So I went to Blogon for the first time yesterday. I only started blogging 3 weeks previous to that because my daughter got accepted as an extra for an agency and got an extra part in a film so I decided to use this to build a brand for my daughter. We had in the 3 weeks started up all the social media accounts, started networking and stumbled across a thing online called Blogontoys. I requested access to the group and was approved and noticed the lady Laura was doing a live online facebook chat so I decided to have a look and see what is was about. I asked a few questions about newbies and then after the session I booked on to my first event. I looked at the schedule, picked which sessions to attend and did some research of the brands on twitter and Instagram.
On the morning I set off around 8am and got there for 9. I parked on a street local to the hotel and walked down with my suitcase. On arrival there was 2 other ladies in reception with suitcases so I introduced myself, asked if they were here for the same thing and asked if I could tag along. Luckily they were both friendly and we went and sat in the downstairs restaurant together. After a while we were moved to upstairs to register and got our goody bags to put in the suitcases. The Goody bags looked so cool, with lots of fun things inside and we even got to choose our own calendar for 2019. Then we had to put our coats and bags in an area and were moved into the breakfast section. We had bacon sandwiches and a cup of tea all included in the price, we could also buy lottery and tombola tickets and see if we had won anything. There was free Wifi which was great and then we could vote on our favourite toys of the day. The winner at the end was Harry Potter Hat, I even tried it on later in the day and was in the Hufflepuff house.
The first session I went to was on the top floor in the hotel, there were 8 large round tables and lots of floorspace. They had background rectangles that help with photos apparently, you lay stuff on them and use them as backgrounds. I didn’t think it was the right room for me as I am not creative, but I met a lovely lady in a green dress who talked me through lighting, angles and then helped inspire me to create my first flatlay or layflat I cannot remember. So I created something, it wasn’t all that great, and the more I got into it the more I enjoyed it so much so I spent an hour in their.
Next I had 45 minutes before the SEO session so I decided to go downstairs and meet some brands. I was a little apprehensive but as soon as I walked into the room a lady approached me and starting talking about games, asked me if I had any kids and we had a good chat. She put my mind at ease about being a new blogger, I’ve only been going 1 month. Then she took my details, asked me if there was a specific game I would like to review and said she would be in touch. I moved around the many stands engaging with the PR people and the brands, talking about their products, what they have coming up, what they are looking for in bloggers and also getting their information to follow up with them. I found myself looking at my watch 2 hour later and realising I had missed the SEO session which was a shame, but my talking had been good as I had made some great connections, learnt what the brands were looking for and had good talking points for my emails.
So then it was lunch time. Lunch consisted of yummy sausages with bacon round, chips, healthy things and also sandwiches. We also got a nice drink of water or a cup of tea again. It was nice to catch up and have a chat with some other bloggers and get some connections. I made another friend, one from Yorkshire. woohoo! So we decided to go down to the Brands together and then come back up for the talk about the toy market. We spent an hour down with the brands which flew by and then went to the talk. It was very informative and discussed the toy advertising calendar and also what PR brands expect from us and how we can help them.
Next was time for prosecco and cake. It was also a good time to upload all our pictures to take part in all the hashtag, twitter, Instagram competitions running on the day to win the prizes. There are so many opportunities with the brands to have your pictures taken to win toys and amazing prizes.
Then we went to the Hobbycraft Christmas session. I wasn’t so great at creating my bauble but I put a tree, 2 robins and some sand in a ball and decorated the top with string. I also got talking to a lady from newer brand while in the session that I will be contacted and hope to work with in the future.
Then it was time to head to the holding area for the raffle drawer. I didn’t win any daily competitions but I did win won of the 100 odd raffle prizes so well worth £10! Once the raffle was over I was knackered and couldn’t wait to get in my car and drive home. You just need to make sure you leave your badge. I drove home and couldn’t wait to see and check my goody bag. Wow! What amazing things. I also made some notes of the brands I had spoken to and what products they had and my ideas for supporting them to email the following week. I connected with some other bloggers on social media and followed all the brands and PR people that were there.
All in all a fabulous experience, I was so glad I stumbled up on Laura and her online facebook live video that evening 3 weeks ago because even though I am a very new blogger the exposure and contacts and connections I made from yesterday have been brilliant and I very much look forward to the next one in May.