Hello and happy Monday! Today, I've got the day off, because I spent my whole weekend in Berlin and although I'm super happy, I'm still totally tired. I was in Berlin, because I spent my weekend with my lovely pals (who I met through blogging and who have become a lot more than normal blogger pals! :)) Stef of magnoliaelectric and Anna of ann.meer and many other inspiring people in order to visit The Hive, an European blogger conference.
Anna, Stef and I stayed in Berlin in a Hostel in Friedrichshain all weekend and our time together began on Friday morning when we went out to have brunch at Fräulein Wild in Kreuzberg, an awesome cafe with the cutest interior.
Fräulein Wild is furnished in vitage and you can find pastel colors and pretty details everywhere, this creates a great atmosphere. Moreover, this cafe is not only pretty to look at, but as you can see on the first photo, the food is really good and we enjoyed a healthy and delicious (vegetarian) brunch. :)
Afterwards, Stef, Anna and I walked around, did some (vintage) shopping, had a coffee break and took lots of photos. I really enjoyed the three of us being together, because we normally only meet via the Internet and it was so much fun to have a whole weekend to spend it with each other in reality! :)
In the evening, my best friend Anja came to join us and the four of us had a great evening with shopping, chatting, laughing, eating burgers at the Burgeramt and drinking cocktails in Friedrichshain. Time went by way too fast! :)
On Saturday morning, I was super excited, because The Hive conference officially began! :) It took place at the betahaus in Berlin, a house for co-working. There was a short welcome speech, held by the two organizers of the conference, then it directly started with the first keynotes and lectures and people were able to choose which one to listen to.
We got goodie bags filled with some nice things and there was a photo booth, definitely the best thing at the whole conference, and during the course of the weekend, we took maaaany photos and simply couldn't stop, because it was so much fun! :)
On Saturday, there was one presentation that was really, really inspiring: it was a presentation about e-mags held by Marlous of planetfur, talking about her own e-mag called "oh marie!" and about how to get started. This definitely inspired me a lot and immediately made me want to get started. :D This is how a good presentation should be and one could totally feel her passion about what she does, I love that a lot!
There were two other interesting presentations, one about blogging for fun, one about online classes. They were nice, but with only a few new things for me. At the end of the day, I have been asking myself what I had learned all day and I recognized that it wasn't much, so I became a bit disappointed. Moreover, some presentations were longer than they were supposed to be, so we missed the beginnings of following presentations, because they didn't wait for the others to end. That was definitely a negative point concerning the organization.
In the evening, there was a so-called "dinner" which annoyed me a lot: we booked a dinner for 20€, but this wasn't worth the money spent for it: most people didn't get a seat, the food was lousy and for me as a vegetarian, it was even worse and definitely not worth its money, especially because it was declared as "dinner." We made the best of it, enjoyed the evening with chatting with fellow bloggers, visiting the photo booth and having fun.
Because we were slightly disappointed of the conference's content (most lectures and presentations were rather for absolute beginners and those of us who have already been blogging for quite a while didn't learn a lot) and of the food which was included in the ticket price (although the breakfast was good on both days, dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday rather felt like a bad joke), we decided to spend some time on our own and have brunch somewhere else on Sunday morning. We went to a restaurant called Spreegold in Berlin-Mitte. The location is nothing special with only average furniture and atmosphere, but their brunch is good and exactly what we were craving for. :) So we went to the conference one hour later.
There was a workshop about video blogging which was great, it was held by Katrina of Zero the One and we learned a lot! She talked about how to get started, about how to find content for a good video, about different filming angles and frames and inspired me a lot and I felt the desire to get started immediately. Like Marlous of planetfur on the day before, Katrina totally showed enthusiasm and passion for what she does and had a lovely way to hold her presentation.
Afterwards, there was a so-called Canon "workshop" which was super awful: although it was announced and declared as a workshop, it was rather a product presentation and a simple marketing event for the camera company and totally not worth the money I paid for leaning something at the conference. The other remaining presentations / keynotes on that day were without any useful content for advanced bloggers, too, and I was rather disappointed.
After the last presentation, there were some few final words from the organizers of the conference and then it was over.
Concerning The Hive conference, this is my conclusion: It's definitely a great idea to organize and host such a conference and offer bloggers from all over Europe the opportunity to meet each other and I bet it takes a lot of effort and time to plan everything and I respect that a lot. Nevertheless, I won't definitely visit The Hive again, because for me, it wasn't worth the money (about 100€ for a two day conference ticket plus about 20€ for a "dinner" which felt like a bad joke)! The best thing about the conference was meeting fellow bloggers and making new friends, chatting about common interest, sharing dreams and motivating each other.
With regard to the timetable, there were only two presentations (of many ones which were offered all weekend) that were really useful, inspiring and with new information, because most others were either product placement events (like the ones of Pantone and Canon) and only useful for absolute blogging beginners, including information that were'nt new at all for people who have been blogging for a while. Thus, it would have been better if the organizers had made clear in advance that it's a conference with blogging beginners as their target group and there's rather little new information for advanced bloggers.
Moreover, I think the location is not suitable for this event, because there were way too many people in small rooms and the rooms where the presentations were held were on the first and fifth floor and all those 200 people always had to walk up and down all day, using a really small stairway. The only good thing about that was being in motion in between a lot of sitting during the presentations.
For me, with regard to the content, the conference definitely wasn't worth its money and I think there was a lack of good organization in some aspects, which wouldn't have been that bad if I had had the feeling that the organizers had cared about them more and planned some details more carefully. Nevertheless, thanks for making this networking opportunity possible! :)
After a rather disappointing and unsatisfying conference Sunday, we decided to spend the rest of the day in the city and enjoy some time with fellow bloggers and this was the best decision we could have made! ;) Next to our great Friday we spent before the conference, Sunday afternoon and evening were dfinitely my highlight of the weekend.
Anna (ann.meer), Stef (magnoliaelectric), Fee of Fee ist mein Name, Juli of heimatPOTTential and I drove to Prenzlauer Berg, walked around and had some coffee and cake. Unfortunately, Anna had to leave early and the other four of us spent the rest of the evening together.
We walked to the Mauerpark and spent there some hours to make photos, videos and jerk around, soooo much fun!!! :) We couldn't stop laughing and enjoyed this time being together a lot! :*
Afterwards, we were having dinner at an Italian restaurant, chatted a lot and said goodbye in the late evening before Stef and I were then having some time for only the two of us before we had to say goodbye, too! :(
As you can see, the best thing about the conference was the networking opportunity, meeting fellow bloggers I have known online for quite a while and then making new friends and that's the only thing why I don't regret having bought the conference ticket, although the presentations were'nt useful for me and I didn' like some parts of the conference's organization. :)
I drove home in a really happy mood (after this awesome and super funny evening with Anna, Stef, Juli and Fee :)), sorted photos, business cards and thoughts. :)
All in all, I was happy to meet and talk to (even if only shortly) Stef, Anna, Juli, Fee, Andrea, Bine, Trixi, Maria, Heidi, Katja, Ricarda, Ina, Susanne, Anna & Marisa. It was lovely meeting you (again)! :)
Happy evening and thanks for reading!
P.S.: If you want to read another review of The Hive, here's one review on Stef's blog magnoliaelectric and here is a review on Andreas's blog jolijou.