Blog at the beach is an event that is run twice a year by the lovely team at Icelolly.com, at Leeds. I have seen this event for a while and would have loved to go, so when an email landed in my inbox I was so excited. It’s a huge event and I felt so lucky to go, as many of my favourite bloggers were there. That being said, I was quite apprehensive because it was the biggest blog event that I had ever been to and I didn’t know too many people that were going.
I live about 2 hours away from Leeds so I got the train on the morning of the event. From the train station I got a taxi to the event, which was around 15 minutes away from the station. At this point I was starting to feel pretty nervous as I was on my own and hadn’t met up with people yet. On reflection I have no idea why I was so nervous! Everyone was so lovely and really welcoming considering it was my first proper event in Leeds.
After taking some outfit photos (the walls outside the venue were pretty amazing for a few outfit photos) we went inside to a cafe next door to the studio space. The lovely Lucinda (who I have met before at the Charlotte Tilbury event) very kindly introduced me to everyone and we all got on so well! I was the youngest but everyone made me feel welcome and we all got talking… it felt like we were all friends and I hadn’t met most of them before! I had already eaten so I just had a coffee, but I wish I had food because it looked great. If I am in Leeds again soon I will definitely consider going back for breakfast.
Once we had finished we made our way into the studio space that was being used for the event itself. It was so much bigger than I expected it to be, there were 85 other bloggers there so it is without a doubt the biggest event that I have ever been to. I got a drink (the mulled wine was really nice and I usually don’t like it) and made my way to a seat. I didn’t sit with anyone I knew and at first I was apprehensive about that but it worked out so well, as I ended up sitting with some ladies that were also on their own and we all got talking. They all seemed lovely and despite us having very different blog styles (we jumped from Harrogate to wellbeing and most things in-between) we all got along very well.
After a speech from some of the Ice Lolly team, it was onto the talks. The day consisted of three different bloggers talking about topics linking to both blogging and travel (as ice lolly are a travel brand after all!). I love all of the bloggers on the line up and I couldn’t wait to hear what they had to say, because I follow and love them all on a day to day basis too.
The first talk was from the lovely Kirsty Leanne. I have admired her blog and social medias for a while now so I was looking forward to her talk about pitching with brands. This is something that I have always been scared to do, I’m worried of rejection and to be quite honest I thought it could come across as quite cheeky. However her speech taught me that its actually a rather good business move and if there is a brand you really think fits with your blog, you should pitch to them. You never know where it might take you! Kirsty is such a talent and she really inspired me to get my business head on when working on my blog this year. I spoke to her afterwards in the break and she is so lovely in person to, really taking the time to speak to me. Overall I loved her speech and it set the standard really high for the other two!
After a small break it was onto the next talk, this time from the lovely bee over at @queenbeady. I had already spoke to her over brunch at the beginning of the day, so was excited to hear what she had to say. I follow her on Instagram and I am constantly admiring her photography and just general photo style, so I couldn’t wait for a bit of an insight into how she does it all… particularly considering she has a full time job. She spoke about how she managed her time whilst still leaving time for herself and a social life. This helped me so much as I am a full time student, so hearing some tips and tricks has really helped me and I will use some of her tips going forward. This week I have actually been replying to emails when I have a college break, and I have found that by the end of the day I have done them all whereas before I didn’t do anything in my breaks and had to do them all when I got home. Keeping on top of things throughout the day makes you busier in the short term but it does mean you can have the evenings off! Her overall style of speech was so funny too, particularly when she was throwing chocolates around… she was so interactive with the audience, acted like she was in a room full of her friends and I really liked that.
We then had a lunch break, and everyone in the room walked around and talked to one another. Blogging is weird, you can put 85 people who have never met each other in the same room but you all have a common interest and you even recognise faces of some people from online. If I met you then Hi! It was so lovely speaking to so many people who not only read my blog, but I read theirs too. I think that was the first time that there were so many bloggers who all knew each other in one room, it was like a giant interconnected party.
So now onto the final talk from Kaye from @fordtography, who I have been inspired by for SO LONG. At no disrespect to the others but she was 100% the talk that I was most excited about, because I truly love her photography style and am constantly blown away by her creativity. I could honestly listen to her talk about cameras all day and I learnt so much from only a 30 minute talk. She gave some great tips and also touched on my camera (the Olympus pen) too because she knows that a lot of bloggers have them. One of my New Years resolutions was to up my photography game this year, and her talk certainly gave me the final push to do that.
Overall such a good day and very motivating to be in a room full of such inspiring, hard working and determined people. Thank you so much to the team at Ice Lolly for organising such a fantastic day for everyone and hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. I am looking forward to working with the Ice Lolly team later in the year, as very exciting things are in the pipeline! Stay tuned, lets just say I’m a very lucky (and grateful) girl for all of the opportunities that I have received recently.