Now that lockdown is over again – hopefully for the final time – and things are very slowly starting to get back to normal it’s time to look ahead to the general wonderfulness that is BlogOn 2021. You may remember that 2020 saw BlogOn go fully virtual, with lots of awesome sessions delivered through your gadget of choice, a fun-filled evening of extremely socially distanced entertainment, and goody bags winging their way through the post to eager bloggers across the country, if not THE ENTIRE WORLD.
Virtual BlogOn was great fun, and I probably saw more sessions last year than in the previous 5 years combined. But it was missing the element that for me makes BlogOn such a must-do event in my yearly calendar – being with other bloggers!
This year we have the best of both worlds, with the option of attending in person or virtually. I’m certainly planning on being there in the flesh this year and, for those of you choosing that same option, here are a few tips so you too can have the perfect in-person, Post-Pandemic BlogOn:
- When introducing yourself to people try to look as much like your social media profile photo as possible to aid recognition. To help with this you may need to bring along some fake cats ears, a pair of Speedos, a cocktail in a fancy glass and some way of looking ten years younger than you actually are. Alternatively wear a custom-made face covering with your blog name splattered across the front…
2. When making new friends just remember that you may need to elbow them /trample them underfoot when you’re jostling for the most expensive prizes in the raffle later in the day. We may all be one big happy family for most of the day, but if your new friend wins a luxury holiday home for their Sylvanian families and you end up with a 50p pot of slime it may put a strain on your blossoming new relationship…
3. Spend time meticulously planning and colour coding which sessions you wish to attend based on your knowledge levels and skills gaps. And then get sidetracked talking to a minor celebrity/drinking free booze / getting lost/taking photos of your lunch/nipping back to your room for a quick nap and go to whichever sessions you stumble upon instead
4. If you’ve never heard of someone’s blog, just wing it. Nod and smile and say you liked their post on potty training or sleep deprivation and that their writing moves you. Or that their latest recipe was SIMPLY DIVINE DARLING. Or if you don’t recognise them just put it down to normally seeing them wearing a face-covering online. Easy.
5. Remember to bring a power bank or 4 for your phone. If you’re nervous in social situations or really want to maintain social distancing by sitting a few metres away from everyone else you can at least chat to them on Messenger all day and can even use emojis and GIFS. Much better than real conversation!
6. It’s obligatory to wear elaborate fancy dress to the disco each year and this year is no different. Whip out your ‘best’ Hawaiian shirt or dress, get ‘laid’ and knock back a few cocktails. You’ll think you’re on a beach by the sea with a warm breeze on your face in no time. Even if you’re actually knocking back Lambrini through a straw in windy old Bracknell.
7. Ensure you take a photo of your dinner, an elf and the outside of the hotel for social media purposes. Oh, and if you can find a lift or a giant petal-filled ball take a fun group photo in there too! Oh, and take some flat lays too. And if you don’t know what a flat lay is, learn about flat lays and then take some flat lays.
SPOILER ALERT: You just lay things down, flatly and take a photo from above – like a bird. HTH.
8. If you see Laura during the day looking stressed and running around like a woman possessed, make sure you stop her to ask as many mundane questions as possible and give her a big sweaty hug. She loves those, especially at the tail end of a pandemic. Or if you’re feeling kind there are care packs in the toilets so you can give yourself a quick spray beforehand if you’re not the best at social distancing.
9. Leave your details with as many brands as possible. You’ll either get loads of offers over the coming weeks which is great for the confidence or you’ll get no offers at all which I’ve found really helps build character and will eventually make you a better blogger. You can also save the enormous hassle of writing your name down at each stall in the brand den by bringing business cards with you. Just remember to put your contact details on them…
10. Think up exciting ways to stand out in the crowd to brands. Just bear in mind that wearing a hat in the shape of a turkey has already been done and nudity is generally frowned upon.
11. When talking to brands it’s best to use exciting, passionate words so that they feel you’re really into their products. Instead of like use LOVE. Instead of average use STUNNING. Instead of OK use MIND-BLOWING. Instead of smiling and nodding try UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER and BEAR HUGS. Maybe even shed an overwhelmed tear if you can. Socially distanced of course.
12. Given some of us don’t have normal 9-5 office jobs why not treat this as your Christmas work do? Flirt with your colleague in accounts. Snog the boss under the mistletoe. Photocopy your buttocks. Have one too many to drink, throw up in a stranger’s bag, trip over the decorations and pull the Christmas tree down on your head. Or just sing along to Last Christmas and have a nice time, whichever works for you…
13. Make sure you have a good rummage through your goody bags before you get home so that your pesky children don’t nick all the best stuff. Or maybe even save a few bits for Christmas gifts. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.
14. *SERIOUS BULLET POINT ALERT* Look after each other! A lot of us are still pretty terrified about this whole COVID thing, so do what you can to help everyone feel at ease. Keep your distance if people look a bit uncomfortable – not everyone is ready for hugs and kisses and excessive physical contact! Think about taking a test before you attend, to make sure you aren’t carrying anything without knowing it, and of course, if you have any symptoms please don’t turn up regardless! Oh, and wear a face-covering where required and follow any other COVID restrictions that are in place at the time. Obvs.
15. Most importantly go out there and have the best time EVER. Eat, drink, learn some stuff, make friends with people who actually love blogging, win loads of prizes and spend the next few days splattering your photos across social media until your non-blogging friends can’t take it any longer!
It’s fair to say it’s not been the best couple of years, so let’s all try to make the best of a generally pretty awful period in time, keep each other safe and make some bloody brilliant memories whilst we’re doing it. I met a lot of my closest friends through BlogOn over the years and it really is an event like no other, so if you haven’t got your ticket yet now is the time to get involved!
You can grab your ticket here
Written by James Hopes – https://www.youhavetolaugh.com