Last week went to Paris for the first time. I had been invited to attend the Efluent 5 International Blogging Conference, which is hosted by French magazine Parole de Maman. From the 150 bloggers attending, 15 UK bloggers where invited to the event. It was so lovely to be one of those chosen.
I was flying from Southampton and so on Monday morning I met Sarah-Jane my lovely roomie at the airport and we set off on our adventure together. Most of the other bloggers were travelling on the Eurostar, or a flight from Manchester.
[vc_video title=”Paris” link=”https://youtu.be/ulrsLqi8OqA”]
We arrived at the gorgeous Saint James Albany Hotel and after dropping our bags in our room (which was lush), we headed to hair and make-up. Our first night would see us attend a Gala dinner cruise on a yacht on the Seine (happens every day, right?!), so it was great to get a little professional help!
As Sarah-Jayne was still in make-up, I headed out to a nearby bar to meet with a few of the others, Karen, Laura, Jo and Phil. Before too long we headed back to finish getting ready. I was broke out my new red dress and then we headed down to reception to meet everyone else. There was a real buzz as the bloggers gathered, waiting for the coaches.
I’m not sure I have seen many things as amazing as the Eiffel Tower flashing like a giant disco ball. I did take a few shots of it in all it’s glory, but can’t find them anywhere (however, you can see it on the video).
After a great night, Sarah-Jayne and I stayed up in our room chatting until the early hours. She is such a lovely person and it was such a pleasure to get to spend time with her.
The next day we walked through the streets of Paris to get the to Metro, obviously being bloggers, we were all snapping away as we went. Paris is totally divine, with amazing photo opportunities everywhere you look.
The venue for the conference was pretty special and we were all excited to get in and see what a French conference would have to offer.
The event was totally different to the conferences in the UK. Over here, the focus is largely on learning, with sessions from established bloggers or authority figures. There’s always a brand area, but this is much more of a secondary aspect of conferences. The E-Fluent conference was like a large brand area, although there were some bloggers speaking through the day, the focus was definitely on the brands.
I spoke to a few really lovely people and swapped details with a couple. I did feel that in the main most of the brands there wanted to collaborate with French bloggers, some even mentioned that their UK team dealt with UK bloggers. However, there was a great atmosphere, which was lovely to soak up.
It was lovely to see Cheerz there, a brand I have worked with previously. Karen and I had lots of fun in their photo booth.
During the rest of our time in Paris we explored more of what the city had to offer. Our first stop being to see the Eiffel Tower up close and personal. We decided to walk, and as we walked we chatted blogging. It’s always a joy to be in the company of people who understand what blogging is all about. People who just get it.
We walked through the Christmas market, which were along the Champs Élysées. Perfect for getting us all in the festive spirit.
We wandered from the markets toward the Eiffel Tower and I couldn’t stop taking pictures! Too many beautiful buildings!
Finally we made it!
Sarah-Jayne, Karen and Alison were all ready to snap away.
We had a wonderful time in Paris, thanks to Parole de Maman for inviting us!
Disclosure: I received a ticket to the conference and travel/accommodation so I could write about my experience at the conference.