Last weekend I attended Blogtacular for the 2nd year and even though my expectations were pretty high after the attending the first conference last year, I was totally blown away. Kat Molesworth and Kat Goldin have built a beautiful community of kind-hearted creatives that fill the Royal Institute with positivity, empowerment and inspiration. I’m always impressed by the generosity that flows from the Blogtacular crowd, and that all comes from the Kat’s vision of a world where bloggers are allies, not competitors.
We’re personally in a bit of a crossroads as a family, trying to decide where to live and (sob) getting ready to send the first kid to big school. I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like because life has just been too real, and the hours honestly very short. In a way, the biggest lessons I learned from this year’s Blogtacular have more to do with personal empowerment than the business of blogging. The two keynotes bookended the conference perfectly: Grace Boney from Design Sponge talked about how to embrace fear and change; and Anthony Peters, designer and director of Made You Look, reminded us that creative endeavours are just as valid as anything else. His closing slide struck home for most of us. He asked “Are you doing what you love or just what is expected of you?” I think I know a little better how to build a road map to What I Want to be When I Grow Up without feeling too guilty about it. And like I said, big family crossroads.
In between these two fist pumping, self-affirming speeches there were lots of amazing skill building workshops for bloggers: tips on Instagram, Pinterest, photography and styling; how to find your voice and build online community; how to pitch to travel companies and work with PRs; etc. Running parallel was the Creative Genius Bar, a place to do crafty things and get advice from experts. I really wish I could have attended everything and have heard glowing reports from sessions I missed, so I think I’ll have to buy the virtual conference this year.
But above all, the very best thing about Blogtacular is the people. I’m not often in the company of adults, and only adults, so it was a treat to just have conversations from beginning to end without a smallie interrupting. But what a bonus that everyone was so kind and fun and creative! I’ve found so many more wonderful blogs to read and Instagram accounts to follow. It’s the kind of atmosphere where people are open to share their fears, their successes and just laugh and have fun without self-consciousness. Maybe it’s because it was my second year and I knew a handful of people there, but I didn’t get that first-day-of-school-jitters feeling that I usually get as a shy introvert that hangs out with toddlers all day.
And I can’t neglect the outstanding goodie bag. As I said before, the Blogtacular folks really know how to fill a bag. This year we got Nikki McWilliams totes filled to the brim with magazine, books, crafty supplies, prints, a super cute broach, candy and more! We also got a preview sample of the new Blogtacular x Lolipop Life Planner that you can pre-order soon. Check out my instagram for the full contents of the goodie bags and the super kind companies that contributed.
So thanks everyone (the Kats, sponsors, speakers, creative geniuses and of course attendees) Y’all make this this great! If you’re sad you missed Blogtacular this year, you can purchase a ticket to the virtual conference and can buy a limited number of goodie bags (UK postage only, so use Parcel Motel if you’re Irish).
All photos in this post are by Piers MacDonald with thanks to Mollie Makes. From top to bottom they are: 1) Awesome goodie bags by Nikki McWilliams; 2) Styling session with Betty Magazine; 3) Grace Boney’s keynote; 4) Davina and Hannah from Seeds and Stitches helping us take a craft break; 4) Ellie from Yellow Lolly helping me during a styling challenge; 5) Anthony Peters closing Blogtacular.