For those of us who work from home, a blogging conference can be the highlight of the year. A chance to meet up with other bloggers we normally only chat to virtually, learn something new, make more contacts with brands and PRs, even get the inside scoop on ‘the next big thing’ and most importantly, leave with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and dozens of ideas for where to take your blog next.
Even with all that in common each conference has its own unique character so it’s always worth giving some thought to what you want to get out of an event when deciding which one to attend. Do you want one that’s specifically for parent bloggers? Are you looking to learn, socialise or network with brands? Here’s a round up of what 2016’s conferences should hold to help you choose.
Blognix Retreat – 27/28th February, Northamptonshire – from £195 (including accommodation, dinner and breakfast)
Blognix took a break in 2015 but is now back for 2016 with a focus on intermediate and advanced blogging skills combining business with creativity and wellness. You’ll have a chance to enjoy the spa or some yoga as well as attending sessions. Taking a holistic approach to blogging, talks range from ‘Accounting for Creatives’ to ‘Self-care for Success’.
Blog On – 1st May, Manchester – £40
Blog On is one of the newer conferences, medium sized and a fairly informal affair with a low ticket price, aimed at parent or family lifestyle blogs. The sessions tend to have a more interactive ’round table’ format with lots of opportunity to ask questions. The brands involved are all actively looking to engage with bloggers and you’ll have plenty of time to meet them and talk about how you might work together. Blog On is also known for their massive goodie bags. You’ll find loads in there to share and write about after the event.
Blogcamp – 21st May, Birmingham – Free
The Tots100 team usually put on a couple of Blogcamp events each year. The first in 2016 will be a return to Birmingham. Always a comparatively small event, tickets tend to go quickly, but you can add yourself to the waiting list if you miss out. Usually only one or two sponsoring brands are involved with the focus being on the teaching sessions which tend to cover a wide variety of topics, both technical and creative. Don’t expect freebies and goodie bags but then the tickets are free. The agenda is not normally available before the day so you won’t know exactly what you’re getting but that’s quite in keeping with the relaxed fun atmosphere that keeps even old hands coming back year after year.
Blogtacular – 18th June, London – £160
Another new kid on the block, Blogtacular is all about creativity, design and inspiration more than the technical and business aspects of blogging and is aimed at a variety of blog niches, particularly lifestyle, interiors, beauty and photography. As well as the day itself it also includes a ‘photo walk’ the day before.
Britmums Live – 25th June, London – £79.99
The size and breadth of BML which includes the Brilliance in Blogging (BiBs) Award ceremony really makes it the daddy of them all. You’re guaranteed big name brands and a great range of different conference sessions. This year’s change to a long day format still leaves plenty of time for socialising. The sheer size of the event could make it a bit overwhelming for newer bloggers attending on their own but the ‘Britmums Butterflies’ are on hand to give everyone a warm welcome.
Funfest – 10th September, Northamptonshire – £39.99
Specifically aimed at parent blogs and reviewers, Funfest combines conference sessions in the morning with more of a brand exhibition in the afternoon with a strong focus on toys and preschool products. It is a particularly ‘family friendly’ event with up to 3 kids welcome to come along for free with each adult ticket.
Blogstock – Sept? London – £TBC
Spread over a weekend, it’s outdoor location with sessions in tipis and marquees makes Blogstock more festival than conference while still covering everything you’d expect in terms of content for bloggers of all types. A 2016 event hasn’t yet been confirmed but it would be a welcome bit of variety for the blogging calendar.
Mumsnet Blogfest – November? London – £TBC
Blogfest is known particularly for it’s interesting and occasionally controversial panel discussions. One of the larger events with a good range of different sessions, many of which look at the wider social context in which we blog as well as the practicalities. This is the blogging conference for you if you’re looking for some top class speakers from the worlds of media or politics and a thought provoking day.