At the end of May, Into The West Blogger Network celebrated our 2nd birthday! Eighty bloggers, digital influencers, brands and speakers all came together at the Connacht Hotel for what was my favorite event yet! With the rise of blogging and blogger events in Ireland, I love that Into The West Blogger Network is still going strong with the original idea and that everything is always pulled off in such style!
The Connacht Hotel is where we run #itwbnBlogSchool so we knew it would be a perfect pairing for our #itwbnBloggerEvent birthday bash! Louise and her team seriously wowed us with their attention to detail on the day! The room looks so beautiful in lime green and magenta, as per the Into The West Blogger Network branding. The balloons, the table settings, the glitter confetti and yummy sweets on the tables were all the little touches that set the Connacht Hotel apart on the day! This, in my opinion is what is needed when planning a big event, a fantastic hotel team to work with.
On the day, bloggers were welcomed on the red carpet to a reception hosted by Galway company Juicy Lucy! Jennie & Karena, two sisters from the west of Ireland began juicing about 9 years ago, and quickly realised the benefits of drinking raw cold-pressed juice and decided to share it with the world! We had the most fantastic brands join us also on the day, including McCambridges Galway who were sampling their wonderful hampers and homemade goods. They treated us to savory breakfast bites and made us our very own branded chocolate bars too!
Lookwest.ie joined us also and were talking to us about their tours and upcoming events. Studio 53 is Galways hottest new workout HQ! Studio 53 put the fun back into fitness with their unique range of alternative fitness classes catered for all levels of ability, including Hatha Yoga, Pole Fitness, Flexibility Training and Strengthening & Conditioning. My fave gals from Siren & Soul joined us with their range of gorgeous costume jewellery, check it out here!! The girls have been with us since the very start of ITWBN so to be able to have them bring their own business to the birthday ment so much. Check out SeraJay’s blog here too – one of my faves!
I had met the fab girls from the Cool Bean Company at the Food Tech Start Up weekend recently so I loved having them at our event. These girls are such inspiring young business women! Sarah’s from Cork and Isolde’s from Tipp and they both live in Dublin. They share a love for food and more importantly they both love beans! They have an epic website and fantastic branding too which I just adore!!
We had the award winning milliner Suzie Mahony with her stunning range of hats and head pieces with us too! With over 10 years millinery experience Suzie has designed headwear for ladies throughout Ireland and abroad for weddings and races. Wedding Hat Supplier of the Year Winner 2011 and 2012. Hatty Award Winner in both 2008 and 2012. Her hats have adorned many ‘Best Dressed’ Winners. For the complete elegant finish to your ensemble, have a creation dyed to match by Suzie at her studio.
Of course, the fab Cat from Solaris Botanicals joined us for her fourth event! Solaris are a family business established by husband and wife: Joerg and Karin Mueller, two qualified Medical Herbalists. Solaris specialises in the blending and preparation of International Award winning Whole-Leaf Organic Teas. Solaris Tea are super blogger friendly and love to get involved with us and our events. We had Captain Tortue with exhibiting her range of clothing from Clothes Party For You which were super! Lastly we had the gals from Wigs At Bellissimo with their range of wigs and services!
Our speakers on the day were bringing serious #GirlPower! First we had Olivia Collins of Food PR. Olivia is the queen of the Food PR in Ireland. FoodPR.ie combine a love of marketing, social media, PR with their love of food and the food and drinks industry which means they are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to promoting the brands they work with. She spoke to us all about the relationships between PR companies and bloggers. This insightful talk really opened up the conversation about the do’s & Don’ts of working with PR companies!
We had the amazing and very inspiring Nikki Bradley speaking. Nikki is a public speaker who draws on her own life experiences to engage her audience. Nikki’s life has not been, what you would call, ‘normal’. Diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at sixteen and the receiver of a second hip replacement at the age of twenty six, Nikki has been on a truly unique journey. This lady is truly the most inspiring people I have ever heard speak, she really puts things into perspective and has a wonderful presence too. She blew me away with her attitude to life, her words and her presence.
Lastly we had local entrepreneur and business owner Gill Carroll spoke on “Stepping up, leaning in, taking action, striving for it and owning your own story”. Gill core values are Connection, Contribution, Leadership and Playfulness. When she shows up with all 4 of these you will get the best version of this lady. Gill put all these values to good use when she opened the doors of 37 West 3 years ago, declaring to Galway that Healthy is The New Sexy she has since gone on to open 56 Central in the heart of Galway City where she has combined her love of art, food and connecting people to create an amazing space for the city.
This year, the ITWBN Swag bag – which at this point are pretty famous, did not disappoint! There was Boots No7 products, the fab Ultrapure Laboratories, vouchers from The Body Shop, products from Thalgo Ireland, little post of locally made mustard from the Lodge Barna, Cool Beans, Blank Canvas Brushes, Wet N Wild blushers and pallets, vouchers for dance/pole lessons from Studio53, Essential Oils from Irish Health Hour, Propercorn, Wicked Granola and jewellery from Flea Style Market.
Im so proud of the network and what Sinead & I have created. I absolutely love being able to help bloggers connect, grow, network and be that support they need, it fills me with joy. Into The West Blogger Network has become so much more than just a blogger group. Its become so much more – friendships, networking, great nights out, wonderful events and connections. Even the online group is very strong and driven, I just love that everyone is there to read each others blogs and help each other out with questions.
Thank you to the Connacht staff, Louise & her team. From the room decor to the food and our red carpet, they did an amazing job! Thank you to all the bloggers who attended the birthday and indeed support Into The West Blogger Network year round! What an amazing new bunch of people we have blogging in Ireland! I just LOVED meeting and chatting with every single one of you! You are the reason Into The West Blogger Network is here – without you all it just wouldnt be.
So as to end the day in true style we retired to the front patio of the hotel for cocktails. The rain quickly followed us there so we moved into the Solo Bar for a drink and a few ITWBN chats. Im excited for all the mini events we have planned over the summer and cant wait for the next #itwbnBloggerEvent.
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