It’s been many years since I have attended a blogging conference. There have been various reasons as to why I haven’t been to one since 2011 (the very year I started!) but I am so pleased that I decided to attend this one.
Mumsnet hosted their very first Influencers event and it truly surpassed all of my expectations.
First up was their fantastic choice of venue. The Huckletree in White City Place was quite simply a bloggers dream. So quirky and designed to a tee. Every turn you made meant you were faced with a different, equally as ‘instagrammable’ wall!
Inspired sessions for everyone
There were four main sessions for us all to attend throughout the day and to make this work, we were divided into four groups. We rotated around the sessions and had breaks and parts in the day where we all grouped together in the main auditorium.
This part worked SO WELL and meant that you didn’t have to compromise on what sessions you went to. There were no time clashes meaning that you weren’t left with that feeling of missing out.
The day well so well thought out and the sessions tailored so well to what we would need to learn, that each and every one attended gave me so much information to take away with me.
The feedback that I have heard time and time again from conference attendees is that they felt that they haven’t particularly learnt anything new and that the levels of knowledge were varying.
This is where the Influencers event really packed the punches and left us all feeling that we had invested our time wisely.
Experts in their field
Not only did we learn more about how Instagram works we gained more of an insight into what is working right now as well as what is going to be the next big thing. We heard all of this from an actual person from Instagram who is based in LA, it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s people like that that we NEED to hear from, not hearsay. Getting to speak to an Instagram employee feels very much like the holy grail.
If you’re anything like me and have your preferred platform and struggle to transfer your efforts across to others, then you would have found the Facebook session really useful. Cat who led the talk was extremely passionate about what Facebook has in store for the future and her enthusiasm was so engaging. We might all feel like Facebook is taking over and becoming all ‘big brother’ but it’s here to stay and it’s something that we need to embrace and be part of. It’s all about video and the up and coming Facebook Watch – think YouTube for Facebook!
Remember that you are a business
Hannah Martin who founded The Talented Ladies Club gave a thoroughly enjoyable talk on making your freelance work successful. She talked a whole lot of sense and really made you think. How many of you sell yourselves short and can be less than confident about your humble blogs and social presence? Do you think that you only just have a blog? Think again!
Video is key
I think we all knew that anyway but throughout the sessions, it became crystal clear that the future lies in video more and more on the big major platforms. It’s just time to mix it up a bit and vertical video is where it’s all at apparently.
Podcasts are increasing in popularity
I’m the first to admit that podcasts are still a pretty vague notion to me. I’ve never actually paid much attention to what they are all about but when I think about it, they are perfect for me to listen to. I love to read but when I’m too busy, listening is definitely the way forward. So all of those podcasters out there (and podcasting of course isn’t new) are leading the way for the future of blogging.
Honesty about working with brands
Amie gave us a really insightful and refreshing talk about pitching to brands and what role Mumsnet play in matching us with the right brands. Even if you’re still feeling pretty small and unknown, you might just be the right fit for a campaign. Brands are starting to realise that micro influencers have just as much to offer when they have good engagement.
Through discussions with friends there, we all agreed that the format and the general vibe felt very different at this event. There was no ‘hierarchy’ which can be very apparent sometimes. It was just a gathering of like minded bloggers, at varying levels, all trying to do one thing and that was to learn how to better themselves and grow.
The day was ended rather nicely with some cocktails, which of course led to more photo opportunities with matching your cocktail to the wall colourings! So this here is a BIG cheers to the amazing Mumsnet team (Amie, Alice and Rachel) for truly pulling out all the stops, despite suffering lots of setbacks on the run up to the event. The day ran smoothly, they fed and watered us and made us all feel so very welcome. They were ever professional and I’m really excited to see where they lead Mumsnet Influencers in 2018.