Hosting my first blogger event
It was over a year ago when I had started to focus on raising money for a disease that effected half of my life growing up;
My dear grandad found out he had vascular dementia in his late 50s, he was hardworking, a passionate family man and would always light up any room he was in with his words of wisdom. 4 years ago he sadly lost his battle with dementia and also alzheimers towards his end of life.
I saw how this effected him in every aspect as well as my family and it was the most difficult time for us all. Sadly there are many families in the same position as you read this, that lack the support or funds to help their loved ones when they need it the most.
Luckily there are charities out there who advise and spread the awareness of the disease and the one that I've been most close to is the Alzheimers Society.
Not long after my grandad's passing, my mum and I did a 6 mile walk in his memory with many others who have lost those closest to them, we would talk about our times with them, the good and the bad and motivate ourselves to get to our end goal.
So, why did I decide on hosting a meet-up?
I've had my blog for 4 years this year, through this time I've attended many events and blogger meet-ups which have been wonderful, and I've truly admired those who have taken the time to organize and plan. So I thought I will put together two of the things I am most passionate about, raising awareness of Alzheimers and meeting other like minded bloggers in a cosy atmosphere! I wanted to do this for my grandad most of all, there's not a day that goes by when I miss him terribly, wondering what life would have been like if he wasn't effected by this cruel disease. I felt this was my purpose and the right thing to do.
What is it like to organize a meet-up?
I will admit it had both it's pros and cons, there were days when I became stressed with ensuring everything was going to plan; That brands were kept up to date with the lead up to the event and the attendees had all the correct information. But I loved every moment of it, I'm quite an organizer and yes I'm also a Virgo.. So I can say it's in my blood! But I was focused and motivated on the main purpose and I felt it all worked out well in the end result.
If you had in mind to host your own meet-up make sure you plan well ahead of the date, it's ideal to network also by using social media so you can get the word across. Having a good relationship with brands and PR companies are ideal so that you provide a selection for goodybags if you were to have them at your meet-up.
I held my meet-up at Edin's Deli Cafe which is a quaint location in Hockley, Nottingham.
Goodybags were made, and the delightful selection of raffle prizes were set up. I felt this atmosphere was perfect and very personal; a big thank you to my main support, my mum who helped to decorate and make the day extra special.
The ladies began to arrive from 1pm and I was becoming more and more nervous, making sure everything was in place and of course making them welcome. Everyone was lovely, we talked about everything and became comfortable in each others company; this also gave me the opportunity to speak about my experience with the main purpose of the meeting and to also sell the raffle tickets, which as I'm sure you can see from the picture above there was a fantastic variety to win!
We then ordered food which tasted amazing and relaxed, the girls took lots of pictures which I'm ever so grateful for and began to look through their goodybags which were each presented in a beautiful shopper tote bag provided by the company, Talented which I shown in my last feature Friday.
I also had a guest speaker whom arrived and prepared their table with interesting products and ingredients and provided us with an in depth talk on their natural products, which were Weleda.
Weleda are a company who focus on using plant based ingredients and celebrated their 90th birthday which was very inspiring; and Clare was such an informative person, telling us all about how their main product Skin food, has been shared with their customers since 1929, we were shown the ingredients of this essential product which helps any dry areas of skin with many other purposes too. Used by celebrities such as Victoria Beckham each of the ladies went away with a full sized Skin food in their goodybags to trial out.
At the end of her talk, Clare ran two giveaways, one was to win a pair of Weleda wellingtons which had all the ingredients printed on them, they were gorgeous! And then a chance to win a selection of their bodycare lotions; congratulations to Lora for winning the wellies and Nic for winning the set!
Towards the end of the meet-up was when I drew the raffle tickets, seeing their faces was priceless and I really am pleased that everyone who attended enjoyed the day and got plenty of information from it.
We managed to raise £85 for the Alzheimers Society so a big thank you to you!
You're all amazing!
My final thoughts
Would I host a blogger event again? Of course! I found through trial and error working on this event has brought many possibilities for the future; I saw my own strengths and weaknesses which I'll of course take on board for next time. Everyone was so lovely which made things a lot easier and the support was more than I could ever wish for.
I want to take this time to thank those who came, the guest speaker Clare, and all the brands who contributed that day. Without you none of it would have been possible.