Done and dusted! I made it! I went to Blogfest 2016 this weekend. My first ever blogging conference since I entered the blogosphere about 6 months ago. So what did I make of it? What are my impressions about Blogfest 2016? It’s all in here! You might read this post and think that I am a bit naïve, especially if you are an advanced blogger, but try to remember what it was like the first time you attended a blogging conference. You recall it now? Yeah, a very diverse bunch of emotions, right?
Just warning you, lecteurs. This post is a bit raw. I am just putting down my feelings about the whole experience. But at least, I might be helping some new bloggers like me who are thinking about going to a blogging conference.
Before the blogging conference
I was feeling very excited. It was the first time that I was attending that kind of events and I had so many expectations about it! Maybe too many if I am being 100% with you but I always do…
I was both thrilled but also intimated by it. It’s all nice to interact with fellow bloggers on the net and joke with them, but it’s another thing to meet them for real and see if they actually like the person you are.
It was also the first time I was leaving Baba with Grumpy Boyfriend for such a long time. Of course, I have been out a couple of times when my partner had to look after the baby (a dinner out with my work, a girls’ day out with my friend), but it has never been so long. I trusted Grumpy Boyfriend as long as I was not finding poo on the wall! But part of me was like ‘Oh my god, I am such a bad mum for leaving my son all day long and have fun!’ In the end, he was absolutely fine.
Blogfest 16 – the day in question
The day arrived! Blogfest 16 was there! I woke up at the crack of dawn and took an early train in the morning. Of course, it was raining as soon as I arrived at Saint Pancras. I started the day pestering. It is not that often that Frenchie Mummy goes out these days and when she does, it’s just a horrible typical English rainy day!
I arrived super early like at 8.30am, thinking that many other people would do the same and I could have a chat before les festivités. In reality, I ended up sitting on a sofa and interacting on social media with my phone!
Very quickly, people arrived and I felt a bit less isolated. Eventually, it all started to move up a gear and I found myself well busy, listening to sessions, interacting with other bloggers and cooing at gorgeous babies attending the event.
So what did I make of it? What did I like and what did I hate? It’s all in here! I wanted to start with the bad stuff as I am very good at moaning (being Frenchie obliged…), but let’s be positive!
Blogfest 2016 – The Good
I was so happy to meet some of my fave bloggers such as Aby at You Baby Me Mummy, Franca at A Moment with Franca or Alison Perry from Not Another Mummy Blog. It was great just to say hi and meet them in person! They were all so kind and Alison was rocking with style (as usual) a Frenchie top.
I know it might be not everyone’s cup of tea but I must say that Scummy Mummies really made me laugh. It was a great way to break down the day as you get to do and see so much!
Even if I didn’t get as many blogging tips as I expected, it was nice to hear some stuff that I am already doing well. It really boosted my confidence. And I really enjoyed the session on SEO with Alison Perry. I had the impression that she was quite amused by the guy running the session. He was obviously a cool techie young lad who was very interested in looking trendy. I am pretty sure she was quite entertained with his way of leading the conversation and his ideas.
Blogfest 2016 – The Bad
I was very disappointed that I didn’t personally meet everyone! It’s only once home when I checked more tweets that I realised some amazing bloggers I love were there and I didn’t bump into them!
I was so sad to see that Honest Mum was not there! As I already said, I met many fabulous people but I really wanted to see her and have a Frenchie chat with the lady… Next time!
I also realised how massive the industry was. I knew there were a lot of mummy bloggers out there, but not quite that many! You have no idea the number of times I thought ‘OMG, I don’t know her, nor her blog!’ I truly understood the fact that I was a very little fish in a big blogging ocean! There are so many of us in here!
The goodie bag left me a bit puzzled. I will for sure use all the Dove products as I generally love this brand and I actually needed to buy some more shampoo! Merci Blogfest for saving me a trip to the shop. Cependant, the random books and the 3 packs of Soreen loaves are just a joke. Not to mention a toilet spray! Random to say the least!? Do you think it would have any appeal for another Frenchie giveaway?
Blogfest 2016 – The Ugly
The very feminist atmosphere – Mumsnet organising it, it’was pretty clear that the event was aimed at women and I felt empowered by some guests throughout the day. However, it was a bit too much at times! I know that they were some dads in the audience and it was somehow uncomfortable. I could imagine that they felt a bit awkward.
Sérieusement, some guests were painting men as an evil thing that women needed to fight! You know what I make of feminism. To me, it’s more about equality of sexes than reminding our hommes that they are not good enough or some kind of monstres! I consider myself a feminist and I am sorry to say that some comments really made me cringe…
Another awkward thing? The moment when you are clearly on your own while some people are in their blogging tribes. I am going to make a big statement here and probably make people unhappy but it needs to be said. Before attending Blogfest, I read a lot of people online saying that it was very friendly and bloggers were happy to interact with you. Not 100% true! There were some times when I felt that some other fellow bloggers did not want to mix with newbies like me! So clearly, the lovely blogging community is a bit of a mirage for some bloggers out there!
Luckily, it’s far from the majority. So many people really made me feel welcome and were truly happy to talk with me! I know that I can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, but a bunch of ladies didn’t run away as soon as I tried to start the conversation. A massive merci to Emily at My Petit Canard, Muma on the Edge & Ursula at Mumbelievable. I probably forgot some others but they were the ones that really made me feel welcome!
Blogfest gave itself the mission to celebrate sharp writing and big ideas. Is that really true? To some extent, even if I must admit that I felt a bit deflated at the end of the day. Sure, I got some stuff out of my first blogging conference but nothing major.
Mais the atmosphere was really good and it was nice to be with people who have something in common with me. I also loved being away from home and breaking up the mummy life!
Overall, it was very different from what I imagined. I might go again but will try to have a sponsor next this time.
I would love to hear your views on Blogfest 2016. What was good, bad and very ugly in your opinion? Spit it all out in the comments’ box! I want to know your perception on this so famous blogging conference!