Blog On Winchester Review

Dear Mummy, you’ve been to a couple of parenting blogging events since you started blogging and have always had mixed feelings about them. So when Blog On Winchester landed on our doorstep last week you just had to go.

One of the awesome BlogOn cakes!

You’ve never been to a BlogOnUK conference so were intrigued to see what it was all about. My mummy had bought an early bird ticket a couple of months ago at £25 and though it was great value for money for this one day event.

Blogging conferences are a great way to meet other bloggers in the flesh, pick up tips and tricks from industry experts in the social media world and interact with brands. BlogOnUK run a series of blogging events up and down the country, from Cardiff and Manchester to Winchester.

BlogOn UK Conference
Meeting our new little buddie #Cleverkeet at one of the stands

We only live 10 minutes from Winchester, so it was just a round the corner from us and super convenient. There are also a large amount of South Coast mummy bloggers which is great for networking and meeting new friends.

My mummy attended the whole day from 10am to 5pm and the event was held at Winchester Science Centre in Hampshire. There were around 60 bloggers who had all congregated downstairs in the conferencing area. It was a bit cramped in the narrow corridor between the two conferencing rooms but that was due to all the great companies that had turned up with product stands which filled the space. Breakfast, Lunch, Tea & Coffee and Cake were all self- served from the tables which lined the corridor.

BlogOnWin Sandwiches
Yummy finger food

There were two medium-sized rooms filled with chairs ready for the sessions, which people could sit down on and eat, but more breakout areas were needed, especially with all the packed goodie bags on people’s arms and in the busy walkways. My mummy always found somewhere to sit or stand and chat to people which was good.

National Zelf Day
National Zelf Day Cake!

BlogOnWin was actually on the same day as National Zelfs Day (a popular collectables children’s toy) so the Character Group had popped down to ask what you guys thought of them and to share them on social media. Zelfs are really funky little toys and reminded my mummy of a cross over between old school Trolls and My Little Pony. You also celebrated the Zelfs by taking a ‘Selfie with a Zelfie’ in order to win a prize and ate the most amazing cake modelled on a limited edition of Pearleen, the mermaid Zelf.

National Zelf Day
Selfie with a Zelfie!

You mentioned that it was also a bit loud at the conference, but that was reassuring at it meant lots of bloggers were chatting and interacting. The layout meant that there was nowhere to hide and you were kinda forced to talk to one and another which was good. Even for a shy blogger like my mummy, it was easy to spot people and see people’s badges without having to cross a large room and make the giant leap to talk to someone. There is nothing more daunting than having to walk across an empty room to a large group of bloggers (which has happened to my mummy in the past at BritMums).

The Principles of Social Media
Peter Lunn’s session was a breath of fresh air!

The opening keynote was refreshingly brilliant from Peter Lunn at Cracking Media. Here are some of his quotes and my mummy’s notes from his session.

The importance of communication…

In a world full of bloggers and people who have their own part of the Internet it’s really hard to be original and different. Find your niche and your own path, work with other like-minded people to reach your social media goals.

“It’s really hard to be remarkable”

“Competition is collaboration”

Don’t see other bloggers as competition, work with them to get your messages across.

” We need to earn the right to post”

Don’t add more noise (more posts, more linkies) to the already busy feeds of social media. Start commenting, RT’ing, Goggle+1 and engaging with your followers and other bloggers. Be friendly and less self promoting.

“Put others first, engage with them, stop posting, starting listening and start engaging”

All the sessions that my mummy attended were perfectly timed and really informative. The Photography Session and the Brand Session were professional and fun at the same time. Laura Seaton is a great public speaker and my mummy loved her flamboyant manner and plain speaking. It was very relaxed and organic. Mammasaurus (Annie Spratt) and Tired Mummy Of Two (Laura Seaton) make a great duo act and bounce off each other. Witty conversation, great use of swearing and comedy pauses made the sessions uplifting and engaging. It was great to hear from industry insider Michelle Bates from Evolution PR. The informal Q&A sessions worked a treat and lots of notes were taken by my mummy. She learnt about Trust Flow and Citations, which she’d never heard of before this event!

Brand Competitions at BlogOnWin
Brand Competitions at BlogOnWin

The fact that there was no wifi at BlogOn was actually a blessing in disguise as it made people actually TALK to each other as opposed to hiding away in a corner constantly tweeting about their surroundings. There was a massive exodus into the car park at one stage though when people wanted to tweet photos of themselves to enter brand competitions.

Littleondine Nail Varnish
Great non-toxic peal off nail varnish!

The tombola and raffle were a huge success and my mummy ended up winning 3 times, however she managed to get the organisers to redraw so others could have the opportunity to win some goodies too. I was more than happy with the Disney Rapunzel that she won for me. It made my day. Apologies for my mummy’s outburst of joy when she won! I think she may have given Kara Guppy (Chelsea Mamma) a heart attack.

Photography session
Finding our photography style

It’s always good to end on a high and BlogOnWin sure did that! Scummy Mummies was the best comedy act she’d seen in a long time! And had my mummy in stitches, so much that she had to leave the room to go and pee before she wet herself from all the laughing (weak pelvic floor muscles) their gold leotards and funky dance moves had everyone clapping and cheering.

Scummy Mummies
The fab duo act ‘Scummy Mummies’

My mummy had a fab time, it was the first time that she felt truly like part of the blogging community. It wasn’t cliquey or pretentious, it was all-inclusive and not just about the full-time bloggers. My mummy met newbies, established bloggers and a handful of super bloggers who she looks up to and never felt judged or uneasy.

