So after attending two blogger meet ups recently, one of which wasn't the best with several people feeling very unwelcome, I decided it was time that I arranged a meet up for local bloggers within my area. Saturday 6th September was the date and what an amazing afternoon it was!
I put out a tweet about two months ago asking if there was any local bloggers around the Bluewater, Greenhithe area who would like to attend a meet up. I actually didn't start planning until a month prior to the meet up, which is typical me! I decided to cap the number of blogger to 15, after all this was the first time I'd planned something like this and didn't want it to be a huge disaster, plus I thought 15 was a good number, not too large and not too small. As the organiser I wanted everyone to feel welcome and not feel left out, like what happened at a previous meet up.
As I work at Bluewater Shopping Centre, live just ten minutes away, I thought this would be the ideal venue, plus it's easy to get to and it also has free parking. Plus if anyone wanted to do some shopping afterwards, you don't get much better than Bluewater! The meet up was held inside Browns Restaurant which is absolutely gorgeous. It's a very classy restaurant where the food is mouthwatering and the cocktails are delicious! I was offered the use of the function room free of charge also, so this meant that the meet up was very intimate and private.
|Sian lighting the tea candles|
The night before my best blogging friend Sian drove all the way from Nottingham, where we met up for the first time and had a delicious Nandos and a good chat! Sian also met me an hour before the meet up to help me set up the function room ready for every one.
Bluewater had left a £100 gift card with the manager of Browns, which was amazing and came as a total shock! I decided to use the £100 on drinks and a few platters of finger food, so that upon arrival everyone had a warm welcome with a drink and some food to tide them self over until we ordered lunch.
|Yaya, Laura, Sarah, Laura, Marina, Helen, Lulu, Belle and Charlotte|
|Lulu, Chelsey, Sian, Charlotte, Belle, Helen, Marina, Laura, Sarah, Laura and Yaya|
Two people actually cancelled prior to the meet up so in the end there was just 13 of us. We all spent the afternoon just chatting to everyone, gossiping and talking about blogging. For most people this was their first ever meet up, so quite a few people were nervous, but I do think that by the end everyone felt comfortable. As I organised the event I felt it was only right that I made a point of chatting to everyone, unfortunately due to how the table was laid out it did mean I didn't get to speak to everyone as much as I would have liked, but throughout the afternoon I was constantly topping up every ones drinks with orange juice or Prosecco, so I made sure I sat and chatted to those who were further down the table.
After lunch, which was amazing I did the raffle prizes. Unfortunately I had muddled up the raffle prize tickets with the goodie bag tickets, but don't worry it all got sorted in the end! There was seven raffle prizes in total, next time I arrange an event I'd like to have raffle prizes for everyone! But to be honest, I don't think most people even expected this anyway, so it was just an added bonus!
Aside from the raffle prizes there was a goodie bag for everyone, full of samples and full sized products. Thanks to Caroline, who helped me tweet brands we all ended up with a fantastic goodie bag. Some bags had a few more products in than others, due to the number of products sent to me, which is why I put a raffle ticket on every bag so that the bags were given out at random to make things fair. I was blown away by the amount of brands that wanted to be involved and the goodie bags were the a great way to end a fantastic afternoon!
|Laura, Marina and Helen|
|Myself and Sian|
|Charlotte and Belle|
|Myself and Chelsey|
For me, this was a great afternoon, it couldn't have gone any better, aside from a few little mix ups with the tickets OH and me forgetting the buntings that I had made for the event (picture included as proof, there was two of these) the afternoon was great. I got to meet several bloggers who I've been talking to since I started blogging, one highlight was the stunning Belle from Mascaras and Maltesers coming along, who is one of my favourite bloggers, also of course meeting the lovely Sian, which I mentioned earlier. I also got to meet up with a few bloggers who I have met previously at an event and of course bloggers who I have only recently met from planning this event. Oh and not forgetting Laura and Marina, who I met from blogging who just so happen to be friends with my little sister. Everyone who came were lovely and each and everyone made the meet up be what it was. I really do hope that I get to meet up with everyone again, especially those who live really close to me, as networking and making new friendships is the most important thing to me about blogging. I also hope that everyone else has made some new friends too and keep in touch. Unfortunately the a lot of my photos came out quite blurry, so I don't have photos of everyone who came along.
Everyone who came along are linked just below:
- Lulu - A Mummas Time Out
- Caroline - No More Frizzy Hairdays
- Sian - Sian Marie Beauty Blog
- Belle - Mascara and Maltesers
- Charlotte - The Good Owl
- Laura - Lelore
- Helen - Helsbels
- Sarah - Mundane Sundays
- Yaya - My Dreamality
- Chelsey - Gold She Wears
- Laura - Lolly Loves
- Marina - Marina Petrou (YouTube)
It's safe to say that I'll be planning another meet up in the future, I'm guessing it will be after Christmas now, but I had so much fun that I will make sure that this is a recurring event. Oh I also ended up drinking a little too much prosecco and did feel a little bit tipsy by the end of the afternoon and crashed out as soon as I got home! ha!
I'd like to thank everyone who came along, Bluewater for kindly donating money for the meet up, all of the brands who supplied products for the goodie bags and of course the staff at Browns for being amazing hosts, especially Jack, who was our waiter for the afternoon, he did a fantastic job and really looked after us! I can't recommend Browns enough!
As this post has been longer than I intended, I will be doing a separate feature on the goodie bags and brands involved which will be up on Sunday, yes I'm giving myself a Saturday off from blogging! I will link this post once the post has gone up too.
Have you been to any blogger meet ups before? How were they? Would you/have you organised your own?
Until Next Time