A couple of days ago, I flew to Metro Manila with fellow CDO Bloggers for the 2018 Blogapalooza #connecteD event. Held at the City of Dreams in Manila on October 27, Blogapalooza is an annual gathering of bloggers, social media influencers, and businesses. The primary goal of the event is to connect bloggers and influencers with different businesses. It was my first time to join the event so I was not only excited; I was also quite anxious because I didn’t know what to expect.
But all the anxiousness I felt was temporary because the minute I walked inside the ballroom, I was completely transported into a world that embraced me with comfort. One of my first realizations was, “Wow, I really belong here. I am welcome here.” And this is just one of the reasons why my first Blogapalooza experience rocks. There are three more:
Blogapalooza is a fun gathering
We arrived at the hotel way past midnight as we took the red-eye Cagayan de Oro – Manila flight of Philippine Airlines. After checking in and depositing our stuff in our room, we decided to go on an adventure to find food. It was around two in the morning and we were all hungry. While eating, all I could think about was what was going to happen in the morning. What were we expected to do? How many bloggers will be there? What was expected of me? I had a lot of questions running in my mind – and I went to sleep with all these questions still hounding me (aside from the full stomach, of course!).
In the morning, however, all my anxiety and uncertainties vanished. I was too excited to feel anything else! And after we registered and stepped inside the ballroom, my worries were further relegated to the background as the whole place was teeming with activity – there were booths on one side of the ballroom while the other side was occupied by participants listening intently to invited speakers. Everyone was having fun and I couldn’t help but absorb all the positive energy.
A lot of things were happening all around me. I didn’t know where to go first but finally decided to just follow where my feet would take me. First off, though, my fellow CDO Bloggers and I had our photos (and videos) taken at the Buzzin’ photo area. There, we met bloggers from different parts of the country. We also “had fun having fun” with our friends from Iligan Bloggers Society!
Instead of all the questions my mind was pre-occupied with the previous night, I was overwhelmed by a positive sensation. For several hours, I threw all negative thoughts out of the window and just marveled at what a beautiful feeling it was to be around people with so much passion and energy. Blogapalooza made me understand what it really felt like to be around like-minded people.
Blogapalooza is an ideal venue for learning
This year’s Blogapalooza, which was hosted by beauty queen and social media influencer Janelle Tee, focused on interesting issues like transitioning from traditional to digital media, influencer marketing, and topics related to Instagram, YouTube, and other social media. In addition, the invited speakers were individuals who knew what they were talking about. They shared not only general insights but also personal stories that helped us better understand each topic.
Check out the lineup of topics and speakers for the whole-day event:
*Christine Bersola-Babao – Transitioning from Traditional Media to Digital Media
*Jamill, Emman Nimedez, and Viy Cortez – Monetizing YouTube Content
*Nix Eniego – The Secrets to Instagram Domination
*Nadia Montenegro and Ericka Padilla – Engaging Gen X/Xennials
*Miko David – Data Analytics and Influencer Marketing
*Matmat Centino, Francine Garcia and Rui Mariano – The Queens of Digital Media
It was fun to see the speakers interact with the participants. Christine Bersola-Babao, for example, stayed throughout the event – until it ended – because like us, she was also excited to learn and improve her craft. She talked to a lot of people, particularly vloggers, and you could just see how determined she was to share her thoughts and ideas with everyone.
Ms. Nadia Montenegro was able to properly communicate her message to both the Gen X-ers and the Xennials in the audience. But the most fun part for me was when the Queens of Digital Media – Matmat, Francine, and Rui – went onstage and took the spotlight. Theirs was a no-holds-barred discussion that everybody enjoyed and learned from. They shared personal experiences (especially LGBTQ-related ones) and tips like how to react to bashers and how to create and maintain your social media brand.
The biggest learning I got from Blogapalooza did not come from any of the speakers, though. It came from the realization that such events do not only open doors of opportunities for bloggers and influencers, they also allow us to examine and reflect on what we have been doing and what we plan/still plan to do. Likewise, it gives us the chance to improve not only as bloggers or influencers but as individuals in general.
3. Blogapalooza introduces bloggers and influencers to different brands – especially new ones
Aside from connecting us with fellow bloggers and influencers, Blogapalooza also gave us the opportunity to connect with different businesses. Many of the brands that showcased their products and services during the event were either new or small-and-medium businesses – and it was more than okay with me. I have always supported startups and SMEs because I believe they can contribute a lot to the growth and stability of our country.
Anyway, some of the brands that we were able to check out included Seeker Pass (the ideal source for all your Siargao adventure needs), LexMeet (online legal advice), bigbenta.com (online shopping platform), Poundit.com (online gadget store), Koko Roko & Master of Disaster (board games/games for children), Deuter bags, and Oishi, among many others.
The event is the ideal venue for businesses and bloggers/influencers to establish a relationship. Brands can showcase their products and services and participants can network and offer their expertise and services to these businesses.
All in all, my first Blogapalooza experience was more than I thought it would be. It surpassed my expectations. Special thanks go out to Blogamamma Ace Gapuz and her team for braving all the challenges just to make sure that Blogapalooza #connecteD is a success. My CDO Bloggers family also deserves special mention because all seven of us did a good job representing the Cagayan de Oro blogging community.
After that rockin’ experience, I’m ready for more Blogapalooza! So, see you in 2019! 🙂