As you'll know if you've been following my blog stories, you'll know I'm a fan of attending blogging events (if they're well organised that is!) I look forward to the prospect of meeting new brands and making friends with like-minded bloggers and vloggers.
So when a friend mentioned the Blogosphere Summer Party a few months ago, I had to give it a go (in the name of research, you understand).
I'd heard about Blogosphere magazine – and had even purchased a couple of issues from WHSmiths, but I'd never been to one of their events – I actually thought you could only attend if you were a member or received an invite. Not true apparently.
Booking through Event Brite, the ticket cost £15 and the event took place in London earlier this month.
Where For Art Thou Blogosphere?
The Blogosphere Summer Party was being held at Lumiere London, which is in London's SE1 (near London Bridge). I ended up taking the train to London Bridge and walking for 15 minutes. However, Southwark tube station would have been a good bet as the nearest tube station if I'd been in a rush.
I have to say, even though I was using the Maps app on my mobile to find the venue, I found myself questioning whether or not I was in the right part of London.
At one point I was surrounded by residential flats thinking that I must have taken a wrong turn. I finally found Silex Street and realised that I had in fact been there before – for a Manfrotto event earlier in the year!
Once I found Sissex Street I started walking down and ended up walking right past the entrance (the signage wasn't great). It was only when I saw people walking towards me that I realised I must have passed the entrance.
I stopped one girl to ask and she also told me she had got lost and wasn't sure we were in the right place. I was glad she ‘fessed up as it made me feel like I wasn't a complete novice when it came to finding my way!
We eventually found what we thought was the entrance and the signage on the door confirmed that we were right. Three flights of stairs later and we were walking into a large open, beautifully airy space (as a loft space should be) and filled with chatter and laughter.
Let's get chatting!
Albertine, who is the commissioning editor of Blogosphere and has the most perfect skin that I've ever laid eyes on (I told her that as well), was on the door to greet us – with a nice cool drink (from Belvoir Fruit Farms) and some macaroons to boot.
Walking into the room I could see that there were a few tables set up with brands waiting to speak to bloggers, so after ditching my coat in the cloakroom and grabbing a drink, I headed over to the tables.
One of the tables (Braun) was three lines deep with bloggers wanting to talk to them, so I bypassed the stand and headed to So…?
I'd heard of the brand before, but I wasn't over familiar with what they offered, so it was great to chat with them and find out more. And even though I'm not a beauty blogger, I knew that I'd mention them on this post as well as in the video that I created about the event (see the bottom of this post!).
So, it turns out that So…? has launched six new body mist fragrances and they smell absolutely divine. How do I know? Well, yours truly (as well as anyone else visiting the stand), got to pick up a fabulous goodie bag containing some of the lovely body mists, as well as their new eau du perfume, Dark Romance, which smells amazing.
After my chat with the So…? team I decided to head over to one of the sofas for a quick sit down and to check my phone to see who was Tweeting #BlogosphereSummerParty (as you do at these events!).
I'd only been sat there a few minutes when I was joined by another blogger, followed by another blogger and another. In the end, four strangers – all with one huge thing in common – were merrily chatting away, sharing stories, tips and experiences. I think I could have sat there all day!
I met the lovely Emma from The Emma Lifestyle who was a secondary school maths teacher making the most of the summer holidays by diving into blogging; Hannah from A New Addition who was full of chat, smiles and advice; and Susan from Susan Jane Bradfield – a casting mum who was full of interesting tales to tell. I later also met Alice from Sienna Makeshift and Sophie from Sophie Belle Ldn.
It was so nice to swap stories with the girls and find out more about their blogging life, why they started and what they blog about; everyone was different and that's what made the conversation so interesting.
After a while, we heard from a really interesting company called Sekforde Drinks, a range of original bespoke botanical mixers for whiskey, rum and gin created by husband and wife team, Tom and Talula – has a nice ring about it doesn't it?!
I thought the concept behind the brand was a great one – this was later verified when I got to try out their gin mixer which offered a hint of raspberry. And even though I'm not much of a gin drink (vodka is more my thing), it was very refreshing and great for a summer's day.
Other useful talks included those on marketing, photography and even a talent agency, which was interesting to find out about.
The talks were definitely a highlight of the Blogosphere Summer Party; experts with top tips, helpful advice and useful information are great for the not-so-experienced bloggers to hear. Even as a blogger with a couple of years under her belt, it was good to hear stories of personal success for added inspiration.
A final farewell
Before I headed home, I signed up for a subscription for the Blogosphere magazine (well worth a read if you haven't seen it already) and picked up a goodie bag which included a selection of samples from brands (which I run through in the video!)
I also managed to pop by the Braun stand to discover that the company has just launched a new IPL product for permanent visible hair removal.
Forget expensive weekly visits to the laser clinic to get zapped, this little baby can be used in the comfort of your own home. The more I learnt about it, the more I thought about what a great product it was…if only I could afford it as it retails for around £300!
If I'd have been sitting down after speaking with Anna from Braun, I would have fallen off my seat for sure; I was utterly gobsmacked when she offered us the product to take home to try out – and keep it for ourselves!
This was generosity at the highest level and I was very grateful for the opportunity to try it out. I'm really looking forward to getting started as you can imagine: farewell hirsute Lauretta, hello smooth skin forever!!
On my way out of the venue, I bumped into the lovely Leena who is an Astrologer at Astrologer London; see…I told you bloggers are a varied and interesting bunch didn't I? And even though we chatted for a matter of minutes, I felt like I'd added another blogging buddy to my growing circle of friends.
And that's the beauty of blog events like the Blogosphere Summer Party; you never know who you'll meet, who'll you'll click with and how they will impact your life. And I don't think I'll ever tire of finding out…
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