Thursday, November 13, 2014

Home for the Holidays Blogger Event

^ a pretty baller giant paper garland made by our talented content team.

Our first blogger event here at Wayfair last weekend was so much fun! If you were following our #HFTHBoston hashtag on Saturday, you may have seen some sneak peeks into everything were were up to. But for those of you that didn't, I wanted to share some photos from the day and a little bit about the conference schedule. Planning this event took a tremendous amount of work, but thanks to helping hands across several teams at Wayfair, our amazing sponsors, and the incredible Kate & Alison of Boston Bloggers, the day flowed absolutely seamlessly. And even though it is a bit early, it was SO much fun to get into the full holiday spirit (Christmas music, gifts, garland and all)! It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

So here's how the day went down...

(all photos via Third Eye Chic Studio)

Check-in started in the morning, and all bloggers received a nametag, notebook, and agenda designed with calligraphy from the amazing Sara of Ink Revival. The beautiful, handwritten touch she gave to all of these pieces really made the event. Oh how I wish I had those kind of skills...
After check-in, the day started with a keynote speech from DwellStudio founder and Wayfair executive Creative Director Christiane Lemieux, and Heather Armstrong of arguably the most famous "mommy" blog ever, These two ladies are already good friends and have such great chemistry, so needless to say everyone was fully engaged in their conversation about building a blog from the ground up. Christiane was actually a top trending topic in Boston on Twitter during this keynote!
Then we jumped into sessions! The first was a DIY holiday gift tag session led by Kate of the blog Domestikated Life. She taught the group how to make 5 different easy and creative gift tags for the holidays, and let them go wild making some of their own to take home. We had quiet the colorful shopping cart when shopping for this session (yarn, glitter, burlap and paint chips are just some examples of the materials we used)! 
Next was a DIY pennant banner session hosted by myself and my colleague Shelby. Because who doesn't want a cute pennant banner hanging over their mantle for the holidays? And they are so easy to make that even bloggers who didn't have much DIY background came up with such pretty and creative banners.
Then there was a holiday tabletop decorating session, featuring tips and style tricks from Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty. She ran this session 4 times throughout the day and every table came out prettier than the next! We had stocked shelves with tabletop supplies from each of our brands, including Wayfair, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, and DwellStudio. And if you love any of the products you see in these photos, you can find them all here.
We also had a classroom-style session on SEO tips for blogging, led by members of our SEO team here at Wayfair. We got lots of nice feedback from this one, with bloggers saying it was the best and easiest explanation of SEO tips they had ever heard. Our SEO team did a really great job at breaking it down in a way that was easy to understand!
For the final session of the day, we gathered everyone together again for a holiday menu planning chat with Jeremy Sewall, the award-winning Boston chef of Island Creek Oyster Bar. He even gave an oyster shucking demonstration and came stocked with enough for everyone to try.
Then it was time to crank up the Christmas tunes and enjoy some vino! Luckily the lovely team over at Andegavia sponsored our cocktail hour and provided some delicious wine for everyone to end a great day with. They were definitely the prettiest boxes of wine I've ever seen. We also ended the event with an informal Yankee Swap, where everyone was able to grab a gift from Wayfair from under our (faux) tree. Are you starting to get excited for Christmas yet?

All photos were taken by our very talented photographer, Surabhi of Third Eye Chic Studio. To anyone that came, thanks for being so lovely and for making this an event that's going to be hard to top! I hope you feel inspired to create some amazing holiday content for your blogs. And to everyone reading, I hope these photos make you as excited for the holidays as this event made me. :)


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