This week I headed to Radission Blu Manchester to meet up with loads of lovely bloggers over tea & cake.
I try not to overwhelm myself with blogging events anymore, but some community meet ups are unmissable! When fellow bloggers arrange a meet up they are generally much less intimidating in my opinion. It’s just a bunch of like-minded creators sharing their passion for blogging. What could be better!?
The event was arranged by Keeley from Phat Cupcake and Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester kindly hosted us, offering a chance to try their afternoon tea (more on that later)!
The MCR bloggers panel
Keeley, Steph from Ledigo PR, Jo from Social Media Make Sense and Charlie from Gin Fuelled Blue Stocking all spoke on the panel, sharing their experience from the world of blogging, PR and social media. Keeley and Charlie have been blogging for over 7 years and it was interesting to hear how things have changed over that time. I always find blogger insight so valuable because in a way we’re all in it together. We all face the same challenges and share similar goals, why not help each other up along the way?
The panel was lead by Ryan from the Radisson who was great at asking important questions and making sure everyone on the panel had a chance to have their say. Naturally he pressed for all the best social media hints and tips, even offering his own at one point – did you know video content boosts website engagement by 40%? Amazing!
When I signed up for the event, I just assumed it would be networking over drinks but I was so impressed with the panel and their insights. What I found most interesting was when Jo spoke about authentic content. A friend turned to her one day and said they’d love to start blogging, but they didn’t have anything original to say. Jo argues that actually, none of us rarely say anything original. What makes a blog post different however, is the way you tell your perspective and add your own personal flare. Readers might not come to you because you’re the first ever person to write about a product or experience, they read your blog because they like your way of authentic storytelling.
This is similar to the Austin Kleon book ‘Steal Like an Artist‘ I’ve been reading. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of chasing trends and trying to replicate the big bloggers, but what it comes down to is authenticity. I felt so reassured hearing this, because I feel as if this year I’ve finally found my cheeky writing style, instead of writing how I think a blogger should sound.
Another part of the panel that really got me thinking was when Charlie mentioned that people should ‘learn to say no’ when it comes to blogger events. This is something I alluded to in the intro, because it’s something I’ve learnt myself this year! However, my calendar is absolutely nothing compared to Charlie’s. She told us all a story about going to four blogging events in one night! FOUR!
The topic of blogging burn-out was bound to come up, but it’s amazing to see what other people can push themselves to do in the name of blogging. I mean, really, four events in one night? I’d rather be in my jim-jams at home watching the Punisher with a takeaway. Charlie seriously goes hard for her blog!
The afternoon tea at Radisson Blu
I have to go off topic for a second and tell you about a game my fella and I play when we go out for drinks or dinner. It started as ‘spot the Tinder date’ when we sat in bars & people watched, but it’s turned into making up little stories about entire tables full of fellow dinners.
Our favourite place to do play this game? When we’re sat in Brew Dog, peering into Opus One at the Radisson. We’ve spent many afternoons making up stories about the people sat in the window enjoying afternoon tea.
So hear I am, finally digging in to that very same afternoon tea we’ve both wondered about for so long! At the MCRbloggers meet we were treated to the Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea, which featured scones, sliders, baked camembert and mini fish & chips. I picked the veggie options and dived into the baked camembert which was delicious! In fact, I stole some of the chips from the mini fish & chips to dunk in too.
I really love the idea of afternoon tea for meet ups because you’re when so busy chatting you can’t really dive into a full plate, it’s easier to nibble your way through mini dishes. Beware though, it’s also easy to get distracted and forget how much you’re eating. I had four scones. One after another after another. I was so full… but I have no regrets.
I also noticed how attentive the Radisson staff were, checking if we needed extra drinks every now and then. I text my boyfriend photos of the cakes we’d been longing to try. He was devastated that I’d been without him!
I met plenty of lovely bloggers whilst I was there and even had a chance to ask Jo some extra questions after the panel. This is my favourite part of blogging events and why I prefer community focused ones! You meet so many different people from all different niches. I spent most of the evening with Carina from Manc Madam, an excellent lifestyle blog.
Overall it was a great night. Thanks to the gals on the panel for sharing their expertise, Keeley for organising and the Radisson Blue Edwardian for the amazing afternoon tea!