Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Event Recap: Ontario Blogger Meet-Up

Last Saturday was the third annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up. I had a great time at last year's event so I was really looking forward to this year's meet-up. I loved getting to spend time with a ton of other bloggers and talking about books (and getting a huge swag bag full of books). It was so invigorating! You can read my full recap here. I've got a soft spot for this event, too, because I got to meet a blogger who lives in the same city as I do and we gradually spent more time together and now I consider her a very good friend! Unfortunately, my new friend, Natalie from Browsing Bookshelves, wasn't able to make it this year so I ventured into the city on my own!

I periodically checked Twitter while on the train to see where other attendees were at. I'm glad I did because Rachelia from Bookish Comforts had arrived at Union about ten minutes before I did and had tweeted about wondering how to get to the venue. I told her to hang tight and I'd walk with her, since the event was at the same pub as the year before. Rachelia didn't get lost and we got to spend some one on one time together before the event. Win all around!

The sign that greeted us at the Watermark Irish Pub
I was looking forward to seeing some of the bloggers I've met before but I hoped to meet some new people and talk to more attendees than I did last year. The event is three hours long but it just doesn't seem like enough time! There are so many bloggers who attend the event (close to 100, I think?) so there's just no way we can talk to everyone. I was happy that I got to briefly chat with Marie Landry, author and blogger at Ramblings of a Daydreamer, Avery of Avery's Book Nook, and all the girls of Ontario Blog Squad (Nicole, Michele, Wendy, Liz, Angel, Christa). Amusing story: When I went over to meet Avery, the girl she was with said, "Can I ask you a random question? Did you used to work at the Coles in Waterloo?" I did and I stared at her, wondering if I should recognize her. Turns out she worked at the Chapters in Kitchener and I helped out there for a couple of overnights when they were moving/adding onto their children's section. We had chatted then and realized that she knew someone from my very small town. How's that for a small world! I'm glad I got to reconnect with Laura (Confessions of a Teen Reader)! I ended up sitting with Farah of Broken Penguins and Annie of Paper Wings and Ink once again, which was great. On my other side was Liz of Along for the Read - and I'm so happy I got to meet her! We learned early on in the event that we both enjoy a lot of the same genres and I'm hoping we stay in touch :)

From left: Annie, Farah, Me, and Liz
The event isn't just about meeting other bloggers - it's also about meeting the industry people who also attend the event. Last year I was a little too nervous to go introduce myself. I think having an extra year of blogging plus my internship at Random House of Canada under my belt have really helped my confidence when it comes to bookish things. Pam, publicist from Random House, was there so it was fun to catch up with her. I was also lucky to be at the table with quite a few industry folks. Suman and Kaiti from HarperCollins Canada were there, as were James from Dundurn Press, and Dan from Raincoast Books. We had a lot of great conversations about books and working, or not, in the industry.

It wouldn't be a book event without some swag! The lovely organizers put together a fun trivia page and we were to fill out as many answers as we could. I was glad they had a mix of adult and YA questions since this event tends to be really YA focused. I didn't know all the answers so I filled out what I knew and popped it in the box. I think it was a really great idea to do this because other people were working together to find out the answers. It was a great ice breaker! Once all the sheets were in they had a draw and yours truly was one of the winners! Angel called my name and mentioned how I knew what classic novel the vlog Lizzie Bennet Diaries is based on. I laughed and said I was actually currently binge watching them! PS The answer is Pride and Prejudice and if you like Austen and haven't watched the vlogs, you're seriously missing out. I love them! I checked out the table of goodies but decided to check out the totes instead (mostly since all the books appeared to be YA). Everyone laughed when I showed off my pick...

Appropriate, no? :) After all the prizes were handed out, the ladies were kind enough to give me a few minutes to talk to the group about the event I'm helping plan - BookBuzz Toronto. I'm sure I sounded like an idiot and missed a few key points but hopefully enough info got across to everyone and a few people decide to come! (PS the event is tomorrow and if you like women's fiction and live in or near Toronto, you should be there!)

Sadly, the event had to come to an end at some point. Happily, I got to extend it a little bit by taking the same train as Andrea of Cozy Up With A Good Read and Brenna of Esther's Ever After. Yay!

Finally, one of the perks of this event is the swag bag we get that's full of bookish goodies.

This year's bag was much smaller than last year's - which I think was a good thing. Like last year though, I wish there had been a few more adult books in the bag. Ah well! Being in the minority can be tough and it's also why I didn't really participate in the massive book swap with the other bloggers. I did, however, get a copy of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - thanks Wendy - that I've heard good things about. And I was able to get my copy of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B signed, which is very cool!

Overall, I had a fantastic time at this year's blogger meet-up. It was an exhausting day but so worth it. Being able to talk to bookish people is so inspiring and the event really left me feeling great about what I do with my blog. I'm already looking forward to next year!


  1. Awesome recap! I had so much fun, and completely loved meeting and talking to you.

    I am so sorry I couldn't make it to the event last night, I hope it all turned out well. I really did want to have the chance to see you and talk to you again, I hope we will have another chance in the future.

  2. Great recap. I wish something like that happened her in Alberta, although they might be and I'm not hearing about it... hmmm

  3. Love the recap!! Definitely missed Natalie this year :( And so funny how small a world the book world can be.. lol

  4. Gah I'm kind of regret that I didn't go this year! Make sure that I buy a ticket next year....I'll just have to make sure that I book it off work ahah!

  5. It was so nice seeing your familiar face again Kaley! Hopefully we'll run into each other throughout the coming year :)


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