When Irish Bloggers Flock Together

Letters by Linda Kinlay

What do you get when you cross thousands of tweets, one trending hashtag and a bunch of emotional motivation-inducing speeches?

It’s another unstoppable Irish conference.

This week, I was fortunate enough to attend the very first Irish Bloggers’ Conference. It took place in Dublin City’s Spencer Hotel and was five hours filled with inspiring speeches, motivational pep talks and enough enthusiasm and style to make even the most calm, jump with excitement.

Still reeling from Dublin’s Web Summit earlier in the month, I felt it would be a difficult feat for Ireland to pull another fantastic event out of the bag so soon. Fiona Reid of Cool Events and Presenter Emma O’ Farrell certainly proved that it is indeed very possible.

I’ve left feeling ready to take the blogging world by the horns and aspire to reach the goals so many talented writers in Ireland have achieved already.

For those who missed it, the trending hashtag #Irishbloggerconference gives anyone on Twitter access to the realms of wise words from the likes of Sue Jordan, Keith Mahon, Conor Lynch, Joanne Larby, Caroline Hennessy and Leanne Woodfull. Also present (and full of pearls of wisdom) was chef and food writer Nick Munier and teenage blogger sensation Rachel Farrell.

Insight was offered by speakers and attendees alike both from the stage and over coffees. Several successful blogger talks and tweeted photos later, it was clear that the most important advice to take was that hard work certainly pays off and sometimes, a gin and tonic isn’t such a bad idea when it comes to making blog genius flow.

 

Image by Roberto Taddeo

 

Apart from the talks, the motivation and the delicious cupcakes at the event, why was it such a success?

* Still recovering from the recession, Ireland needs innovative thinkers and all-round talented young folk to get their finger out and make something happen. This event was organised in just four weeks and had the impact of an event that would’ve taken months to prepare. People pulled together and made it happen. This is what our country is all about.

* The attention was in the detail. As I sat on my chair waiting for the event to start, I noticed pieces of paper had been placed. Sponsors had gotten ahead of the game to make us aware of their presence. We also got some cosmetics from sponsors Essence and Catrice along with beauty tips from BEUTiFi. Cupcakes were on offer courtesy of Jen’s Couture Cakes.

* Positivity please. There wasn’t a negative comment in the house as bloggers spoke of their healthy attitudes to keyboard warriors and critique in general. The vibe throughout the venue was consistent and enthusiastic.

* Gratitude. People that are appreciated will always do more than is expected. Everyone was acknowledged and had their chance to have a say, pose a question or make an introduction. The charity partner for the event was the Simon Community and #supportsimon became a second trending hashtag from the event. We were reminded (and clearly all agreed) that this is the time of the year where we can pull together, be thankful for what we have and help those in need.

2015 is already set to be graced with the next installment of Irish Blogger takeover. Something tells me, it’s going to be a little bit bigger next time.