We can't believe it's actually over! All that planning and stress, and we pulled it off! We're so glad to have had so much positive feedback from both bloggers and brands and all the worry and late nights finally seem worth it!
We initially wanted to organise one of these events so that we could connect with some new bloggers and some new brands, but also to give newbie bloggers the opportunity to grow their network and open themselves up to the opportunities that brands can offer.
We were so lucky to have some amazing friends and bloggers helping us in setting up and making the event an overall success. Angela from Chocolate and Lipstick and Bryony, who's currently in the process of starting up her blog, were kind enough to arrive a few hours early, stay an hour afterwards and spend most of the event helping us check people in, hand out their personalised key rings by Aloha Lola Cards and give bloggers information on the day. We cannot thank them enough!
Be sure to check out Angela's blog - she's got some amazing content and giveaways!
A huge amount of bloggers stopped by, some travelling from as far as Paris for the day, and one blogger ducked out of a family member's wedding for a couple hours while she paid us a visit! We felt so privileged to have some truly amazing and dedicated bloggers in attendance and were so lucky to get to meet them and get to know them.
We stood at the entrance of Finch's Pub ready to welcome bloggers as they entered and catch them as they left to ensure they received their goody bag. Checking them off on Jasmine's iPad and giving them their own personalised caricature keyring, we showed them the event guide that Jasmine designed, which was full of information about the brands, prizes, sponsors and where to find each of the brands in the venue. We provided a little pick 'n' mix table for the bloggers including mini Heroes, Haribo, Maoam, marshmallows and Swizzler sweets. We had these in beaut sprayed ombre glass jars from Matalan!
At the very front of the venue, we placed two very eye catching brands; Katherine Elizabeth Millinery and Sheena Bulsara, an incredible handmade unique jewellery start up. Both proved very popular with bloggers. We wish he had events to go to that would require such exquisite accessories!
Event Co-Sponsors JournoLink sat slightly further into the venue, offering bloggers the chance to sign up to their press release service.
Opposite this sat our little tree. On this, bloggers could tie a tag with their favourite thing about Christmas written on it, to be in with the chance of winning a prize (which is still a surprise. We will be announcing both the prize and the winner next week!). This soon filled up towards the end of the event and there was some really cute things written on them.
Further into the venue at the bar, bloggers could help themselves to helpings from huge platters of food and a cup of hot mulled cider that Finch's had put together for us. They had the most amazing cheesy pastry slices, sausage roll slices, potato and sweet potato wedges and a wide range of crisps.. We could have just sat there and ate all day!
In the middle section of the venue sat Makeup London Academy, T Plus Drinks, House of Dreadful, Bella Kinesis and Sweet Cheesus. Each offering their own tastings, testers, competitions and discounts. The brands were all very generous and also very eager to connect with influential bloggers, as well as those who were just starting out.
At the rear of Finch's, we had Chilpa, Miglio Jewellery, Nice Nails Baby, Blogosphere Magazine, Aroma Cake Boutique and Silver Ray Healing Therapies.
We also had two more of the sponsors, Onedox and Lash Perfect with prominent stands.
This end of the venue offered free Reiki sessions, manicures and nail art, tasters of some amazing cupcakes, jewellery samples, the chance to sign up to a money-saving website and the opportunity to buy the latest issue of Blogosphere. There was also the opportunity to win various prizes with these brands, including a year's worth of bills paid for, boxes of cupcakes, a tote bag, and some discounted lash/brow treatments.
Throughout the event, bloggers had the chance to take selfies against the sponsor board. Using selfie sticks and props, we all had heaps of fun. Even the brands got involved!
Towards the end of the event when we were replying to tweets, to our utter shock and amazement, our event hashtag was trending! It was finally at that point that our stress levels depleted and felt it was a job well done. Jasmine wishes to incorporate event management into her career, so hopefully this has been valuable experience which she can take with her, to both learn from and take inspiration from. We're both super pleased it was a success. Check out our Events page to see some posts other bloggers have written about it!
At the end of the event, we gave out these tote bags which Jasmine designed. We thought the slogan 'I'm totes a blogger' was very fitting (especially as it was a tote bag!) and also, a super useful strong bag which can be reused now that carrier bags cost 5p. We're all for saving the environment!
Inside the bag, was some amazing samples and goodies which were kindly sent to us by some pretty cool brands. We shall write a separate post about the bags as we actually have some to give away to some lucky bloggers who didn't get the chance to attend!
For many, this was their first blogging event, and we're so glad they came! We love hearing that they were able to make friends, or that they'd overcome anxiety or fear by attending one of these events alone. We know what it's like turning up to a room full of people who you feel will judge you if your blogs not as good, or you don't have as many followers, but the blogging world really isn't like that. It's full of some pretty amazing people, who, like the newbies, just want to make friends and learn new things, share ideas and come up with great content. The Blogosphere is a community, a safe haven where we can all go to share our passions, hobbies and escape from reality, or even, share our reality! We're so lucky to be a part of it!
Lastly, we'd like to thank Stephanie from SR Photography for being our photographer for the day and taking some amazing images. She was able to really capture the event in a way that we weren't able to, needing to host the afternoon.
We'd love to make this an annual event, and if possible a few more smaller ones throughout 2016. If you'd like to sign up to be on the mailing list for an invite to these, click here.