If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my posts from the Blogosphere Festival in London yesterday. It was held at the Landmark Hotel directly opposite Marylebone station, so very easy to find. It was the first time I’d attended Blogosphere so I had no idea what to expect.
This was actually my second trip to London this week, as I’d travelled down on Wednesday for the Bias Cut’s pop up shop (which I’ll post about later in the week). Living in Cheshire makes it a bit of a trek to the capital, so to make two trips a few days apart is highly unusual for me.
The weather’s been dreadful this week, which made deciding what to wear even more difficult. Trains can either be swelteringly hot or cold and draughty. The tube however, is always oppresively hot and stuffy. All of this poses a style dilemma!
I’d put two outfits out the night before so I could decide on which one when I got up in the morning. My alarm was set for 6am so I’d laid everything out. I decided on a loose metallic mustard batwing top (first seen here) with black high waisted skinny jeans. The top is loose and not too thick, which is ideal for travelling in. I topped it off with one of my leopard print faux fur coats. It may seem a bit extravagant to have three, but they are all different styles! I haven’t worn heels for ages because my feet have been aching so much, but these wide-fitting ankle boots are ok for walking moderate distances in. Thick socks help too 😉
The hat was both the cause of, and the answer to the problem of a bad hair day. It wasn’t behaving at all that morning, and by the time I arrived at the hotel it was totally flat and limp. I would have felt a pillock wearing a hat indoors all day, although it was tempting! It definitely made for better photos. This flower wall was like catnip for bloggers… just as well it was double-sided! I really want one in my house!
I was looking forward to meeting up with Suzi (aka Alternative Ageing) more than the actual event. We first met at the 3040 Blogger Meet two and half years ago and have stayed in touch ever since. It was wonderful to spend the day catching up with Suzi. We chatted about veganism, menopause and the TV industry (Suzi was a journalist before training as a nutritionist and starting a blog). Her book, also entitled Alternative Ageing, has just been published and is available at Amazon…put it on your Christmas wishlist!
There were four panels throughout the day discussing different topics – two in the morning and two in the afternoon. To be totally honest, I learned very little from these. The Importance of Audio was one that didn’t really apply to me, but as I knew nothing about podcasts, I did learn a few things. The other three panels just confirmed what I already knew: don’t promote a product you don’t like just for the money and don’t buy fake followers. That really was it in a nutshell. But we all know that already, right?
I actually learned more chatting to Suzi who really knows her stuff, and is incredibly tech savvy. She’s also very generous with her knowledge. That’s what I love about the blogging community – especially the 40+ blogging community – everyone is so helpful and supportive 🙂
I had a chat with the Vionic team and tried on a pair of ankle boots that were so comfortable. The way they support the arch and take the weight off the ball of the foot is genius. My size eights look humungous…made worse by wearing skinny jeans. If only someone would design comfortable shoes that make big feet look smaller!
There was a steady queue for the hair styling. I gave up waiting in the end because the last panel was due to start and I was only going to put my hat on anyway. Those beach waves will have to wait!
There was a drinks area serving tea, coffee and mocktails throughout the day; the blueberry mojitos were delicious! There was a constant supply of food in little bowls, including some vegan options. I tried a yummy vegetable thai curry with rice, and broccoli with quinoa and pumpkin seeds. It wasn’t enough to keep us going for the whole day though, so we popped out to Pret for a falafel salad. During the break for lunch, we weren’t supposed to be in the ballroom where the event took place. But as there wasn’t adequate seating outside we sneaked back in with our salads…naughty!
The afternoon session was clearly more popular than the morning. There weren’t even enough chairs for people to sit and listen to the panels; some were sitting on the floor while others had to stand. I’d bought an early bird ticket so I paid £25 for the whole day (which was half price). But those who’d paid that much to attend just one session and not even have a seat must have felt pretty cheesed off. It was also very noisy because not everyone came over to listen to the guest speakers. Given that there were only about half a dozen stands I’d have thought that was the whole point of going!
There was one other thing that struck me as odd, and if I’m honest a little bit stingy. Now I don’t want you to think that I’m one of those entitled bloggers who expect everything for free. We did get goody bags with a Christmas party game, a notebook and a lovely Dior palette courtesy of World Duty Free (one of the sponsors). So when I saw the piles of Blogosphere magazines on the table by the door, I naturally assumed that they might give us one in the goody bag. But it turned out they were just there to get attendees to subscribe. The organisers not giving paying guests a copy of their own magazine seemed really odd to me.
According to the website it’s £30 for four issues a year or £8 for a single issue. We received one of the magazines at the 3040 Blogger Meet and I thought it was ok but I wasn’t blown away by it. Considering I baulk at paying £4+ for a monthly glossy, I certainly won’t be shelling out £8 for it. I think putting a copy in the goody bag might have got them more subscriptions, but I guess they have their reasons!
Anyway, all the negative stuff aside, it was a really good day. My trains ran on time, the venue was lovely, I didn’t get soaked (as I did on Wednesday when the tube failed us) and I spent the day with a fabulous blogger friend 🙂
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