In the midst of wedding planning, new blogger pal Maggie over at Planes & Champagne suggested we go to the upcoming UK Blog Awards to network and suss out the competition. It was to be the Friday night sandwiched exactly 1 week after my wedding, and 1 week before my honeymoon, however I jumped at the chance. The new world of blogging was so exciting, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to gain some insight, learn a thing or two from the pros, and meet some people in person that I had been connecting with over social media for the past 10 months. Also, did I mention that I love a good party?!
And a good party it was! The night was advertised as a very glitzy affair, formal/cocktail dress no less, at the Park Plaza at Westminster Bridge, from 7pm – 1am on Friday 29th April. Your ticket price got you ‘3 drinks, accompanied by canapes and dinner’, as well as valuable connections from networking on the night!
Maggie had flown in from Geneva especially, working from the city in the day time, and had booked a room at the hotel for the evening, so I scooted across St James Park after work to meet her for a few glasses of Laurent-Perrier in her room before we set off. We had no idea what to expect so it was nice to discuss ideas and cross reference outfits, while relaxing with a glass of bubbles before we set off downstairs. In true Planes & Champagne style, Maggie had managed to bag herself an upgrade on her room when she arrived, so we had a lovely lounge area in her suite to relax in while we got ready!
When we arrived, the place looked magical; there was a proper red carpet, with proper paparazzi, entertainment, mass sponsors and advertising, a champagne reception, and lots of very glammed up bloggers, socialites, and press alike. So far, so impressed. And the bubbles turned out to be unlimited! Feeling quite intimidated and a little out of our depth, we took a few gulps of champers and got stuck in, and were relieved to find the real life blogging world was just as friendly as it was made it to be online.
Cassie collecting her award, and with her proud hubby.
We sat in awe through the awards, and by chance sat down next to Cassie of Cassie Fairy, who ended up winning the award for Most Innovative Individual Blog! It was so nice to experience her joy of winning right beside her! I felt emotional for her, and we had only just met! Such a lovely lady with great ideas, check out her thrifty lifestyle blog at CassieFairy.com.
Me with Cassie, and Cassie and her hubby with Maggie from Planes & Champagne.
I ended up making a few friends, a few connections and got some proper press leads, which I was totally not expecting, but above all, the categories, the awards and nominees completely opened my eyes to new possibilities. I was totally inspired – and totally hooked.
All photos my own.