BLOGSTOCK FESTIVAL 2015

Blogstock, Tipi, Aldenham Country Park

A few hundred bloggers, three eventful days and one chunky slice of key lime pie. This weekend (4-6th September) was Blogstock, the world’s only festival for bloggers, writers, podcasters, YouTuber’s and influencers based in the open fields of Aldenham Country Park, north of London.

If you were lucky enough to attend, read on for a little reminisce. If not, please enjoy my overview and consider taking part in a Traverse event next year!

Blogstock, Festival Area

I arrived at Blogstock solo and felt very welcome in the company of like-minded creatives from across the globe.

Every attendee was given a festival map and timetable for the whole event, plus a free personalised pen from RoomAuction.com, thank you!

The festival was neatly arranged in a large circle with four main areas hosting talks and debates by entrepreneurs, well-known bloggers, photographers and personalities such as The Travel Hack, A Lady In London and Bill Oddie.

Blogstock, pancakes, the pancake bar

Events kicked off Friday afternoon, with Saturday enjoying most of the festival’s activity.

On Saturday morning I made a beeline for ‘The Pancake Bar‘ who treated everyone to free pancakes with maple syrup and bacon – delicious!
After enjoying a taste of Canada, attendee’s were invited to chat to the Travel Alberta team nearby in their marquee. They were one of several companies sponsoring this year’s Blogstock.

Dan Bradbury, Bill Oddie, Mark Avery, Responsible Tourism, Blogstock

Animal Encounters, Albino Burmese Python, Blogstock

The multi-talented TV personality Bill Oddie attracted a big crowd in the main Marquee with Dan Bradbury and Mark Avery who all discussed responsible tourism and conserving the wildlife. 

Later, animal encounters delighted everyone with birds of prey and this albino python (above). Would you believe it’s only a quarter of the size of a fully grown one?!

Blog to Boss, Blogstock, Ximena de la Serna

Ximena de la Serna giving an insightful talk about turning your blog into a business in the Blog to Boss tent.

Expedia UK, Blogstock

Dream Burger, Food Travel, Expedia UK, Blogstock

My ‘dream burger’ with beef, bacon, cheddar cheese, mustard, tomato-relish and salad!

Expedia UK were the main sponsor of the event and held several competitions. Prizes included a holiday to Greece and a hamper for the #UltimateTravelSandwich.

I was the first blogger to participate in their fun burger challenge Saturday afternoon. Faced with a variety of ingredients to pile onto my beef patty, I thought it came together rather nicely! What do you think?!

I loved meeting the UK team as I recently collaborated with Expedia Ireland on a travel piece on Cardiff, Wales.

Tipi, Blogstock

Tipi, Blogstock

I think many people’s favourite place to enjoy a talk was the Tipi. It was colourfully decorated with cosy pillows and patterned fabrics.

In here you could learn about creative accounting, building a social media following and even turning your blog into a book!

Tipi, Blogstock

With little sign of an Indian Summer, it was great to see the cool temperatures had zero impact on the warm, friendly atmosphere – infact, it turned out to be quite the conversation starter (oh, how British of me!).

One business that brought spoonfuls of tropical sunshine however was KBC with their key lime pie, a taste of the Florida Keys. The PR and Marketing specialists also represent The Azores promotion board and Capital Region USA.

Key lime pie, Florida Keys, US Tourism, PR

Ireland.com, Irish Goodies, Ireland Travel, Blogstock

APH (Airport Parking & Hotels) and Ireland.com were also at Blogstock to meet attendees and giveaway some goodies. The media team from Ireland also hosted a fun social media competition that had participants taking quirky portraits using the hashtag #LoveIreland.

Blogstock 2015, Kids Zone

All ages were catered for at Blogstock, even children thanks to a Kids Zone with inflatables and a bouncy castle. 

Affilinet, Blogstock

Affilinet were very popular – I think their free hot drinks were very much appreciated by those teeth-chattering like me!

The friendly team helps with online marketing, and I loved learning about their work over a steaming hot chocolate.

#OhHappyDanes, Snaps & Rye, Blogstock

#OhHappyDanes!

A food-hall area included Danish goodies from Snaps & Rye, a London-based eatery. I loved their chocolate liquorish, a really unique combination that was nicely balanced.

Also on offer was craft beer samples, a mobile wine bar and asian-inspired cuisine.

Blogstock wasn’t running out of food stock anytime soon!

Blogstock Festival

With free wine and beer on order (via social media, naturally), everyone gathered in the Marquee for a final evening debate before the Expedia After Party. It was interesting to hear the panel’s thoughts on blogger and brand relationships amongst other hot topics conjured up throughout the day.

Wifi onsite was provided by TEP Wireless. 

By nightfall, there was live music and DJ sets to get really into the festival party spirit. Unfortunately I didn’t stay for this on Saturday, but did get a feel for the party atmosphere late on Friday.

Mobile Wine Bar, Blogstock

Mini Cooper, Blogstock

Moku Beach, Burger, Sweet Potato Fries, Blogstock

MOKU Beach serve up delicious island inspired burgers, fries and more.

The full festival experience would be totally ticked off if you camped, or ‘glamped’ as some lucky attendee’s did courtesy of Hertz.

Hertz UK, glamping, Blogstock

With a long journey from/to Wales, I opted to rest up in a local Premier Inn in Borehamwood. The bed was really comfortable, and I was quick to take advantage of having my own kettle.

At ¬£51, it’s really good value if you stay as a group or family.

There’s also a few other hotel chains in the area such as Ibis and Holiday Inn.

Premier Inn, Exterior, Hotel, Borehamwood

Premier Inn, Borehamwood, Blogstock, Places to stay

Premier Inn Bathroom, Borehamwood, Blogstock

Premier Inn Kettle, Borehamwood, Blogstock

Overall I was really glad to have been part of Blogstock 2015 – it further proved how friendly the blogging community is, and every talk or debate I attended sparked fresh inspiration and motivation.

Some of my favourite talks included Milou van Roon‘s (a Dutch travel blogger) presentation about finding your niche and getting your blog noticed.
I also enjoyed picking up Instagram tips from Sean Byrne (ByrnePhotgraphy and TheBowlerMan).

Tipi, Sunset, Blogstock

Only in it’s second year, it would be great to see this event expand further in the year’s to follow and attract more bloggers, brands and the like.

Were you at Blogstock? Let me know in the comment section below or on Twitter what your highlights were!

If you missed out, feel free to ask any questions about my experience if you’re considering attending next year’s!

Thanks to the Blogstock / Traverse Events team for organising such a great festival!

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