Stepping out of my comfort zone at the 30-40+ Blogger Meet

Stepping out of my comfort zone is not something I do often – in fact I will do all that I can to avoid putting myself through this psychological torture, but I had to overcome this fear so that I could go to the 30-40+ Blogger Meet and I am so glad I did.

If a friend had said to me at Christmas that within six months I would be walking into a room of strangers and attending an event at which I would be one of the newbies I would undoubtedly had thought they were mad to even suggest that I could do such a thing let alone entertain any thoughts of this in my head.

However, when I found out about the 30-40+ Blogger Meet I was so excited, I didn’t think about the consequences at the time.  Whilst booking my ticket I kept thinking ‘I’m a newbie blogger and there is nothing like jumping in at the deep end – what have I got to lose?’. In no time at all I had not only booked my ticket but added my picture and blog link to the website,  this is definitely not normally my style and can only thank the excitement and enjoyment from blogging for bringing this spontaneous character out in me

In the week prior to the event the excitement continued as more and more bloggers were added to the website I could click on their pictures and read their ‘about’ pages and follow on social media.  To a new blogger such as myself this was not only helpful but interesting to find out about everyone too.

As time approached it all started to get a bit ‘real’.  It no longer felt like me in front of a screen with a keyboard, I would be meeting people who did this kind of thing for a living, who were pro’s – what on earth was I doing, I must be mad!

The night before the 30-40+ Blogger Meet I got my bag ready and checked and double checked everything (as if I was starting a new job) and tried to relax.  I woke several times in the night and the first thing on my mind was how many hours until I meet everyone.

Finally it was morning and as I nervously munched my way through my weetabix,  I tweeted about the event and made a mistake – my hands were shaking and accidentally typed an extra word.  However, I was made to feel more at ease almost immediately when I received likes and messages to my tweet from fellow bloggers.  It was also reassuring to know that I was not the only one attending their first event.

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My view of the imperial and door through which I could see everyone

I don’t really remember the next few hours but I was suddenly standing on the pavement opposite the venue, The Imperial.  I could see through an open door a crowd of women talking and getting to know each other.  I very nearly turned around and headed up Oxford Street for the day – but I made myself cross the zebra crossing (why did that van stop to let me cross) and calmly counted to 10.

 

 

I reached the door by the time I got to 10 and was met by the host Catherine Summers who somehow knew my name, which was so reassuring. Catherine made me feel very welcome I knew immediately that I had made the right decision to cross the road. I collected my lanyard and goody bag and bought some tickets for the raffle.

I grabbed a glass of bubbly to come my nerves and in not time at all found some very inspirational women to talk to.  The next hour went so quickly and the noise from the room became louder and louder.  I looked around the room in awe at all these successful women which in turn has given me an even greater desire to succeed.

We were called to lunch and everyone filed through to the back of The Imperial where we were served yummy plates of Chicken or Aubergine.  Even the delicious food could not keep us quiet as the conversation continued and business cards were passed around the room.  Everyone seemed to have so much to say and I just wanted to listen and absorb as much information as possible.

After lunch our host, Catherine Summers of Not Dressed as Lamb did a very impressive presentation about her blog.    Her knowledge and enthusiasm shone through in a way which captivated everyone’s attention.  A very clever lady to keep quiet a room of over 40 women who normally have so much to say!

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One of the rails of clothes which you could try on, so wished I had tried those white trousers

After a short break we were treated to a speech by Nayna McIntosh, founder of Hope Fashion.  Nayna’s speech was truly inspirational explaining how she founded Hope after working in the fashion industry for over 30 years.  I like the fact that Hope do not use conventional sizing, there is no size, 10, 12, 14 etc instead you are Super Slim, Slim, Curvy and Super Curvy.  The pieces have been designed using the Hope Code which is all about splitting your outfit into thirds.  This was demonstrated beautifully on the day by Lizzy of What Lizzy Loves whose top third was a gorgeous blouse and the bottom two-thirds a pair of trousers by Hope Fashion.

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Looking, trying and buying

Some of the pieces I felt were a little too old for me at 47 but I loved the foundation pieces and have even recommended them to my daughter who is 24.  On the day I was tempted to try on the trousers demonstrated by Lizzy and now wished I’d done so, next time, I won’t hold back and you never know I may get the chance at another blog event.

At the end of the event we were all  presented with a gorgeous pink merino and cashmere poncho, a gift from Nayna, such a kind and generous gesture.

I left the event with my goody bag and poncho and walked tall to Fulham Broadway tube station.  I felt so proud of myself and was bubbling inside full of ideas.

If you are thinking about whether to attend an event, I would say go for it, at the end of the day (and this is what I told myself) no-one is going to make you stay if you don’t like it but I bet you do!

 

10 Comments

  • Melissa Jane Lee May 23, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Jo, I didn’t really get a chance to chat to you at the event but maybe next time?! It went so fast didn’t it? It was only my second blogger meet up and I remember the nerves from the first one I went to. Lovely to have found your blog 🙂

    Reply
    • jo May 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Melissa. Yes the time went so quick but it was time well spent. I loved the event and definitely want to go to more so hopefully I will get the chance to talk to you more next time, love your blog btw. Jo

      Reply
  • Emma Peach May 23, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    It was such a great day. I didn’t get chance to chat to you but hopefully I’ll see you at the next meet up 🙂

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    Reply
    • jo May 25, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Hello Emma, yes it was a fantastic day. Sorry I didn’t get to chat to you but hopefully I will meet you at the next one. Jo

      Reply
  • Laurie May 23, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Hi Jo
    Shame we didn’t get to chat, you would have found out I thought I was the most nervous person in the room! My first blogger meet too. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Fun wasn’t it x

    Reply
    • jo May 25, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Hi Laurie
      Yes it was fun and I now can’t wait for the next one. Sorry I didn’t get to chat to you but hopefully next time.
      Jo

      Reply
  • Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb May 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Jo you’ve written the most fantastic post – thank you SO much for your kind words, I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you a) did come after all and b) had such a great time!! I love your comment about the room getting so loud… 50 women in a room with a lot to talk about and that’s what happens! 😉

    Making bloggers who were new to events feel comfortable was very important to me, so I can’t tell you how much that means to hear you say your nerves were calmed straight away!

    I hope it’ll be your first meet of many – as I think I may have told you I didn’t go to a blogger meet until I’d been blogging for over two years, so you’ve got a fantastic head start. I’m so pleased it did exactly I’d intended – to host something that would encourage older bloggers to attend an event where they wouldn’t feel “out of place” or be conscious about being “the old one” amongst all the 20-somethings. I’ve felt that way myself for most of the events I’ve been to – I’ve never minded as I’ll happily socialise with people of any age but there comes a time when you think you’d like NOT to be the oldest one for once, and mix with women who have similar life experiences and things they want to talk about.

    Anyway thanks again for such a lovely write up, good luck in the Hope’s favourite post competition! (And do come to the next event if you can, it’d be lovely to see you again!!)

    Catherine x

    Reply
    • jo May 25, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Hi Catherine, thank you for your kind comments. You have been so supportive and encouraging from the moment I booked the event and will do all that I can to attend further events. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at the next meet up. Jo

      Reply
  • Michelle May 25, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Wasn’t it the most amazing event? I’m so glad you decided to cross that road and I hope it’s given you the confidence to go to many more meet ups.
    See you at the next one?
    Michelle xx

    Reply
    • jo May 25, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Michelle, yes you will definitely see me at the next one.

      Reply

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