Sitting in the cafe at the QEII Centre, I was reading a book waiting til 12pm. I kept looking behind me to see if there was anyone waiting for the doors to open to ‘BlogConLDN’. This was my first ever blog event and I had no idea what to expect. Was I going to be one of the very few attending? Were they going to be any art or baking bloggers like me? Was everyone going to be dressed as fashion models with immaculate make-up?
I looked over my shoulder again to see if a flock of bloggers had formed yet…hmm…nothing.
I carried on reading, losing track of time I checked my watch ‘Oh crap it’s 11.55pm, I should really queue up’. Looking over my shoulder one last time, suddenly there was a crowd of very fashionable females. I went to join the queue and waited nervously for the doors to open.
I had no idea what to expect. We entered the room and it was much bigger than I imagined. A whole floor filled with a range of brands promoting their products on little stalls. I made my way to the first stall, ChiChi London. It was the stacks of beautiful pink dresses and pink champagne glasses that caught my attention. After scanning the dresses and taking a few pictures, I was handed a goody bag with a free ChiChi choker. ‘Is this the life of a blogger, just being handed free stuff?’ I was a little surprised but also super excited.
I made my way round to each stall, ranging fom haircare, skincare, home decor, health products and loads more. There were a few stalls of protein products, perfect for me! I asked for samples of protein powders so that I could experiment with them in my recipes. One protein brand called ‘Cute Nutrition‘ had cocktail flavoured protein powders!! There was Strawberry Daiquiri and Pornstar Martini Whey Powder, heaveeeen! All they need to make is a Cosmopolitan powder and I’m sold!! They gave me a free sample of their Guilt-free Chocolate Snack Bar (which I’m currently munching on) and I have to say it’s pretty darn good! I was also handed a very cute (pardon the pun) protein shaker which I’m excited to use.
There was another protein product that caught my eye called Dynabar. They had a ‘Chocolate Challenge’ where they blindfolded you and asked you to eat 3 chocolates, one of these chocolates was the protein bar. I guessed it right, the crispy bits gave it away, but the protein bar is so tasty!!
About an hour and a half had flown by, I was totally caught up on visiting each stall and trying out their products. I didn’t attend the event just to get lots of freebies though, I wanted to learn how to create a successful blog.
So, I made my way over to the tables where successful bloggers gave a talk every half hour. I was walking past one of the tables when I heard the speaker mention the word ‘gender equality’, a topic that I’m always up for discussing. I immediately looked straight at her and took a seat. The speaker, Maleka, is the founder of a new anti-ageing skincare brand ‘Merumaya‘. She passionately spoke about how we shouldn’t label skincare products ‘anti-ageing’. Ageing is a natural process and we should embrace it. We should stop talking about how men age well and women age badly, therefore pushing women to invest in anti-ageing products, promising them that these ‘miracle’ products will make them look younger, because realistically, they won’t.
Maleka then spoke about how we mostly pay for the packaging when purchasing skincare products, but her products focus on the quality rather than all the faff.
After that pretty intense half hour of discussing skincare products and gender equality, I listened to other boggers give tips on how they began working with brands. Beautiful blogger Victoria Brown gave some useful tips on how to approach brands and how to engage readers organically. We discussed how many bloggers buy their followers and they are the one’s that get the opportunities, but it’s important to stay true to your brand (attracting followers organically is not easy, trust me!). I then moved to another table where The Discerning Man also gave great advice on how to work with brands.
The day was almost over, and all my bags of freebies were weighing me down. I made the most of the event, networked and got to try lots of cool new stuff. It was time to head home.
BlogConLDN was a great experience! I definitely recommend it to all bloggers, whether you’re a fashion/beauty/lifestyle blogger or not. I think I was the only art/baking blogger there, but I still learnt some useful tips. Also, don’t be nervous about attending these events by yourself. You’ll be surprised how many people go to these events alone and it’s actually a good way to network with others.
Also, it’s a good idea to print your own business cards. I wasn’t sure if they’d come in handy but brands at these kind of events actually want your business card for collaboration opportunties.
So, I made it through my first blogging event. Thank you to Scarlett who did a fab job on organising the event. How she looked so calm the whole time I have no idea, I would’ve been running around like a headless chicken.
Til next year BlogConLDN xxx