Blogstock, the worlds first Blogging festival. Held at the beautiful Aldenham Country Park campgrounds in Elstree about twenty five minutes outside of London by train. Blogging and camping are not the two words that come to mind but the brilliant minds behind the Traverse team decided to bring the blogging conference outdoors. It was a such a smashing success, that they’ve decided to return on September 4th-6th in 2015.
With the calibre of brands such as Lonely Planet, Generator Hostels, Hertz, Contiki, Mailchimp and much more sponsoring the event making this a must visit conference on your conference circuit. The sessions appeal to a wide range of bloggers in many different niches.
The go karts, bouncy castles, and countless of fun carnival games that will be sure to bring out the child in you. It is also a family friendly event, so bring your family for a weekend of fun and brush up your blogging skills. Throughout the venue, there are electrical charging stations so you can charge your gadgets which is brilliant. Keeping with Traverse’s tradition, at the closing talk – you can order your drink on twitter. With the Appleton Rum also a sponsor – all you had to do was tweet which drink you wanted, describe where you were located and voila! Drinks are served.
Blogstock was one of my favorite conferences to date, I truly loved being outdoors, mingling with like minded people and learning the tools of the trade in the blogging world. They truly thought of everything, from the tents, to the food, to the charging stations, they carefully selected the best sessions, and truly listened to their attendees. I sincerely felt that they paid attention to each persons needs, accomodated families, and made an effort to make everyone feel included. As a bonus, I’ve also listed Do’s & Don’ts of Blogstock- to ensure that you get the most out of your stay!
The 2014 sessions lineup boasted a wide range of sessions, with topics such as food blogging, social media, fashion and so forth. Some of the sessions were held in a Teepee, which gives it a nomadic, bohemian vibe igniting the festival season for bloggers. Others brushed up their smartphone photography skills on a photo walk through the woods, some participated in a early morning yoga session. Pinterest also taught bloggers how to utilize the best of Pinterest for their blog.
Also there was a wine sommelier class – in which you learn about the different types of wines, where they are from and which dishes they would be delicious with. Yum!
The closing party was held in the Marquee tent where DJ Matt Preston entertained blasted music into the wee hours of the morning. The Lonely Planet Photo Booth was fantastic fun, with props to make it a memorable photo shoot! What I loved about it was that it actually printed photos for you to keep as a memento.
Glamping in style in these lovely VIP Hertz Teepee style tents was heavenly. Each of the VIP Hertz teepees were furnished with pillows, a mat, rugs, tray and a gas lamp giving it a glam, bohemian vibe. Now, this is England, it will rain… Luckily these VIP Teepee tents withstood all the torrential downpour over the weekend. Meanwhile many of the other tents were flooded, so make sure you bring some protection from the rain for your tent.
I was impressed by the sheer size of these teepee tents! There was so much room, perfect for two people with lots of luggage. You could even bring a projector and watch movies on the white walls of the tent using the tent as a screen!
Those in the VIP section had the option to dub their tent a name of their choosing and post it on Instagram/Twitter with the #CampwithHertz hashtags. I spotted many clever names, and am already brainstorming the next one in 2015…
But if camping is not your style, there are also other hotels nearby if you are willing to make the trek/drive to the venue. Honestly, it is just much more fun to camp onsite! Camper vans are allowed as well. Making this a truly versatile conference, with a wide range of accommodations that will appeal to all type of budgets.
DO’s & DON’T forBlogstock:
Thinking about going to Blogstock in 2015? Here are some tips to ensure that you have a good stay.
DO bring wellies/rain boots and ponchos – it will rain. That is pretty much guaranteed, trust me. Primark carries a fantastic selection of wellie booties, they are a bit short but they come in a wide variety of cute colors. They also carry a section of foldable ponchos/jackets. If you want a taller wellie, then perhaps the British brand Hunter would work for you – especially the Packable version. The Packable versions are made for travel, you can easily roll them up and throw them in your bag, which makes it perfect for festivals such as this one.
DO bring a sturdy tent that will withstand the rain. I’ve noticed the other tents got flooded because they were not properly sealed, or strong enough to withstand the rain that it collapsed and rained on everything.
DON’T bring fancy shoes, or formal attire – you are CAMPING. You can bring cute dressy outfits that will double as a business outfit for the sessions if you don’t mind them getting ruined by the mud, or the rain, etc.
DO bring extra chargers. There will be charging stations throughout the conference, so don’t worry. But be sure to bring some back up chargers/batteries just in case they are all full which will happen at a blogging conference 😉
DON’T bring too much, as you will have to figure out a place to put everything in the tents. Make sure your tent is big enough to store everything and have room for you to sleep in.
DO bring camping supplies that you think you will need, such as sleeping bags, flashlights/torch, and so forth.
DON’T bring a lot of electronics, it is better to be safe than story. Bring the absolute essentials, and make sure you have the proper cases for them so they don’t get wet in case your tent gets flooded.
DO bring warm clothes, it will be cold, especially at nights. Bundle up in layers to stay warm. Jackets, scarves, etc. I especially like the Speakeasy Travel Supply Scarves, with the hidden pockets in them. Take a look at their selection, making them a great addition to your festival gear.
DO bring money, even though much of the food and drinks is covered but there also a food truck on the campgrounds if you happen to have a craving for something else.
DO bring snacks if you know that you will be hungry late at night or have food allergies. Those that are Gluten Sensitive/Celiac like me – be sure to bring some Gluten Free snacks. I especially love to bring trail mix, some banana chips, Kind/Lara/or Primal bars, and some gluten free cookies to savor that sweet tooth! You can easily stop at any natural health stores in London, if you can’t find one – then there are several Whole Food locations in London or stop at Tesco, they actually have a selection of gluten free snacks!
DO bring yoga mats if you can – perfect for sitting outside (a picnic blanket will do) but you can kill two birds with one stone by attending a early morning yoga session!
DO bring towels, unless you’re truly embracing the festival season 😉
DON’T forget the bug spray, medicines, and bring lots of dry shampoo (easy to grab at Boots, I prefer the travel sized Batise Dry Shampoo for £1.50 )
DO HAVE FUN. Be safe!
How to Get to Blogstock: (Excerpt from the Blogstock page)
Drive via the A5, A41, A1(M) or M1 (J5).
Look for brown signs on nearby roads.
Nearest mailine rail: Elstree and Borehamwood; Edgware and Radlett. Click here for details of how to get to the site
Nearest Tube Station: Stanmore (Jubilee Line).
Nearest Bus: 107 to Elstree Village from the above stations or 306 from Watford and Borehamwood.
In 2014 Contiki provided a bus to get to the location, which was fantastic. Follow the Blogstock team on social media to keep in the loop for more transportation details for this year’s event.
Disclaimer: Even though I paid for my admission to Blogstock, I was given the VIP Teepee accommodations by HERTZ. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks!
Hope to see you at Blogstock!