Tasting the, (pretty strong), rum punch cocktail was all I needed to get into the Bajan mindset for an afternoon with icelolly.com and #Blogatthebeach. Set in a beautiful space with free flowing cocktails, beer pong and deckchairs, the afternoon flew by but I love writing about events just to give people a taste of what can be expected if they attend in the future. Icelolly.com held an event with Barbados Tourism board to chat to us all things blogger related, as well as a chat all about Barbados. They had guest speakers such as Katy English and Kirsty Leanne and they were both really helpful for someone who has just recently started blogging a lot more. If this sounds like an event you would be interested in, keep reading for more information!
You may already know about icelolly.com but I thought it would be useful to explain a little bit about what they do, especially if you’re looking for your next holiday. Icelolly.com is a holiday website which allows you to compare holidays to make sure you get a good deal. You can look for a beach holiday, a ski holiday or even a city break but all the deals are as reasonable as possible so it’s the perfect way to look for a cheap break online. They also have a blog with information about different destinations and trends within the travel industry and they’re also very active on social media. Have a look at their Instagram page for their hashtags and also check out their twitter for their holiday twitter chat.
Ok so, I often like to google events before I attend and it’s only fair that I tell you what really happens at a blogger event. I was really lucky because I knew some of the girls attending as I had met them the week before at BorderlessLive. When we were there we realised that a group of us were all heading to Manchester the following weekend, to all go to this event. (Will link to my lovely group of blogger pals at the end). Some of us had booked a hotel to stay in that night so we met up before the event, so we could go together.
Walking into an event can be a little daunting especially if you are alone but like lots of blogger events, I always find them to be a really friendly place. Everyone is open to mingle and a bit of a chat, you have things in common and most people want to chat about similar things. We had been sent the schedule beforehand so we were prepared for what would happen and as I arrived with a few friends, we got ourselves a drink and before long the first talk was starting.
As you can see from the schedule below, we had an introduction and welcome where they outlined the afternoon. They also told us about the competitions which were taking place so everyone got straight on to social media to take part. Kirsty Leanne was the first talk that took place and she was talking about how to create your niche within your community. This is a very hot topic for bloggers as we are constantly told we need to define our niche! Having had a “I’m a solo female travel blogger” niche dilema the week before, I really needed this talk and found it very informative. I won’t give away what Kirsty said as she gave a really brilliant talk, if you want to hear more about Kirsty, you’ll have to follow her on social media here.
After listening to Kirsty talk, we then had a lunch break with some Caribbean food. It was gorgeous and so many people took some beautiful pictures of it. It was also another chance to chat and meet new people. The social media competition was still going on so everyone was tweeting away using the #Blogathebeach in order to try and win some goodies!
After lunch, we listened to Marc McCollins from the Barbados tourism board. He spoke to us about what you can expect from the island of Barbados. Not many of us had been to Barbados from the group so it was a great way for us to ask him any questions we had. We also learnt random facts about Barbados such as, George Washington visited Barbados and it was the only place outside of the US that he ever visited. If you’re interested in reading more about Barbados, I actually wrote a post using everything I learnt at the icelolly.com talk and also a chat with my mum, who loves it there. Have a look at 21 Reasons why Barbados should be you next holiday destination post here.
After that talk we had another little break again which was perfect as everyone got another cocktail before listening to Katy English and her talk about Creating Creative Content. This one was so useful to me as it actually inspired me to find the fun in Instagram again. If you don’t know, Katy has an Instagram account that is really fun and it started with a photo challenge where she had to post everyday. She created some really interesting concepts and used different tricks and tools in her pictures to really push herself to create something different. This talk also inspired me to create my own photo challenge for October so I’m sure I’ll be sharing more about that soon! If you want to see Katy’s stunning Instagram feed for yourself, have a click here.
Before long it was time for the closing talk from icelolly and some prize giveaways! I am so lucky because my tweet about me coughing for the entire event, won a prize to use on an excursion so I’ll be making sure to use that soon!
(Yes I was still ill from Borderless Live which sucked, had to excuse myself many times to go and have a coughing fit in the hallway)
After the talks everyone stayed put, chatting away, asking questions and getting to know new people which was a lot of fun. There was a competition of beer pong starting which was really fun and a group of us stayed for a while having another drink or two.
Overall it was a really fun event and I love that they mixed it up with talks, food, drinks and even beer pong! A lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon and I then had the evening in Manchester before heading home the next day.
I love to share the love with my fellow blogger friends so if you’re looking for some awesome travel bloggers to follow, have a little look at this list as they’re all amazing!
I hope this post gave you a taste of what it is like to attend a blogger event. Thanks to Icelolly.com for the invite, I had a wonderful time! Make sure to have a look at my post about Barbados so you can see what I learnt about this Caribbean Island. I’m posting three times a week at the moment on my blog so hope you enjoy! I’m currently in Morocco so if you like this post please give it a share. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram for more daily updates too and I’d love to say hey!
I post once a week covering topics such as solo travel, working and living abroad and also creating Gabriella’s Guides to places I have been. I cover topics under the following categories such as Planning and Packing, The Travel Diary, Travel Inspiration, Photo Diaries, Gabriella’s Guides and Working Abroad.