This is a retrospective post about an event I went to a few years ago, July 22nd 2018. I wasn’t sure how many details I could remember about something so long ago, but given I blogged about the Festive Insta Mingle in 2019, and the Housewise Brunch earlier this year, I wanted to make sure the first ever Insta event I went to is represented. I wasn’t blogging about events back then, so I suppose now I am making amends. This will likely be a short blog post.
This wasn’t an overnight stay like the more recent things I’ve been to. I think at the time I wanted to keep the costs down, and since Leeds is really easy to get to by train from where I live I decided to do the whole thing in one day.
Except, it wasn’t quite that straightforward. There wasn’t a train I could catch at my local station that would get me there in time, so I had to drive to Peterborough to get an early train to Leeds.
Cue the 3am start!
I didn’t actually take an outfit photo before I left, but here is me wearing almost the same outfit for a different occasion (taken from my Insta stories archive). The only difference was a skinny red belt.
As the sun rose, I made my way to Peterborough and boarded my train.
When I got to the venue I was super nervous as I’d never done anything like this before, plus I’d be meeting many faces behind Instagram accounts. Though I always enjoy things like this, first-time experiences can often be overwhelming for me.
I was one of the first to arrive. On getting my badge, I went round and started speaking to other instagrammers and the brand representatives who began to set up their stalls around the edges of the room. I’m afraid I can only recall Iconic Lights from the brands that were there. The real experience for me though was meeting many people in real life for the first, and some of whom so far the only, time. I can remember seeing @she_styles_it, Lauren of @_housewise herself, and a name twin Laura of @lifeonjacklane who has since become a really good friend who I am still in touch with today.
I didn’t take very many photos of the event while I was there as I was so engrossed in what I was doing I didn’t think to take many! I took a very early photo before most of the people turned up and I’ve included that below. I’ve blanked out their faces out of courtesy as this event wasn’t as high profile as the Rookery Hall one. (I have a selfie of me and Laura standing together, but I am not showing that for the same reasons.)
It’s worth noting that this was one of Lauren’s first events so the size of the venue and the overall staging of it was nowhere near as big. The recent Brunch was SO much bigger and better, not that this one was bad.
There were brand presentations given just like the Rookery Hall Brunch. This was when my nerves were really starting to get the better of me and I retreated to the toilets for a few minutes to compose myself. When I came out and sat down at the back, Laura got up and sat next to me as a supportive gesture. I’ve never forgotten that and it was at that moment when I really realised that I had met an extremely kind hearted person. Friendships like these are among the best things that have come out of Instagram for me.
We had some more time for networking afterwards. Some of us went to a club afterwards to prolong the festivities, but that’s not really my kind of place and didn’t fancy taking a big bag in there anyway, so I bid farewell to the group and headed back to the train station, feeling elated from the day.
This really was a fantastic day and meeting some great friends in real life was a wonderful experience. It wasn’t until the Festive Insta Mingle nearly 18 months later when I got to do something like this again. I would totally recommend getting yourself to anything Lauren does if you have a home account on Insta, though the more recent Rookery Hall Brunch is a much better account of events, by virtue of the fact that it was written immediately afterwards and Housewise has grown so much since then.
I hope many more days like this are to come.