7 random observations from BlogOnToys

BlogOn cake BlogOnToys conference

Was a 400-mile round trip to spend 22 hours in Manchester worth it? When it involves going to BlogOn, my favourite blogging conference, absolutely.

Last weekend’s 11th BlogOn was officially branded #BlogOnToys because, well … you can work it out. I’ve waxed lyrical in the past about why it’s my favourite blogging event. (See my posts on May’s and last September’s conferences.) So, rather than repeat myself, here are seven random observations that sum up my BlogOnToys experience.

1. Let’s party!

There ain’t no party like a S Club party with a load of parents who are child-free for the night. Although I’m definitely getting old because the first thing I thought when I walked in was, “this music’s too loud. I wish the DJ would turn it down a bit.”

However, BlogOn supremo and all-round force of nature Laura did do the Cha-Cha Slide, as promised.

And I seem to remember plotting to do a karaoke duet with Emily Leary (A Mummy Too) next time. (Make it happen, Laura.)

2. Let them eat cake

The cake is always one of the highlights of BlogOn, with every new one surpassing the last. This may just have been the best yet. It was certainly the tallest!

3. A blogger army marches on its stomach

Blogging conferences are all about improving skills, building relationships with brands and chatting with fellow bloggers. However, it’s important to get your priorities straight. This is one of my proudest achievements in all my time as a blogger …

4. Hey, isn’t that ….?

Hang on, doesn’t he look just like Alex Winters from CBeebies? Alex did a great session on presenting, full of practical advice and sprinkled with anecdotes and a few refreshingly honest opinions that I won’t share here – at least not without consulting my lawyer first.

5. He said what?

You can always trust Fran Taylor (Whinge Whinge Wine) to lower the tone of any event with her wicked sense of humour. My response to her tweet here is much more innocent than it sounds. It’s a reference to a card game called Gutterhead. Honest.

6. Dr Jekyll and Mr Blogger

In normal life, I’m shy, socially awkward and about as talkative as a Trappist monk in a deep coma. But I’m a different beast at blogging conferences, where I live for the social interaction. It’s that rarest of rare things: a large gathering of people where I feel comfortable and relaxed, rather than wanting to hide in a corner avoiding all eye contact.

I rarely go to more than one or two sessions at blogging events these days. I just sit around catching up with folks. Even so, there’s never enough time. I’ve always struggled to find people I’m at ease with but bloggers are ‘my people’. Long may it continue.

7. The morning after the weekend before

Monday has never been my favourite day of the week. The Monday after BlogOn is even harder work than normal.

If you’re a blogger who’s ummed and ahhed about attending a blogging conference, bite the bullet and give it a go. Some people find it’s not for them; others thrive in an environment of being surrounded by like-minded people. But you’ll never know if you don’t try. Take it from someone who took the plunge and has never looked back since.

The next BlogOn conference is at Hotel Football in Manchester on 4th May 2019. You can find out more and buy tickets via the BlogOn website.


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