Thank you Laura and Kara for making such a cool blogging event happen. A really good vibe and it has restored my mummy’s faith in networking events. We’d recommend BlogOnUK to any parenting bloggers that are looking to ease themselves gently into networking and meet other friendly bloggers.

BlogOnWin Goodie Bag
BlogOnWin Goodie Bag

Oh, and the goodie bag was one of the best she’s ever seen! My eyes popped out of my head when she came home to show me! We’re going to be reviewing a lot of the items in the next couple of months to let you know what we thought. Oh and a final word of thanks to my Grandpa who looked after me so mummy could go to the event (as daddy was away playing hockey), I think there should have been a present in there for Grandpas’ too!

Love Bella and her Mummy, Dawn x
Family Fever



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48 thoughts on “Blog On Winchester Review

  1. Wow what a great round-up of the day – seems to me you caught it all.
    It was as you say, a very relaxed unpretentious event and as my first ever bloggers’ event a lovely way to start out.
    Great review.
    Sammy x

    1. I remember looking at your badge and thinking that Dawn was a cool name! 😉 hehe. I only refer to myself as Baby Isabella now…funny how a name can get lost within blog branding! x

  2. What a fab review. I loved it too. I felt very very welcome and I really liked your point about it not just being for the big full timers. The goody bag is mostly in my loft ready for Christmas. It was lovely to meet new people too and put a face to the blog icon xx

  3. It was my first conference and it was a little daunting but great. I don’t feel like a super new blogger having been at it for two years but seeing so many very established bloggers could have made for a more frightening day than it was. It was lovely. Your mummy was a lot more outgoing than me! I’m sure I’ll push myself a bit harder at the next one.

  4. Oh wow that is quite the goodie bag. I’ve never been to a blogging conference before but that seems like it was a lot of fun. x

  5. This looks like a fun event! I’d love to go to more conferences, nice that they do these ones outside London too so easier for folks up there to attend 🙂 goody bag looks pretty amazing! 🙂 maybe I will get to go to Blogon someday, looks like it was a nice and inclusive experience 🙂

  6. Thank you for your review, I agree that the venue was a little small but you are right, it did encourage people to talk, as did the lack of wifi. That was the most frustrating bit for us, but 80 bloggers all with one, two or three devices, plus a museum full of the public obviously zapped it. I am so glad Mummy enjoyed it, love the photos and how Laura is going to top that cake at the next one I will never know

  7. I am really glad your mummy had a good time and I am sorry for all my swearing, my mummy would have smacked my hand if she had heard me! I am glad that you got some goodies from the raffle too, your mummy was very generous for letting us redraw after she had already won. I really enjoyed talking to your Mummy and I hope to see her at Blog On in the future. ps. I will try to include something for grandpas next time although I am sure you could have shared the sweets or some of the food items with him?

  8. It was great to meet your mum on Saturday. I managed to find her in the end, it was a little hard with the description of “geek”, there were a few of us! This is my second blogging conference and they seem to be getting easier, but it’s still quite nervy meeting new people, luckily everyone I met was really nice and talkative.

  9. Looked like a fun day; is always tough trying to meet new people in a crowd. I am over here in Australia, and I know there is a similar event, but I am yet to go….will be on my to-do list for next year. Loved the shared tips; have quickly found other bloggers really keen to assist as opposed to pushing you away as you’re the ‘competition’. Those scummy mummies certainly look ‘brave’….!
    Anna (@mummymuckups)
    #Twinkly Tuesday

  10. This event sounds ace! I am gutted that I missed it as I’m not too far from Winchester either. It would have been lovely to meet some other local bloggers. I will be looking out for this in the future!

  11. What a fantastic day and I love all the photos you’ve caught of it. I love Blog On in Manchester and have already booked for the next one 🙂 popping over from #triedandtested

  12. It was a great day and I’m so glad I went! I thought about not going because I thought I might be to jetlagged but really glad I went along 🙂 It was great to meet your Mummy properly and nice to have a chat! x #twinklytuesday

  13. What a great round up of the day. I went to Blog on Mosi in May and that was my first blogging conference too. I loved everything about the day and can’t believe I was so nervous beforehand. The goody bags are just the best thing ever #Triedtested

  14. I am thinking of attending BlogOn in Manchester next year and reading this post is really making me want to buy a ticket!! and WOW that goodybag looks amazing!! xx

  15. What a great blog post. I love the quirky photos and as for those gold suits..! What a super smart note-taking Mummy too. I really appreciate your notes about my keynote. I’ve never had a talk mentioned as being “refreshingly brilliant”, so I’m especially pleased about that. Can I quote Mummy on that?

  16. Thanks for sharing the tips you picked up! I’m thinking of attending on of these sort of things next month and it’s actually kind of terrifying!! xxx #BrilliantBlogPosts

    1. It’s really good practice getting out and networking – but daunting at the same time. Blogging events do get easier the more you attend and you start recognising faces x thanks for popping over to comment x

  17. This looks like an awesome blogging event-adore they didn’t have wifi and you could talk more to bloggers. The sessions look great too. Thanks for linking up x

  18. It looks like you had a great time 🙂 I went to BlogOn in Wales and it was brilliant there too. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the Winchester one. It makes a nice change not to have WiFi I think! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  19. Oooo this looks like a fab event and it looks like a great time was had. It’s so nerve-wracking going to blogging events but I think the more you do it the more you just get used to it! Well done for going 🙂 thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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