Ricemedia at Blognix ’14

Saturday 14th June saw Blognix happen for the second year running. Blognix is a one day conference and online space for the blogging community.

The conference was geared towards bloggers, social media influencers and small business owners and took place in our very own Custard Factory, Digbeth.

Delegates were welcomed with tea, coffee and friendly faces. Once everyone was registered and settled in, the conference began with a welcome and then talk from organiser Elizabeth Sellers, of lifestyle blog Rosalilium.

Elizabeth’s talk, titled Brand Like You Mean It: Actionable Steps to Building A Strong Blog Brand provided a wealth of information ensure that your brand is built on what’s important to you. A common mistake is thinking that a ‘brand’ is simply a logo and maybe a slogan. There’s much more to a brand than that. How people feel is of the utmost importance.

As we mentioned in our ‘Getting Social…’ series, consistency is key and it Elizabeth thinks the same. Name, colours, fonts, logos and even language and tone must be consistent, no matter what your content is, to make your blog stand head and shoulders above your competitors. Visitors to your site and blog should know what to expect and be able to see your company values instilled at every possible opportunity.
When you’re doing the all-important branding exercise, ask yourself the following questions:
-how do I want my brand to look?
– how do I want my brand to make people feel?
– does my brand incorporate our values?

One thing that was evident during the event is that blogging and social media is a very friendly place. If you have amazing ideas, don’t be afraid to share what you know. This was one stand-out element from Blognix. I think it did exactly what it set out to do.

Next up, Ahmed Ahmed of Dine Birmingham gave a brilliant talk on how your offline and online activity can work together, to raise your profile. In 2013, he organised the Future Foodies event, which saw an incredible response in Birmingham and generated traditional press coverage, alongside a buzz online.
For a company looking to host an offline event, here are some points from Ahmed, to consider:

Why are we hosting this event? What are we looking to achieve?
– Who are we hoping to reach?
– Do we have a budget and who can we get on board to help?
– Is there an opportunity to involve other businesses?

No matter what your event, it’s important to measure its success and whether or not you met your objectives. Then, post event, go ahead and check your traffic. Was there an increase? How many of those visits were new? If your website has a blog, by all means write about your event. Use that content to share with and those who were involved.

Immediately after the talks, a fabulous lunch was provided. The catering, provided by The Old Crown was a great selection of foods, with veg and meat options. It all went down well with the delegates, that’s for sure. Having an extended lunch provided an opportunity for delegates to chit chat with old friends and new acquaintances. Something I particularly enjoyed, as there was no rushed conversation. It all added to the lovely relaxed atmosphere that the conference had. Many used it as an opportunity to take photos – some were even beginning to draft their blog posts. And what would a blogger conference be, without a selfie station? Start-up designer eyewear brand Scarlett of Soho were running the photo booth for the day. With their glasses to try and a host of silly props, it made for brilliant icebreakers. They also had ‘conversation starter’ cards dotted around the venue, which I thought was an excellent idea.

The takeaway theme from the day was that blogs can be influential, have excellent reach and can be an amazing tool. We agree, whether that’s personal or business, it is your platform to show off your best side, so to speak. It’s completely in your control and can be an excellent to build relationships.
To round up, here are our top 10 tips from the day

1. Craft your brand around your core values
2. Be consistent – that is in your business and content
3. Tell a great story with your content
4. Take your audience, whoever they are, on a journey
5. Measure and analyse all of your activity
6. Don’t underestimate the influence of local media
7. Maintain good professional relationships with key influencers
8. Recognise opportunities for your business
9. Plan your content
10. Work with passion, towards a purpose

Blognix was a great time to grow personally and professionally. When you’re attending a conference, make sure you have objectives in your head. Think of why you’re going and consider what you want to be taking away with you. Goodie bags and food are great but what about business goals? Learn names, maintain good eye contact, connect on social media. If there’s a hashtag, do some live tweeting. Engage with other delegates. Be personable and show genuine interest in others. Take notes and have fun!

To see some snaps from the day, head over to our Facebook…

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