June ended up being a really busy month!

I started a new job after four months of being redundant and it was the month of Edinburgh Blogger Conference. That meant going out to do a 9-5, learning new things (which always hurts your head) and coming home and working on conference stuff. Crazy.

It was strange going back out to work, I’m not going to lie. After being able to completely suit myself, go to the gym, eat nice breakfasts or, you know, stay in my pjs until midday it was a bit of an adjustment. But one that I needed. I was starting to feel really down at the lack of purpose to get up and go everyday, not to mention the lack of money! Being supported is not something I seem to be able to do easily.

I did a lot of learning during June, learning new stuff on the job but I also attended a lot of Business Gateway courses on marketing and all the social media channels. I use social media a lot, a common thing it seems with pretty much all millennials, but using it to post pictures of my daily outfits, coffee trips or my meals is a bit different from using social media in a business setting. The Business Gateway courses are amazing, and FREE! They’re for business owners but you can also go along even if you haven’t started trading yet so it is definitely something to take advantage of. I’ve already myself booked into some for Edinburgh Blogger Conference and starting up a business as they help with all of that too.

The weekends leading up to the conference on 17th June were really all about getting ready for it, I roped my Mum in to helping us pack goodie bags the weekend before and Mark was involved with getting everything to the venue and loading my Mini up with more bottles of water and cans of juice than I think I’ve ever bought. Luckily my new boss was pretty flexible and let me have a few days off around the weekend of the conference so I could run about picking up printing and last minute things we needed.

The weekend of the first Edinburgh Blogger Conference came round so quickly and the day was a bit of a surreal blur. It went incredibly smoothly, and not to blow my own trumpet too much, I think this was really down to the hard work that we put in as a team. I think I’ve really found the dream team, two other bloggers who I get along with and work well together. What more could you ask for! I posted about the day earlier in the week, you can read my post here.

I left the conference on the Saturday evening and was straight to meet my friend to head down to Dumfries to do Tough Mudder on the Sunday. Honestly at this point I was thinking I was mad, and had completely overestimated my ability to keep going for the full weekend. My adrenaline had started to run out and I was staying in a house with a group of people I didn’t really know that well. We got up nice and early on the Sunday and piled in the cars to head to the starting line. I was nervous as hell, as a first timer I had no idea what was really in store for me or if I would be able to do it. I’m going to write a full post all about my experience and why I loved it so much, but for now all I’ll say is it’s one of the best things I’ve done, despite being caked in mud and getting electrocuted…!

I had planned on staying the Sunday night in Dumfries too but I was done after Tough Mudder so caught a lift back to Edinburgh with one of the guys from my team and met Mark, where we went to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts to replenish some of my burnt calories from the morning. It meant I got to sleep in my own bed and I also got a nice leg massage from Mark which was amazing as I could walk the next day! 🙂 It was also good because we both had the Monday off work so we headed to St Andrews for a bit and had a nice wee walk and look round the shops.

Last month also went to our third gig of the year – Paramore at the Usher Hall. It was the first time I’ve seen Paramore and the first time I’ve been in the Usher Hall. I’m pleased to say that because of the awful incident in Manchester in May venues have really clamped down on security which made me feel safer. Paramore were incredible! And the Usher Hall was a great venue for them, it was quite small so it felt a bit more intimate and even though we were at the back you could still see the stage. And to make it even better when Hayley got one of the crowd up to sing, Lauren from Chvrches came on stage too! Amazing.

How was your June?

xxx
 
Photographs taken by me (except Tough Mudder team photo…that was taken by a passer-by at the event).
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#EBC17

Sometimes in life an opportunity comes along that you just have to say yes to.

In my last post about Edinburgh Blogger Conference (which I wrote about a week before our inaugural event) I spoke about how the opportunity to get involved in organising this event came at exactly the right time for me. With redundancy looming and no job set up yet it seemed like the perfect thing to be involved in.

This was my first proper experience event planning, and I loved it. Admittedly the run up to it was a bit stressful for the team, and I started a new job 17 days before the event was due to take place. This meant some pretty late nights in the run up to and to be honest, things don’t really feel like they have calmed down a lot since the conference. 

