The young and mighty – UK Blog Awards 2015

Vote Now with ExhibitionNews logoWe Blog Events may be a young project but we mean business as a blog, and are here to stay.

The team are passionate about events and aim to provide a platform for the characters in the industry, to project their opinions and get their voice heard. We also like to discuss human behaviour in events and the way things are done from time to time.

This year we entered ourselves in the 2015 UK Blog Awards, alongside more than 2,000 other bloggers, up from 900 who entered last year across 12 industry categories including Arts and Culture, Automotive, Digital and Technology, Education, Events, Food and Drink, Health, Lifestyle, PR, Marketing, Media and Communications, Retail and Fashion, Travel, Wedding, and two sub categories commending young and innovative bloggers.

UKBA14In aid of the awards, we went behind the scenes, and had a chat with director and founder of the UK Blog Awards, Gemma Pears.

How did the concept of the awards come about?

Falling pregnant unexpectantly while being focused on my events and marketing career was probably the pivotal moment that changed my life. I then had to rethink my ‘life plan’ and really think about how I could manage the ‘work hard, play hard’ life that the events industry is!

While on maternity leave I was made redundant from an events management and this was actually the best thing that could have happened to me. I was able to juggle freelancing events and marketing clients, have the opportunity to add my own creative stamp to run my own events and have the quality family time with my daughter that I craved as a mother.

Founder and director Gemma PearsIt was after sitting on the idea for over two years that the National UK Blog Awards was born. I have founded the National UK Blog Awards brand, many single handed person would not always set themselves this sort of challenge. However, I really believe in creating great experiences via my job and wanted to give something back. The recognition for the UK industry bloggersphere was crying out to be recognised. There have been so many success stories, even with the awards being in their first year. For instance, entrants have developed their careers by securing jobs, being provided with the opportunity to quit their jobs to become full time bloggers and companies receiving further marketing and brand awareness; which in this economic climate is of extreme importance.

Are you a blogger yourself Gemma?

I blog on the UKBA15 webpage but unfortunately don’t get the chance to blog on a personal level.

You have a huge following now both in sponsors and bloggers, built up from the awards last year – what does this mean for the awards? What does this mean for bloggers?

After just the first year, the awards were referred to as the Oscars of the blogging world, which is a huge compliment. But it’s essential to remember that none of this would be possible without the sponsors and the thousands of bloggers who have entered.

Because I’m a small businesses as opposed to a huge brand, running a multi-industry national awards event makes me feel sometimes like I’m a little crazy, but with the right people around you and with the support of the UK blogging world, I think I’ve proven that anything is possible.

The huge sponsor support we have means each year I can build on the vision I have for the awards. I’ve got some big plans for next year, including running a blogger conference mid-2015. There’s a world of other paths I’d love to explore, but there has to be a little bit of suspense… Watch this space!

UKBA14 2The public vote is open, how exciting is the process now?

The public vote is a really exciting period! The power of the shortlist really is in the public’s hands and there’s been so much interest this year that the website crashed on the first day – although we did still manage to receive over 2,500 votes, which is fantastic!

Do you have any advice for bloggers out there? Both to those thinking of starting one, and to those who have been writing for years?

Previously news and information would be shared via generic news platforms such as TV, PR and magazines. Now, content not only continues to share through traditional media forms, but social media and blogging has created a new news source. Blogging is the modern way to share news, knowledge and content, as well as opinion.

To hear the stories and feedback from the entrants only from the first year of the awards was mind-blowing. Some people were able to quit their jobs and take up blogging full time, which is a fantastic achievement! With all this in mind and I’m sure like many other bloggers, I would say if you’re thinking of starting a blog, just do it! And if you’re writing a blog, stick at it, learn from others and believe in what you’re writing.

Blogs are open to everyone, which means it’s easier to connect to your audience and your customers and ultimately it closes the gap between the ‘you’ and ‘them’. It provides a limitless space where companies and individuals can supply, in as much or as little detail as possible, news, reviews, thoughts, opinions and the such like, for the benefit of their readers and customers.

Blogging is an indispensable factor in virtual companies’ bid for online marketing, but you need to remember that when you write a blog, you’re talking to real people. Be as personal as possible. I’m not suggesting you share with your readers what you’ve had for breakfast, lunch and dinner – of course it has to remain relevant – but your audience want to hear interesting, energizing and stimulating stories.

Annie-CaitlinA little personality can go a long way, bring your audience in to your world and answer their problems before they come to you with them. With a little hard work you can achieve anything.

We Blog Events’ founder Annie Byrne won the Most Innovative Blog Award in the 2014 UK Blog Awards for her lifestyle blog theocdsquirrel.

The pub vote is open until Wednesday 3 December. Please support us with your vote by clicking here.

 

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