Blog On MSi 2016

Blog On MSI 2016 was my first experience of a bloggers conference, I was extremely excited and ridiculously nervous about the whole affair.

The Journey

Waking in the early hours I tiptoed around getting ready whilst trying not to wake the troops. I barely even managed a bowl of cornflakes due to nerves and after throwing my suitcase (which I was informed we would all require) into the boot and checking I had packed everything bar the kitchen sink I finally set off southwards praying my nerves would steady themselves.

I hate traveling alone and so had arranged to pickup a fellow blogger on the way to share the journey with. I arrived early at the pickup point and patiently waited for Karen from Two Tiny Hands. It was only seven-thirty in the morning, the cockerel was literally only just crowing quite loudly actually whilst also stamping its feet on my car bonnet as I sat waiting.

Blog On MSi 2016

Karen arrived cool as a cucumber right on time, we then headed back out to the Motorway towards Manchester. Karen seemed lovely and I tried my hardest not to bore her with my random ramblings or worse, terrify her with my dodgy driving.

We arrived in Manchester almost an hour later and began searching for the venue car park. After getting rather lost, driving down a one way street the wrong way and hitting tram tracks we decided to go with the ‘any car park will do’ philosophy.

It’s Heating Up!

All my lighter, cooler spare clothes and shoes which I took with me should my Christmas apparel not suit somehow got left in the car. After a ten minute walk to the venue I realised that perhaps Ugg boots were a little too warm for a conference afterall but made do. I simply cannot cope when my feet are too hot or worse, too cold. I don’t know about you but my feet seem to be my bodies control centre for temperature.

Blog On MSi 2016
After settling in the MSi cafe for a coffee, well technically a cold Coke Zero and some ginger biscuits to settle my nervous stomach I felt far better.

Blog On MSi 2016

Meeting & Greeting

I began spotting and meeting bloggers all of which were luckily carrying the aforementioned suitcases and were also sporting Christmas outfits. I no longer felt so nervous that I’d stand out like a sore thumb, I began to feel part of it. It was then that the fun began…

We were all escorted into the conference venue in groups of twenty or so and then asked to put our suitcases into a corner and line up for registration. After registering and making myself a name badge I began perusing the brand stands, picking up random merchandise and of course mingling with fellow bloggers.

 

The Key Note Speeches

After a quick look at the product stands we were all ushered into the main conference room for the keynote opening speeches.  On each table was a selection of stationary freebies along with some competition crackers, badges and random accessories. I collected a few bits and pieces for the handbag whilst trying my hardest to hear Sarah minus the microphone.

Blog On MSi 2016
As part of the opening speeches, Olivia Pennelle (Liv) from ‘Liv’s Recovery Kitchen‘ shared her Survival Story with us all. She was incredibly brave to stand and to share such an emotional ordeal with us, I was really taken aback.

Blog On MSi 2016
Olivia reminded me just how important and life changing blogging can be. It takes balls to ‘put it out there’, to share our thoughts, feelings, emotions, experiences, stories and advice with others.

Olivia’s story was inspiring, it has spurred me to continue sharing as an individual, a wife, a Mother, and as a blogger. I wish Olivia all the very best for her exciting future in America and hope that she continues to stay on the road to recovery.

Browsing The Brands

Following the key speeches we were given another chance to mingle with the bloggers and the brands networking for future business/ blogger opportunities.

Blog On MSi 2016
Blog On MSi 2016
Blog On MSi 2016
Blog On MSi 2016

Bumping Into Brilliant Bloggers

Whilst queuing to buy raffle tickets which I didn’t win a single thing on despite there being hundreds of prizes I bumped into Donna from What The Redhead Said. 
Blog On MSi 2016
Donna has been so helpful over the past year or so, it was great to put finally put a name to a face and of course to take an obligatory selfie!

The Sessions

I had already planned which sessions I wanted to attend and had made detailed notes of the topics, speakers and outline of the day in my trusty blogging notebook.

