Last weekend was a pretty big deal for me.
I have already said that it was an item off my bucket list but in reality BlogOn was so much more than that.
I have always struggled with shyness so being in a room full of people that I don’t know was terrifying. Meeting famous bloggers was fascinating. Hearing the speakers was inspiring. Making friends was the best.
The biggest hurdle for me was travelling, or more specifically parking (!) I am not a particularly confident driver and have only been on motorways less that 10 times in the whole 18 years I have been driving. Plus my sense of direction is truly awful!
Luckily most of the 4 hour journey was straightforward but I did have to give myself a stern talking to when I arrived in Manchester and was searching for the hotel.
I decided to stay at the actual hotel where the conference was being held to ensure that I didn’t have to do any extra travel and would definitely have a parking space!
I checked into my king size room at Hotel Football and had a well deserved cup of coffee then got on with some work!
The minutes ticked by and it was time to head to the launch party downstairs. To be honest I felt really sick and was soooooo glad to meet the organiser Laura in the lift who pointed me in the right direction.
I headed straight for the bar and a glass of wine to bolster my courage then spotted some famous bloggers all chatting confidently with each other. Panic!
I did a circuit of the room and then spotted Unconventional Kira who I recognised so I decided to just head over and say ‘hi’. It was the best thing I could have done and she knew me too!
I ended up with a lovely group of bloggers. It is so strange meeting people whose lives you know about from their online profile. It was a bit like the school reunion I went to back in May: we knew lots about each other despite the distance.
Having another glass of wine (how extravagant!) I saw Mummy Gummie who is in many of the same Facebook networking groups as me so I went over and again it was great to chat to people like me!
I have no idea what time I headed to bed but it was late (or early!)
In the morning I caught up with lots of blogging and then it was time for the big event itself! I donned my purple Christmas jumper, yay!
I learned so much from all of the brilliant speakers: confidence building, content focus, running competitions, the dreaded SEO, work-life balance.
The thing I loved best was chatting to other bloggers and finding out they they feel the same way about things as me and that I am not alone. The opening speech is particular was hilarious and around the room other bloggers were nodding with agreement.
My highlight of spending time with the brands was when one PR said she was following me already! Famous, moi?
I felt a little sad when it ended and it was time to start on the long journey home. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait for next year! But I missed my children terribly and am so grateful to my superhero Chris for giving me the chance to go, always supporting and believing in me.
My overwhelming feeling about the whole weekend is pride: proud I had made it to Manchester all by myself, proud that I had overcome my nerves and made friends, proud of being a blogger.