BLOGFEST – AN HONEST REVIEW

Sooooo Blogfest. One of the biggest, most anticipated blogging events of the year hosted by Mumsnet and offering a day of sessions, seminars and keynote speeches.

I imagine there are already a lot of reviews floating around out there and almost a week after the event you’re probably sick to death of hearing about it so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’ve purposely tried to avoid reading anything Blogfest-related since Saturday as I was really struggling to figure out a way to put my thoughts into words. In fact to be entirely honest I’ve been struggling to know what to make of the event at all.

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So I won’t bore you with every detail but here are a few things that have been bouncing around my brain since Saturday:

  • In the lead up to the big day I was really looking forward to meeting up with a whole bunch of fellow blogger buddies after months of chit-chatting online. Despite being so nervous I shook throughout the entire day, I’m so pleased I got the opportunity to put faces to blog names and spend some time with these guys who couldn’t have been nicer. I do have to give a mention to Jane at Maflingo for being an all round blimmin star and looking out for me – it didn’t go unnoticed x
  • This was my first blogger’s event so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect although I obviously had an idea what the seminars were going to be about and which speakers were lined up. I imagined coming away full of inspiration for my blog and bursting to put my new-found knowledge into action but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Maybe it was the nerves, maybe the sessions I attended just weren’t my bag, I really don’t know but the whole thing just left me feeling entirely underwhelmed.
  • As speakers go there were some crackers: Jess Phillips MP, Sarah Pascoe and Miranda Sawyer were just a few of my faves. I enjoyed most of the discussions apart from the few occasions when the conversation turned into a bit of a man-bashing session; this made me feel uncomfortable never mind the poor male bloggers in attendance! OK maybe it was just a few comments here and there and I understand misogyny is a real issue but not all men fall into that category -it is possible to be pro-women without being anti-men.
  • Davina McCall – I’ve seen her in full on ‘Davina mode’ at a few events (mainly food related) but on this occasion she spoke unscripted, openly and from the heart on personal issues. She seemed warm, genuine, vulnerable and funny; ‘normal’ even despite what you might expect from someone with her kind of celebrity status. I’ve never disliked her but I definitely came away with a newfound respect for her.

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  • Blogfest is exhausting- it starts early (caterers take note- we need more than a mini-croissant to get us through ’til lunch!!) and the day goes very quickly. It’s almost impossible to meet everyone but I managed to grab a few minutes here and there when I spotted a familiar face in between sessions and then afterwards for a drink (or two!) before heading for the train station.
  • The goodie bag – I know, I know, hardly a key factor in the grand scheme of things but I was actually quite excited to see what was inside! Let’s just say it’s lucky we like Soreen in our house.
  • In the week since Blogfest I’ve completely lost my blogging mojo – the exact opposite of what I was hoping for and I just cannot put my finger on why I’m feeling like this. I haven’t wanted to write or had any inclination to drive the blog forward or join in with the usual social media shenanigans or weekly linky love. Maybe I’ve short-circuited as a result of blogging overload or maybe I’m just feeling a bit disillusioned by the whole thing. I’m hoping that writing this post will do me some good (I’m also very aware that admitting all of this is probably like blogger suicide!)
  • Was it worth it? Purely based on the social element I would say yes, although I’m not the most confident person (in fact I should probably apologise for the amount of talking I do in these situations, I’m a bit of a nervous chatterbox!) this made the day worthwhile. I’ve heard good things about similar events so maybe I’ll save my money for one of those next year instead.

If you attended the event I’d love to hear your thoughts – did you think it was good value for money or a bit of a disappointment (please tell me it wasn’t just me)?! I’m off for a cuppa and a leftover Halloween themed Soreen bar. X

 

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17 Comments

  1. In the week since Blogfest I’ve completely lost my blogging mojo – the exact opposite of what I was hoping for and I just cannot put my finger on why I’m feeling like this. – ME TOO!

    Honestly, it’s odd.

    I have pretty much the same feelings as you on the day, and yes, the male bashing did sometimes get a bit much.

