After missing the last few #JoziMeetup events, I was really keen on attending this year. When Heather of SA Mom Blogs (the awesome organizer of the event) announced the date, I was so excited, and I told my husband right away to keep that weekend clear. With us not living in Johannesburg, we need to plan ahead for events like these.
I was so happy to hear that fellow “long distance” mommy blogger, Carly would also be attending (she lives an hour further from Jozi than I do!). We bought our tickets on the same day, and being “meetup newbies”, were both glad we’d have someone we know there – even if it is only through our blogs and the occasional WhatsApp chat.
The venue for the meetup was Cafe Zing at The Regent Hotel in Sandton. Cafe Zing is a perfect place for events like this. It’s smart, while still being casual and comfortable. The food was pretty good too.
First up on the agenda was daddy blogger Mike Said, who told us about his trip around SA with his daughter, and how eighty brands had pitched in to make it a reality. He joked and made us laugh, and his advice on building your brand and being true to it was solid.
Samantha Lockhart from Matsimela Home Spa was down sick, so she didn’t make it, but we were still in for a treat – three therapists were there to pamper us with amazing hand massages, and a gorgeous gift in our goody bags. Note how pleased I look in the pic, about the massage. 🙈
Nicole Sparrow from Autograph PR gave us extremely helpful insight into what brands like (responsibile writing, for one) and what they definitely don’t (trashing them online is unnecessary and just plain ugly).
Wanda Ambrosini and Krystle told us about Prima Baby. Having launched in South Africa in March 2017, it’s no wonder that Wanda referred to it as their very new baby. Krystle showed us some of the products, including a stroller which weighs only 3.6kg and is extremely easy to close up and lift up into your car boot – I just wanted to know where this awesomeness was when Zee was a baby, and I had to fight with that heavy pram! 😀
Veruska D’Onofrio was there to speak on behalf of Prima Toys. Her presentation centered on play, and the many benefits which come from our kids having the freedom to play. She then handed over to Sashalee Findlay who told us about the toys they had displayed, and then they gave some away – YAY! I was super excited to answer two of the very difficult (heehee.. not really, one was Disney related, and the other was a riddle I eventually I remembered seeing on a kids jokes website I’d once looked up for Zee) questions first, and win two beautiful Disney Princess dolls for my girl. 🙂
The final speaker was Jeanette Wentzel from Whisky Of The Week. It was so nice meeting Jeanette, as we’d been chatting quite a bit on Twitter recently. She’s just as lovely in person, and she really knows whisky. 😉 She told us about local whisky brand, Bain’s, and took us through a whisky tasting. I’m not a whisky drinker, so while I didn’t love the taste, I did love how it smelled.
Those Goody Bags… Wow!
I don’t know how Heather did it, but on top of arranging a fantastic event, she also got us the most incredible goody bags! As soon as we sat down, I noticed two familiar looking clear boxes at the top on the bag – a Tangle Teezer and Invisibobbles… Yes!!! 😀 I’d been wanting to get a Tangle Teezer so bad, and I was thrilled at how brilliantly it worked! The bag was filled with so many lovely products, like eye makeup, skincare, and kids shampoo. I’ll tell you about them as I try them.
I had a great time at the #JoziMeetup. It was so good meeting people with whom I interact so often online, in reality. And I’m very grateful for all we learned from the speakers. Definitely a most productive day.
And finally, a pic at our table. Thank you for the pic Laura. 🙂