Last weekend saw another meet up of Cape Town Bloggers, organised by the fabulous Cindy Alfino. This is my moment in time that I pop on the calendar and consider booked way before the event. There is nothing quite like the real life meeting of folk that you interact with online. We had a really pretty venue, Chino’s Coffee House in Kenilworth. It has a large indoor/outdoor area, which was perfect for the weather that looked really sunny, but was just a little bit crisp.
First on the agenda was a lot of mingling and catching up and always meeting lovely new faces… not to mention a little nerve wracking, but always so worth it. You can meet all the players and discover who is who in Cape Town blogging over here.
The room filled up and the chattering grew louder… never a dull moment at these meetups, because there is one thing about bloggers that you may not know… they have a lot of words, and the ones they don’t have time to write down they have to use up at events like these.
Rain Was There
Our friends from Rain were there, providing the friendliest service, not only did they create stunning gifts for each of us to take home in our goody bags but there were neck and hand massages for everyone… these folk are just incredible.
The team from Rain just have got the beautification thing spot on, beautiful colours, beautiful aromas, beautiful presentation… they just can’t be beat…
And a short talk, telling us where they are as a company right now…
If you want to know more about the company Rain, then head for their website. And if you want to see what they gifted us with, then scroll down the post…
Jenny from the Entertainer App
So where have I been that I had never heard of the Entertainer App before… I could get really excited about this. It is a “buy one get one free” scheme, when you go out for dinner to member restaurants you pay for a main meal and you get another one free, when you go to member restaurants, attractions, beauty and fitness… even getaways. In other words, to all the places you go on the app, and there are dozens of places I definitely want to go to, if you go with a friend then you only pay half price… this is an absolute win, the app normally costs R490. (attendees were gifted it to try out), but if you think about what dinner out costs, or a nice new hairdo, or getting your nails done costs, not to mention a weekend away… then really you can cover the cost of the app really quickly, if you make use of it. Here are some of the half price offers that I wasn’t expecting: coffee grounds, dog grooming(!), a first aid course, places to stay all over the place, swimming lessons, heaps of fitness offers and trips to spas, kite surfing lessons, surfing lessons, theatre tickets, boat trips… the Cape Wheel, and Intaka Island and so much more.
KeyNote Speaker: Meet Photographer, Abigail K.
Amidst cakes, and quiches, scones and wraps… Abigail K. shared literally dozens of photography tips and “did you know?”s for bloggers… it was definitely a case of so little time and so much to learn…
Se7en+1 Blogging Tips:
- Visual Content is the language of the internet: photos, infographics and video, 60 hours of new youtube content is added each minute. Content with good images gets 94 % more interaction, than content with poor images. Not to mention, good images means 50% more sharing.
- A good image sells your headline: Which is why instagram is so great. The image sells the product, and the review adds to it, because most people don’t read anymore. If you do reviews your photographs has to be spot on.
- Establish your personal style: Amidst the sea of others, use your own tone of voice. Even without your name on a photograph, folks should know that a photograph is yours. Play to your uniqueness, everything has been done already, so you need to do things your way to make them stand out and be special.
- Your Profile Picture: Establishes your brand and has to be perfect… “Folks get to “Know you, Like you, Trust you and then Follow you,” you need to have a trustworthy profile pic in order to gain followers. A clear face, watch your background, and up to date… If you are going to use selfies then use them responsibly, remember you are your brand.
- Always use an image to support your post: If you don’t have stock then create a stock library… you can either
- Buy photo stock (which is never original).
- Create your own, teach yourself some basic photography… and she gave each attendee access to her course, I am dying to sign up for that.
- Employ a photographer and every couple of months do a photo shoot and create the images that you are going to need.
- Gain one platform: You can’t be everywhere, so pick one, like instagram and work at it, before you move on and master another one.
- Every blog should have: All the things that I haven’t mastered… blog consistently (oh my!!!), and every post should have a call to action (oh dear) and just where is my newsletter (oh my oh my oh my).
- Question time was all about Newsletters: I must say that when it comes to newsletters I rather like the ones I get where friends post their blogs of the week. Myself, I have always thought that I just don’t have the time for another blog post/email a week… and actually everything I write I want to see on my blog. After a bit of thought, I realise that I really like bloggers that send out a week of their posts and I can read all their posts in a chunk… So maybe I should think about offering that to our readers.
And Then Onto The Goody Bag
One thing about the Cape Town Meetups is the goody bags, they are unbelievably good… in every way… So I thought I would show you everything in detail.
- SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute): Kirstenbosch, and the Botanical Society of South Africa always include and invitation to join their society, some mints (always handy) and a copy of their Veld & Flora Magazine, which had an article on our Citizen Science Project from last year, so everyone was thrilled to see that.
- Canal Walk: Sponsored vouchers and a beautiful gift for each attendee and I am headed straight for Typo over there, to spend mine…
- Lush: This could be my happy place… a glitter bar from the lovely Lush inside the Canal Walk gift… just perfect.
- Rain: A beautiful, beautiful gift from Rain, and you all know how much I love Rain!!! Not only do they make the most stunning products, from locally sourced ingredients, chemical free, cruelty free, and fair trade. Not to mention they are the absolute champions of beautiful gifting… and their treat was a goody bag all of it’s own. Hand cream, handmade soap and a treatment voucher for the win.
- Buchulife: Buchu is a plant endemic to the Cape Fynbos region and has a unique aroma and has been used as a natural remedy for a number of ailments for centuries. My granny used to make buchu tea and I love the smell it brings back so many memories. We use the Buch First Aid Gel, it is our go to cream for bruises and everyday scrapes that active, outdoor kids seem to accumulate. We never buy bottled water, but we were happy to try the sugar free water, my gang loved it.
- MooMoo Sunwear: They create adorable sun-wear for little people, not to mention locally made baby sleeping bags.
- SAMPAR Face Creams: I don’t actually use face creams… and my mom in law was thrilled to take these on… just the prettiness of the packaging was a win for her.
- Benefit Cosmetics: Mascara for the win and honestly I didn’t even know that such things as a brow bar existed, you live and learn.
- Lavender in Lavenderhill: I s a project that I read about a couple of years ago and immediately loved the idea. The idea was to uplift the Lavenderhill Community by planting Lavender gardens within the community. The project became increasingly difficult, because of the increasing cost of water and vandalism. What that project clearly demonstrated that the area was ready for an upliftment project and they began entrepreneurial training and projects in small business management. They now sell a number of lavender based products created in the community and I was happy to receive some of their teabags.
- SelfieStickerZA: Can be found on face book and they gave all the attendees and n0n-slip sticker that you stick onto the back of your phone and then you can stick your phone onto a glass surface, like a mirror or window, in order to take a hands free selfie. I an not a selfie gal, but they did have a fabulous prize for printing out photos if you use them.
- RomeoFoxtrot: There was a pretty piece of jewellery for everyone. The makers of lovely jewellery, and they have something pretty for everybody to like. If you love prettiness, then head over to their sight… something for kids, and him and her.
- Oh So Heavenly: Bath and body products to love, my kids absolutely love their bubble baths… I passed the shampoo/conditioner for colour treated hair onto a friend.
- John Frieda: Hair Products… for full bodied hair and blondes… mom in law was a winner again and she was thrilled.
- The Entertainer App: I was thrilled to get a voucher to use the Entertainer App, that we had been told all about. I am dying to get using ours, literally hundreds of restaurants to try, not to mention heaps of other goodies and all in the “Buy one Get one free” category. If you eat out or get your nails done, then you really should take a closer look at what this app has to offer you.
- PrintWild: I have been dying to print a large canvas of the gang hiking, for the longest time. So I was thrilled to receive a discount voucher.
- Versus Wines: Were on all the tables… and none of the grownups in our house were complaining.
- Revlon: Most folk know that I am not the biggest make-up gal, but I do look forward to a fresh mascara and and a new Revlon lipstick in every CapeTown meet up goody bag.
- Milly and Me: Creators of the wrap dress, offered attendees a discount voucher.
- SecBands: Make Personalised lanyards, and other goodies for promotional events… including fabulous chopping boards that will make great gifts.
- Avent: And I was thrilled to see that they refer to the La Leche League on the back of their booklet. Each attendee was giving a storage cup for breastmilk, we are out of that season… but it makes the perfect yogurt container for lunch boxes.
- G.U.M.: Where there to talk to us about teeth whitening, with a sample toothpaste and soft toothpicks to try out. Is there anything nicer than clean sparkling teeth… I think not!!!
Huge thank you to all the blog friends that make these events happen and of course to CindyAlfino for organising everything and of course all the sponsors… that make this event magical…
Previous CTMeetup Blog Posts
CTMeetUp #1: Saturday Spot: When Bloggers Get Together… #CTMeetUp
CTMeetUp #2: CT Bloggers MeetUp and A Fab Mr Price GiveAway…
CTMeetUp #3: Another Day and Another CTMeetUp with the Great Cindy Alfino…
CTMeetUp #4: The CTmeetup: Where Local Bloggers Meet and Greet…