#BlogConLDN 2018 – a Convention for Bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers

CEME exterior 2

The CEME Conference Centre where #BlogCon LDN 2018 took place.

While some people are content about going to events alone, others might feel down in the dumps about having to attend them by themselves or it might be a completely awkward experience for them altogether. I usually belong in the first category but to a lesser extent I also belong in the other two in terms of feeling a bit down when one of my YouTube subscribers I was hoping to meet told me she couldn’t make it to #BlogConLDN 2018 but I understood why and finding the idea of talking to unfamiliar people awkward yet all in all I actually enjoyed exploring the convention by myself. After having previously attended the Alcon anime and gaming convention in Leicester alone three times I decided to visit a completely different type of convention in the form of #BlogConLDN 2018 to give me some opportunities to expand my blog and YouTube. It took place on Saturday 2nd June 2018 at the CEME Conference Centre in Rainham, London, and it was hosted by a blogger and YouTuber known as Scarlett London. The main sponsors of the convention were Vision Direct, Light Bites, SanDisk and The Prince’s Trust.

 

Light Bites, SanDisk and The Prince’s Trust were a few brands that were featured at #BlogConLDN.

After having got the first bus, London Overground and London Underground to Dagenham Heathway (despite the second train running above ground for my journey), I had two hours to spare before the start of the convention so I spent the first hour having an early lunch and browsing the shops. Next I took the second bus that terminated at the CEME Conference Centre and I arrived just under an hour early. I used this time to browse the exhibitor stands and I introduced myself to Scarlett. She was lovely, kind, helpful and friendly and was easier to find around the convention than I thought. Scarlett advised me to come to a table by the entrance where I could obtain my wristband for showing my ticket on my phone and my passport as a form of ID (the event was for people aged 18 and over but there were special exceptions such as one attendee bringing their baby and a blogger bringing her children). Once I was given my wristband I sat on the bench outside until 1pm (the advertised start of the convention) and updated my Instagram. While I was outside I got excited when I spotted Brogan Tate getting out of an Uber that dropped her off outside the venue. I got to speak to her again (I already met her at her meet up on Bournemouth Beach last year) when I went back inside the venue and I gave her a card to congratulate her on reaching 50,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel as well as losing 9.5lb at Slimming World at the time of the convention and seven years of her blog and YouTube. I also met the following bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers: Jordan from Hello Miss Jordan; Alice Thorpe; Becca from ThatVloggingGirl; Steph from Nerd About Town; Beth Sandland; Bianca AKA BINKY; and Misha Grimes. Misha’s mum was at the convention too.

 

Clockwise from top left: Me with Scarlett London (photo credit: Scarlett London); me with Brogan Tate; me with Bianca AKA BINKY (photo credit: Brogan Tate); Becca from ThatVloggingGirl and Alice Thorpe; me with Becca and Alice; me with Jordan from Hello Miss Jordan (photo credit: Brogan Tate).

 

Brogan’s congratulatory 50k YouTube subscribers card

Before the panel discussions I picked up some freebies from the Light Bites and TOTM Organic stands.

I chose three bags of Light Bites savoury snacks and I grabbed another in the POD Theatre. The flavours I went for were Cheddar and Onion Chutney, Pesto and Sundried Tomato and Roasted Shallot and Cider Vinegar. My favourite was the Cheddar and Onion Chutney because the mellowness of the cheddar and the tang of the onion chutney were a match made in Heaven and I love cheese and onion combinations.

Light Bites freebies

From the TOTM Organic stand I picked up two of their pads, which I found soft and comfortable, and a small drawstring bag as well as a flyer with a discount code on it for money off my first order. Unfortunately the code didn’t seem to work so I Tweeted TOTM Organic about this and they sent me another code via direct message that worked. I used the successful code to order two boxes of day pads, two boxes of night pads and two Fab Little Bag Bathroom Packs. The products came in pretty packaging made from sugar cane and also inside one of the packages was my receipt that promoted their menstrual cups on one side and showed a thank you note with my name on the other.

 

TOTM Organic stand at #BlogConLDN, freebies from the stand and my first order from them.

Fab Little Bag

Fab Little Bag Bathroom Pack of 20 sanitary disposal bags – available from special retailers including TOTM Organic.

