On the Beach, a provider of cheap holiday deals, invited a bunch of bloggers and creatives to their Manchester headquarters for an evening of cocktails, food and tips from the experts, and here are eight things that happened…
I was invited to attend this event free of charge, but there was no requirement to create content and all of these words are my own (and written off my own back!)
When heading into Manchester on a Wednesday evening, you don’t tend to anticipate a night spent on deckchairs, wearing lei garlands, sitting on unicorn inflatables and sipping cocktails whilst taking part in beachy quizzes and dishing up ice cream (complete with sprinkles, might I add).
That, however, is exactly what my Wednesday night consisted of last week after I made my way to On The Beach’s Manchester headquarters for the evening to mingle with other bloggers and creatives.
Wanna know what went down? Great. You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of eight things that happened at the event…
1. I was inspired to up my Instagram and photography game 📱
The evening kicked off with a talk from Dave (Man Vs Globe), who told us everything we need to know about nailing that perfect travel photo, and he was followed by Kirsty Leanne, who discussed all things Insta. I, like many other bloggers and creatives, have a habit of beating myself up when it comes to my own photography and Instagram feed, but now the urge to up my game is strong. Combine Kirsty’s insane knowledge of the grid with Dave’s handy advice for looking at the world through a lens, and I have no excuse.
2. SEO optimisation was added to my to-do list 💻
Next up was Harry from Wagtail Digital, who came along to shed some light on the weird, wonderful and incredibly confusing world of SEO. Although I’d previously admitted defeat with SEO a million times, Harry clued us all in on some actionable SEO tips and essentials that we could get to work on straightaway. Just you wait guys – I’ll be dropping keywords and metadata like there’s no tomorrow. Google won’t be able to resist me.
3. We all indulged in bubbly, cocktails and a buffet 🥂
After the talks were wrapped up, not only did I leave the room feeling incredibly motivated, but I happened to have somewhat of a rumble in my tummy, too. (I wouldn’t be surprised if it was overheard to be quite honest…) Luckily for me, we were soon greeted with a colourful buffet and equally colourful cocktails, complete with paper parasols. Cue the cheers boomerangs!
4. Violet and I nailed the beachy quiz 🏆
Could you tell me how many countries border Turkey? Where is Mount Teide? Would you be able to recognise European beaches from a single photo? Finish the lyrics to some of the cheesiest holiday tunes? How about the name of the hotel where the TV show Benidorm is filmed? If you answered yes to all of these, then you would have confidently smashed the quiz that On the Beach set up for us… just like Violet and I did. (First and second place respectively, thank you very much. Nailed it. 😎)
5. I ate a cupcake with my face on it… 🧁
…and I never tasted so good. Needless to say, I was already over the moon when I saw that On the Beach had provided cupcakes for us, but when I moved a little closer and saw my face on one them, well, I literally let out a little squeal of joy. Who knew food with your own face on could be so satisfying, eh?
6. We went on a photograph mission 📸
Not ones to turn down a challenge, a bunch of us hopped straight to it when we heard there was a photo checklist to complete. Instagram frame? Check. Hammock? Check. Unicorn inflatable, deck chairs and ? Check. And yes, we may have thrown in some extra photos with beach balls, totem poles and neon signs, just for good luck (and the ‘gram).
7. My car was left open for the taking… 🚗
Probably something I shouldn’t admit. Something I should be pretty darn embarrassed about. And yet, here I am, about to confess. We left the event with full tummies, smiles on our faces and goodie bags in tow. And then, as I finished saying my goodbyes, Violet managed to let herself into my car despite the fact I’d not unlocked it. I gave myself a mental facepalm. D’oh. I’d just forgotten to lock the car, that’s all, right? Right? Wrong. In fact, after a two and a half hour karaoke fuelled journey down the motorway, not only did I not lock my car doors, but I left my key in the ignition for anyone to come along, start the engine, and make their way off with my car. Yes, I am an idiot. No, I won’t do it again. Promise.
8. I made my way home with a severe bout of wanderlust ✈️
Chances are you’ve already noticed that I’m pretty susceptible to catching an extreme strain of the travel bug, and Wednesday night was no exception. All of the beachy decor, fruity cocktails and cheesy poolside tunes (itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini anyone?) have me longing for time off work and a flight to somewhere warm. Did I start browsing on the Beach that very night for a bargain holiday, you ask? No comment. Luckily for me though, I’m jetting off in just 17 days. Bring. It. On.
Do you have any holidays planned? Where’s your favourite place to enjoy sunshine, sea and cocktails?