Over that past year I have been fortunate enough to meet lots of amazing bloggers, which has helped ease my anxiety when attending events. So, when Scarlett emailed me about her latest event, Bloggers Festival, I did not hesitate in responding with a giant yes please. As the date came closer I followed the #bloggersfestival hastag on Twitter to see who was attending and, to my surprise, none of my usual blogger buddies seemed to be on the list; my anxiety grew but I didn’t want to sit in my comfort zone by not going. This was an opportunity to push myself and meet people.
On the day of the event I left St James’ Park Station and followed a line of well dressed girls with DSLR’s draped around their necks to The Conrad Hotel, the very classy venue for the afternoon. Just as I was about to step down the spiral staircase towards the Bloggers Festival I felt fear sweep over me, I very almost turned on my heels and made for the door but with one deep breath and a haze of determination I somehow found myself at the bottom of the staircase surrounded by a swarm of stylish bloggers. Palms sweating, and feeling entirely out of my depth, I could not find the right thing to say to start a conversation and instead pretended something really interesting was happening on my phone.
Feeling utterly deflated at my lack of confidence, I heard “Emma?” and saw Laura make her way through a group towards me. I could have kissed her right there and then; though we had never actually met in person Laura took me under her wing and unknowingly gave me the boost I needed to shake away the dark cloud of self doubt that so often holds me back.
As they day went on I felt a new lease of life, chatting happily to both bloggers and brands, some of whom I have listed below;
A South London company who only launched in 2014, they offer up dainty jewellery that is fun, as well as pretty. My particular favourites were the dinosaurs and unicorns because bling does not have to mean boring.
Allow people to create customised diaries to fit in with their lifestyle. Toad kindly offered me the opportunity to make my own EmmaInks model which will hopefully keep me a little more organised.
Natural World Haircare
A company created in Soho, London who bring naturally active ingredients (such as chai, coconut and macadamia) from all around the world to create affordable luxury hair products including shampoos, conditioners and oils.
Simple, stylish, hard wearing brushes that are 100% cruelty free and supported by Peta.
Hairstyling products that allow you to do you hair your way, with a different sizes and the ability to change heat settings.
Premium silk and wool scarves made in the UK and based on the stunning landscapes of my homeland – bonnie Scotland.
A Danish brand that offer up that minimal but oh so stylish Scandinavian style. They plan on delivering to the UK very soon so expect to see me wearing some of their pieces in an outfit post in the near future.
I had tried their acne mineral powder before it was released in the UK but felt like it did not give enough coverage for my far-from-perfect skin, however after chatting to the girls and getting to sample their new Bareskin foundation and brush it may be about time to give this much loved brand another go.
Mode Media (not from Ugly Betty) were also on hand to talk through all things blogging, audience growth, brand collaboration and representation which was particularly interesting for a small blogger with big ambition like me.
This is merely a handful of the brands that were exhibiting, but as you can see there was a large assortment making all types of blogger feel welcome, as well as representing the variety within the industry.
Some of the most engaging events I have attended have been arranged by other bloggers and this one by Scarlett was no different, everyone was made to feel completely welcome, creating a relaxed environment for bloggers to put faces to online profiles as well as looking for potential opportunities to collaborate.
By the time I left the hotel to hop back on the district line east, I laughed at myself, feeling utterly ridiculous at getting so wound up as I, once again, met with so many wonderful like minded people. I am sure that little demon in my head will make me feel just as nervous at my next solo outing but hopefully with each time I stay in an uncomfortable situation it will gradually get easier and less awkward.
One final note, if you do happen to see me out and about looking intensely at my phone, I have probably run out of data or battery and am staring at a blank screen instead of making an idiot of myself, so please save me by saying hi!
Have any of you attended events? Were you nervous or do you take it in your stride?