16 May 2014

HOTW # 18...Blogtacular


Last weekend I attended my very first blogging conference, Blogtacular. I had no expectations prior to the conference, except that I hoped I would come away inspired and I wasn't disappointed. Far from it. The conference itself was an exciting schedule bursting with creative talent set out to inspire us in all areas of design, photography, video, styling, branding and beyond. Since coming home from the event my mind has been a boggle of blog ideas and inspiration which I gained from being surrounded by such brilliant and inspiring people. Leaving me with a burst of energy and confidence when it comes to building my blog and contributing to such a creative and exciting industry.  There were so many aspects of the conference that I enjoyed, so I've put together a list of my Blogtacular Highlights as last week's Highlight of the Week...Totes exciting stuff.



The Accommodation
Now I'm not the biggest fan of hostels. I'm more of a four (five if I'm day dreaming) star hotel-kind-of-girl when it comes to accommodation. Nothing sends me running faster than stains on sheets, bugs in corners and stray hairs in sinks. So when Jen informed us that she'd booked The Generator, I had nightmare flashbacks to a horrific nights stay in a remote hostel in the back end of France where the water was brown and the mattress squeaked even when you weren't on it. But thankfully as hostels go, The Generator must be the coolest and trendiest hostel in town. With quirky decor and funky themes, a bar, a cafe and even a chill out zone, we squeezed into our four bedded dormitory, which was pleasantly clean, comfortable and compact. Even the showers (once we found them) weren't too shabby which is always a bonus. I would definitely recommend checking into this place for a quick stop over in London baby. Never thought I'd say that about a hostel that's for sure. What's happening to me...? 

A hostel- but a cool and clean one...phew!
Snuggling up on the bottom bunk...the last time I slept in a bunk bed, my brother threw up on my head! 

The Venue
The conference was held at the Royal Institute of Great Britain. An interesting and unique venue nestled in a quiet street just off Green Park. Having worked at the venue for an event previously (a few years back) I knew the venue would work brilliant for this event. Also one always has to give a special nod to the catering team when they provide a little Coeliac with a more than substantial lunch. I very much appreciated the yummy selection of sandwiches as opposed to being fobbed off with a carrot stick or left to go hungry- so thank you very much Blogtacular-slash-venue catering team! 

Gangs all here! 
The Keynote Speech- Oh Joy! 
Joy Cho, an uber successful Blogger (slash) Author (slash) Designer (slash) Most Followed Person on Pinterest from the USA wowed us with her amazing keynote speech, where she took us on her journey through her trials and achievements to date. Totally adorable and unbelievably talented,  Joy really demonstrated the heights that one blogger can achieve, inspiring us all to reach our goals with persistence and confidence. 

Oh Joy...setting new heights for us UK bloggers
The Goodie Bags
Who doesn't love a goodie bag? Especially when they are a custom designed Blogatcular bag made by Zeena, jam packed full of gorgeous goodies including a super handy and stylish planner from Lollipop, a cute butterfly necklace from Ladybird Likes, fab hand lotion from Betty and Walter, a brilliant brooch from Tigerlilly Quinn, a lovely ribbon reel from Jane Means (which I've already used to decorate my pencil pot!) and some cute tape from Mollie Makes. Goodies galore! 

Gorgeous custom designed goodie bags...

The Speakers 
Inspiring and Interesting. The line up for speakers was a little overwhelming, but it gave a newbie blogger like myself an excellent insight into the success stories of so many talented professionals within the industry. Sharing their experiences and advice were Will Taylor from Bright Bazaar, Anne Ditmeyer from Pret a Voyager and Natalie Lue from Baggage Reclaim along with a Q&A session with a selection of Editors. There was a lot to process, but thought provoking none the less. 

Ann and her gnome... 


The Video Workshop with Xanthe Berkely
I think I have found my new idol. If you haven't heard of Xanthe Berkely before then check out her website here. A photographer, film maker and all round creative genius, her work literally blows me away. Xanthe's Storytelling Through Video Workshop was amazing and totally up my street. Whilst toying and practicing with the whole vlogging idea, I've since started making little videos as a way of sharing my experiences and so this workshop was simply perfect in steering me in the right direction. As well as sharing her tips and tricks for creating memorable videos, we were treated to a selection of her own films during the workshop, one of which brought me to tears! She so beautifully captures her family through time capsules which draw at all the senses and tugs on the heart strings. Xanthe's workshop was probably the most inspiring part of the event for me and I was left excited to experiment and progress with my own video creations. My latest video can be viewed here. 

Xanthe...she is amazeballs. 
Blogging Buddies
It can get a little lonely this blogging lark. I've sat at my desk for three solid days straight before without so much as a glance or a nod to the real world around me. So joining Jen from Love Chic Living, Antonia from Tidy Away Today and Lucy from Lish Concepts was a refreshing experience and a real highlight for me. It was so lovely to be surrounded by people who understood the whole blogging thing. Simply being around people who didn't moan every time I took a photo of every little detail that caught my eye was brilliant, because they were doing exactly the same thing. It was like I had found my school friends on the first day of term. We had such a fab time together and I am unbelievably grateful to them for taking me under their wing for the weekend. So thank you ladies! Big smiles. 

Jen, Antonia, Moi & Lucy...The Blogtacular Babes! 
Overall I absolutely loved my Blogtacular experience and it has most definitely given me the blogging boost I needed. Here's another video...clearly it was shot before Xanthe gave me the heads up about filming with my phone landscape instead of loosing half the picture...! Anyhoo...we live and we learn...enjoy!




Until next time,

With Love & Blogging Boosts, 


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Disclosure: Some of the images used are the official Blogtacular photographs taken by Will Ireland courtesy of Mollie Makes
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