The whole blog-con experience must seem a bit odd from the outside. It starts early. Excitement builds on social media as people set off from all corners of the country and converge on the venue.
I’m on my way! Who else is going? What tram do I get from the city centre? Anyone want to walk together from Waterloo? Oh my God, I’m not going to know anyone. I didn’t know you were going! Engineering works on the railways – I’m going to be late! Let’s meet up under the big clock/in All Bar One/at a random restaurant. What’s the hashtag for this sodding event anyway?
Instagram is flooded with photos. Train station selfies. Takeaway coffee cups. Breakfast pastries. Tired/worried/excited faces. The exterior of the conference venue. The interior of budget hotel rooms. Those who aren’t going bemoan the fact they’re missing out. (FOMO is a terrible thing and there is no known cure.)
Once we’re there, we frantically snatch quick hellos with familiar faces as we dash in opposite directions. (First rule of blogging conferences: there is never enough time to talk to everyone.) We discuss which sessions we’re going to. We try to work out who the person who has just joined our conversation is without making it too obvious we’re trying to read their name badge. We laugh at comedy keynotes and cry at tales of loss.
We want to know when we can get our hands on the free wine.
We cheer on the award finalists and applaud the winners – while getting our hands on the free wine.
We sit around eating delivery pizza and gossiping until deep into the night because we don’t have to worry about the kids for once. We don’t care that the wine is no longer free.
Like I said, it must seem a bit odd from the outside.
So here’s my attempt at demystifying what really goes on at blogging conferences, with a little help from Messrs Simon and Garfunkel.
Be warned: I recorded this while suffering from a cold, so it’s a little pitchy. If I’d been firing on all cylinders this would have sounded more like Mariah Carey, obviously.
A Weekend Blogging Conference (to the tune of The Sound of Silence)
Time for BlogOn once again
We all arrived by car or train
At Hotel Football we agreed to meet
Beer pong, wine and random nibbly treats
And I spoke with Harriet (Toby and Roo)
Made friends new
A weekend blogging conference
Next week we went to BML
On railways, engineering hell
The SEO deep dive was my top pick
The awards cruise made some of us seasick
County Hall was our new venue for a Saturday
It was okay
Another blogging conference
So what goes on at these events?
To others it may make no sense
Speakers gesticulating with hands
In the breaks we go and meet with brands
We all say hi to each other dashing past
All too fast
A one-day blogging conference
James Hopes’ comedy keynote
Goodie bags in canvas totes
Music to our ears, the words ‘free bar’
Then All Bar One because it isn’t far
Pizza with that Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine
Late night at a blogging conference
Would a conference work for you?
Depends on your point of view
If you’re interested in blogging food
Meeting Emily and Grace is good
And we all think YouTube is the future
If not that then it’s Facebook Live
If we want to thrive
They told us at a blogging conference
And here is the original, performed by Simon and Garfunkel live in New York in 2009.