The last couple of years I’ve followed the excitement around Blogtacular and wanted to go. This year was the time I made it, despite my worry about lack of creativity. Because Blogtacular is a blogging conference attended and loved by creatives, not generally the parenting blog conferences I usually attend. But I decided that getting a different perspective on blogging, and looking for different opportunities and ideas, would make Blogtacular worth attending.
Tickets for Blogtacular are more pricy, especially for a one day event, and when the early bird tickets are non-transferable if it turns out you can’t make it. Thankfully the OH did agree to have N for the day with him at work so that wasn’t a problem. Although this blog isn’t particularly in the creative arena, I like to think that blogging in itself is creating and telling stories even if it’s just life and experiences. Plus of course photography is important to most blogs. And my new dance blog is exploring my creativity through dance. So I was definitely in.
Until I heard about the colour riot. Yes, there’s no point turning up in black because you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Blogtacular is all about the colour and it certainly makes for a fun bright set of photos and memories.
My take on Blogtacular
1. It’s bright and colourful
Just looking at my instagram feed was showing me just how colourful. The decoration, the balloons, the flower, the activities. Everything was focused on colourful and therefore meant it felt fun.
2. It’s friendly
I was disappointed not to have made the day before for the photo walks. That’s what happens when all the blogging conferences seem to happen within a few weeks of each other and you’re reliant on a husband who works 7 days a week for childcare. But I needn’t have worried about feeling a bit out of it when we arrived. It was easy just to walk up and talk to people, and others did the same. It helped that it was a smallish conference, all in one area, and that there were various activities to enjoy and share with others.
The ‘make a friend’ bracelet table was great for chatting.
3. You don’t go hungry
The food pretty much all catered for veggies, with gluten free options as well. Being fussy, I was limited to 1 choice on the hot meals, but the potato curry was delicious, and the salads looked amazing with the couple I tried really tasty. Throughout the day there were cakes and pastries, so there wasn’t a danger of being hungry.
4. It’s inclusive – they want to help bloggers and businesses
Many of the people attending are creative business owners, but that doesn’t mean that anyone else is excluded. I did bump into a couple of other parenting bloggers, along with travel, food bloggers and photography bloggers. The conference sessions ranged from photography and video, to content, idea generation, personal experience and work life balance.
5. There’s sessions you might not want to do
At every conference I try and go to sessions. Some conferences I’ve been a few times and I know which sessions I won’t enjoy or find valuable so will use the time differently, but with the cost of Blogtacular I wanted to get the most out of it. There also weren’t many stands in the hub who I wanted to speak to if I took time out. There was 1 time slot (the longest one) were I didn’t really want to do any of the sessions. I ended up in the writing workshop, thankfully sitting with others who weren’t into creative writing or timed writing either, so we didn’t feel like we were holding up another person who really wanted to get a lot out of the session.
An early time slot I and many others couldn’t get into the 1 session on community which was the one we fancied. Instead I ended up in Kirsty’s session on generating content ideas. Kirsty was a good speaker, but I don’t have a problem with ideas for my blog, and have various methods I would use, so it was a bit of a flat session for me personally.
6. You get to try out new techniques
I’ve admired Sara’s Me and Orla photography for a while now, so was pleased I got to do her Phoneography session. I learnt 2 new things about settings my phone – one I just need to work out how it works – and got to try out some flat lays. All I can say is, they take a lot of practice and despite me finding it easy to make jewellery and cards which are both about composition, placement and colour, I really struggled with the photography flat lays. Instead I resorted to macros, but at least I still got some knowledge and ideas out of the session. Plus I got to admire everyone else’s efforts.
7. The keynote speakers are pros and relatable to the audience
This year was Lisa Congdon, an artist and author, and Enid Hwang from Pinterest. Both were interesting speakers, they spoke well and were thought provoking, but also very humble and down to earth. I felt they were good choice for speakers, even though neither are famour like other conference speakers are.
8. They include photo walks and a cool party the day before
I couldn’t make the day before which I was quite gutted about when I realised the activities started the day before. The photos from the photo walks and the West Elm paper party look amazing and it would be a great way to meet people ahead of the conference.
9. It runs like clockwork without feeling rushed
Overall I came away really glad I’d tried Blogtacular. I’d met some lovely bloggers, some of whom I’ll likely follow their blogs. I’d tried a totally new type of conference which helped me rethink some things about my blog.
Other bloggers (mostly parenting or non craft bloggers) have asked for my thoughts on Blogtacular, and I’ve struggled to explain what I felt about it. I’m glad I went and tried it, but I’m not sure it’s worth the money for me in terms of what it’s providing and the usefulnessness or inspiration for me.
Did I come away bursting with excitement about how wonderful it had been? No, but others have done. So I believe it’s all about what you want to get out of it. If you’re a creative person, have a business and want to blog crafts then it’s going to be more your thing and you probably will come away totally inspired by the event and other people attending and speaking.
Did you go to Blogtacular as a non-crafter/creative? How did you find it?