Wednesday 8 May 2019

BlogOn Conference 2019

Last weekend was the 11th BlogOn Conference, at Hotel Football in Manchester. Despite a few major post-op panics hiccups over the past 3 weeks, I made it! It was a bit different for me this time because I couldn't be involved in bag-packing, but with a chair and a table I was still able to join Sim in our usual job checking everyone into the conference.

Bizarrely it didn't rain. This happens only when people visit, to make us look like liars when we say it always rains in Manchester.

Hotel Football Old Trafford and Sir Alex Ferguson Way

The goody bags were all laid out ready, you can see the contents on social media by looking up #blogongoodybags . There's a big team who are there from really early on to help Laura on the day. I felt like a cheat just sitting down at the sign in table.

BlogOn Goody Bags and Check in desk with notebooks and masks

I spent almost the entire day sitting down, but I got a lift selfie in early. Cleverly I handed Sim my camera - I'm a bit too short to get everyone in unless they all bend down! This was as packed a lift as I was happy with really. My main aim for the whole day was not to be bumped in the belly.

BlogOn Lift Selfie with lots orf bloggers in a lift.

The trip in the lift was a nice easy start to the day, and with pacing ourselves in mind, what better than to sit down for half an hour and play with Big Potato Games. I've reviewed several of their teenage and grown up games and we are big fans. Their new game Blockbuster is awesome and out this Summer. I think it'll be a big hit with the nostalgic 30+ market next Christmas.

I had a look at one side of the brand den in the morning and the other in the afternoon, moving at the pace of a tired snail. It was the most relaxed conference I've ever been to and probably ever will.

BlogOn brand den The Entertainer AddoPlay Engino OSMO National Feet Week

Totally forgot to enter the John Fowler Holidays competition, but I won the BlogOn holiday a few years ago, so this year it should be someone else's prize. In this case The Knight Tribe won - enjoy!

John Fowler Holidays comp entry holding instagram frame around face

Paladone supplied the masks everyone chose when they arrived and sponsored the evening party - they're perfect for all things party. It was well beyond me to last beyond teatime and I already knew that beforehand, so sadly I had to pass. Good job really because I was ridiculously tired for someone who sat in a chair all day.

BlogOn brand has loads of really eclectic brands and this year it included some really lush companies, including Lush! Promoting their naked products which are plastic packaging-free and about as Earth and body-friendly as you can get.

There were also Meadow's Gin to really spoil us, some smaller independents like Dapple and Dandelion, and my saviour of the day Hotter Shoes. I can't bend, so I can't do up laces or buckles, but I can do velcro and my red shoes from last Summer looked a treat with my Star Wars themed 'Galaxy Far, Far Away' frock.

It was I think Jane Hodgepodgedays idea to do a Bake Off when the cake sponsor pulled out at the last minute. An excellent idea it was too! There are some fabulous bakers and cake decorators among the attendees. Well done to all of them for getting their bakes there safely - and well done to the winners, which included Jane for her non-Star Wars Blueberry and Lemon Bundt. She deserved it.

These aren't just any cakes. These are BlogOn Bake Off cakes....

BlogOn Bake Off Cake competition table full of entries star wars decorated buns sponge bundt

BlogOn Bake Off Non Star Wars Winner Jane Hodgepodgedays brandishing rolling pin

We had some really big names with us at BlogOn, including Nintendo and The Entertainer, and my favourite supermarket, the Co-op. They fed everyone with their Limited Edition Wood Fired Pizzas, gorgeous Prosecco and very tasty crisps.

Coop drinks and snacks special edition pizza crisps and Presse

I've worked with the co-op quite extensively before and we talked to them quite a lot, which may explain the two or three or four glasses of their Prosecco that I consumed. Relief that I'm not on painkillers and/or antibiotics any longer, it was really nice to relax and it goes down so easily...

Chatting to the Co-op staff also gave me my favourite photo of the event. Caption competition entries welcome...

Easy on the eye gentleman showing his tattoos whilst woman nearby looks a little happy

My favourite thing about BlogOn is, as always, the people. The sessions are brilliant and you always learn something you wish you'd known 5 years ago, the brands are great and it's amazing to meet PR's who you might have talked to for years, but seeing all of those bloggers who you've read online, laughed, cried and worried with - that's what really makes it for me.

We are bloggers and we all hide behind a keyboard, but really we all just want to peep out and see who is really inside that computer...

BlogOn bloggers collage showing several attendees 2019 Manchester Hotel Football

Huge thanks to everyone who made it possible for me to attend and ensured I didn't end the day early or even needing extra painkillers! Especial thanks from my partner to Sim and Jane.

#PissOffPhyllis badge to promote bowel cancer awareness

Cake topper with laura star wars and coop designs

1 comment:

  1. Lol! That photo is priceless! Poor Ben! How did he expect me to react though?! I had such an awesome day and I'm glad you did too, was worried about how it would go but you did everything at your own pace!xxx Sim


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