Hi everyone! In case you’re wondering, I’m actually alive, and I have been trying to come up with a pretty decent post since last week. I’ve been having an off-again, on-again relationship with my blog, and I’m hating it — partly because I wanted to be consistent, and also because I felt like I am starting to get lost in touch with my writing AGAIN.
Anyhow, I was supposed to write about my third Blogapalooza experience a couple of days back but never seemed to finish it, maybe because I wasn’t sold as much as I hope I would be with the event, and maybe because I was pretty demotivated to do anything but research on ways how to escape ~responsibilities~ (that would be on another post, I guess). There has been a bunch of things that I wanted to share with everyone, but since I’m having a really hard time coming up with “articles” I decided to do it the ~old~ way, random words spewing out and coming together, with the hopes of creating something that would make sense to my readers. So please bear with me.
Last October 25th, I went to Blogapalooza 2015 entitled “Seasons”, held at One Esplanade in Pasay City. I have been attending since 2013, and I could really testify how the organizers have grown from a small get together in SMX Aura, to a bigger location with more brands to entertain the bloggers. I remember during my first Blogapalooza event, we were not allowed to bring any +1 inside. By then, I was not taking my blog seriously — I’m still not taking it seriously today, but at least I’m trying to create more decent posts — and I was still not a part of the WheninManila team. But it was ultimately one of the reasons why I ended up trying to make the most out of my blog and trying to explore a possible career online. I’m not sure if I can ever be a professional blogger, but I do hope that this little space of mine would open up to more opportunities of growing and exploring the world. 🙂
As I’ve mentioned, the 5th year of Blogapalooza was their largest to date, with a huge event space and a big number of attendees. Big brands like Cebu Pacific and Flawless were present, as well as staple sponsors that I’ve seen in the past like Victoria Court. Bloggers flocked into booths, playing games, and experiencing what each has to offer.
There were a LOT of booths, but I felt a tiny bit disconnected with most brands. Pretty much because I felt like they were there to give away stuff, but not really connect and make their brands stand out through talking to the bloggers. I’m not saying all of them, though, as there are also notable sponsors who went out of the way to explain things and entertain us — special mention to The Diff, Snipe, Breville, Curves, Food Panda, Sosro, and Amada’s Leche Flan, though! People from their booth were very warm and accommodating, and despite the fact that their areas are swarmed by people, they make sure to actually reach out and entertain us even for a bit.
One of my main issue during the event was food. There were no stalls inside, and we were only dependent to the free food that were handed out by some of the sponsors. Considering that there were only a few ‘food’ sponsors, we ended up being pretty hungry during the event. There was a free lunch care of Bagwings (they serve rice meals with bagnet and wings), but since there was only one food truck and there were hundreds and hundreds of bloggers lining up, it took us more than an hour to get our food. The serving was huge, the food was great, but of course, the waiting time was crazy. I wish I could try BagWings again on another circumstance, though. There were also free fries and fish balls, but again, you would have to line up and wait for your turn. Of course it’s free, so there’s no point in ranting, but I do hope that for that we had an option to buy food and they’ll open up to sellers, too.
Despite the fact that I have been around the internet for sometime, I still have a very limited number of online friends. That being said, I didn’t expect to meet anyone at the event — but I was hoping to meet new people during the day. I got to stumble upon Cheryle, though, whom I’ve mostly talked on Twitter, and I’m glad that we got the chance to actually say hello to each other face to face. He he! I wish I could’ve met more bloggers, though.
The event was okay, and I really appreciated how the Blogapalooza team tried to reach out to as many possible sponsors and accommodate as many possible bloggers to create the ultimate gathering in Manila. However, as to anything else, there is always a room for the event to improve. Here are some my two cents and some suggestions that I hope they could work around next year!
I hope they create a separate area for the talks and for the booths. There was also a great number of interesting talks about Responsible Media, but honestly, I never felt the impact of the talks since the space for seating was very limited, and most people are distracted to going around the area versus listening to what the speakers has to say. I think it could’ve been better if they allotted a space that would solely cater to bloggers who would like to attend the talk, much like what they did last 2013.
- Open up to concessionaires if they are going to hold it on a pretty isolated area. The past Blogapalooza event was held at SM Aura, so if you feel hungry, you can always go out, eat in the area, and then go back again. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the only available food were those that are offered for free. The nearest mall is SM Mall of Asia, which is a good 10 minute walk from the location. I’m very thankful for the free food, but I hope they would also open up to other food stalls for us to have an option to buy snacks or drinks when we please.
- Since the internet connection is pretty crazy during the event, I hope stalls would veer away from “like our page” or “download the app” mechanics on their activities. There was an available wifi, but it wasn’t enough to accommodate everyone. Since the place is also flocked with a lot of people trying to connect to data, the signals were also effed up, so there was no way for us to do the mechanics for most of the internet dependent booths. I hope that instead of asking us to do it on the spot, they could’ve announced it on the newsletters beforehand, and create a different ‘mechanics’ for their activities.
- Categorize per niche, perhaps? I guess it would be much more beneficial for both bloggers and brands if the Blogapalooza was categorized in such a way that there are “stations” for each niche. Example, they could’ve clustered the brands together, put all the techie stuff into one area, another area dedicated solely for beauty, and another area for travel related things.
- I hope there’s a networking part during the event! Like maybe a place for cocktails or food, where people would be open to just talk and get to know each other?
All in all, the event was fine, and I would still love to join again next year. I’d be more than happy to help in the organization of the event, actually (events is my line of work, just in case you’re wondering lol). The event has a lot of potential, and I hope that they’ll further improve it in the coming years. Congratulations to everyone behind the event! And thank you for having me. Until next time! 🙂