Friday 15 October 2021

BlogOn conference for Bloggers and Brands

Have you heard about BlogOn conferences? They are learning and networking events for Bloggers and Brands. I was thrilled (but also a little bit nervous) to have the opportunity to speak about my blogging career at the BlogOn Xmas event which took place recently. 
A group of 17 male and female bloggers all in beach themed party wear
I ran a session alongside another long-time blogger, Hayley from Downs Side Up. We laughed and almost cried our way through answering some of the most often asked questions we’ve heard over our 10+ Years of blogging, and we summed up with our top blogging tips (to be shared in a future post!).
Hayley and Steph standing in front of a screen with their presentation on
This event was not the first BlogOn I've been to, so I thought I'd share my experiences of these conferences for any other Bloggers or Brands who are considering it. There are so many good reasons to buy a ticket for BlogOn. After the strange and difficult couple of years we've had, the primary reason for me this time was to get out and about and meet people again! A ‘fun social event’ definitely describes BlogOn perfectly, as you'll see from the photos from the after-party. 
Five female bloggers laughing and posing in beach party wear
But it's also an opportunity to learn more about blogging and social media, and a chance to network with brands and toy distributors. This is particularly helpful if you'd like to consider asking for samples so you can write toy reviews on your blog (something I used to do a lot of a few years ago) but also if you're interested in finding out which toys will be selling like hotcakes this Christmas and which stores you need to make a beeline for (my top toy tip for this year is anything Among Us related, like the giant inflatable costume you can see me posing with here).
Me, Steph, smiling at the camera posing next to a guy in an inflatable Among Us costume
The day is scheduled with plenty of opportunities to learn but also with enough breaks that you don't feel overwhelmed with information. This year I attended sessions about Brand Photography with Victoria Welton and making Reels with the fabulously energetic Cookie. Other sessions on offer included learning about Linked In, TikTok, Vision Boarding, Content Calendar ideas, Finding your Why, Practical Photography, Podcasts, Working with Brands and SEO. There's already some great ideas for what might be discussed next year too, ranging from Pinterest and mobile phone photography to book publishing and monetising your blog.

There are keynote speakers at the beginning and end of the day. This year we enjoyed the humour and brilliance of Simon Harris from Man Behaving Dadly to start with, and a Q&A with gorgeous Brummy Mummy of 2 (also humourous and brilliant) after all the general sessions had finished. Breakfast baps are provided to start the day and then inbetween sessions there is always an amazing lunch - always worth making the trip just for this I'd say (pigs in blankets aplenty)!

A Brands Den is set up in a big room; lots of toy suppliers display their products to give real hands-on experience and this is the best opportunity to network and offer to review product on your blog. There are lots of competitions and chances to win a variety of goods, and there is always cake. And gin. The cake looks amazing - it's always vegan and absolutely delicious, best I've ever tasted!

Then there's the Toy Raffle. The highlight for many people. Toy companies enter their best products into the BlogOn Toy Awards and bloggers vote for their favourites in several categories, then at the end of the day these products (hundreds of them!) are all raffled off with money going to a Blogger's Community fund. If you have younger children, this is a must! 
Photo of lots of samples and toy products spread out
Which brings me on to another big plus of these BlogOn conferences... every blogger attending is given a goody bag to take home. This is not just a small goody bag with a couple of tiny samples in it, oh no. This is a huge bag (sometimes two), filled to the brim with lots of toy, beauty and food products and the contents never fail to disappoint.
Five female bloggers laughing at the camera
Not sure if I've already mentioned it (*wink), but the after-party is always legendary, with lots of mock- or cocktails and dancing to old classics. Everybody is so friendly and there's a great fun atmosphere. I spoke to so many people throughout the day but there were many more who I didn't get chance to chat with this time, and of course many more bloggers I know who couldn't make it this year. So that's a good reason to go back next time!
Eight male and female bloggers posing in beach party clothes
Huge thanks to Laura and her team who always manage to pull off such an enjoyable day and evening out. BlogOn is loved by many and it will be back next year.

BlogOn 2022 will return to the Coppid Beech hotel in Bracknell, on 8th October 2022. You can find out more and buy your ticket on the Blog On website.

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page or the summary of our experience in Our PDA Story Week 35. 
For more detailed information about PDA, please read any of the books in my post 
Books about the Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) profile of autism 
Stack of book spines, all books about PDA listed in the post link given

The posts below are my key posts about Pathological Demand Avoidance:

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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