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.
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.
- 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