africa, blogging, Blogs, motherhood, Parenting, Writing

My First Bloggers Meet Up

Eventually, if you want to take this blogging gig seriously, you feel you need to do something to concrete it. We can only hide behind our computers for so long, apparently.

A couple of months ago, I signed up for the South Africa Mom Blogs #jozimeetup. I did it on a whim. I did it without thinking too much about it and I am so glad I did.

Saturday dawned early! 04.30am. I live 3 hours drive away, which is nothing for us really, my husband is up in Jo’burg maybe once a week, sometimes twice. The kids and I go up at least once a month, sometimes more often. It always surprises me how some people see it as such a big deal but we take ‘get in the car and go’ as part of normal life. We were in the car and on the road by 06.20 leaving us a fair contingency time of 1 hour before the 10.00 start time. It rained the whole way – you can check out my instagram for the dramatic weather on the way there. I can honestly say Saturday 13 May was the first day of winter in South Africa. Check out my Instagram for a few cool weather pics from our journey from the Free State to Gauteng.

On arrival at The Regent hotel in Sandton (very posh), I was directed to the venue – Cafe Zing. A really stunning location for the event. I guess one of the good things about being a blogger is that you can hide behind your computer screen majority of the time. It is possible to be virtually anonymous unless you want to ‘go public’. Up ’till now I have mainly kept my face out of it, except for a few profile pics which are carefully chosen, and I have mainly kept my name out of it too. In fact a few bloggers I met recognised my blog name but commented that they had no idea what my real name actually is. It’s Carly.

As more people began to arrive I managed to meet a few of the bloggers who I would consider friends even though we have never met. Lovely ladies, all of whom were so welcoming, down to earth and friendly. They really helped to make me feel like I belonged there as much as everyone else.

We all received a packed goodie bag. Check out a few of the awesome giveaway products we received, everything from make-up to toothpaste, shampoo for the kids, a Tangle Teezer and other awesome gifts.

After a welcome by Heather from SA Mom Blogs, we moved on to the first guest speaker, Daddy Blogger Mike from I loved his presentation. So much of it spoke to me and the direction I want to go in. He spoke about how he travelled SA with his daughter almost completely sponsored by various brands and organisation. He also talked about how his brand also includes his daughter and it gave me a lot to think about in terms of how you can work with your children. It was certainly food for thought for me considering the strong privacy issues I have with regards to keeping my girl’s faces out of photos etc on my blog. He really gave me so much to think about.

The second presentation was from Prima Baby. I was super impressed with their very strong presentation, even though majority of their products are not applicable to my life since my daughters are older now. That said, I absolutely loved the Cosatto “No-Escape”car seat they demonstrated and presented. If I knew then, what I know now, the high price tag would certainly be worth it.

The third presentation and the speaker I was most keen to hear from was by Nicole Sparrow from the PR Company  Autograph PR. She gave us so much useful information with regards to working with PR companies: What do they want, what don’t they want; turn ons, and turn offs; what they expect, what we can expect. We also got the chance to ask a lot of questions and have a really good conversation with Nicole and the other PR representatives who were there about their general expectations and about building relationships within the industry.

The fourth presentation was by Prima Toys, the sister company of Prima Baby, obviously catering towards the older children. Their key-speaker, Veruska DÓnofrio, gave us a great perspective into where they are coming from and their aim of promoting the importance of ‘kids must play’. I was gutted to lose out on their prizes, and am just grateful that my girls don’t realise what I missed out on. I’d certainly have won “Mom Of The Year” if only I’d shouted my answer louder! Next time I know not to be such a ‘shrinking violet’!

The final presentation was by Jeanette from Whisky Of The Week who I was so glad to finally have met in person. She led a whisky tasting of Bains Whisky. I am one of those people who wish I loved whisky more, so I was very excited about this presentation. Jeanette led the tasting in such an awesome way that made us novices feel relaxed enough to enjoy the tasting! The whiskey itself smelled ‘beautiful’. I can’t describe it otherwise. The beautiful smell had hints of vanilla, cinnamon and banana. It really was the perfect end to an amazing morning.

Throughout the presentation, there were three ladies moving around from MatsiMela Home Spa, giving us all such relaxing hand massages. Heaven. Also included in our gift bags was a lovely Mother’s Day gift box from their Litchi and Rose range. It’s so beautiful. Thank you ladies.

The last part of the event was the competitions for prizes, and handing out the prizes for the raffle competitions. I am very grateful to have won a manicure/nail set from Dr Baumann – Das Institut. I will definitely need to book this asap as my hands are in dire need of some tlc.

Attending this event was definitely worth it for me. I learnt a lot. I met some awesome people. I will make every effort to attend the next one. Thank you so much to Heather from SA Mom Blogs who organised the whole event virtually single-handedly. You are amazing.

This Mum's Life
One Messy Mama
My Random Musings
The Pramshed

34 thoughts on “My First Bloggers Meet Up”

  1. Well done for going to a bloggers meet-up, they are a little bit daunting aren’t they? It’s fab that you had a great day, and saw so many talks and met some lovely people. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Carly 🙂 I have never been to any blogging meet ups myself but it’s mostly because I’m always in the wrong country when they happen. I would love to go to one one day though. it sounds like you got lots out of it and love the goody bag. Oh and hand massages sound divine. What a great idea. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassymama

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This event you went to looks amazing. I’m going to BlogOn conference on Sunday and I’m so excited to meet some other bloggers in person!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d love to meet up with other bloggers but i think most are in London or major cities further north and I have the kids to worry about planning around 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds absolutely brilliant! I love these meet ups, it definitely helps you to feel that it is more than just a hobby doesn’t it. So glad you had such a fun and inspiring time. We used to drive 2 hours to go shopping without thinking about it when I lived in Wales!


    1. Sorry I missed you. I did see you but I didn’t get the chance to come say hi. I had to run as soon as it was done. I’d seen my husband drive in and even though he wasn’t rushing me I know what it’s like with the kids waiting in the car. Next time!


  6. Sounds like a lovely day. It must’ve been weird to meet people in the flesh. I also debate how much to use my daughters face on my blog. I’d be interested to know any different ideas. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

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