So yeah, I didn’t like this year’s venue but everything else about the second Spark Sessions conference was pretty good. Bigger than last year’s sold-out event (hence the new venue), Spark Sessions brought together some 250 beauty and fashion bloggers to meet, mingle and learn. A few of the topics we discussed were the nitty-gritty details of ad networks, how to attract and manager contributors and what you need to know to build a relationship with PR agencies.
The one good aspect of the new venue is that it has two rooms, which allowed for two sessions to run simultaneously. I, and pretty much everyone I spoke to, really liked having the option of two different sessions at the same time, even if sometimes it was hard to pick which one to go to.
|The PR panel|
|Click to see all of the sessions|
Oh, there I go being negative again, something that Lena and several other presenters at the conference view as a big no-no. Several times over the weekend we heard how negativity should really be minimised, or even better avoided, in our blogs. This means that if say, you try out a product and it sucks, you just don’t write about it. I really don’t like this approach. To me, that’s simply not being honest.
If you’re familiar with this blog, you know that I’m not afraid to be negative. This doesn’t mean that I bash a brand or product. No, I always make sure to explain why I have negative thoughts about something and if a product also has some good qualities, I point those out as well. But if something doesn’t deliver on its claims, well, it’s my duty as a good beauty blogger to point that out.
The whole issue of negative content in blogs is one that I think reveals how weak, and sometimes just plain shady, the world of beauty and, probably to a lesser extent, fashion blogging is. While we were given a number of reasons why negative posts should be avoided, no one came out and said what I truly believe the real reason is: Brands and PR agencies don’t want to work with someone who might do anything less than praise a product/experience (the closest we got was Lena saying how agencies don’t want to work with someone who could be a loose cannon so always watch what you say on the internet). I can’t blame the brands and PR agencies for this approach but, at the same time, it completely invalidates the trustworthiness of blogs. Why should I trust a blog that always and only has positive things to say? To my admittedly cynical self, that's not a natural thing to do.
|The pretty Benefit display at the sponsor fair|
Personally, and I admit that this could just be me, I find this whole topic quite interesting and perfect fodder for a future session.
Another session (or even sessions) that I would love to see next year is one that aimed to educate beauty bloggers on the science of cosmetics and beauty products. Too many bloggers out there are lacking a basic understanding of chemistry and biology, resulting in statements like, “I only use natural products, my skin’s too sensitive to be exposed to chemicals” and “I can’t use anything that contains an acid.” A science-focused session would aim to fight that ignorance and, while potentially controversial with certain sponsors, could be the hit of next year’s conference since it would be providing useful and new information.
|At Benefit booth you could get an eye "uplift"|
|I really hope this resulted in the organizers |
getting a reduction on the rent
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