In just two weeks, I'll be going to Blogtacular. It will be my first time there. It will be my first time at any kind of blogging/networking event.
Why go to something like this?
I've asked myself that question many times since I signed up, back in November. I think there are a lot of possible answers and they're all true for me to different degrees. If you've found my blog through attending Blogtacular, I'd love to hear your reasons for going.
Blogging is fairly solitary, and often bloggers are people who are happy to spend a lot of time alone. It's also an activity that's quite hard to explain to others. At Blogtacular, it's a given that everyone in the room gets it. Many attendees have already said they're feeling shy about it; it may not be an introvert-friendly event exactly, but there will definitely be other introverts there.
Bloggers are pretty much creatives by definition. At the very least, we're motivated to share words and images with the world and spend a good deal of time trying to get those just right. On top of that, many bloggers use their blog mainly to showcase their creative efforts elsewhere: there are food blogs, sewing blogs, knitting blogs, craft blogs, photography blogs and art blogs; all represented at Blogtacular. I love finding creative community and am really keen to build it in the UK, London in particular. What an opportunity to meet like-minded, interesting, creative types!
For many, blogging is part of their business. Some people make an income directly from their blogs, but even if that holds no appeal, your blog can support your business in other ways: showcasing products, building an audience, establishing your brand (as hateful as that word can seem sometimes). I believe wholeheartedly that it is possible to promote your business, while still keeping your authenticity and integrity. Hopefully, I will learn a lot from the speakers about how they've done it, and be inspired about how I might too.
Getting ready is part of the fun, and for something like this, I think it will really help me get the best out of the day. There is an attendees board over on pinterest and I've been slowly checking out everyone's blogs, adding them to Feedly, and following them on Twitter and Instagram.
I know I won't be interested in them all, and can't expect to engage deeply with them all either. I do know that some will grab me, and I hope to be able to say hi to those people on the day and even have a couple of conversation starters about what they've shared. I've also started commenting as I go, for the same reason. I feel like I have an allergy to networking, but this feels honest and natural way, not schmoozy.
The other fun thing I've done is ordered a new set of MOO cards. I love them and have swapped the mini cards at Artiest and other events. This time I've gone for the new square shape on recycled paper. I wanted rounded corners too, but they're not available on the "green" paper yet. I'll post pictures when they come.
Oh, and I bought a power pack for non-stop instagramming goodness. I've wanted one for awhile and it's recommended kit for Blogtacular. I bought this one and so far so good. It charges my phone pretty quickly, but my tablet seems like hard work for it. It's supposed to give 5 or 6 charges, but I suspect it will be less in real life.
Are you coming to Blogtacular?