There were a number of sessions throughout the day led by well-known bloggers on a variety of topics. We could each choose four sessions to attend, I choose to attend the following:

  • Session One – Making Money with Mel from ‘Le Coin de Mel‘.
  • Session Two- Planning Creative Blog Content – Finding Inspiration from the Seasons with Grace from ‘Eats Amazing‘.
  • Session Three- WordPress (How To Give Your Blog An MOT) with Zoe from ‘MamaGeek‘.
  • Session Four- Instagram with Kate Ellison from Mummy Daddy Me and Colette from ‘Going On An Adventure

I will write a more detailed post upon these sessions at a later date.

 

The Food

At midday we were provided with a Christmas themed buffet, whilst I’ll be honest it didn’t totally live up to my expectations, it was still fairly tasty but didn’t really fill me.

 

Banter With The Bloggers

The main reason for attending the Blog On conference was so that I could meet other bloggers. I was rather overwhelmed when people began approaching me already aware of who I was. The red hair must be a  give away either that or the eyeliner. 

I really enjoyed getting to know bloggers new and known by which I mean those that I follow and read and those that were totally new to me. 

I am not one for favourites but there were two bloggers that I really seemed to really warm to. Holly from Little Pickles Mom  and Angela from Adventures In Websterland were so sweet, you know those people who you instantly hit it off with? They were so friendly, funny and fab, I hope we get to meet again soon!

Blog On MSi 2016
By the end of the day I was happily having the banter with bloggers and felt totally at ease.

Blog On MSi 2016

What Did I Learn?

I learnt a great deal throughout the sessions and by meeting bloggers and brands. I wrote pages of notes in each session and have since started to use some of the information I’ve gathered to begin building my brand, improving my Instagram, promoting products, working with companies, developing my design and most importantly to begin believing in myself.

 

The Secret Sing Along

Before leaving the conference I took part in a secret sing-along and despite The Twelve Days Of Christmas being far too high-pitched for my voice I got up and I did it, I sang in front of hundreds of people fueled by the many mince pies and large amounts of cake I had consumed.

Blog On MSi 2016

 

The Goody Bags

We were each given a goody bag filled with product samples and freebies to take home with us, I say goody bag I actually mean goody mountain. I had to apply brute force to my suitcase to shut it and still had to carry things over my shoulder! I really should have taken a large case, I know for next time at least.

 

Getting Home

Karen and I headed back to the car which  was when I realised I had only gone and lost the sodding car parking ticket. We ended up paying over the odds but it was worth it looking back. After a rather long drive home how come it always feels faster on the way there than on the way home? I collapsed on my bed almost twenty hours after having left it that morning.

 

Back To Reality

It’s taken me a week or two to recover to be honest, Blog On was FULL ON and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was a blast, I met some amazing people, brands and bloggers all of which I hope to keep in touch with and to see again at future blogging events.

RachelSwirl
A Cornish Mum

10 Comments

  1. October 7, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    Thank you for saying that Rachel, it was ace meeting you i felt like I’d known you for years maybe we knew each other in a previous life ! We definitely have to meet up again. Great write up of Blog On it was a fantastic day must get round to writing my round up.

    • October 7, 2016 / 9:02 pm

      You’re welcome Angela, it did feel like we had known each other forever I loved it !

  2. October 8, 2016 / 8:16 am

    Such a lovely write up. I’m glad you found it friendly and you relaxed into it so quickly. It’s terrifying going to a blogging conference for the first time and seeing all those people you know from online – I’m glad that your nerves didn’t last long!
    Hilarious photo of me holding Rachel’s (Vintage Folly) baby Dotty while she takes a selfie with that fake moustache 😀

  3. October 11, 2016 / 11:33 am

    It looks so fantastic, i really wanted to go but it was Looby’s 13th birthday so would have been impossible, I am definitely going to the next one and hopefully I might just bump into you #tuesdaytreasures

  4. October 13, 2016 / 9:32 pm

    From reading your post about the event it sounds like I would really enjoy it. #TuesdayTreasures

  5. October 15, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    Look like you had fantastic time:) That all meetings, bloggers conferences are one of the reason why I started my blog:) I hope one day I will start to attending to them and met some new friends
    #PicknMix

  6. October 20, 2016 / 10:06 am

    Blog on sounds amazing, I wish they could do one closer to me! Glad you had such a great time, Donna’s ace isn’t she?

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

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