Another year, another Blogosphere Festival! On the 14th and 15th of November, we welcomed more than 220 content creators to The Yard in Shoreditch for a weekend filled with brand exhibitions, panels, presentations and live podcast recordings.
Various sponsors had stalls to showcase the services they offer and run fun giveaways too. Our attendees were treated to some brilliant displays from Krispy Kreme, Q-83, Whalar Stars, TALA, Superdrug, rewardStyle, and Lickd.
The weekend was about networking, meeting brands, but also a lot of education – which took place on the main stage.
What happened on Friday
Kicking off Friday with a panel at 11:30am was Phil Hughes, COO of Gleam Futures and Sam Chapman, of Pixiwoo, who talked all about brand deals, contracts and rights. The attendees listened to Sam reveal that on several occasions, brands have not been upfront in the content that they expect from her and her sister (Nic).
She said, “There have been things that my sister and I have agreed to, then have been scripted and we’ve had to pull out.” She expressed the importance of having good management, mentioning that the Gleam team look over contracts and rights for Pixiwoo.
Facebook and Instagram hosted a panel about how to build a positive online community with parenting blogger Candice Brathwaite, Sortedfood co-creator Jamie Spafford, and Strategic Partner Manager at Instagram, Georgia Kelly.
The panel was moderated by Lucy Luke, Strategic Partner Manager: Entertainment & Creators at Facebook, who asked the panellists some thought-provoking questions on the different communities we’re a part of on social media and how we can all contribute to make the internet a better and safer place.
Jamie Spafford talked about the humble beginnings of Sortedfood. He mentioned that it started as a way of teaching himself and his team how to cook meals and have a positive relationship with food, but over the years it turned into something bigger where people have found inspiration from their cooking videos on YouTube.
He also said that they try to involve their viewers into their content as much as possible, and gave advice to content creators to, “Look at things that are happening in the year and listen to what the audience is telling you that they like.”
I was having a blast at the @blogosphere_magazine festival! To be surrounded by amazing content creators was so inspiring that it pushed me to work as hard as I can to get where I want to be.Bukola Veronica
They went onto discuss trolling and the negative impact of an online community where everyone can comment as they please. Candice said that she blocks any abuse that she receives across social media. “My favourite tool is the keyword blocker. It’s really important because being an activist of any kind is exhausting.”
At 2pm, the attendees were given a presentation by the CEO and Founder of Q-83, Anthony Richardson. He explained how the data platform – which is connected to Facebook’s API and 100% accurate – can provide media kits for influencers to share with brands, which automatically update. With brands increasingly looking for transparency on numbers, this is definitely worth checking out.
Edelman’s Head of Influencer UK Philip Trippenbach, Michelle Elman (Scarred not Scared), Vix Meldrew and Influencer Marketing Consultant Amie Shearer talked about how much content creators should be charging and what brands should be paying them.
Vix said that when she first started, she was shooting a figure out of the air, but as she started talking to more creators, it helped her to “gauge how things were.”
Michelle revealed that she makes sure to communicate with brands her value, expertise and what she can bring to the table, which sometimes makes her ‘too expensive’ for their budget. She said, “When you’re charging out of fear, you will always overrule yourself.”
Felt so festive today at the @blogosphere_magazine festival! Had such a fun day and learnt so much about working with brands and being confident in your own strengths as a content creator. Thanks for such a great event Blogosphere.Shannen Claire
Philip encouraged influencers to stay true to themselves when collaborating with brands on #ads. He said, “Authenticity is about integrity, and integrity is about staying true to your values.”
Amie recommended that influencers really think about how they value themselves and how much branded content they take on: “In terms of when you’re depicting your value, if it’s just ad ad ad, your audience will disappear as they’re not going to engage with that.”
Next up was Lickd, the music licensing platform, who explained how their mission is to help content creators ‘legally use the music they love.’ By signing up to Lickd, users can have the freedom to use commercial music across their videos and photos on social media, without having a copyright claim against their content and resulting in it being taken down.
Lickd are giving you 5 FREE commercial music to use for your videos!! No card details, no going into a subscription – just FREE GOOD MUSIC.
At 4pm, we had a room full of excited attendees who were the first to know about our next cover star – Lorna Luxe – for issue 22! We also had Lorna as the last interviewee for the Serious Influence recording of the day.
She spoke about her career as an air hostess before becoming an influencer, praised the creative support she receives from her husband – Mr Luxe, and the transparent relationship she has with her management, Whalar Stars.
Lorna said: “They [Whalar] will tell me if I’ve done something wrong. They’ll make me aware if I’ve done something great. They’ll hold me accountable.”
What happened on Saturday
On Saturday, we welcomed some new faces. Matt Coyne, of Man vs Baby, started the day with a Serious Influence recording. Matt discussed how he turns hate into content, his thoughts on Instagram removing likes and how supportive the parenting community is.
He said: “Everyone sort of helps each other out. I assumed that when I finished my first book that I was in competition with other people, but it’s the complete opposite.”
The panel on diversity in influencer campaigns – without tokenism started at 12:45pm. Jamie Windust, Grace Victory, Lottie L’Amour and Gal-Dem’s Kemi Alemoru talked about the lack of diversity in press trips, questioned some brands’ true motives when working with a diverse range of people, and how they enquire about the lineup of talent in a campaign.
Grace Victory encouraged people to “Speak their truth” in their content, but not to skip over the fact that “It’s going to be difficult for you if you look different.”
Jamie Windust said that if brands want to appear genuine when trying to incorporate diversity within their campaigns, they should “Hand over the reigns.”
Dave Murray, Managing Director of rewardStyle Europe, gave a presentation about the platform, affiliate marketing and how it can help you make money. Although rewardStyle is invitation only, its sister platform Liketoknowit can be joined by any up and coming influencer.
At 2:20pm we welcomed Influencer Marketing Consultant Adam Ward, Grace Beverley, Leela Jasmine Sule and Superdrug’s Head of Customer Service and Experience Gemma Mason to the stage, who discussed the future of influencer marketing.
Adam Ward advised brands who want to get into influencer marketing to treat it like their biggest advertising campaign. He said, “If you’re not doing that, don’t bother because it will be a waste of time as you’re not going to learn properly.”
Grace Beverley told the attendees that she would say ‘yes’ to a brand who are “Doing the good that I want to see.”
Pinterest’s Marketing Manager, Reena Rai, gave a presentation with ten tips on how to make the most of the platform and discussed its new features. She also told the audience that with a business account, you can view your analytics and refine your strategy.
The last recording of Serious Influence podcast featured Lewys Ball, of Looking for Lewys, who talked about how he balances his busy university-work schedule, re-filming content for brand collaborations, and his prediction of digital talent transitioning into traditional media.
The panel talks were full of advice and incredibly interesting about the future of Content Creators, and I loved listening to @lookingforlewys about his Youtube journey and @manversesbaby about his journey from Facebook to 2 published books on the best seller lists; both very entertaining.All Things Zanne
Lewys opened up about his frustrations about the influencer marketing industry, too. He concluded that: “A lot of media outlets view YouTubers below them. But that’s starting to change.”
If you want to register your interest for showcasing at or sponsoring the Blogosphere Festival 2020, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography by @MissNicklinBlog for Blogosphere