BlogOn Toys: What Did I Learn at my First Ever Blogging Conference?

I've been blogging on and off for six years now, which sounds like a long time but in reality I still feel like I've got a lot to learn. With that in mind, I decided I wanted to up my game this year and booked myself a ticket to my first ever blogging conference, BlogOn Toys!

BlogOn Toys is a festive-themed event that celebrates the build up to Christmas with fun activities, informative talks and the opportunity for bloggers to link up with brands to discover the biggest and best toys on offer this Christmas.

The conference was held at the Coppid Beech Hotel in Bracknell, where I arrived (slightly behind schedule!) on Saturday morning. A lot of attendees had stayed overnight so I approached the main reception feeling a little bit nervous as I'd got it into my head that everyone would probably already know each other!

I needn't have worried though, because as soon as I'd collected my name badge and goody bags I ended up bumping into a few bloggers who I recognised from chatting to online. As we nattered away, I soon discovered that there were a lot of first-timers there and most of them were just as nervous as I was (phew!)

After popping out to stash the HUGE goody bags away in my car (those travelling by train were advised to bring big suitcases to transport theirs and now I can see why!) I made my way through to the first talk of the day - the welcome speech.

Laura from Tired Mummy of Two delivering the BlogOn welcome speech

From this point onwards, the day was a total blur of festive activities, food, photos, chatter, learning and laughter. It was a fantastic experience and I came away feeling really inspired, but what exactly did I learn?

Bloggers are a super friendly bunch!
The day started with a Christmas tree decorating ice breaker activity which was a great way of bringing people together and providing them with a talking point. Turning up to an event where I didn't know anyone made me feel a bit like I was starting school all over again but everyone was so chatty and friendly that there was no danger of feeling left out. In fact, everyone was so lovely that by lunchtime I'd made several new blogging friends and the nerves had completely disappeared!

Plan ahead (but not too much)
Before the conference I made a note of which sessions I wanted to go to. It felt a bit over the top but I'm actually really glad that I did because, with so much going on, I wouldn't have known where to start otherwise! The day absolutely flew by so next time I think I'd try to leave a few more gaps in my schedule to give myself chance to step back and take it all in.

There's something for everyone
Throughout the day there were opportunities to attend sessions on a range of different blogging-related topics. I went to three of these and found each one really interesting. I was able to pick and choose which sessions I went to, meaning that my BlogOn experience was completely tailored to me and my blog. Of course most people were choosing the sessions that were most relevant to them but I thought it was great to have the option of learning some brand new skills as well as building on existing ones.

Conferences are thirsty work!
I found myself reaching for a drink of water every 5 minutes - partly because the venue was quite warm and partly because I spent so much of the day talking! After leaving my reusable water bottle in the car, I was so pleased to find a shiny new SodaStream bottle in my goody bag. As well as water coolers dotted around the venue, we were also lucky enough to have access to two sleek, stylish looking SodaStream machines to keep us going throughout the day (and, better still, there was a selection of festive-themed gins on offer during one of the refreshment breaks!)

The restaurant's centrepiece - a colourful Awesome Bloss'ems cake from Spinmaster!

No event is complete without cake
As well as an array of different drinks, we also got to sample some yummy treats during the breaks. The centrepiece was an amazing, colourful, tiered vegan cake from Awesome Bloss'ems and although I didn't get to sample it, I did try a slice of Batman celebration cake towards the end of the day (which was delicious!)

I really loved the look of this Disney 'Guess the Film' game from Jumbo

Kids are going to be spoilt for choice this Christmas

When I wasn't listening to talks, I was exploring a treasure trove of toys and games in the Brand Den. We were able to get an exclusive look at the toys that will be top of everyone's Christmas lists this year and even try some of them out in the Demo Zone, before voting for our favourites in this year's Toy Awards. I honestly felt like a kid on Christmas morning in here! As well as discovering all the cool new releases, I was really excited to see lots of childhood classics in the Brand Den, such as Playmobil, Lego, Sylvanian Families and, my personal favourite, Nintendo!

Getting to grips with Mario Kart on a brand new Nintendo Switch Lite

New vs old! The Switch Lite comes in three eye-catching colours

Since I grew up playing video games with my brother, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the brand new Nintendo Switch Lite, which had just been released the day before the conference. I'd never actually played on a Switch before and given that my gaming skills were a bit rusty, I was fully expecting to need an in-depth briefing before having a go! That wasn't the case at all though - it was so easy to just pick up and play! I was so impressed with the Switch Lite's intuitive design and since there are a range of family-friendly games to go with it, it would be the perfect introduction to gaming for children of all ages (never mind the boys though, this one's going on my Christmas list!)

Speaking of toys for big kids, can you imagine how excited I was to find a Bat Cave in the Brand Den?! To celebrate Batman turning 80 we were able to get up close to the Bat Bike (yes, the real thing!) and explore the huge range of licensed Batman goodies available, from toys to clothes, homeware to gifts and everything in between.

There's Batman merchandise for superhero fans of all ages!

Long live the bat! The moment I got to see Batman's ACTUAL Bat Bike up close

Expect the unexpected

Celebrating Batman's birthday wasn't the only surreal part of the day! During my time at BlogOn, I also found myself inside a giant inflatable snowglobe trying to catch floating petals (it felt a bit like being on The Crystal Maze!), chatting away to one of my favourite mum bloggers about Disney (shoutout to the lovely brummymummyof2!), laughing at mischievous elves who squeaked at everyone they met and bumping into giant Sylvanian Families rabbits and Playmobil characters in the corridor!

You'll go home with a crazy amount of goodies!
As previously mentioned, we were gifted with not one, not two, but THREE goody bags on arrival, packed full of toys, games, snacks, drinks, toiletries and household bits. Throughout the day there were loads of opportunities to enter competitions and, to top it all off, the conference ended with a HUGE toy raffle. There were literally hundreds of prizes on offer and although I didn't win anything, it was all for a good cause, as proceeds from the raffle tickets go directly into the BlogOn Community fund to help those in need.

Just a tiny fraction of the contents of my amazing BlogOn goody bag!

Being a complete conference newbie, I found BlogOn Toys to be the perfect introduction to the blogging community. I had so much fun testing out new toys, met some really lovely people and learnt loads about how to make the most of my little corner of the internet.

As the day drew to a close, I found myself wishing that I was sticking around for the Christmas party in the evening to make the day last a bit longer. From start to finish, BlogOn provided so much to do that I just couldn't fit it all in so I'll definitely be back again to experience it properly and join in with the festivities. Roll on next year!


  1. Your pictures of the day are awesome! I love it when Blog on comes down south, it's such a great chance to catch up with everyone x

    1. Thank you! I didn't realise how rare it was for BlogOn to be held down south until reading other peoples' posts actually. Fingers crossed it stays down this way next year! x

  2. I felt exactly the same. I arrived Saturday morning and then left after the raffle which went so fast. I’m definitely staying over for the next one to get the best experience. It was fab though x

    1. I think staying over is definitely the way forward! There was just so much to take in, wasn’t there?! Was it your first time too? x

  3. It is the best conference for first timers because it is so laid back and down to earth. Nice to have it in the south as it meant we could stay for a bit but stilk get home in the obe day.

    1. Yes, the atmosphere was so lovely! I really hope it’s held down south again next year x