Getting up at 5.15am isn’t always my idea of fun (especially when Ross had been out the night before and didn’t arrive home until 3.10am!) but it didn’t matter to me. Travelling on South West trains isn’t the loveliest experience in the world but first class definitely helps!
Arriving at the Prince Regent station on the DLR, I was pleased to see just how helpful all the rail staff were in directing you to your destination. I entered the exhibition through the Prince Regent entrance as I knew that this was closest to the Blogger Speed Networking area – somewhere I needed to be at 10am.
My first port of call was the cloakroom to drop off my extra bags and coat so that I could walk round in comfort. At first glimpse, the enormity of the exhibition was overwhelming so I decided to save that for later….once I’d had the opportunity to meet lots of the exhibitors at the Blogger Speed Networking event which was due to run from 10.30 until 11.30am.
I checked, found my table and looked round to see lots of familiar faces from the blogs Mums Do Travel, Who’s the Mummy?, Globalmouse Travels, Cherished By Me, Maris World, A Residence, Actually Mummy, Mummy Daddy Me and Not Another Mummy Blog (the last four ladies have collectively formed a brand new travel blog called Space in Your Case).
I had sensibly chosen to bring some A5 sized media packs tucked away in their own plastic wallets together with some business cards and set up shop ready to speak to the companies interested in approaching me.
I found it an absolute please to chat to people. There were a number of representatives from Ireland, some from Spain, Italy and the Middle East. I also had a great chat with the lady representing Sandals and Beaches resorts.
It was the first time I had done anything like this but I found it totally invaluable. It was far easier than trying to approach people in a large exhibition hall. I knew that they wanted to give me their undivided attention for 5 minutes.
Following the speed networking, Sally and I decided to do some networking of our own before I went off to meet up with Stephen and Steph from Propellernet and Sally set off for her train home – she had already spent a large amount of time at WTM and had given a talk on the Tuesday.
It was great to meet Stephen in person, along with Steph. I was grateful for the cup of tea that they bought me and we had a good chat about all things travel.
I was then left to walk round the rest of the exhibition on my own, taking in the sights and sounds and making more contacts for work purposes. This was interspersed by a small meeting up with Alison, Penny and Katie. Then a bit more walking around before suddenly realising that I had best get the tube back to Waterloo if I wanted to miss the rush hour and get back in time to see Grace before her bedtime.
With thanks to Oliver Gradwell, Paul Nelson and Sally Whittle for including me in the Blogger Speed Networking Event.