The day was an amazing success! We had such a fantastic line up of speakers and panelists for the day and everything ran smoothly. The day was kicked off by our keynote speaker Gavin Oattes from Tree of Knowledge, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a more motivational speaker! He relaxed everyone instantly and set the rest of the day up nicely. The first panel of speakers consisted of Andrew Girdwood (Geek Native), Ruth MacGlip (Urbanity blog), Stuart Fenwick (Tree of Knowledge), Hannah Taylor (She is Fierce) and Gordon J Millar (Scot Street Style). There was plenty of audience participation with lots of questions being asked.

Part of the day consisted of workshops. We picked three topics that we thought would have been of interest to fellow bloggers – Vlogging 101, Blogging to Business and Building Your Brand on Social Media. It seems we picked well, the feedback on the workshops was great and some people who thought vlogging wasn’t for them have even posted their first vlog since the event!

We had a break for lunch and some networking after the workshops. Lunch was catered for by Nando’s and they did an absolutely amazing job! And it seems everyone really does love Nando’s as the food went down a treat, not only did they cater for us but also had some of the staff stay and help serve the food! With veggie and vegan options there was something that suited everyone. A big thank you to the Nando’s staff in attendance, and manager Rory, who remained as cool as a cucumber when we had to call along to the restaurant to order more food! By this point in the day everyone seemed to have relaxed and it was great to see people sitting together and talking, networking! This was our main aim for the day.

The afternoon was kicked off by a second keynote speech from Sam King and Bejay Mulenga of Filli Studios and then the second panel of the day with Simon Burrell (Nomis Agency), Shaun Alexander (Shaun Vlog), Erin Doogan (Beauty Creep), Sarah Stenhouse (Pixey) and Scott Dalgleish (Round Door). The audience seemed just as engaged as they had been in the morning and it was another great session in the afternoon. The organised part of the day finished with a canapé masterclass from Ian of Edinburgh School of Food and Wine, another huge success and the food looked delicious!

As well as some amazing speakers we had a number of great brands attending on the day. Heather More Illustration was there selling some of her illustrations and cards and she was also sketching the day for us! I loved her stuff and really need to get myself onto her etsy store to get buying! Hannah Taylor of She is Fierce was also there selling her magazine, it was such a hit that she had to go and get more! Lilies & Dreams came along with a very impressive stand complete with clothing rail and were running a competition to style an outfit and then win it if it was voted the best one. Sarah Stenhouse from Pixey was talking to people about monetising your Instagram photos. Pixey is a company that works with people to provide Instagram photos for a fee, 50% of this fee is then passed onto the owner of the image, much better then someone just taking your image without permission!

We had such an overwhelming response from companies wanting to be involved in the day, Tunnock’s supplied a variety of their goodies for our guests to munch on, you can never go wrong with a Tunnock’s Teacake! Heath & Heather sent flavoured teas along for the day as well as some to put in the goodie bags. And Blossom Hill sent us bottles of their Spritz for the day, they certainly went down a treat with our guests! MacCorns sent us a popcorn buffet and it was amazing! Two MASSIVE buckets of popcorn for people to tuck into, a few people were asking to take them home with them!

All the printing for the day, including the lanyards was done by Stirling Printworx. I was so pleased with how the lanyards turned out and they provided all the information needed for the running times of the day and details on who all the speakers. Relentless Fitness also provided a prize of two PT sessions for the day, the person who won that is lucky! After a PT session with Matt you are in no doubt you have worked hard (I still can’t walk properly after last weeks!).

Let’s not forget the goodie bags, even if I do say so myself they were packed with some great treats. White Glo provided teeth whitening kits, I’ve been using mine and I love the fact that you only need to spend fifteen minutes a day wearing the tray. You do look pretty funny when you have it in and I still haven’t let Mark see me properly when I’m using it. The Candy Kittens sweets were definitely a hit, delicious and a great sugar hit when you need one! Everyone also got a Skinny Brands cocktail in their bag, so far I’ve tried the Mojito one, very tasty and the fact it’s low calorie is definitely a win for me.

The tea jenny in me was very pleased when tea bags arrived from Yorkshire Tea and Heath & Heather. When it comes to a good old fashioned cuppa Yorkshire Tea is my first choice every time and I love trying new flavoured teas. I’m going to assume that like me, most bloggers have some sort of planner/diary to plan out their posts so the Personal Planner stickers and discount code were a great addition. I still haven’t managed to settle on a design I like for my planner for next year, you can choose everything from the size and design on the cover to the colour scheme inside your planner too!

