I know I’ve been a little quieter than usual on the blogging front lately, and I’m sorry for going off the map a little but those of you who follow me on twitter will know it’s because I’ve had my hands full arranging a meet up for North East bloggers! A couple of months ago, I was at an event at Malmaison, and mentioned to their lovely sales manager, Beth that I’d love to host a casual meet up for bloggers based up here because other than PR or company events there’s not a lot in the way of socials. I feel as though I’m always hearing about meet ups happening elsewhere in the country so I thought why does no one up here do it?
Now I really want to stress the point that this began as an off the cuff comment, so you can imagine my excitement (and slight terror) when Beth asked me why not throw one at Mal? As part of my role at Precept, I’ve got to do events organising and management, and while it can be stressful at times, it’s such a rush when everything comes together and you pull it off! And of course, I couldn’t resist the challenge. So after pushing back the meet up (largely due to work commitments and holidays getting in the way), I finally set a date and set about pestering Mark, one of the Precept designers, to put the invites together for me… and soon enough Meet Up At Mal had begun to take shape!
Before I knew it, (after a little research and some long twitter convos), I’d developed quite a big list of bloggers all keen to come along, so I sent out invites and let the first 50 RSVP. When I had first thought about arranging an event one thing I knew I didn’t want to do was make it ticketed. I wanted to just find a space where as many as possibly could come along and socialise with like-minded people. However, the reality came down to logistics – and being in a space which restricted my guest list slightly, I think, helped give the meet up a more intimate atmosphere. Although I still spent most of last week fretting about whether or not people would show up for it! But I figured (or rather James and Josh pointed out) if worst came to worst I’d just be stuck in a room with them, a load of prosecco and a big pile of goody bags, so it wouldn’t be all bad…
The goody bags themselves were a labour of love relied heavily on the generosity of some amazing companies. After reaching out to a few companies up here, I had overwhelming support with lots of hair goodies from the girls at LWPR and Lush Newcastle. As well as vouchers from Boilerhouse and Red Hot Sunglasses – who also donated a couple of pairs of sunnies for the raffle. And after mentioning the event on twitter, I had the lovely Gillian from Miss Gee Kay who asked to donate some of her gorgeous handmade pieces of jewellery to the goody bags and even provided a selection of pieces as a raffle prize. I also had a very generous donation of 50 goody bags of samples and treats from Fenwick, in addition to a gorgeous Ralph Lauren hamper for the raffle. And Mal did me proud with another 50 goody of their iconic white bags filled with toiletries, vouchers and Mal CDs. If anyone has ever wondered what 50 Fenwick goody bags stuffed into the back of a C2 look like, look no further than my instagram..
So as I’m sure you can guess, Saturday has came and went in an exhilarating rush! After a lot of deliberating, I decided to leave the event fairly unstructured and avoiding any kind of ‘organised fun’ – except of course the raffle to raise money for Maggie’s. I wanted people to be able to just chat and come and go as they pleased but I was over the moon that the majority of bloggers stayed all afternoon, sipping on glasses of prosecco and snacking on delicious savoury and sweet nibbles.
Over all, I was really pleased with the way the afternoon turned out. Although organising the thing meant I spent the majority of the afternoon running around like a nutter, and not really sure what to do with myself. I did manage to chat to a lot of great people though. Huge thanks to all the lovely bloggers who came along and made the day go so well! It was fantastic to meet you all, and Meet up at Mal has definitely made me decide that I want to arrange another meet up soon! If you want to keep up to date with news on my next meet up, make sure you’re following me on twitter and the Newcastle Mal.