This Saturday I hosted Blognix, the blogging conference I have spent the past six months of my life working my butt off to pull off. Oh yes, it has been quite the journey. And do you know what? I think it might have worked out. The feedback so far has been great, there were plenty of smiles, loads of enthusiasm and the blog posts coming in have been positive.
Of course, I’m still in a sleep-deprived, exhausted state that borders somewhat on delirium. Organising an event IS NOT an easy task. There’s been plenty of setbacks, insane amounts of stress and worry, and possibly the odd tear or two. Not that I want to be a sour-puss about it. But this is my honest space, and I tell you what, I never knew organising an event like this would be so freaking hard.
Nobody talks about the hard stuff.
And yet, one of the key takeaways from Saturday, was how honest my conference was.
For that I’m proud.
That is what I set out to do.
Blognix was a day filled to the brim with learning and inspiration. Every delegates learned something new. And not the conventional blogging spiel that most blogging conferences adhere to. This was about sharing, honestly and generously. I was determined that the people speaking at Blognix would be exactly the kind of people who were expert and engaging enough to share like that. We did well.
Blognix was held at the Custard Factory in Birmingham city centre. We held the majority of the day in a large open space as well as using a break out space called Nomad, and a theatre.
The delegates were welcomed to the conference at the reception and presented the name badges and a goodie bag and asked to sign up to three out of the six workshops. They came through to the main space where the could make use of the free tea and coffee station, help themselves to the croissants I provided and find their seats for the talks.
I started the day with an introduction to Blognix plus the competitions for the event, before kicking off with the first talk about the importance of branding your blog. I was followed by Emma Cossey talking about freelancing. And then we took a morning coffee break where we sampled some Miss Apple’s Sweets Brazilian brigadeiros.
Then we had two more talks – first from Hayley Constantine on Disclosure and Ethics, followed by Ahmed Ahmed sharing how to boost your blog with an offline event.
The lunch break was an extended time to allow delegates the chance to eat, network, mingle, and explore. We had an incredible buffet lunch from The Old Crown. Although it must be said that Blognix-ers are gannets! The lot of them! We only blimming ran out of food didn’t we? We had to order more in. But thankfully our caterers were around the corner so I think we managed to feed everyone.
We also had plenty of time to have in the Scarlett of Soho photobooth, which provided endless silly fun.
The second half of the day was workshop time. In total there were three sessions with a choice of two for each. As the organiser I didn’t get to enjoy them as much as I’d like as I was running between the two and making sure everything was ok. But from what I heard, they were awesome! We had The High Tea Cast ladies talking about podcasting, Rosie Slosek talking about tax and blogging finance, Cathy Presland discussing writing a book, Hayley Carr doing brand collaborations, Kim Lawler teaching alternative revenue streams for bloggers and Lucy Heath teaching photography.
We ended the day by reconvening back in the main space to hear an inspiring talk from Justice Williams MBE about passion and entrepreneurship.
During my closing remarks I did get a little emotional when it came to thanking the boyf. He really has been a rock, supporting and empowering me with this event, despite how difficult it has been for us. I’m so truly grateful and it’s thanks to him that the event was as great as it was.
And so that was Blognix 2014. We shimmed the bloggers out the door, Team Blognix went nuts clearing the room as fast as possible and by half past we were able to join the other bloggers for the after party at Alfie Birds, an awesome bar opposite our conference space. We were treated to some yummy cocktails, and apparently there was some pizza sampling, but again, the gannets ate all the samples so team Blognix went without again! But the boyf and I did have a tequila to celebrate. It had been quite the ride!
It was a relief to be able to finally relax, I spent a good few hours chatting to the bloggers that joined us and loved having that chance to really connect.
And that is something I was determined Blognix would be.
Needless to say we were totally pooped, but thankfully we were put up at my favourite hotel in Birmingham, Hotel la Tour, so we had a very restful night’s sleep before embarking on the final clear-up on Sunday.
I’ll share more details about the day over on the Blognix blog, but for now, let’s just say … Blognix was rad.