December #EventBlogChat – Live Blogging

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Hello fellow event blogger, on Monday it is our last #EventBlogChat of 2014!

Originally when we started these chats over 6 months ago, both myself and Irina where unsure about what would happen – we just wanted the chance to talk to like-minded individuals and to both learn and share our knowledge on blogging!

It is amazing some of the things we’ve learnt and the people we have been able to connect with – because you guys are so involved and active it’s been getting better and better each month! Hopefully we shall see you on the chat, Monday & then back in 2015!

If you have any topic’s that you want to talk about or have expertise that you want to share then please drop either myself or Irina a tweet! We welcome any suggestions!

So after all that waffle it is time to introduce December’s #EventBlogChat topic: Live Blogging! Similar to tweeting through a TV show, live blogging is about uploading content whilst the event is taking place.

Q1. Who do you think Live Blogging benefits? Organisers, people unable to attend the event or Event Bloggers?

Q2. What is the best way to go about Live Blogging? On your phone, laptop etc

Q3. How much time during the event do you spend on Live Blogging?

Q4. Do you think Live Blogging can distract you from the event and lead to missing networking opportunities?

Q5. What recommendations can you give someone about Live Blogging?

We can’t wait to see you all on Monday at 9pm GMT for our discussion on Live Blogging, just remember to use the hashtag #EventBlogChat.

Also if it’s not too early we hope you have a Great Christmas and New Year!

Thanks, Caitlin and Irina

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REMEMBER this blog is nominated once again in the UK Blog Awards, and your vote for me within the events category (by clicking here) would mean a LOT!

@imdamnstudent@blogbykobrakFacebookInstagram & Google+

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How not to plan Comic-con!

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On Saturday I attended Birmingham Comic-Con with one of my best friends from Uni, a trip fuelled from a love of all things science fiction & a curiosity to why so many people attend, and COS PLAY! .

Overall the event was good, although I was surprised to see it was a lot more about buying stuff than anything else. My favourite cos-play outfit was hands down Emmet from the Lego Movie – and there were tons to choose from, many a storm trooper!

However the talks were an absolute shambles, and in my opinion were one of the worst in terms of organisation.

One of the main things we were excited to see was Tom Felton (aka Draco Malfoy) Q&A session at 1pm, because who doesn’t want to hang out with a wizard!?

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All the talks were being held in an indoor structure that looked more like a bouncy castle, and the way the programme had been set out meant each person was on for an hour with no turnaround time before or after. This meant there was no allocated time to get the audience in and out.

Knowing that Tom’s talk would be popular we arrived early at 12.45. Which is the same plan many other people had,  there were at least 40+ people blocking each of the two accessible door ways (that we’re acting as entrance and exit) The moment the previous speaker left the stage there were people climbing over the backs of seats to sit down & a surge of people who filled up all the aisle ways & emergency exits.

I calculated the seat capacity for this room, which was around 250, but for Tom’s Q&A there was over 100 people standing.

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This structure was not only wholly inappropriate for the venue, as it did not allow for any air to circulate, but the way it had been placed meant only 2 of the 4 doors could be accessed and used. Weirdly two sets of doors let to a large ‘dead space’ that could only be accessed from the structure & organisers office.

They didn’t have any stewards on the doors making sure audiences could enter and exit safely, or making sure the room only met the capacity of the 250 seats. In fact I only ever saw one steward, who tried his hardest to fill all the empty seats and expressed that the number of people made the venue a fire hazard – he was also in charge of the roaming mic. During the talk one girl had a full-blown panic attack, the lone steward acted very quickly in getting her outside (to the side that led nowhere) and calling NEC paramedics – but this took him a good 5 minutes, which meant there was no roaming mic or anyone inside the tent.

Another aspect the frustrated me was that no-one time checking Tom, making him aware that there was 30 mins left etc, and once the Q&A was over there was no-one there to help him get out of the tent – as a swarm of fans whet to try to get pictures and autographs!

My issue with the event was the fact there were rookie mistakes, any trained or working event professional would have been able to notice and fix these problems in the planning stages. The basic aspects would have been to have at least a 15 min turnaround time & at least 4 stewards in the tent (even if there was only one roaming mic). For future reference never put a 4 door bouncy castle into a big hall filled with thousands of people, go for something that has doors to close, so you can monitor numbers – if need be place screens around the venue so people can watch there if the capacity is quite small.

Whilst nothing went wrong, if a fire broken out there would have been a stampede of people trying to get out & not enough staff to help guide people out in a safe manner.

There were other aspects of the even that I think we’re placed wrong, making a majority of areas bottlenecked – or that might have been that the space was very small for the number of stands and attendees. I had high hopes for this event, because so many people praise London comic con, but all I saw was an event that has areas that need to change or be run by people who know how to put on events!

Did you attend Birmingham Comic-Con? Have you been to a Comic-Con Event? & if you have, ever seen anything like this? 

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REMEMBER this blog is nominated once again in the UK Blog Awards, and your vote for me within the events category (by clicking here) would mean a LOT!

@imdamnstudent@blogbykobrakFacebookInstagram & Google+

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Graduate Journey: November 2014

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My my, how a month can change a lot of things! Last time I updated you I was still an unemployed, waiting-to-graduate Graduate!

Well you wonderful people, as you read this post I shall be officially graduating from the University of Gloucestershire. That’s right at 1pm today I shall be donning my gown and holding that scroll hight up in the sky – whilst attempting not to fall over in my heels! Six months after finishing my course and moving home it is time to say goodbye to the last four years!

It is a bitter-sweet moment, I’ve been out of education for six months – long enough that I’m settled and am glad to no longer be attempting to justify an argument with academic references, but also long enough to miss the freedom and independence that comes with studying. So whilst I am excited for this moment of ‘officially’ becoming a graduate it is a little sad – more so because of the student discount & the fact I am writing a blog with a name that sadly no longer applies for me! (Although I still know fairly little in the grand scheme of things!)

But I think the question most of you will have is about unemployment! Am I still sat at home filling in Job Applications? Ignoring all the advice I gave about searching for a job? Watching Netflixs in bed all week?

Well the answer to that is a simple NO!! Two small letters and yet it means so much!

I am currently working for George P Johnson – who you may remember was one of the companies who offered a job during the Eventice – they are an International Experimental Marketing Agency! The fact I get up at 5.30am because I have a 2 hour commute through Central London is not so fun, but the work and people more than make up for it.

The greatest aspect of the job is the fact its the first time I’ve worked somewhere and felt like an equal from the outset, maybe that’s because all the other jobs have been whilst I was still studying or on an internship; or maybe its a combination of being trusted and respected by people as well as feeling confident in where my strengths lie – but it is an amazing thing to be working somewhere that makes you excited.

The other exciting thing that has happened is I am also a registered freelancer, both something that feels me with absolute dread as I have to pay my own NI & taxes but also makes me quite excited to take on some new and exciting opportunities!

The end of October was a successful period & it was always my aim to gain a job prior to my graduation – partially because it falls exactly 6 months after leaving & also because I don’t do very well-being bored and at home! There is the small aspect that I didn’t want to be the only one without fulltime employment, but I have always said that it is about finding the right job for you & sometimes that takes a while!

How are all of your graduate journeys? Are you working or still looking? Is it where you expected to be??

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