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Entries in meettheblogger (2)


Highlights of meettheblogger 2012

So this was the first blogging event I have been to, and with such an impressive venue in the Conservatorium, I was expecting BIG things.

First up, and in my view, the most awe inspiring and motivational talk of the afternoon was key note speaker Frida Ramstedt. From the moment Frida walked out, you could tell she was going to deliver a talk worth listening to.  Despite being a petite slip of a lady, she has this huge, formidable confidence about her, she's very focused, passionate about her subject and she's pretty successful too.  You may have come across her before, so forgive me if you know all of this but she runs Trendenser - a immensely popular Scandianavian interiors blog which she started back in 2005 whilst studying hard for a business degree.  Her many talents include writing books, freelancing for magazines and newspapers, she holds lectures, makes speeches and works with some big hitting interiors and homewares retailers, she is also working with Swedish TV station TV4 on a new interiors show.  Last Saturday, whilst telling us her story, she launched an ipad version of Trendenser.  It has some really neat interactive elements and the layouts are just as impressive.  Frida revealed plans to launch an English language version of her blog too so if you are into Scandinavian design, this will really appeal.  All this, with a team of 3 people, including Frida.

Frida had a few wise words, these are her top 10 tips for turning your blog into a business:

1) Find your passion
2) Find your focus area
3) Build a brand
4) Work to become a specialist
5) Make sure to get paid
6) Search for business opportunities
7) Keep it legal
8) Encourage competition
9) Ignore the pessimists
10) Write your own future

To summarise, her recipe for success is; work out exactly what you want to achieve, work hard at it, keep being determined, explore all opportunities and put yourself out there and keep going no matter what others around you say or do, you have to keep the faith.

After Frida's talk came a group discussion with her and alongside Daneille de Lange (The Style Files), Pippa Jameson (Pippa Jameson Interiors), and Yvonne Eijkenduijn (Yvestown).

All three panel speakers shared their blog journeys and they had some useful pointers that could be taken and interpreted in our own blogs and businesses.  I'd recommend having a look at their blogs as they are quite different from each other with their own successes, niches and USP's.

After the coffee break, I sat in on two workshops.  The first was from Pippa who, coming from a styling background, talked about creative displays and layouts and encouraging engagement between ourselves and our readers.

The second workshop was held by Yvonne who was sponsored by Brabantia, she talked about sponsorship,  shared her tips for beautiful photography and displays and making great blog posts out of perhaps more mundane products.  She used a Brabantia kitchen caddy and turned it into a rather more eye catching, yellow themed display.

Credits 1/2

There was also a meettheblogger award sponsored by Dutch online and print publication vtwonen that was won by a lady with a blog I'd never heard of before - Bloesem

Another of the event sponsors Heleen van Gent of Flexa, spoke of 'Red' being their chosen colour trend of 2012 and offered the tiniest of previews of their 2013 colour trend, so tiny it wasn't divulged!

All in all, a great afternoon was had.  The only disappointment of the event was that it could have been longer, ideally a day rather than half day.  The talks were somewhat rushed and there was not much time for Q&A sessions.  Let's see whether this happens for next years event.

Special thanks go to Liselore and Janneke for running a great event.




Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam

As I mentioned on Monday, I was in Amsterdam at the weekend, attending the 2nd meettheblogger event which was held on the Saturday afternoon at swanky new Conservatorium hotel.  To avoid banging on for too long, I thought I'd share my highlights of the hotel itself in this post and leave the tales of our groups revelry for next time.

Firstly the fabulous hotel, built in the late 1900's in the museum quarter of the city, was built as a music and events venue and has also been home to Dutch bank Rijkspostspaarbank.  Purchased in 2008 by The Set Hotels, and with the help of Milan based designer Piero Lissoni, they restored the building to its original glory.


The jewel in the buildings crown is the Conservatory with its huge glass atrium, marking out and closing off the courtyard from the elements to create an impressive entertaining area - the modern, minimalist glass panes reach as high and as wide as the period building itself, cocooning guests whilst they enjoy dining in the swish contemporary brasserie or reading and socialising in the airy yet comfortable lounge area on a combination of italian and scandinavian designer furniture.


The huge stone brickwork combines effortlessley with raw metal panels and thick glass sheets, that form staircases, lifts, walls and windows throughout the building.  Floors have antique tiles or marble or are made from reclaimed wood. The floor of the Conservatorium, however, is made entirely from mis-shaped pieces of concrete.  Everywhere you look, there's a visual feast to excite the senses.  The skies were very grey on our visit, but the sunshine that would filter through on a bright day would I bet be beautiful and thus create a stark yet intriguing contrast to the dark, mysterious corridors of the main building.

All this industrial chic is softened with rich leather and opulent fabrics on furniture and wonderful mismatched antique asian rugs, plus statement flowers and shrubs, huge mirrors and lighting, and pure white ornaments.

Unfortunately, we did not stop over or eat here, apart from the macarons and patisserie we were served at coffee break, although we did have a decent glass of wine in one of the glass events rooms overlooking the lounge. I imagine there's a great atmosphere here in the evenings, one for my next trip to The Dam.