I have been off on my travels again during the last week. A lovely mix of catching up with family in Holland and a bit of “tourist” time too. But first I went to the 3rd Amsterdam Meet The Blogger event. I went to the initial one two years ago and the idea has really evolved since then. First time around it was a one day event around a number of speakers. This time it has grown into something over two days with a very varied programme.
The first day was held at the Wester Gas Fabriek – a sprawling formerly industrial area that is now used by all kinds of events. After a welcome coffee we got down to the serious business of the day – listening , learning and mingling with old and new friends.
The first of the main speakers on the podium was Victoria Smith from the very successful SFGirlByBay blog. She shared her story of how she got started and had quite a few tips for us as well. One of the ones that stood out for me was her advice to use your blog to bring together your different interests and strengths.
The second of the main speakers was Tricia Guild from Designer’s Guild and that was a real highlight for me as I’ve been inspired by her designs for as long as I’ve had a house to decorate. I asked a question as I was curious to know what she had started off with initially. She replied that she had been inspired by indian block printing and had brought out a range of fabrics based on them. She then opened her first shop because she realised that she had to show people how to use the fabrics. It is useful to remember that this was before ” lifestyle shops” and even Habitat was only just opening around the same time.
Another big difference with the first Meet The Blogger was that now there are workshops in the mix as well. I had chosen to go to the one by Kirsten Jassies about tips and tricks for creating visual content. She had plently of those – and I will be working on adding some of them over the next while. The ones that I particularly picked up on were her suggestions to use infographics in different ways and also to incorporate video. I’ve already had a couple of shots with video and I’m thinking of ways that I could add this more frequently.
The other workshop I picked was SEO with Robert van Glabbeek who is an SEO specialist with Sanoma – less glamourous and more techy but again, I learned a bit more here too. Its not my favourite part of the whole online world but it can make a huge difference. At times like these I am glad of my dreadful year spent training in web design ! One of the surprising facts for me was that when people do a search on Google, the first result will be clicked 52% but by only the fifth result it drops to 15% – so quite an incentive to get the search engine ranking working !
And still the day was not done. At a short hop from the venue we boarded two boats that took us through the Amsterdam canals to the Designer’s Guild Showroom. That was a big success and a very nice touch, especially for those who had never been to Amsterdam. The showroom visit itself was interesting – to see how the different ranges were displayed – the agents were very welcoming to our rather large group. And of course, a chance to buy Tricia Guild’s new book and have it signed. Needless to say, I did have to get a copy , but I will leave reviewing that for another day.
If you are curious to read a bit more about the whole event this post gives an overview and links to many other blog reviews.
Of course an event like this doesn’t happen all by itself, so many thanks to all the organisers and also to the sponsers including VTWonen, Moo Cards, Designer’s Guild , Dyson and the Woonbeurs – all in all it resulted in a very enjoyable event.
And the bonus visit to the Woonbeurs was still to come – which I will save for another post as this one is already long enough !
I do make a point of trying to get to one or two of these type of events every year. It shakes you out of your familiar environment and routine and I always come away feeling recharged and buzzing with new ideas.
What are your favourite events to attend for getting out of the studio and recharging ?