Just over three months ago, I announced my plans to arrange a large scale bloggers networking event in Central London, following on from the success of last years #ldnbloggersparty. Despite being swamped by exam revision at the time (perhaps this was slightly bad timing on my part) I got to work researching venues, brands and bloggers to set everything in motion.
My idea behind the event initially was that I wanted to create somewhere that bloggers and like-minded writers could chat, grab a cocktail (and something to eat) in a chilled, casual environment. Nothing too formal, no pressure to chat or listen to anyone in particular if you didn’t want to – and most importantly, no restriction or limitation on the type of blog you write.
Although it is a rather stressful thing to organise, especially in the week running up to the ‘big day’, I absolutely LOVE the final result of everything coming together and seeing the ‘plan’ in reality. And this Saturday, my three months of emails, meetings and phone calls came together, resulting in a (relatively) hiccup free day – and lots of (hopefully) happy bloggers. But of course, I can’t take all the credit for the day – so I’ll give you a little run down of what went on, who helped with what and how you can register your interest for the next event if you fancy it. This is likely to be a rather lengthy post (apologies in advance), so make sure you grab yourself a cup of tea – and a custard cream – or two, and enjoy!
First and foremost, I have to mention the venue itself which certainly did the day justice, with stunning panoramic views across the whole of Central London. On the 31st floor, the Paramount events space at Centre Point features a wrap around bar and plenty of space for the eleven exhibitors (or in real terms – beauty and fashion brands) who each brought along an array of goodies, bags and cupcakes for bloggers to try and take home. A hidden gem in among the hustle and bustle of London, the space is an amazing backdrop to any event and I am so grateful to Sharif, Ryan, Ashley and the rest of the fantastic team at Paramount who (along with my constant stream of emails) made this possible.
Upon arrival, bloggers were greeted at the door by a glass of strawberry or raspberry champagne, before being ushered to either side of the space – each laced with brands ready to chat about their new launches, lines and goodies. Co-sponsored by Want Her Dress and Search Laboratory, we were also able to provide an assortment of canapés – and thanks to Sweet Pizzas, we also had a number calorific delights making the rounds.
Showcasing a plethora of goodies on the left ‘wing’ stood Lee Stafford, Oriflame, Cloud Nine and Very.co.uk who each had an individual way of getting bloggers involved in their new launches, and a unique interactive stall.
A highlight for me was the fact that Oriflame brought along Gary Cockerill, make-up artist to the stars and a huge icon for me in the beauty world. Ambassador for their new ‘The One’ collection and famed for his photo ready dramatic looks, I managed to nab a slot towards the end of the event (when guests were filtering out) and have a Kim Kardashian inspired look re-created on my very own face! It was a real treat in itself to have my make-up done for me, especially in such stark comparison to my usual ‘subtle’ look – but I love the final result and will definitely be re-creating it next time a special occasion crops up! Gary has a book coming out in the next few months which I am sure will be a staple on any beauty bloggers coffee table – so watch this space!
And on the right ‘wing’ we were lucky enough to have Quiz Clothing, Ted Baker, Urban Outfitters, Bee Good, Izabelle Hammon, Ecco, Minimum and Want Her Dress. Phew! Each with a designated area to showcase what their brand was all about, we had nail wrap fittings from Izabelle Hammon, a selfie competition with Urban Outfitters and a style make-over masterclass with Want Her Dress. I wasn’t able to get round every stall myself when they were in full swing – as I wanted to get round and chat to as many bloggers as possible but luckily, Joseph Kent from Unlimited by JK was official photographer for the day and managed to capture everything going on in its full glory.
Also on offer was the Twitter raffle – which initially was going to be hosted on one large table but had a last minute adjustment and was spread between all the different brands – providing a little bit of social media interaction on each ‘stall’. The main ‘base’ for the prizes was manned by none other than some of the scarlettlondon.com girls, who kindly gave up a large portion of their Saturday to help me set up, explain the premise of the raffle and monitor all the tweets. I honestly couldn’t have run the event without them – so a special mention goes to Abby, Rachel, Charlotte and Danielle. Danielle in particular has been a huge help in assisting me with emails, follow up’s and deliveries, so I am so grateful for her help and kindness.
The highlight of the event for me, was chatting individually to all of the guests about anything and everything (blog related and non blog related). Being in Bournemouth throughout the year means that I have to turn many London based event invites down, so a meet-up of this scale (although initially overwhelming) meant that I could catch up with everyone, in one place.
I wasn’t able to pick up any of the goody bags on offer (aside from the little one I put together – which I will run a separate post on) so I look forward to seeing what everybody got when the posts start trickling through. If you have already published a post about the event, please leave your link below, as I’d love to read it.
* If you’d like to register your interest for the next #bloggersfestival, please leave your name, email address and blog URL in the comment box below – as I will use this list as a first port of call for invitations. Make sure you’re following me on Twitter – @scarlett_london as I’ll be sure to announce any updates over there, and if you came along to the event – thank you again for making it such a special day. I feel so lucky to be a part of such a supportive, kind and wonderful community!
disclaimer: ALL IMAGES are credited to Joseph Kent, at Unlimited by JK. Please respect his copyright and refrain from reproducing without permission or due credit.