Somebody pinch me! I actually attended my first ever blogger event over the weekend, and it wasn’t as scary as I thought. I was so nervous but excited when the invitation dropped in my inbox to attend Ice Lolly’s ‘Blog at The Beach’.
Now, contrary to belief (and the title of the event) it wasn’t actually hosted on a beach somewhere tropical (☹) but instead at a lovely venue in Leeds called New Craven Hall. I was a little sceptical of the venue when I first looked it up, as it appeared to be right next to a busy dual carriageway, however, when we arrived, the inside was perfect for this event. A lovely big open room with a bar area just tucked away to the side near the back of the room. The event was free to us bloggers, with the Ice Lolly team providing us with drink vouchers, both for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as two great food options – Pizza and hotdogs! Both were being cooked on site so were super duper fresh and absolutely amazing with various toppings available for each, as well as vegan options. They really did think of everything.
So, What is Blog At The Beach?
Well, it is basically an event organised by Ice lolly Holidays * in which influencers from all over the UK are invited to network, develop and learn skills related to blogging /vlogging and most importantly to have fun. Think of it like a conference/training day at work but much more fun! It is a great way to get your name and blog out there, as well as meet other like-minded bloggers who you may or may not be engaging with on social media. I met some lovely people who I often see on my twitter feed and it was so nice to meet them all! It also gives Icelolly a nice bit of press and advertisement too. We were number 6 on the Uk trending list on Twitter on Saturday, which isn’t a bad effort to say it was the England match and Pride!
*Please note by clicking on the link above I may receive a small amount of commission at no extra cost to you*
As the event had opportunities to network with lots of lovely bloggers, there was an opportunity to learn new skills in the blogging world, which came in the form of three wonderful speakers- some of which you may or may not know.
Speaker 1 – Sophie Mei Lan
Sophie is a multi-award-winning blogger and vlogger specialising in parenting and mental health, who runs Mamma Mei and Blog Up North Magazine and Influencer Network. You can find her on @SophieMeiLan.
Her talk was all about making it in the media, and how to use media to your advantage. She really made me think about how I write these blog posts such as getting to the point and think about the message I am trying to get across. This was a great talk as she got us as an audience to interact with each other and her, and I definitely learnt that I struggle to think on my feet when under a time limit /pressure.
Speaker 2 – Vix Meldrew
After Sophie, up stepped Vix Meldrew. If you are not following her, you need to! @VixMeldrew is her twitter handle. Vix is now a full-time lifestyle blogger, originally doing it part time whilst she worked as a teacher. She is fab, straight to the point and not afraid to talk/write about any subject.
Her presentation was all about how to be the whole package, finding x3 words to describe you or your blog and applying these to all your social media platforms to be ‘the whole package’ and ‘branded’. She also gave a few tips on how to pitch to brands.
Again, this was an interactive session and Vix was very charismatic and entertaining!
Just out of curiosity how would you describe me in x3 words?
Speaker 3 – Sabina from GirlVsGlobe
The final speaker came after our extended lunch break which included England securing their place in the semi-finals of the world cup, so it was safe to say the energy in the room was buzzing.
Sabina runs GirlVsGlobe and is a blogger, vlogger and generally great Instagrammer. Check out her Instagram, youtube channel and follow her on @GirlVsGlobe.
Her talk was all about befriending your followers through video, explaining how after one successful youtube video she managed to reach 87K followers on Instagram. Apparently, 95% of your message is retained when watched through a video rather than reading which is a 10% retention rate.
Her talk was great, and really got me thinking about my travel vlogs, so I will try put into practice what I learnt the next time I attempt vlogging!
Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of Sabina during her talk, so a picture of the football will have to do!
So, after the successful talks, Ice Lolly carried on the fun with an ‘after party’, where several party type games were played.
Lorry Beach Balls
The first one being a giant ball pool in the form of a very large Ice Lolly truck. The aim of this was to find a beach ball with either a gold or silver star to win prizes, with the gold star being a city break and the silver being a £100 footwear voucher. Unfortunately, due to health and safety, only one person could search for the winning beach ball at a time with a consent form having to be signed. You had to catch a beach ball to be selected, which I failed at! The best bit about this was the dramatic heavy metal music being played from the neighbouring music studio, although I don’t think it helped some people win any prizes.
Pass the suitcase
This was quite a fun game, but was definitely missing a bit of jelly and ice-cream, which surely go together when playing these types of party games? Anyway, this was just a big game of pass the parcel but in wheeled suitcase form with suitcases from Travel Luggage Cabin Bags and prizes from Ice Lolly. I was lucky enough to win an Ice Lolly hoody, which will be perfect for wearing on the plane when it gets a bit chilly!
Giant Beer Pong
The final game was one of my favourites of the day, as everyone became slightly more competitive; Giant Beer Pong! Unfortunately, there wasn’t any beer involved in the pong, but it was great fun attempting to get the ball into the opposing large red buckets. Our team ‘None creative creatives’ was made up of myself the lovely @elleloutravels of ellelouise.co.uk, @MyraBev of A July Dreamer and Daniel of @boneidolfitness. We made it to the semi-finals before crashing and burning out, missing out on the Gorilla pod and Camera bag prizes. This was great fun with the Ice Lolly team joining in to play against us ‘bloggers’.
I guess you could say my first ever blogging event was a success! I had a great time meeting lots of new (and familiar) bloggers who all share a similar interest in travelling. I would like to thank Ice Lolly for sending me an invite to the event and I definitely would like to attend another hosted by them again in the future. Everything was thought out, and I learnt a few new skills to hopefully help me in this blogging side of my life. They even inspired me to sign up for their affiliate programme, which is where the link above came from.
I am definitely feeling inspired now!
Have you ever attended a blogging event or were you at Blog At The Beach?
Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,