As I’m still fairly new to the world of blogging (about a year into this blog), and still fairly new to the city of Manchester, I realised that I wanted to meet other bloggers in the north. I wanted to meet like-minded people, who are into blogging and make new friends…ahhhh.
So one evening I thought I’d send a tweet out to see who else was up for meeting bloggers in their area, to see if I could find a few others up for an informal drink and chat. Well I certainly didn’t expect the response I got! Tweets and RTs! Before I knew it, I had over 20 awesome bloggers interested and a spread-sheet was forming.
So the pressure was on, now I needed to set a date, find a suitable venue and have a think about what I actually wanted to get out of this meet-up. Eek! So #WeBlogMCR was born. I wanted something catchy and instantly recognisable that all these lovely bloggers from Greater Manchester and the NW could use to communicate and find details of the meet-up. Also something to use on the evening to tag pictures, instagrams and tweets. A twitter profile quickly followed @WeBlogMCR and then a logo (dreamt up by the talented Ben of the Common Place) and before I knew it, it was the day of the meet-up!
I was so excited to meet all of the lovely ladies, and if I’m honest, pretty nervous too! What if they thought the meet-up was totally lame? What if there were loads of awkward silences with nothing to say to each other? WHAT IF NO ONE TURNED UP?!
How silly I was to worry as everyone was a total blogging babe! From Cat (@CatGirlBlogs) who was there before even I was, to Laura (@smileatstyle) who rocked-up a little late and announced that her prop was a spatula! (More on that later).
I wanted an informal meet-up where people could actually relax, have a drink, some food and chat. I think there are a lot of networking events out there that can feel unapproachable, particularly to newbies or anyone turning-up on their own. I didn’t want people to get into groups and head into corners of the room. I wanted everyone to feel included.
So I chose the relaxed and informal (but also very cool) The Whim Wham Cafe to be the venue for our first ever #WeBlogMCR meet-up. And what a good job they did! They had saved us an area all to ourselves, so we could spread-out and selfie to our hearts’ content. And it was happy hour! That meant 2 cocktails for £9 – bargain! I can tell you the Whambles went down very well among us bloggers, so be sure to order one when you’re next in there. The food was great and the kind owners of The Whim Wham gave us the ‘Early Bird’ menu all night, which meant we could indulges in 2 courses for just £12.50. I went for potato croquettes (yummy but needed more cheese) and then the Haddock Chowder, which was delicious and packed full of fish and served with a door-stop slice of granary bread…mmm.
Anyway, back to the meet-up… I had a few little prizes to give out on the evening for tasks designed to break the ice (best tweet, most re-tweeted with @TheWhimWhamCafe in the tweet, best instagram and best prop!). And everyone did me proud and got straight into it (lots of booze related posts naturally).
I want to take this moment to thank Ashleigh of City Spa Escapes, who gave us the top prize – a £30 voucher redeemable at her amazing spa and treatment rooms in Spinningfields. I was so proud to have this as a prize, as it’s a seriously good one. You can read about my time at the spa so you’ll know what I mean. This prize was handed out for the best tweet, which went to Katie (@katieafox) who’s tweet was simple but effective and said how much she was enjoying the meet-up. So I can’t wait to hear about her experience at City Spa Escapes on her blog.
The next prize was given by the wonderful guys at Whim Wham, which was a 2-course dinner for 2, for the person with the most RTs of a tweet mentioning the Whim Wham. That went to Saara (@CoeliacStudent). There’s plenty of gluten free options on the menu, so I hope you enjoy your meal Saara!
The next prize of Prosecco and choccies was for the best instagram and went to Emma (@MissPond) who’s picture summed up the evening…booze!
And the final prize was for best prop (who got a blogging note-pad and pen set, stamped with the WeBlogMCR logo). Ahead of the meet-up, I asked the attendees to bring a prop – I thought it would be a good ice-breaker, something to pose with for photos and would get everyone thinking. My favourite prop was that of Laura’s, who came up to say hi, having rushed out of her house and suddenly realising she forgot a prop, so she grabbed something as she dashed out…a spatula! Amazing! And here she is posing with said spatula. This really made me giggle!
So the night continued with food, drinks and lots of blogging chat. People shared blogging experiences, as well as their blogging inspirations and generally cool blog-worthy places to check-out. Plus I think we just all got on and enjoyed meeting new people in the neighbourhood.
So I have to say I am SO GLAD that I organised this meet-up and met such awesome people, that I hope will keep in touch. I hope that there’ll be opportunities to collaborate with some of the ladies and create awesome new joint blog-content in the future. And I look forward to following everyone on their blogging journey (in a non-stalkerish way).
Ideas are already forming for the next #WeBlogMCR meet-up, which I plan to hold at the end of July. ALL DETAILS TBC.
If you’re interested in knowing more about this or you want to come along to the next one, check out the website for updates www.weblogmcr.com, keep an eye on this blog, or email me at [email protected]
And finally, here’s a shout-out to all the lovely ladies that attended last week (make sure you follow them on Twitter and check out their blogs):
Thanks lovely ladies! Can’t wait to see you at the next one!