This past weekend was a fabulous life and blog changing experience. I planned my first solo blogger vacation right before the stress of finals to remind myself there is life after 10 page papers I attended Spark Sessions, Canada’s first Fashion and Beauty Blogger conference, in Toronto, due to the good fortune of snagging $2 Megabus tickets back in August. The chaos of college made me forget about this amazing vacation that I had planned until nearly the day of. Both the people and the event absolutely exceeded my expectations. The fact that I was able to attend this conference on a college student’s budget should prove to everyone that money is not an excuse. My return on investment was incredible. Whether it was due to the connections I made, lessons I learned, or wonderful goodies provided by Almay, Revlon, Smart Set, and Bio Seaweed Gel to name a few sponsors, this weekend was worth it.
Now that I am safely back in the States, I am reminded of Buffalo’s not so booming fashion industry… and I know I have my work cut out for me. Toronto may be described by my father as the “New York City of Canada”, but the main quality that I see that they have in common is that fashion runs thick in their veins. The people were dressed to impress. They strut down the sidewalks like mini-runways. Although the currency, metric system, weather forecast, and letter “zed” may have confused me, fashion is a language I entirely understand. Western New York needs to step up its game. If Buffalo were to hold a Fashion and Beauty Blogger Conference would you attend?
Bloggers: speak now or forever hold your peace.
There was an incredible amount of work that must have gone into this past weekend’s conference. If Buffalo were to ever take the leap and plan a similar event, we would need to start ASAP. Spark Sessions flowed so seamlessly, with knowledge provided for the less experienced and experienced blogger to bring back with them. There were certain perks to being a local blogger attending, such as working with the toronto PR agencies that I wish I could have taken advantage of. The respect that bloggers are given in Toronto because of their networking with PR companies is something I envy. It is entirely because of the local collaborations and impact that different companies know these bloggers can have on their customer base. Working with a PR agency is great for the customer too! The more publicity a product receives, the more you would desire to learn “the truth” about it. As a blogger, your true opinion should always be seen first, as a company that values honest feedback they should prioritize these opinions, and as a customer you want to know if a product is worth the risk from an honest source.
Canadian clothing company, Smart Set totally understands this mentality. The associates were SO nice, they were even more willing to assist my Canadian soul sister Natalie and I once they found out about our various places in the blogosphere. I was thrilled to learn that Smart Set ships to the states, but the customer service experience that was unlike any other, cannot be truly felt online. I hope that Smart Set plans to bring brick and morter stores to the United States market soon, I know I would be one of their best customers!