Post by CM
While the rest of Galway was as grey and wet as can be, a little corner of it was cast in all the colours of the rainbow, thanks to an assembly of debonair men and glamourous ladies converging on The G Hotel for the Into The West Blogger’s Network (ITWBN) First Birthday bonanza on May 10th.
I was among those who were at the Network’s very first event, for afternoon tea just over a year ago, and it was truly a joy last Sunday to see how much organisers extraordinaire Sinead and Saibh have nurtured and grown it into a support for bloggers of all persuasions over the past year.
With speakers and stands galore, the event was a sight to behold from the get-go. Stalls piled with goods and goodies lined the entrance, flanked by servers offering glasses of prosecco to sip as we made our way to our assigned tables. I was at the one named “Kylemore Abbey” and was delighted with my table companions, a lovely bunch full of chat and friendliness – but that’s what we’ve come to expect from the ITWBN members.
Each setting contained a special treat from The G, and we could barely take our hands off the cupcakes and deserts provided by Sweet Treats by Fiona. Unbelievably delicious, as was the light lunch of hot and cold delicasies whipped up with aplomb by the team at The G.
The set-up worked really well; the speakers’ stand was arranged so that one and all had a good view, which worked great for each speaker’s style. We had brilliant blogger and all round inspiration Sinead Burke (Minnie Melange), whose natural charisma and genuine nature had the crowd enthralled.
We also had helpful advice from Dee of Castle Print, Galway, who spoke about the importance of branding and business cards (top tip: put a few into all of your handbags!), communications expert Wayne Denner gave us all food for thought on how to manage our online presence, and Karen from Karora tanning products wowed us all with the story of her incredible success.
Our very generous, and by now legendary ITWBN goodie bags were filled with treats; so many in fact that it would do it a disservice not to give it the attention it deserves, so keep an eye out over the next few weeks as I dip in and out of it and show you the wonders it beholds.
Of course I forgot to have someone take a pic of me in my outfit, so this potato will have to suffice – didn’t realise it at the time but I’m in top to toe Penneys! The dress is new (and can be found in store for €14), but the scarf and booties are old favourites.
There was a bevy of beautiful prizes up for grabs as well, but so, so sadly I wasn’t a lucky winner this time – maybe at the next meetup I’ll be more fortunate! If you’d like more information on the ITWBN, and to join all the fun, check out their Twitter and Facebook pages (here and here!).