Thursday, 23 June 2016

Take Me Back To Blogtacular...

Unless you've been on another planet these last few days you'll probably know that us and approximately 300 women (don't feel sorry for Jam, he loved it) went to the Blogtacular conference! In my previous post I wrote a quick summary of things that I expected to gain from Blogtacular and I thought the day might exceed all of them but quite frankly I'm not overreacting when I say...
Blogtacular changed our lives.
Well that's a bit OTT you may be thinking. Here's a little round up of what we did and what the day meant to us..
BOOM! No sooner had we arrived, said hello to some familiar faces, poured coffee down our throats and had some brekkie (NICE spread Blogtacular!) we were then straight in with the first keynote speaker - the flipping awesome Lisa Congdon! I'd been really excited about this ever since I heard Lisa was coming over from the States to talk. I knew a bit about her and her work - I own her book "Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building your Career as an Artist" - but it wasn't until reading a fantastic interview with her in Mollie Makes recently that I discovered more about her and her wonderful work. Lisa talked to us about becoming an artist relatively late in life and despite (after LOTS of hard work) becoming very successful still feeling insecure and not an "authentic" artist when meeting her peers. She talked about having a "vulnerability hangover"....where you do something, put yourself or a piece of work out there and then suffer the doubts and anxiety afterwards. Two points she mentioned that particularly resonated with us (and possibly most of the room) was when people ask how you're doing and your answer is always "I'm really busy!!!" (literally ALWAYS our answer to this question...) And whether being really busy and burnt out actually means you're being successful. I think, as Lisa Congdon has, we definitely need to attempt to re-address our work/life balance and try to adopt her mantra when it comes to opportunities- "If it's not a HELL YES, it's a no." Both myself and Jam were doing a lot of nodding during her whole talk!
Phew, so that was just the first session and we were already feeling totally inspired and uplifted! Now we broke off in to smaller groups with the choice between three different sessions to attend. We were so lucky that during the day we got in to our three top picks for what we wanted to attend and first up was Kate O'Sullivan of A Playful Day talking about Community. Kate talked to us about her community (not followers), about telling your story and the journey that they've been on with her, about keeping the story simple and on target, continuing conversations with people and not assuming everyone read your last post. I think you might have needed to be there, but it all got a bit emotional!! Here we are above totally engrossed!
Next up we went to Sara Tasker's (of Me & Orla) Phoneography session. Sara talked to us through some quick, practical tips for using our phone cameras and composition and then in more depth about finding our visual style and coming up with your three key words which describe it. We then had the opportunity to grab some props and to snap a quick flat lay. I knew from Sara's style that the props would be utterly beautiful but not in keeping with hello DODO, so I'd had the foresight to pop some bits in my bag and we styled the above pic....which to be honest isn't the best (I think we felt the pressure!) but not too bad with the time we had. If you want to see other people's efforts check out #meandorlablogtacular on instagram!
The last session we attended was Xanthe Berkley's video session and boy am I glad we did! I had been in two minds about going, not because I didn't think it would be amazing, I think more out of fear knowing that we'd be making a film right there and then. We decided on the day to go for it and managed to snag the last couple of seats in the room! Xanthe was totally inspiring and so generous in her knowledge sharing.....we learnt so much from just a short talk I can barely believe it! The very next day we made and editing our first short film which we shared on Instagram here. It's far from perfect but we're excited to keep playing and improving and making films a part of hello DODO's story and for that we'll be eternally grateful to Xanthe! If you're wanting to learn some film making skills Xanthe does online sources, check them out here!
So by this point I think we're at the peak of our inspiration and MEGA Blogtacular excitement and should probably have had a lie down in a dark room......but BOOOOOOOM then along comes the closing keynote speaker Enid Hwang, the community manager of Pinterest and their 6th ever employee (1st woman!) Enid is such a warm, intelligent and funny person it was a total pleasure hearing her talk....and amazing to hear about all of the initial Pinterest doubters and to see the (extremely) humble beginnings of the company and the tiny flat the 6 of them worked from. Amazing when you think about how for so many of us Pinterest is just part of our daily lives... "I'm planning my wedding, off I go to Pinterest!" "I want inspiration for our new kitchen, first stop Pinterest!" "I need a whole board dedicated to cats in boxes, Pinterest can make that happen". It was awesome to hear that we have this incredible resource now because a tiny group of people 100% believed in it and worked insane hours, had all the doors slammed in their faces to eventually make it what it is today. 
So THEN we know what happened! Us and our pals designosaur were revealed as this years goodie bag designers! YAY!!! Sadly designosaur were off parting in Barcelona (yeah, not so sad for them) so they missed out on standing up in front of 300 people. HOW people stand up and talk I will never know, all I had to do was smile and everything went a bit blurry and I felt like my face was melting off. Anyway, it was a total honour to work on the totes and we hope everyone loves our jazzy seaside-y design!
 HUGE MASSIVE KUDOS to Kat and Kelly for having the vision and bringing it all together so wonderfully, seriously cannot wait to see what they have up their sleeves for Blogtacular next!!!

Ok, I'm rounding up before I ramble on too much. Blogtacular was bloody amazing and to be honest the sessions were only half of it, the gaps in-between where we got to meet new people or people we've only ever communicated with online or people we rarely get to actually talk to because we're both stuck behind craft fair stalls. I'm not a cheesy person but the community really is incredible and totally positive and we're so happy to be a part of it!

Want to read more posts about Blogtacular? Check these out!

HUGE thanks to Mollie MakesWill Ireland for the pro photos used in this post! :o)



  1. You've totally summed up my experience too!!! What an amazing day! I had chills in Kate's community talk - so emosh. My favourite part was hanging out with everyone so I'm really pleased we got to catch up. See you next time :-)

    1. Aw YAY thanks Claire! Was soooo lovely to see your friendly face! :D

  2. Thanks for sharing this information and hope this will be pretty useful for all. I am planning to hold my office event and thinking to book a Seattle convention center to arrange it. Planning to book it soon.

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