Three panel discussions took place in the POD Theatre in the CEME Conference Centre and were co-hosted by Blogosphere Magazine. The first was Re-booting the blogosphere with Steph, Beth, Howey (howeydon) and Jordan (I was also going to attend her Instagram workshop until I saw it took place during the other two panel discussions). This panel went through several line-up changes. Vix Meldrew and Em Sheldon were originally down to do it but they couldn’t make it so Howey and Jordan took over. The second panel discussion was Finding your blog’s USP (unique selling point) with Siobhan from Just a Uniform, Brogan, Misha and Charlotte Jones (Charlotte Jonsie). The third panel discussion was Putting a price on your content by Leah from Devoted to Pink, Angie Silverspoon (AKA Angie Silver from SilverSpoonLDN), Lydia Dinga and Amanda from Ginger Mum Style. Albertine Sarah, the commissioning editor of Blogosphere Magazine, joined all the panellists and asked them all some questions throughout the discussions. I found all panel discussions very interesting, especially the talks about unfollowing someone from social media if a person dislikes them and being generous with likes if a person likes them in the first panel; and the advice for people to find their own USP in the second panel.

 

Clockwise from left: Re-booting the blogosphere panel with Albertine Sarah, Steph from Nerd About Town, Beth Sandland, Howey (howeydon) and Jordan; Finding your blog’s USP panel with Albertine, Siobhan from Just a Uniform; Brogan; Misha Grimes and Charlotte Jones (Charlotte Jonsie); and the Putting a price on your content panel with Albertine, Angie Silverspoon, Amanda from Ginger Mum Style, Leah from Devoted to Pink and Lydia Dinga.

 

My #BlogConLDN goody bag

Before I went home I thanked Scarlett for being a great hostess of the event. She gave me a goody bag that contained the following:

Goody bag outline pic

  1. Just for Tummies Tummy Tea – Just for Tummies sells health supplements to soothe the stomachs of those who suffer from bloating, IBS and anything else that affects their digestive systems. The tea came in a pyramid shaped teabag and this might sound like an unpopular opinion (albeit an honest one) but because it contains liquorice extract I didn’t like it after only one sip. Next time I need to settle my stomach with a cuppa I’ll go back to peppermint tea, which is refreshing and tastes far more pleasant than the Tummy Tea.

Tummy Tea2. Funkin Cocktails Piña Colada – this came in a plastic cocktail shaker and there are other flavours available. It can be mixed with rum as per the instructions but since I don’t drink alcohol I mixed this with some diet lemonade and it was delicious. I’m thinking of reusing the shaker to make more mocktails in the future.

Funkin Cocktails Pina Colada3. Funkin Cocktails flyer

4. Bilou Tasty Donut shower foam- this has a similar consistency to shaving foam and it also reminds me of Imperial Leather Foamburst shower gels. It smells absolutely gorgeous – almost like a real doughnut

5. Indie Bay Quiona Pretzel Bites Cracked Pepper – these were a bit too peppery for my tastes at first so I ate them with sour cream and chive dip and reduced far houmous to cool my palate.

Indie Bay Pretzel Bites6. Orwell Green Soybean Pasta – I first tried this with some bolognese sauce and the pasta had a rather unusual texture with an acquired taste. The next time I tried the pasta I had it with green pesto sauce, peas, spring onions, courgette, garlic and Parmesan cheese and I felt that the flavours of the pesto, Parmesan and garlic overpowered that of the pasta.

 

7. Fiji Mineral Water

8. Sandisk flyer

9. 21 Buttons flyer

10. Lola’s Apothecary business card

11. CEME Pen – an absolute essential to have!

12. Palmer’s Coconut Lip Balm – this had a lovely coconut scent and left my lips feeling soft.

13. Pop a Ball Prosecco Bubbles – these remind me of boba/tapioca pearls that are present in bubble tea or boba tea. I got the peach and strawberry flavours and I tried them in raspberry lemonade as well as squash diluted with diet lemonade and Funkin Cocktails Piña Colada and diet lemonade mix. They didn’t taste much of anything and like the soybean pasta these also had an unusual texture.

 

Overall in spite of feeling nervous about going and initially finding it awkward in terms of unfamiliar people attending; finding it hard to know when to start talking to people even if I was familiar with them; my concern of coming across as rude when I was hanging around by Brogan, Bianca, Jordan and a friend of Bianca’s called Amanda and eavesdropping on them when I wanted to introduce myself to Bianca (I spoke to her after the second panel discussion); and not getting around to giving people my business cards to promote my blog and YouTube, I enjoyed myself at #BlogConLDN. I found it much easier to mingle with people at the convention as opposed to Brogan’s meet up (I also enjoyed myself there on the whole) because there were more familiar faces there than at Brogan’s meet up, the panel discussions were engaging and I brought home some fabulous freebies. I might consider attending #BlogConLDN and similar events in the future with the exception of this year’s Summer in the City due to being unable to afford tickets for the event and personal concerns about the event itself that hold me back from going.

