I’d been planning to meet Bex and Lisa for a few months now, so when I found the details of the next TOWIB event, I decided to go and so did they. Tickets were only £5 and the event was being held in central London, so not only was it cheap and affordable, it was also easily accessible. The three of us arranged to go together and all our journeys were pretty much the same, we got the train into London and Lisa got on at the stop before me, whereas Bex got on a couple of stops after me.
Bex also got talking to Kirstie who was coming all the way from Leeds! As she was travelling alone, we invited her to come along with us and met her once we arrived in London. We arrived at the venue pretty early so decided to get a bit of breakfast in Pret A Manger. Within half an hour we were all having a laugh and it felt like we’d known each other for years.
The event was being held at Tiger Tiger, which was a weird place to hold a blogging event, but it was big and spacious and there were a lot of us! It was really nice and glam inside too. Once we got in we had a chat with some other bloggers and signed in, before grabbing a table.
Up first was a talk from Dr Linda Papadopoulos all about body confidence and the way women are perceived as so flawless in the media. I loved her talk, it was really inspiring and I thought it was quite refreshing to hear someone talk to passionately about those particular issues and trying to make a difference to change then.
She also told us a great story about a workshop she held once. On the first day, she blindfolded a group of people and told them herself and some other make up artists would be attaching realistic facial disfigurements to their faces, and then asked them to head outside and hand out leaflets, so she could see if it made any difference to the public. The group of people returned and noted that they’d found the experience horrible – the public had ignored them, not looked them into their eyes, walked in the opposite direction etc. The next day Dr Linda asked them to do the same thing, but this time she let them go out as they were – aka not attaching anything to their faces. Upon returning, the group’s attitude had completely changed. They’d claimed the public had been friendly and inviting, chatting to them and generally being the complete opposite than how they were the previous day.
It was then that Dr Linda revealed that on the first day, she hadn’t actually attached anything to their faces. The group had gone outside, looking as they always did and as they looked on the second day – only with the BELIEF that they had facial disfigurements. The group had let this thought affect the way they acted towards others – they’d acted shy and quiet and let what was on their face define them.
The story behind that experiment was generally the same message behind Dr Linda’s talk – by acting unconfident you are letting your issues define you, when in actual fact you don’t need to act like that. She explains that confidence comes from within and that we should accept ourselves as we are and learn to love what we are, instead of striving to become something we’re not. It was really interesting and inspiring, and the story she told us was fascinating.
We then had a nice lunch with a few cheeky cocktails, before returning for another talk and then a couple of workshops. The talk was a Q&A session with some top bloggers and ladies that had gone on to create careers out of their blogs – again, this was quite inspiring and taught us how to start looking at our blogs more professionally rather then just as a hobby. Then we had a workshop with a lovely lady from KMI Brands who explained a bit more about advertising and the way it works. We got chatting and ended up actually staying there for the full hour, talking about the relationship between bloggers and companies and all sorts of blogging/media related things.
|Image taken from Bex's blog|
Finally, to end the day we had a more general Q&A session with some other ladies that had arranged the event, and generally this was just a humorous chat about blogging and social media.
I found the day extremely helpful – in all honestly I took different snippets and tips from the day and the workshops altogether, but I found the day to be more helpful to me in that I met other bloggers and managed to network a bit too. I found it more beneficial when I sat down in a small group and had an informal chat with one of the ladies, rather then the big Q&A sessions (although these were inspiring and helpful too). Altogether I thought it was just nice to meet like minded people because sometimes I do definitely feel like blogging is like a big online community – people can be so friendly and over time you do tend to think of some other regular bloggers as friends.
Afterwards we realized we were only around the corner from M&M world so had a little mooch in there – it was my idea even though I hate M&Ms. This was a bit of a laugh too, especially with the over enthusiastic worker who insisted on getting loads of photos with us!
I was exhausted by the time I got home! I’d got a few nice freebies, bought some gorgeous jewelry and ended up with LOADS of business cards. By the end of the day I felt so much more confident about blogging as a whole – it was kind of like by attending the event I’d established that I’ve been doing everything right and to just keep doing it really. It was very helpful and I’ll definitely be attending the next event. I’ve been thinking about my blog as more than just a blog for a while now and I’m definitely leaning more in the direction of blogging more professionally than as a hobby. Attending TOWIB gave me tips to do this and helped me confirm that I was on the right track, as well as introducing me to some lovely ladies and getting my blog a bit more known.