Marie Claire At Work Live: Part 1 The Morning

Hiya, how was your weekend?

I took to the trains again; Great Western Railway is doing well out of me this month!  

I closed the work bag of my full-time job on Thursday night and thought, ‘bring on the blogging this weekend -the marking can wait until Monday.’  

Marie Claire’s annual #atworklive event, held this year at the Millbank Tower overlooking the Thames, whilst not strictly a blogging event is designed to help the career-bemused, women looking for a day out (the annual cocktails are fabulous, this year hosted by Cointreau) and regular subscribers to Marie Claire who know a beauty shindig when they see one advertised. 

And, Dear Readers, the day was so stuffed with magic that this is part 1 of a 2-part post, lest your eyes start to glaze over, or Mini realises that I'm working instead of watching Frozen with her....

I packed my Inner Twirl blogging diary (a treat to myself from the fab Bloggers Planner team at Christmas) to plan content, alongside my gadgets and snacks, and caught up with a fab friend and fellow attendee on the Friday night in Kent – we take our cocktail practice very seriously, you know.
After coffee and registration on the day, the inspiration began with the Game-changers panel, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Trish Halpin and featuring:

Laura Bates (writer and campaigner, Everyday Sexism project)
“Learn very’s okay to ask for don’t have to answer a question, just go off in a different direction”.

Nishma Robb (Head of Marketing at Google)
“Take control...demonstrate the how...How did you overcome challenges?  Think about your you went about them, how you learned from them....present yourself as an opportunity”. 


Laverne Antrobus (Psychologist)
“What’s the worst that can happen.....really positive statement. Failure is a building block to which direction to take. Listen to the internal narrative you hear”.

Anita Rami (Broadcaster and all round challenge-seeker)
“Fumble your way through....with drive and ambition.....How? No idea....going to get there. What’s the worst that can happen? Just deal with the challenges”.

Fully invigorated and raring to go it was time to select one of three breakout options - I chose, From Blog to Business: Dream. Dare. Create, and so bloody pleased that I did...


The calm and directed MC features director, Andrea Thompson, chaired a somewhat lively debate among successful bloggers on the merits of earning money from said blogging, with the ultimate round of experience-flinging leading towards a sort of To Commercialize or Not: organic blog evolution Vs playing the system showdown.   

Had to get a Shakespeare reference in, on his 400th anniversary, didn’t I? 

From far left, the fantabulous Caroline Hirons, a beauty blogger who I’d never heard of until this weekend (but I’m going to binge on her backdated blog posts as soon as I can get over her actual age; definitely a skincare enthusiast who knows what the chuff she’s talking about: I pitched her AT LEAST 12 years younger than her declared age). 


Caroline's advice to bloggers:
“If you go into blogging just to make money you’ll fail....wait until a brand comes to need a reason to work need comments (I do, dear, gorgeous readers, I do) It’s about an engaged readership. Work your niche, even if you only write about peaches.....eventually you’ll reach everyone else who’s interested in peaches”.  
I imagine t-shirts stating I (heart) CH, you know, if it didn’t sound like a symptom of something unfortunate.

Rosie Llewellyn (A Little Lusciousness)
“Remain true to yourself, even if that means turning down a lot of paid opportunities”.  
I look forward to turning down a bunch of opportunities. 

Fritha Strickland (Tigerlilly Quinn)
“If bloggers don’t know something they’ll go out and learn it”.
 Too true; and we'll stay up tinkering with code until the wee small hours of the morning to ensure a full stop ends up in the right place. Or is that just me?

Jen Stanbrook (Love Chic Living)
“I went into blogging to make money [and began earning within 6 months) but that isn’t sustainable in today’s saturated market of blogs". 
 A bleddy good reason to hone our individual voices as this generation's writers.

An intense 45 minute Inspirations session followed, highlighting reflections from Becky Bloomwood creator, AKA Sophie Kinsella (thanks for favouriting my tweet!), Advertising guru Karen Blackett, who urged us all to find our cheerleaders to support each other and Stella Creasy (MP) with sobering realities of an increase of almost 70% in reported rapes in London, a pay gap in London that is double the national pay gap of 13% in the UK [checks we’re still in 2016, not 1916] and an encouragement for us all to become activists seeking solutions, men included.   

And then it was time for lunch, where we could take in the view and the fab artwork from the 28th floor...


As there is such a lot of inspiration to process (and Mini Stylist is after her brunch and the house is shouting for a spot of attention) I'll upload Part 2 later on today (probably tonight after Mini's bedtime, and before the six am start hits me). 

Did you go to #AtWorkLive this year? Would you book up for next year's event? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below and I'll reply as soon as I can.

Disclaimer: I paid for my own tickets and thoughts/product nods are entirely my own.  So there.

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