One thing that I particularly liked about the event was its size - only 70 or so bloggers - which meant that I was easily able to find the people that I wanted to talk to and found it less intimidating to speak to new people. We were welcomed by Laura, who has been hosting Blog On conferences since 2012 with three this year alone, the conferences are always really popular and successful.
The sessions began with a very interesting Keynote about Principles of Social Media from Peter Lunn. What I took from this session was the importance of interaction when building up your social media profile, and making sure that you are listening more than you are broadcasting.
Then I learned about Developing a Photography Style with Annie from Mammasaurus. I'm well aware that the photography on my blog could be a lot better, but I've never really got the hang of all the different photo editing software that's available. I love the idea of having a consistent look for my photos, and Annie highlighted several different bloggers that do this very successfully, with instantly recognisable photographs. Annie had loads of tips, and it's definitely something that I'm going to be working on. She's written up her talk and it's well worth a read, you can find it here - Developing a Photographic Style for your Blog.
The session finished with a practical demonstration outside, where we were invited to take photographs of either a table of sweets or flowers on our phones and use the settings in Instagram to experiment with different ways of changing the photograph before we uploaded it. I've never done this before, I very rarely edit photos before I publish them, and I was really impressed with how much better my second photograph looks after just a few minutes of inexpertly messing around with the Instagram settings. The white paper bag looks so much brighter and the colours really pop.
There were lots of brands available to talk to in the breaks, and they were all really approachable and keen to work with bloggers. I saw some really cool new toys and games and I'm hoping to be able to work with some of them in the run up to Christmas.
After lunch I listened to Sarah from The Unmumsy Mum talking about her blog and Blogging Without a Rule Book. She was so funny, and it was really reassuring to hear about her amazing (and well deserved!) success despite the fact that she doesn't do any of the things that most bloggers worry themselves about. She has a brilliant blog post Twelve Reasons I'm the Last Person You Should Ask for Blogging Advice and if you are a blogger you should go over and read it!
The final session was titled No Such Things as a Stupid Question and aimed to answer some of the questions that bloggers often have about tax, disclosure, page rank and so on. It was very helpful and definitely gave me a few things to think about.
Then the day finished with a fantastic performance from the Scummy Mummies - they were hilarious and I'll definitely be checking out their parenting podcast. It was a brilliant way to end the day, we all left the venue laughing!
The Blog On Conferences are well known for their excellent goody bags and the one that I received didn't disappoint - the two big bags were packed with a lovely selection of toys and other things. I don't have a photo as many of them have been put aside for the children this Christmas, but there were a few bits that I squirrelled away for myself (not that there is much of them left now!)
It was a really good day, and excellent value for the price I paid for the ticket (just over £30). The next Blog On takes place in Manchester on the 1st May 2016, and if it's not too far from you I'd definitely recommend going along.