress I wore is a size 14, and I was chuffed that it fitted like a dream because I have dropped a dress size. That did, however provide me with an important learning point that the talks could not provide: when dropping a dress size, you are wise to also wear tights that are a size smaller if you would like to avoid having to surreptitiously keep hitching up the blinking things all day.
Ultimately, droopy tights notwithstanding I went home tired but feeling positive. BlogCamp Birmingham truly was brilliant.