On Saturday, I headed up to Manchester with a few other bloggers to attend the Blog On conference. I had previously attended World Travel Market (WTM), which a lot of travel bloggers attend. However WTM isn’t specifically aimed at bloggers so Blog On was my first proper conference.
About blog on
Blog on is huge gathering of bloggers from various different genres. Many of the people who attended were family bloggers but it wasn’t aimed exclusively at that blog topic. The conference consists of four 45 minute slots during which a series of relevant talks take place. Each aims to help with a different aspect of blogging.
There is also a welcome, a raffle and a wrap-up talk. There are plenty of long breaks between the talks. The breaks are ideal for chatting to brands and bloggers.
Firstly I feel I should point out that it is not in any way compulsory to attend the talks at Blog On. Many people chose to sit them out, particularly by the last session of the day. However if you do choose to go to them, there are four simultaneous talks to choose from.
The talks cover a range of different topics from photography to the technical side of blogging to video. I chose to attend talks on arranging photos, editing videos, Instagram and Pinterest. I can honestly say that I learnt something from every talk. I actually wish I’d attended Blog On when I was a much newer blogger. The tips I picked up would definitely have made my life easier as I tried to figure out how everything worked.
There were some brilliant brands at blog on and they were all really friendly and approachable. It was great to chat to brand representatives in person rather than by email for a change. At this particular conference there were a lot of brands relating to children. There were businesses promoting toys, games, sweets, and children’s skincare, activities and clothing.
That said, there were also plenty of brands promoting things that were relevant to everyone including outdoor lights, homeware and food. The mobile phone company Three were there to let us know about their Feel at Home roaming service. This allows people to use their phone in 60 destinations around the world for no extra cost. Mobile data is included, so no more astronomical mobile bills for bloggers who need to keep an eye on their blog whilst they’re abroad. You can even use the service on pay as you go. Three were giving out some rather fabulous cupcakes too…
I have to admit that the social element was the one thing I was rather disappointed about at Blog On. I didn’t get a ticket for the launch party the night before as only 75 were available. That would have been a good opportunity to meet other bloggers. I did chat to people during the conference, but there were quite a few people who I didn’t get chance to see.
I also found that after grabbing a few minutes with people, I often lost them in the crowd. The brand and coffee area was very crowded during the breaks. People were also milling about in the adjacent rooms. There were 200 bloggers in attendance, so it was entirely understandable. However this was a bit of a surprise to me and it would be a good reason for skipping one of the talks to chat to brands and bloggers while it was a bit quieter.
Well, what can I say about the goody bags? I’d heard they were going to be pretty awesome – and they really were. We all went home with two large hessian bags and a carrier bag filled with products. Most were full size samples including toys and games, baby products, household products, sweets, healthy snacks and drinks. They mean it when they tell you to bring an empty suitcase, especially if you’re travelling by public transport.
Blog On was a brilliant day and a great opportunity to meet with brands and bloggers. I learnt a lot from the talks and I think a newer blogger would find it even more beneficial. The next Blog On takes place in September with a Christmas theme. I haven’t bought my ticket yet but I’m considering going again if they haven’t sold out by the time I get around to it.