I had a grand time listening to such inspiring speakers like Francesca Martinez, the Fleet Street Fox, Suzanne Moore, Rachel Joyce, Harriet Lane, Lynn Barber, Nick Hornby, Lucy Porter and the man that talks faster than I do when I bump into a beautiful blogging moment (ie, a passionate speaker)...Paul Armstrong. And with Rachel's writerly advice to 'forget the washing', it's like she had already heard about my #stuffthelaundry Twitter linky I launched last week!
I had thought it was the absolute wrong time for me to not have Wi-Fi access; I'd swapped my broken smart phone for a Blackberry only a mere few days earlier, and I don't know about you, Dear Reader, but it takes me a good six months to figure out the smarts on a phone. And my Kindle is reaching it's second birthday, so having the appropriate tantrums: Wi-Fi was available throughout Kings Place, but my devices weren't cooperating on the day.
Well, I could read the twitter feed, and take notes on my Blackberry.
I couldn't instantly upload pictures!
No, but I could chat to the blogger next to me.
I couldn't check back home with my family!
No, but they could ring me if there was a problem.
All couldn'ts suitably dealt with, I sat back and enjoyed the presentations, and nattered to the willing bloggers around me.
When I arrived I was as nervous as a woman walking into a room full of strangers could be. But I rationalised that if I didn't enjoy myself I could always clear off to Westfield for a spot of
Throughout the day I sometimes felt like a shy teenager loitering under the stairs at the popular party, until I found other shy people who understood what I was going through. Was Blogfest really an introverts flashmob?
I realised that I didn't need to take part in the seemingly speed-networking event, and I also learned I wasn't the only nervous attendee.
I found the balance of confidence that is needed for single people in new situations: I was good enough to be there simply for being me.
The event ran smoothly, and was clearly a project of absolute dedication for the Mumsnet Team, although, perhaps for next year the team might like to throw in a few ice-breakers, where we have to collect information from other bloggers. At one conference I attended, each person was given a playing card, and encouraged to find their matching pair in order to claim a free chocolate bar. I met a lot of people at that event.
The food was plentiful throughout the day, and plenty of moments provided for us to step away from the programme and talk over coffee, or lean over the rails to look at the eager bloggers below and reflect on what we learned from each session (that we need waterproof mascara when listening to Francesca Martinez make us laugh).
I took away with me so many future steps for my blog (new social media trends, writer-inspiration, google+ definition) and the techie tips at the end of the day offered guidance on how to protect the posts on my blog (back them up).
Oh, and the delightful goody bag of edibles, beauty samples, warming scarf/pashmina/blanket, a Boden bag and an actual book means I can't wait for the early bird tickets for Blogfest15 to go on sale!
Do you use a reward system (shopping and/or chocolate) to help you through a tremendous yet giddy-with-the-nerves time?