Last weekend I attended the third Annual Bloggers Bash in London. The Bash means an awful lot to me – I have been to every single one and have previously been the lucky recipient of the Services to Blogging, Inspirational Blogger and Best Overall awards, and I credit this event with giving me the confidence to take blogging seriously as a viable career path. This year, I was asked to give a presentation and be on a panel, which was an enormous honour.
This year the event was truly international, with people attending from the UK, Ireland, the US and Canada and there had been over 6,500 votes cast for its coveted awards. It was held at the Grange Wellington Hotel in Westminster’s Vincent Square. The Bloke and I got an early train in the morning and we were very graciously checked into our hotel room almost immediately at the Euston Premier Inn which gave us the opportunity to finish getting ready (although, I managed to get the majority of my hair and make-up done on the train to the apparent amusement of a man sitting a few seats away). We arrived at the Bash venue early (after having an accidental detour due to my awful map reading skills) and went straight up to visit my long-term bloggy friend Elena Peters, who had stayed there the night before.
As always, to write about all of the events of the day would be a 5,000 word post, so here are my highlights…
That initial excitement of seeing old bloggy friends – there’s now a core group of them that I know quite well – I’ve stayed at their houses, sent them Christmas and birthday cards, met them for coffee etc, so to see them again is always a huge excitement of hugs and squeals. However, there’s always a certain point where I am still a little freaked out – they already know what I am up to because of my blog posts so when they asked me questions about wedding prep or places I have recently visited I have to stop myself from asking “How did you know about that?” in response, having to remind myself that I put my life online for people to read.
Helping myself to Elena’s complimentary toiletries from her room. They were nice toiletries!
Introducing The Bloke. He goes off into the city with his camera while I am at the Bash usually and everyone always asks me where he is, so this time I asked him to stay for a little while so he could meet all the people that I have been talking about for years in person. I found it quite amusing that some would come over to say hello and then turn to him and say “So, you must be The Bloke then!”
The cake. Man, I LURVE THE CAKE, and Geoffle and Ritu had done an epic job of making an enormous selection of lovely pieces of yumminess that were displayed at the back of the room. Wedding dress diet? What wedding dress diet? I didn’t want to be rude and so made it my duty to try most of them.
Taking stupid pics of myself behind Lucy’s head without her knowledge.
Graeme and I doing our interviews together. It seems to have happened that in every Bash, Graeme and I have always ended up being in the same group, and this year was no different – we did our video interview with Hugh and podcast interview with Susie Lindau together. And ate cake. Well, I did at least.
Meeting people in person for the first time that I have spoken to at various points online for years. I grabbed Susie as soon as she walked in and then Eloise De Sousa as we passed each other in the room, and Allie Potts when she sat in front of me with the ever lovely Helen. I then got the chance to meet people who are in my Facebook group, which I found immensely exciting.
As always, the look on Shelley’s face when she received her award. She still remains as the smiliest person that I have ever met.
Lucy’s (‘Lucy Mitchell – Blonde Write More‘) contributions on the microphone.
Meeting Donna again after having lunch with her in Birmingham earlier in the year…
Giving my presentation on Monetising Your Blog and assisting Elena with her Pinterest presentation (she made me write notes on Flip Chart paper). My former years of teaching helped in two ways – I could project my voice without having to use the mic (I hate hearing my own voice) and I could write on the board in a straight line. Boom – I felt so nervous that nausea almost took over, but I loved it. I also loved the conversations that developed from it with numerous bloggers afterwards, particularly Lance, Sheila and Noelle and the potential for future projects.
Sacha and the committee doing their MC skills on the microphone. I am anticipating that Geoff will step it up a gear and deliver a performance of a Dizzy Rascal song next year to get the party started – he was a natural!
Matt admitting that he had taken a taxi to the event instead of making the EIGHT MINUTE walk from the station. Clearly a man after my own heart.
My Huge Hugh Hug…
Being a little too honest about my tweeting habits and admitting that I tweet from the toilet. Consequently, my Twitter notifications were immediately filled with messages and pictures from people whenever they went to the loo (yes, I’m looking at you – Matt, Shelley and Elena in particular). It’s a blog post just waiting to be written – ‘I Tweet on the Toilet and I’m Not Ashamed…‘ Stay tuned for that one!
This Snapchat filter of Hugh and Geoffle… I think that it’s a look that they should consider adopting for next year!
A truly fabulous day, and it was all over far too quickly, with all the credit going to Sacha and the committee of Hugh, Ali and Geoff for their wonderful organisational skills… The event was over six hours long and there’s never enough time – it felt like five minutes had passed by the time came to leave and I still hadn’t had the opportunity to speak to everyone that I wanted to… Julie, Sue, Marjorie, Mary, Sherri – I’m grabbing you all first next time!
And the fun didn’t stop afterwards – Donna and her husband Sam, The Bloke and I and Elena went for a meal at the restaurant where the first Bloggers Bash partly took place years before!
The date for the next year has already been set for 9th June 2018, and I’m already looking forward to it!
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