Last week Tuesday, I attended ionFashion blogger conference at Vibe Bar in Brick Lane . Although I’ve been to many events, I still get nervous and find it daunting entering a room full of people and trying to make small talk. The purpose of the conference is for bloggers and brands to connect and network. Before the conference started, everyone sat around tables in one of the function rooms having cups of tea, coffee and water to get to know each other. I met two lovely bloggers L’ amour de Juliette and The Fashion Antler. It was amazing connect with like-minded people who share the same interest as you and chat all things blogging. After an hour, we headed upstairs into another function room for the conference.
The first speaker up was Lela from BlueClaw. She spoke about her blog and how it’s grown over the years. The discussion moved on to Why Bloggers Do it Better discussing how bloggers influence internet purchases. This is because there’s transparency and honesty in blogging so readers trust bloggers for purchasing decisions and a source for information. It’s important to have good quality content that’s evergreen and has a purpose. I also learned that blogger endorsements wield more influencing power than celebrities! How crazy is that?!
After Lela’s presentation, beauty blogger Ree from Really Ree went on stage for her talk. I have never come across such a passionate, beauty obsessed blogger in my life. She could talk about beauty for hours! Her love for beauty started from the get go and during her uni days, she would save up money to get the latest beauty products. Before blogging, she was training to be a journalist and had an interview at The Independent but didn’t turn out so great as she didn’t have a clue about politics, current affairs and ended up being cut short! After the ordeal, she discovered blogging and felt it was the perfect place to be creative and share her passion for beauty without any boundaries. Fast forward to the future and she’s now a full-time blogger. Her typical day consists of trawling through hundreds of emails, attending meetings, looking through samples and deciding what to feature, promoting and writing posts. It’s a dream come true to do something you love. Ree made me realise that when it comes to blogging you have to make yourself an expert and believe in yourself as cliché as it sounds. There’s nothing like hearing someone speak about what they love.
We later spilt into small groups to speak to brands to see things from both perspectives. I met a lovely lady from Coast head office who kindly gave me their AW14 lookbook and gave my contact details. It felt short and didn’t get a chance to talk to other brands. It would be great to have events where brands and bloggers mingle around like speed dating or with various booths like an exhibition. This would be a better way to communicate as it’s in person and goes beyond a press release and bloggers being used an advertising tool.
Holly from Diary Directory was the next speaker on the agenda. I’ve spoken about Diary Directory before on the blog but in case you haven’t heard of it before it’s basically an online resource of contacts, news and events for brands, PR agencies, press and creative industries. Holly gave a brief history of the company followed by the rise of print magazines declining and a rise of vloggers/bloggers who are a new generation of celebrities.
After the presentation was over, it was time for a much needed lunch break. While munching away we were entertained by an acoustic pop singer/songwriter Alex Louise.
The next presentation was by Toni from Fashitects. I met him before the conference started and he was funny, friendly and has a unique sense of style. Toni took us on a journey starting with how he got into blogging and joined his love for fashion and architecture background to create his blog. His outfit posts are beautifully done. He reminds me of a Fashion Editor that creates editorials for magazines. He has someone who takes his pictures but controls every aspect of his photos from the locations and of course the outfits to make sure everything compliments each other. He’s hot on lighting too! He went on to discuss that bloggers are a beginning of something new. We’re so many things: editors, vloggers, writers, marketers. Bloggers need the following essentials in order for their blog to survive: clothes, photography (camera), computer, schedule, social media and of course the internet!
Kavita from She Wears Fashion was supposed to be the last speaker of the day but unfortunately couldn’t make it as she was ill so Rosie from Rosie Glow took her place last minute. She’s was so lovely in person and I regularly read her blog. Again her blog started as a hobby and loved fashion and writing. She works at Boohoo.com as a Social Media Executive which she got through her blog which is incredible. Talked about the campaigns she’s done including the recent one Experience Everything and Global Styler.
Each presentation was insightful, informative and really touched on brand/blogger relationships and how we’re both keen on working together. The same goes for the blogging community. It’s all about creating something beautiful wether it be through our writing or images. It’s all about inspiring and encouraging each other. If you want to really get yourself out there you have to go above and beyond. Being an ordinary blogger isn’t enough these days.
Thanks so much BlueClaw for inviting me and the goody bag. I look forward to your next event!