4 Key Things I Have Learnt From Attending Events [guest post]
Lifestyle blogger, Saabirah Lawrence shares: 4 Key Things I Have Learnt From Attending Events [guest post]
Hello, beautiful people, honoured to be doing a guest post on Melanin, Mind & Soul. Saabirah Lawrence is my actual name and blog name because I couldn’t decide on a name for my blog. My blog is almost like a diary. I share my thoughts and feelings on a variety of topics from my natural hair to feminism and black empowerment.
I used to watch bloggers attend and get invited to cool events all of the time. I’d tell myself I will go to one of those cool events at some point. But when you’re working full-time and have zero blogger friends it’s pretty difficult to find the time and motivation to get to those events. I used to see the dates and times of events I wanted to attend, and a little piece of me would crumble. Finishing work at seven in the evening, five days a week would automatically mean I’m not making it to any event.
Writing this post is so strange. I remember how I felt, I remember getting frustrated and feeling really left out. Fast forward and here I am, now going to events every other month like some kind of superstar.
My first blog related event was the Black British Bloggers Social. That event changed me, being in that space with black bloggers gave me clarity and motivation. I am incredibly blessed to be able to gain so much knowledge from all of the events I attend. Literally every event I attend I learn something new, and I begin to understand myself better.
Even though I am an anxious person, I prefer doing things solo. Going to an event by myself does turn my stomach, but sometimes I need to go solo in order to challenge myself. Sometimes going to events by myself gives me the chance to get the most out of the event. We all have our very own reasons for attending certain events, we all want to gain different things from it, use that time wisely. Utilise opportunities to share what you do, communicate with brands and other bloggers, ask questions, keep notes and enjoy yourself!
I have learnt a lot from all of the events I go to. I learnt how to find your tribe, knowledge is power, boosted my confidence, and branding is really important. Every single event I have attended has taught me something. If I’m not learning something new, more being reminded of the things I didn’t pay attention to.
Whether you attend events to socialize, gain contacts or information, I would encourage everyone to attend as many events they can.
Here are 4 Key Things I Have Learnt From Attending Events
Find Your Tribe
One of the reasons why I didn’t attend events before was the fact that I didn’t know many bloggers to go to events with. Now it’s completely different, we are all asking each other which events we are all going to.
Whatever it is that you want to do, find people who are passionate about the same things, and are doing or want to do what you want to do. These people will become your tribe, the people you go to events with, the people you can compare notes with, reflect with, the people who just get it.
Sometimes friends outside of the blogging community just don’t get it. They may not have any interest in the whole blogging thing. This is why you need a tribe. I say tribe, your tribe could just be that one friend, it doesn’t average to be a huge amount of you.
I use the phrase “Find Your Tribe” because it’s something my mum told me when I was going through a difficult time. A time when I had no idea what to do with myself. My mum told me to find people that are doing what you’re doing. That’s exactly what I’ve done and it’s made a difference. I have friends that I can go to for blog related advice.
Knowledge Is Power
Going to informative events has stressed that knowledge is power. I am expanding my knowledge on topics I wouldn’t of known anything about before. With that new knowledge, I can use it for self-development, blog development and I can even share the information with others. I have started to see life as a huge opportunity to learn something new every day.
Without knowledge, these amazing people would not be able to put on events. Having knowledge and sharing the knowledge you have is a great way to better your community. The increase of events on business, personal development and creative expression allows black people to further their careers. It also gives us the chance to find out what we want to do. It’s the difference between being unsure and being certain, or at least being on the right path.
Be open to learning and be open to sharing. I try to share what I wish people shared with me. If I have knowledge on something, I enjoy sharing that knowledge, you never know who it could help.
Events Boosted My Confidence
My confidence has skyrocketed since I’ve been going to events and found my tribe. Events tend to be very social, so it encourages you to start conversations and meet new people. I’m glad that I have been to some very sociable events. It has allowed me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve learnt that most of the people at the event are there for the same reasons I am. This makes communicating that little bit easier.
Now that I have blogger friends I can enjoy events with others from the blogging community. Even though I still enjoy going to events by myself, even though I get super nervous. Some advice for people going to an event by themselves and feeling nervous or anxious is to start up a conversation, something small and relevant to the event. My go to is to ask someone if they’re also a blogger, it does depend on the event and social scene. Asking questions about the work they do, maybe ask why they’ve attended the event, have they been to an event like this before, or even a simple hi what’s your name. I say it’s simple but when your stomach is turning and heart is pounding it can be pretty difficult. I have my moments where I can override those feelings, other times I just sit back and chill.
Do what feels natural and comfortable, but definitely mingle and get involved.
Branding Is Extremely Important
I was briefly aware of the importance of branding, however, after attending Adzvice PUSH Event, I learnt just how important it is to have a strong brand. It’s even more important as my brand is my name, literally. Your brand should be consistent, strong and clear. The impression I hope I’m giving anyone who comes across my work is that I am passionate, fun, honest, consistent and grateful.
The PUSH event got me thinking about making sure that people can identify my brand effectively. You want someone to see your work and notice it because of something distinctive e.g. logo, writing style, theme or layout.
Ade the founder of Adzvice said something that stuck with me, he said don’t be afraid to make changes. As you grow you will want to change. It’s natural, do not feel you have to stick with something out of fear. Yes, your brand should be consistent, but if it no longer serves its purpose then change it.