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16 May 2014

Friday I'm in love...#BEDM

with Blogtacular.

It's been a week since I travelled down to London for the first Blogtacular conference, and it's taken me a week to sort the ideas that evolved from being there. 
I'd never been to a professional bloggers conference before, mostly because I'd heard such disappointing reports from others and it's a big cost to feel let down, however I didn't need to worry here. Every part of this conference had the enjoyment of it's attendees at heart. From the hand printed by Zeena (filled with amazing products) goodie bags, strong cohesive branding throughout, unbelievable venue to the talented and honest speakers; the event was well thought out in every way.
Zeena handprinted bags, amazing Blogtacular venue, Blogtacular branded nails.
Now this is where I started to get shaky, I'd come here totally alone only having spoke to some of the attendees through twitter. It's strange that for business I do lots of networking and can come across confident but in this crowd and because my blog is more personal I found it really hard to put myself forward. I did make some great new friends, everyone here was on the same page(you didn't have to explain why you were photographing a book) and after a while I think I opened up a little more and relaxed.
Joy Cho at Blogtacular 2014 - An amazing keynote speaker to open the first Blogtacular blogging conference.
The keynote speaker to open the event was Joy Cho from OhJoy fame, as a designer, blogger, author and the most followed person on Pinterest, she spoke of her life and the choices made to bring her to where she is now. I must admit at this point I was totally overwhelmed with the things Joy had achieved so far, it made me think what's holding me back? The main point that came from her story was she knew what she wanted and tried, tried and tried until she got there, it didn't matter what obstacles were in her way. It's also amazing to meet people in real life when you've followed them online, with Joy she really is as beautiful as her blog photographs portray. 

The next day was an early start and on the Saturday the event was filled with sponsor stands,comprising of B&Q promoting their new paint range(with meringues no less), Betty & Walter who gave the bloggers all a treat in their goody bags, The Hambledon (who I'll need more jam off in the future), Thompson Holidays and a selection of book publishers. As well as the staff from Mollie Makes who were speakers and had a photographer present. I found these stalls a great talking point for bloggers during breaks, and the people staffing them were really proud of their products and company. There was no hard sell to buy, they really did just add to the fun element of the day. 
Sponsors at the Blogtacular event. BandQ, The Hambledon, Thompson Holidays, Betty & Walter.
The main day was a slam dunk of brilliant speakers, the ones I saw were:
Will Taylor - Bright Bazaar Book launch
Ann Ditmeyer - Discussing value.
Tilly Warnes & Vicky Orchard - From blog to book.
Yvonne Eijkenduijn - Yvestown
Alison Sandler, Annabel Beeforth, Courtney Adamo & Joy Cho - Blogging business panel.
Cathy James - Social Media with Intention.
Caroline Rowland, Heather Young, Kate Carter & Lara Watson - Secrets of the Editors.
Natalie Lue - Closing keynote speaker.
An amazing array of professional speakers from the Blogtacular event.
These speakers inspired me so much in different ways, giving insider knowledge of working with magazines and publishers, how they grew their blogs into businesses, they all had such passion and dedication but the one that really touched me was Natalie Lue. 
Her quote of Do not "should" yourself, is now pinned to my note board. She discussed the creative nature of blogging, and how her business began but also the point of not making comparisons, admitting her feelings of inadequacy hearing Joy Cho speak and telling herself off for it. Proving that it doesn't matter how big you get in the business we all have our worries.
This is what I admired most in all the speakers I saw, their ability to show their worries, passions, open their hearts out to the attendees and then in the end leave them filled with enthusiasm that they could achieve the same level of blog/business success too. 
Thank you Blogtacular, I can't wait to catch up with you amazing people next year.
The attendees for Blogtacular 2014
Thank you to MollieMakes.co.uk for the lovely photographs 
If you're feeling glum that you couldn't attend Blogtacular then fear not, the talks and panels were recorded and can be purchased through a Virtual Conference ticket, and when released will be promoted online with a virtual party, so you get the social media interaction too. 
I'll certainly be buying one to catch up on the sessions I couldn't attend, and be inspired all over again.

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