6 Things I Loved About Blog On Toys and Why I Will Be Back!

One thing I have really missed with not blogging this past 2 years is my annual/twice annual jaunt to Manchester for the Blog On Conference.

I’ve come up with various reasons as to why Blog On not only helps me, but all other attendees but also why you (if you are a blogger) should not miss out on this event!

1. The Sessions

Blog On is a perfect chance to attend timed sessions throughout, to swat up on the latest knowledge from different Social Media platforms, how the trends are moving in time and also finding some new ways of working on a bloggers workload. Sharing experiences between bloggers is a massive help, there is always a blogger doing something similar but willing to share help on how to do a job easier, or sharing my own experiences to others.

2 sessions I attended which I particularly want to mention is the “Brilliant Blogmin” session held by Emily Leary from A Mummy Too. I’ve heard wonderful things about this lovely ladies organisational skills in the past so I was delighted to hear she would be hosting a session and her knowledge was not short at all! From managing to-do lists, to keyboard shortcuts, to “canned resposes” and stored phrases to avoid bloggers having to repeat themselves. This session was fantastic.

Already I have taken a step hopefully in a better direction and downloaded an app called ToDoIst on all my gadgets, to help note down jobs I need to do during a day to day setting but also help manage my blog better. I particularly like this app as reminders can repeat themselves, go red if a jobs overdue or one feature I particularly like, they all count! Yep, for every completed task you “tick off” they all count, either towards a lifetime amount or a daily amount. I can see myself wanting to just make up random tasks so that I can tot up my numbers quicker! Thanks Emily!

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Session 2

The seconds session I want to mention was held by Vicki Marler-Hausen, Vicky was a close PR contact of mine in my previous blogging days and I was so pleased so finally meet her. Vicky now manages her own Marketing company, Elmer Marketing. The aim of Vicky’s session was to talk to us about Understanding the Toy Industry and how we as bloggers fit into the brands marketing plans.

I fully understand now just how hectic and stressful the life of a PR manager is, they don’t just deal with bloggers, they deal with all the big events, small events, adverts, watching the trends of the market, watching what is currently happening vs. whats coming up and also promoting what products are available now whilst being aware whats coming up in 9-12 months time! That’s all before they come to bloggers, PR’s want to have products available all the time for bloggers but that isn’t always the case as I’ve now learnt, as stock will be limited for reviewing purposes whilst also ensuring they have stock for shows/displays too.

Understanding the toy industry and where you fit in their marketing plans
Vicki Marler-Hausen – Elmer Marketing

We were also informed on the best time of year was for PR’s to have plenty of stock for bloggers to review and also when brands are looking to get their reviews ready for peak season. For example, majority of products are available during the summer holidays with brands/PR’s looking at promoting for Christmas. So what is the busiest time of year for us parent bloggers, with having the kids off school and not being able to commit to blogging quite as much is the brands and PR’s prime time of year!

We were also talked through communication with brands and PR’s, how keeping a good communicative connection is vital and helps build working relationships. Also if a review or piece of work is going to be late, be honest, be open, work with your brand to be a reliable partner. Thank you Vicky!

2. Brand Den

This is the most PERFECT time to meet other PR’s in the industry, not only are they there to meet in person and put names to faces but they also bring loads of products to see (and play with!). You get to see some of the newest products on the market, see what will work with your family and blog and see the products in action.

Not only that the brands and PR’s get to know you more as a person and blogger too. I found it particularly helpful going to the brand den and investing a significant amount of time to there as I found quite a few contacts that I’d lost contact with through my previous blogging days so it was good to catch up, re-kindle our relationship again, see where their marketing is currently focusing and how I can fit into that.

3. The Cake

No Blog On is complete without a wonderful cake, this year the cake was provided by the lovely team over at Party Popteenies and Spin Master.

4. Competitions, Giveaways, Tombola and Raffle!

As well as getting all the sessions, brand den, food, prosecco and much more thrown in we also get competitions to enter! Throughout the day, various brands held their own giveaways and I was very fortunate to be one of the winners of both the Hotter and Manfrotto giveaways.

Not forgetting to mention the amazing Raffle at the end of the day, this event at Blog On saw them host the Toy Awards. Any brands which donated a prize to the Raffle was automatically entered into the Blog On Toy Awards where bloggers throughout the day could vote for their favourite toys and at the end of the day a toy with the most votes, after going down a storm all day, this was crowned the winner!

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5. Meeting Friends

What I personally found to be the best bit of the day at Blog On was meeting up with bloggers who I hadn’t seen in a couple years. Having a good ol’ catch up and remembering why i just love the blogging community so so much!

Me and Steph from StephsTwoGirls.

6. The Goody Bag

This event is famous for its EPIC Goody Bags, filled with products mostly linked to the event but also extras thrown in too. This bag was certainly no let down. Keep an eye out on my social media accounts for more information of the bags contents over the coming days.

I really did have a fantastic day at Blog On 11th conference and tickets are already on sale for the 12th conference, May 4th (Star Wars day!). Not being much of a Star Wars fan I must do some swatting up as I do hope the day is 100% about Star Wars! Find out more about Blog On here and get your tickets! See you there!

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