Last Sunday, I attended Blogapalooza at One Esplenade. Although it’s now on its fourth year, it was my first time to attend the event. Did I like it? Would I go again next year?
Here’s a review of Blogapalooza 2015.
Venue and Theme
This year’s theme was the four seasons. The organizers divided the venue into four major areas: winter, spring, autumn, and summer. In every section, you’ll find different brands offering freebies and product samplers. It was amazing how majority of the partner brands designed their booths according to the season that was assigned to them. Snipe, which was located at Autumn Avenue, had a tree with fallen leaves around it. Ace Hotel & Suites built a snowman for their booth.
With so many attendees and booths, it seemed that One Esplanade wasn’t big enough for the event. Maybe a bigger venue next time? Another thing I noticed was the lack of chairs or benches were the attendees can sit. Blogapalooza was a whole day affair and finding a spot to rest had been quite difficult.
The first booth I went to was I Am Cardboard PH. The guys at the booth were really accommodating. They patiently answered questions and encouraged attendees to try out their products. This was one of the booths that I stayed longer at because I had a nice time learning about their products.
If you’re into virtual reality games, you would have had fun at this booth where you can play Nightfall: Escape using the Oculus Rift. It’s a mystery game based on Philippine folklore. Interested? You can get early access on Steam now.
Another booth I visited a few times while I was at Blogapalooza was Gaming Library. They have all sorts of games that will surely bring out the kid in you.
I tried playing Cards Against Humanity with them and I was almost tempted to bring the cards home. This would be a great game with your friends — pair it up with your favorite weekend drink!
Microtel by Wyndham was also there last Sunday and they gave away discount cards. Dandi Galvez, their Marcomm Manager, had been nice enough to talk about Microtel and their offerings.
If there was a booth that stood out the most during the event, I would say it was Sosro Fruit Tea PH‘s booth. Apart free refreshments, they also had artists drawing caricatures.
The artist turned me into a mermaid! I must say, he did a great job with my face.
Project Headshot Clinic was also at Blogapalooza. The team encouraged the attendees to sign up for a chance to be part of their future events.
Other brands I saw were:
- The Diff
- Manong’s Lechon Cebu
- John Robert Powers
- JB Music
- Ginhawa Spa & Dining
At Blogapalooza, you don’t just hop from booth to booth getting freebies. The organizers made sure the day is filled with amazing speakers who can inspire both newbie and veteran bloggers. Ms. Valerie Tan discussed the basics of blogging and encouraged bloggers to find their niche.
Maxene Magalona also graced the stage for Flawless Face and Body Clinic. She shared how she manages negativity online.
One of my favorite speakers during the event was Mario Domingo. He talked about Big Data, what we can do with it, and how it can help shape our lives. There was also a panel discussion on responsible media led by Sam Oh. Great minds, including RJ Ledesma, Mannix Pabalan, and Paulyne Lazaro-Fermin, participated in the discussion.
I attended Blogapalooza hoping to find brands I can write about and probably businesses I can tie-up with. The event provided that and more. However, if I may suggest things I’d like to see next year, they are the following:
- Brands should focus on connecting with the bloggers
- Brands should focus more on giving the attendees the opportunity to know them better. After all, that’s really what Blogapalooza is all about. The guys at I Am Cardboard Ph and Gaming Library did a great job at this. They provided demos and let everyone try out their products. Ace Hotel & Suites gave out deals and discounts so bloggers can enjoy their services at lower costs.
- Some booths would simply tell you to leave your name, post on your social networks with their hashtags, and give you a freebie — which could be a pen, keychain, or some random thing that isn’t even related to what they’re really offering. I hope these businesses understand that it’s not just about giving away freebies, but also about encouraging attendees to try out their products/services. So, I brought home a few pens and keychains with logos printed on them. Am I going to write about these?
- Add Activities in the program to encourage attendees to get to know one another
- The organizers did an awesome job with the talks and panel discussions. Since you can bring a +1, the tendency was to just focus on your companion and the booths. Activities that help bloggers socialize with others, however, will make the event more meaningful — especially to the shy ones.
Overall, it was a Sunday well spent. Congratulations, Blogapalooza for a great event. ‘Till next year!