Links to bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers mentioned:

Scarlett London

Blog: http://scarlettlondon.com/

Events website: http://www.scarlettlondondigital.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIddyPyEzjcsGHhVaCalcTw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scarlettlondon/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scarlett_london?lang=en

Brogan Tate

Blog: http://www.brogantatexo.co.uk/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbk7poTBSh1x6aNg_IjLu9Q

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brogantatexo/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brogantatexo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brogantatexo/

Jordan (Hello Miss Jordan)

Blog: http://www.hellomissjordan.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hellomissjordan/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hellomissjordan?lang=en

Alice Thorpe

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC60swxNfnuCYKaFuSSgVwwA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ohhitsonlyalice

Original Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ohhitsonlyalice/?hl=en

Design Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alicethorpedesigns/?hl=en

Becca (ThatVloggingGirl)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ThatVloggingGirl

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thatvlogginggirl/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thtvlogginggirl

Steph (Nerd About Town)

Blog: https://www.nerdabouttown.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NerdAboutTown

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nerdabouttown/?hl=en

Beth Sandland

Blog: http://bethsandland.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bethanysandland

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bethsandland/?hl=en

Howey (howeydon)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRiN6Ym-AZIkp4BRukAJXkg

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/howeydon/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/howeydon

Blog: https://howeydon.com/

Siobhan (Just a Uniform)

Blog: https://twitter.com/howeydon (New website launching soon)

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justauniform/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/justauni4orm?lang=en:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0B5C0wBwu9ALxaYdp-uLew

Charlotte Jones (Charlotte Jonesie)

Blog: http://www.charlottejonsie.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharlotteJonsie?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charlottejonsie/?hl=en

Misha Grimes

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMOTCjsUTvu_O4Rj1i06VtA

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/misha_grimes/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mishagrimes

Bianca (AKA BINKY)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfpRe6XAC55-P4yOnBpDgbg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/itsbinkybee

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itsbinkybee/

Leah (Devoted to Pink)

Blog: https://www.devotedtopink.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjphIVNZ86mG7W1wiFexHCA

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/devotedtopink/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/devoted2pink

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DevotedToPink/

Angie Silverspoon (AKA Angie Silver from Silverspoon London)

Blog: http://www.silverspoonlondon.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SilverSpoonLDN

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angiesilverspoon/?hl=en

Amanda (Ginger Mum Style)

Blog: https://gingermumstyle.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gingermumstyle/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gingermumstyle?lang=en

Lydia Dinga

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lydiadinga

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lydiadinga/?hl=en

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnItr-I_IeD9kv2zC2yLcFg

Albertine Sarah

Blog: https://www.albertinesarah.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/AlbertineSarah/

Vix Meldrew

Blog: https://www.vixmeldrew.com/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VixMeldrew

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vixmeldrew/?hl=en

Em Sheldon

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl-q7xUuHRdfgAnCHA-n7qQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emshelx

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emshelx/?hl=en

Blog: https://www.emtalks.co.uk/

Brands mentioned

Vision Direct: https://www.visiondirect.co.uk/

Light Bites: http://www.lightbites.com/

SanDisk UK website: https://www.sandisk.co.uk/

The Prince’s Trust: https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/

TOTM Organic: https://www.totm.com/

Fab Little Bag: https://www.fablittlebag.com/

Just for Tummies: https://justfortummies.co.uk/

Funkin Cocktails (Note: you must be at least 18 years old to visit this website): https://www.funkincocktails.co.uk/shop/

Bilou on Superdrug: https://www.superdrug.com/Bilou/c/bilou-new-range

Indie Bay Snacks: https://www.indiebaysnacks.com/

Orwell Health: https://www.orwellhealth.co.uk/

Fiji Water: http://www.fijiwater.com/

21 Buttons: https://www.21buttons.com/login

Lola’s Apothecary: https://lolasapothecary.com/

Palmer’s: https://uk.palmers.com/

Pop a Ball: https://popaball.co.uk/

CEME Conference Centre: http://www.cemeconference.co.uk/

Blogosphere Magazine: https://www.blogospheremagazine.com/

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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