Last weekend I went to my first ever blogging conference. As I have written in a previous post I was very nervous and excited at the same time.
This is my reflection on the blogging conference and I’ll share with you what I learnt about blogging.
First up though I wanted to tell you what I found more interesting and that’s what I learnt about myself. I always thought I knew myself quite well. How wrong can you be when you are taking yourself out of your comfort zone.
So the blogging conference I decided to attend for my first one was BlogOn MSI which took place in Manchester. It was a long journey there because the M6 was closed so I was stuck in a traffic jam on a motorway for about two and half hours. After six hours of travelling I arrived at The Castleford Hotel, which was an excellent, well maintained hotel and was directly opposite the Muesem of Science and Industry, which was the venue for the blogging conference.
After I got settled I arranged to meet a friend, Luke, who I met because of blogging. He’s one of the founders of The Blended Parent Network, which I happen also to think is the best parent network in the UK today. It was fantastic to meet Rebecca of becster.com finally after speaking so many times online.
I met Luke for something to eat which he had arranged for at The Handmade Burger Co. This was quite surreal. Eating and not having to pay for it is something I’ve never done before. For all of that, it was lovely food and I throughly enjoyed my meal.
I arrived at the launch party at about 8pm and I was a bit nervous. Thankfully Luke and I had each other for company so this definitely made it a bit easier for me, because this was seriously out of my comfort zone.
The launch party was great fun, with games etc and I got to talk and chat with some wonderful bloggers who I had admired from afar. This helped me feel more comfortable for the following day. I was home early and asleep by 11.30pm!
The morning of the conference I was up early and I think I was ready to go, haha! Not really! Nerves had definitely set in.
I picked BlogOn MSI for a particular reason in as far as numbers are concerned it’s one of the smaller blog conferences with just 200 Bloggers attending, so I felt I wouldn’t feel like a small fish in a big pond.
BlogOn MSI is a brilliantly organised conference. It’s organised by Laura Seaton and her team. It ran without a hitch.
I went to a couple of sessions. One by Tim Lliew and the other by Luke Woodhouse. Both were very good and very informative. Did I learn much about blogging in general? Well, I learnt a couple of new things, but nothing if I’m honest that will change the way I blog or run my own blog. Saying that anybody that is new to blogging could easily have learnt a huge amount. The experience of some highly successful bloggers were there for people to take advantage of and learn from.
I also got to meet some fabulous bloggers that included Rebecca at Rock and Roses Mama, who I had a lovely chat with. Harriet at Toby and Roo such a funny person really made me laugh. Also Laura at Five Little Doves, meeting Laura I actually felt a bit in awe because she is my favourite blogger and writer out there today. It was a honour to finally meet Laura.
Overall it was a very interesting experience, but as I said at the beginning of this post it taught me quite a lot about myself. On the way home I was thinking about how I came across. I genuinely believe in crowds of probably more than five I am very socially awkward. Sadly I lack confidence and the ability to talk and make conversation. Hopefully people don’t see this as rude, because trust me it’s not. I just find it difficult, and generally I get tongue-tied, or I go the complete opposite and get verbal diarrhoea. Either way, I’m not sure it comes across well!
My final thoughts on my first ever blogging conference was that I did enjoy it, but would I go again?? I’m not sure. I feel to some point that I have done that, ticked it off my list and that’s it.
I would say though if you haven’t been to any blog conference before and you are looking to go to one then BlogOn MSI is the place to start. It’s not, big but it’s super friendly and a lot of fun.
If you went to BlogOnMSI I would love to know what you thought of it.