I don’t think the day would have had the relaxed atmosphere it did if it hadn’t have been for the guys from Edinburgh Pub Crawl, getting people involved with beer pong and offering out candy floss and popcorn. And of course our MC for the day Dougie, who did a fantastic job getting everyone where they needed to be when they needed to be there and just generally creating a fun atmosphere. His great sense of humour helped make everyone feel at ease and man did he do his homework on the speakers! The day wouldn’t have been the same without him.

I’m still amazed at the success of the event! The day went past in a whirlwind and it really felt a bit surreal to think that we (Jadine, Taryn and myself) had planned it all and brought it all together. We had such lovely feedback on the day from people and it was awesome getting to read everything on social media and some of the blog posts about the day from an attendees point of view. We have some great videos from Rob at Right Here Video, who came along with his wife and filmed the whole day for us and photos taken by Tino and Cera. We have shared some of their work over on our Facebook page.

We were also really lucky to have our amazing friends and family get involved on the day, and they all did a stellar job. A special mention to my other half, Mark, who not only helped on the day but also took time off work to get all the stuff to the venue with us (a job that probably would have taken three times as long had he not been there) and most impressively put up with me and my stress in the weeks leading up to it, he deserves a medal for that alone! I didn’t get him a medal though, just some nice beers and a meal out.

The team planned on taking a couple weeks after the conference to chill and then get back together to talk about the day, but we couldn’t wait that long! The weekend after we got together to talk about how it went and we’ve actually already started planning our next couple of events…the next one will be happening later this year! If you want to be kept up to date with what’s happening with the team and be one of the first to know about our next event, sign up to our mailing list.

I’d love you to share any links to blog posts you’ve written in the comments!

 

xxx
 
The event would not have been the same without the support of our sponsors and brands that provided items for the goodie bags. A MASSIVE thank you to all of you (Tunnock’s, Heath & Heather, Blossom Hill, MacCorns, Stirling Printworx, Relentless Fitness, White Glo, Yorkshire Tea, Candy Kittens, Personal Planner, Skinny Brands, Red Bus Bistro, Edinburgh Pub Crawl, Edinburgh School of Food and Wine, Right Here Video and Nando’s), as a team we are so grateful for the support you gave us.

 

Photographs taken by me
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If you have seen any of my posts on social media you may already know that I’m part of the team organising the first Edinburgh Blogger Conference.

Actually, I’m Media & Marketing Director, to give my official title! 😉

The Edinburgh Blogger Conference is the brainchild of Jadine (aka The Punk Rock Princess). Last November Jadine posted on a Facebook group I’m in looking for people to help her plan an event. Having recently found out I was getting made redundant, I jumped at the chance of being part of organising something. I also thought it would be a really good way to keep me occupied if I didn’t find a job soon. We are a team made up of mostly bloggers (Taryn blogs at She Hangs Brightly) and felt that Edinburgh was missing the type of event that brought together bloggers and brands.

Fast forward seven months, a team of six which has whittled down to four (Jadine, Taryn, Laura and myself) and here we are, now less than a week away from the inaugural Edinburgh Blogger Conference! This weekend was spent putting together the goodie bags for next Saturday. The day is going to be a lot of fun with workshops and activities to get involved in during the day. A ticket for the day will get you:

– Access to the full day event
– Entry to workshops
– Two panels with fantastic speakers
– Goodie bag
– Lunch catered by Nando’s (veggie & vegan options included)
– Alcoholic and soft drinks
– Unlimited tea and coffee
– Networking opportunities with brands and fellow bloggers
– Canapé masterclass
– Entry into prize draw for two PT sessions with Relentless Fitness

We’ll also have some of the Edinburgh Pub Crawl team there on the day providing us with some treats. And a recharge and refresh corner to get some much needed juice for your phone as well as yourself!

There are still tickets available, and even if you don’t have anyone to come with don’t let that put you off! We’re a friendly bunch and there will be lots to get involved in during the day.

Grab your ticket here.

xxx
 
Image – official Edinburgh Blogger Conference logo
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