Blog On MSI – Winter 2016

A couple of weeks ago I attended my very first Blog On MSI Conference, and as a newbie I felt a mixture of excitement and apprehension because I didn’t know what to expect. Needless to say however I was not disappointed!

Blog On MSI is a day long networking event that links Bloggers, brands and PR Companies. With varied workshops, plenty of opportunities to mingle with PRs and meet other Bloggers, competitions and raffles, delicious food and a fabulous Goody Bag to top it all off, the day really is a must if you blog.

Blog On MSI is now a biannual event in the blogging calender. Taking place at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester it’s still easily accessible for Bloggers all over the UK but is especially good for Bloggers based in the North who, let’s face it, find a lot of blogging events are very London-centric and difficult and expensive to travel to.
This Blog On had a distinctly festive feel and we were all encouraged to wear something a little Christmassy. The day was well organised and split into various sections; Welcome and Keynote Speech from Olivia Penelle of Liv’s Recovery Kitchen, Session 1, lunch break, Session 2, tea break, Session 3, refreshments, Session 4, and final Keynote speech.

In each session there was a choice of workshop, which this year included sessions on photography, monetising your blog, planning creative content, Coding and WordPress, Instagram, and creating a brand, so whatever your blogging niche or interest there was a session for everyone.

I attended two sessions – The Planning Creative Blog Content by Grace of Eats Amazing was about drawing inspiration from the seasons and was really useful for planning posts, overcoming creative droughts and giving your blog a focus. The session ended with some hands-on fun creative some simple festive snacks! Although I’m not a foodie blogger the session will definitely translate into any niche.

The second session I attended was from Al of The Dad Network. Although informative and very well presented the content wasn’t really relevant to me at this present time. I don’t monetise my blog, nor have any plans to, but it would have definitely been a valuable session for anyone wanting to make their blog more than just a hobby.

The final Keynote session was on the Art of Being Brilliant from Darrell Woodman. We often beat ourselves up, or compare ourselves to others, rather than celebrating our achievements and focusing on what went well. If we aren’t careful this negativity pervades all areas of our lives and becomes ingrained. This talk was all about thinking positively and shifting your focus to maintain your ‘brilliance’ – an important lesson I think everyone could benefit from. It was a very upbeat and inspiring talk to end the day on.

Of course in between all this there was lots of time to chat to other Bloggers and network with brands. There were many different brands and PR Companies showcasing products, including John Adams, Carousel PR, Sambro, Matalan, Canvas Holidays, Jet 2, An Elf for Christmas, Great & Small, Rockin Baby, Hexbugs, Character World, Heart & Home, Simbrix… and raffles, giveaways and competitions a plenty! The festive themed food served in the lunch break was delicious, as was the wine kindly provided by Lidl and the fantastic cake made by New Adventures in Cake !

At the end of day we were given EPIC goody bags, stuffed full of products kindly gifted from all the brands involved. They honestly weren’t joking when they advised us to bring along an empty suitcase!

I’d really like to thank Laura Seaton, who founded Blog On back in 2012, everyone who helped her to organise the day, all the brands and companies who kindly gave their time to be there or who donated products, and finally the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester for hosting the day and putting up with dozens of over-excited Bloggers (and the random elves)!

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