Blogfest15: annual re-inspiration and entertainment

Were you there?

Were you?

Did you have an inspiringly awesome and motivating time, like I did?

(Did you lose a bag, but then become reunited with your worldly possessions – er, straightners and daughter’s Christmas presents - thanks to the fabulous Kings Place staff, like I did?)

Yes, I’m talking about the fabulousness that was Blogfest15.

And as if Mumsnet could better 2014, but They So Did. 


Last year I seemed to spend a lot of time waiting around. I networked, but as an introvert, I found solace in the company of one or two, quietly observing the mêlée from a safe distance. 

This year there was very little time before the Next Great Thing. 

First, an astounding opening with Margaret Atwood (very great shame about the technological let downs) – but the author I discovered 18 years ago was actually awake, at  5 am, and keen to share insights with lovely bloggers.  Win! And all nestled amongst the gorgeousness of the actual Meera Syal, Bridget-brilliantly-witty-Christie, Bryony Gordon, Polly Vernon and Catherine Mann. Referenced in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s own. What’s the latin for a seven-times-win?

Oh, and an impactful message from Unilever about the destruction of our rain forests, where trees could actually be safer living in cities.

On to a quick tea break and time to catch up with Cadbury’s, Butlin’s and Show my Homework (note to introverted self: just say hello to Sponsors, and see where the conversation goes) before bounding off to learn all I can about Buzzfeed from an extremely knowledgeable Kathryn Tyler, co-founder of Digital Mums: every town and city should encourage social media skills amongst Mums and Dads. 

Back to the main hall for the intellectual, and very funny, Think Bombs. 

And if I thought I was floored by last year’s panel - Francesca Martinez was simply amazing - but Mumsnet worked their magic this year for us to be entranced by the thoughts of: 

Sandi-we’ve-started-a-new-political-party-for-women-Toksvig - when women fulfil their potential, everyone benefits; 
Val-I’m-a-prolific-and-determined-writer-McDermid, and 
Fired neurons and stimulated synapses? Check.

And then there was a delicious lunch, too. 

And more catching up with brands and my mate, Nicola AKA the Sociology Guru who was equally star struck by Esther Freud and Cadbury’s (think she’s still finding Fredos in her bag).    

And. I. Got. To. Meet. Julia. From. Village. England.  And Design. My. Perfect. Bag. (Thank you, Mumsnet!)

Large. Raspberry pink leather, teal lining and a wine bottle holder, you know like the elasticised sections that Mummy bags house for baby bottles; this was beautifully enhanced in the evening by a couple of bloggers who suggested several holders for mini-bar capacity. Definitely!

Hang on, hang on; we’ll get to the cocktails shortly.

The afternoon raced ahead, with barely enough time for cake and curly wurlies, but I’m a blogger so therefore I run on chocolate.

Digital marketing and branding tips from Jude Brooks followed by how to build brand relationships with Carrie Longton, Julia-beautiful-handbags-Dobson, Tara Cain and Rebecca Burchnall. At one point I could barely type the notes in my phone before the next handy hint headed my way. 

Just enough time for a quick break before the entertaining and humble hour of the closing session: Giving it Away – the public stories of our private lives, and  the inaugural Mumsnet Blogging Awards. The nominated writings didn't make only me cry. 

And then it was the collection of the goody bags (entertainment for the train home back to Devon) and the partaking of fizz and, frankly, cocktails so amazing that I actually left a bag behind in the cloakroom.  And a great chat with the Skimlinks representative, fellow bloggers, and best mate Nic. 

Oh, and the fried chicken canapés were spot on for journeying through the London Underground. 

Even though the contents of the programme will have a positive and reflective impact on me for the many months ahead (isn't this the most wonderful time of year to plan?) - I can’t wait for Blogfest16 ~

See you there next year!

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