  2. I didn’t go to blogfest but I’ve been to a couple of other blogging events. I do know what you mean. Blogging is a great but odd thing really when you think about it – sometimes you can be left wondering what the point of it all is. I’ve been disappointed with speakers at some events – lots of hot air and not a lot of practical advice. Also goody bags are nearly always full of shit you don’t want

  3. Aw, thank you for your kind words. I know how intimidating it can be at these things so I myself gravitate towards people who make me feel comfortable and at ease and weirdly, although we hadn’t met in real life before Blogfest, you are one of those people! You were one of my highlights! You were as lovely in real life as I thought you would be…Blogfest may have left me feeling underwhelmed but you didn’t…Even though you forgot to bring the chocolate cake I’m sure you promised me!

    I had ‘aftershocks’ after Blogfest myself. As the days went by, I found myself wondering what added value it gave….ANother blogger put it really well by saying she loved seeing other bloggers but it was an expensive way to go about it!

    I agree that there was some man-bashing that made me uncomfortable too….I hadn’t imagined it would have such a ‘full on’ feminist agenda.

    I absolutely loved seeing bloggers I hadn’t met before and being reunited with those I had.

    I loved Davina and Scummy Mummies…They were a real highlight. Davina was so lovely when I spoke to her at the book signing. So gracious and friendly.

    It was very different to Britmums, whose focus was blogging rather than feminism. I loved Britmums. I learned lots about blogging, was inspired, there were lots of great brands….Give that one a go next year.

    I’m not sure I’d go to Mumsnet next year if it’s more of the same…But if All my bloggy mates and those I’d love to meet are up for it, come to my house next year instead…Entrance fee is a chocolate cake and I promise I won’t wear a blue shiny leotard and I’ll give you pork scratchings instead of Soreen.

    GET THAT DOVE POST PUBLISHED AND INSTEAD OF A HALLOWEEN BAR OF SOREEN YOU’LL GET A TRIP TO THE USA OUT OF IT!!!!!!!!

    1. Ahh stop it you 😄 Yes Davina was fab and if you like the Scummy Mummies you should try their podcasts, only not in public -you’ll be laughing a LOT 🙂
      I wish I’d been able to make Britmums, sounds much more worthwhile from a blogging perspective- maybe next year?! Ha ha we so need to have a bloggers get-together next year! Sorry about the lack of cake, I’d had a shocker of a week!!

  4. I agree with a lot of the sentiment here. So lovely to meet you by the way! I also ended up feeling it was really all about the social element. Definitely found it a bit flat this year. Apart from the sparkling company and after drinks! X

  5. I’m always interested in how everyone finds events as I have yet to attend a blogging event but it seems your not alone with your feelings. Many others have said similar things about the ‘men bashing’ and lack of food being an issue. Its a shame as it takes away from the day but I imagine the social aspect of it makes it worth it 🙂

    #PicnMix

  6. It was lovely to meet you Charlie – just as cute and sweet in real life. I think I’d have to agree with Jane, you were one of my highlights. I don’t think I’ll be attending any more in future, it left me thinking I’m doing pretty well with my blog and I can figure this whole thing out on my own.
    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one shaking with nerves and if it’s nervous babbling you call it, well I thought it was charming.

    1. Ahh thank you so much,what a lovely thing to say! You and Jane were so chilled it definitely helped calm me a bit. Next time I’d rather just meet up and spend the money on some good food and wine- maybe a trip to Selfridges for a DIY goodie bag 😄 You know I’ve realised you are so right, we are doing ok aren’t we, I was hoping for some great tips or blogging advice but it just wasn’t that kind of agenda. Really good to meet you too x

  7. It’s refreshing to hear a different version of Blogfest. It’s interesting that you’ve not been inspired and feel a bit of a lul, maybe spending time away will give you a new sense of love for blogging?
    I’ve heard about soreen, I even joked to use it as a giveaway in a blog post to one attendee hahaha!
    Don’t see your admissions as blog suicide, sometimes honesty can go a long way and potentially benefit your blog?
    #PicknMix

  8. I’ve definitely heard mixed reviews of it. Eek to losing your mojo, I hope it’s back again lovely I think we all have those moments.Thanks for linking up to #Picknmix

    Stevie x

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