Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The GSK mummy blogger event - awesome!

On November 25th of last year, White Ribbon Day, I put up a post called Broken and Whole. It was a poem about the dreams I had when I was young, the "fall" I experienced when my marriage fell apart and I was assaulted, and the grace and comfort I found in the friends that appeared to catch me and walk with me the long, dark road that leads, inevitably, to healing.

On November 25th I had an email from a representative of Glaxo Smith Kline letting me know that Macleans wanted to sponsor my trip to the Aussie Bloggers Conference in Sydney. They had learned of my story from reading the blog of a friend of mine -- a friend who was walking that path with me -- and they wanted to help.

November 25th also coincided with Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., a day when we gather together with loved ones to give thanks for the blessings in our lives.

* * * * *

In the end, between the money donated by an incredible circle of bloggy friends and the tickets purchased by GSK, my children and I were able to fly to Sydney for the conference. It was a dream come true.

On the Friday before the conference, GSK put on a beautiful event at the Arthouse Hotel in downtown Sydney. They wanted to meet a cross-section of mummy-bloggers who were attending the conference and introduce them to several of the GSK brands, including Macleans, Sensodyne, Pronamel, Panadol, Ribena and Nicabate.

I was a little intimidated by seeing my face splashed all over the place. I've never been the focus of an event before. While the guests arrived I was whisked upstairs and treated to cocktails and a massage. The cocktail was even named after me! I promise this won't all go to my head.

I was nervous about giving a speech, but when I walked in the room and saw, for the first time, the faces of so many of the incredible women I'd been corresponding with over the last year, I simply felt overwhelmed with joy. I saw Lori and she ran up to me and we embraced for a long time. The room went quiet and we both just held each other and cried.

I spoke about my experience with blogging and how it has been such a saving grace for me. One of the reasons it has meant so much to me to come to Sydney, is that it gave me the opportunity to thank, in person, the women who supported me and offered me comfort during the darkness of the last eight months.

I also spoke about the potential I saw in the Australian blogging community. There is so much opportunity right now, enough to go around for everyone. One person's success does not take away from anyone else, it only enhances the blog community as a whole, which serves all of us. I hope we can all support each other, whether our blogs are large or small, whether we have 1,000 followers or 10, and I wish for everyone much success, however each of us defines that.

The only thing that could have made it even better would have been if more people were able to attend.  It was a small venue with limited space and GSK had to work within those constraints. I was thrilled to share the evening with those who were able to attend.

* * * * *

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here. I am so grateful to Macleans and Glaxo Smith Kline. I know they are looking for opportunities to work with other bloggers and I can't recommend them highly enough. They were consistently polite, respectful and generous in all their dealings with me. They took the time to read my blog and get to know me.

I have a giveaway coming up of GSK products. That will be my next post. Stay tuned!

Here are some highlights from the event. You can see all the photos here:






GlaxoSmithKline mummy blogger event



GlaxoSmithkline mummy blogger event



GlaxoSmithkline mummy blogger event





GlaxoSmithkline mummy blogger event



GlaxoSmithKline mummy blogger event



GlaxoSmithKline mummy blogger event



GlaxoSmithKline mummy blogger event


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34 comments:

  1. When Lori ran up to you it was amazing. Goosebumps and tears and shivers oh my!
    That GSK crew know how to put on a party, I was honoured to be able to participate.

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  2. It was one night I was very relieved I had not worn eye makeup. It was a humbling privilege to be included and a really warm and inviting event. You spoke wonderfully well.

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  3. What a fabulous night it was! You lit up the room!

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  4. <3, KB. That's all I've got. Eagerly awaiting more pictures and anecdotes. <3

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  5. It was a fantastic event - I was so impressed with the really persoanl care and attention that was given. There was an amazing atmosphere. And I cried, of course. xx

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  6. Was an incredibly emotional night and you so should be in the spotlight more often.

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  7. I feel so lucky to have spent some time with you today - so much of what we talked about will stay with me for some time - the good as well as the bad..

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  8. I was there, what a great night! Congrats Wanderlust.

    Shame about the bloggers who should have known better - brought gatecrashers, took swag bags, left before you even spoke. Hope GSK didn't notice ....

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  9. I hope you're living in Sydney for the next one because I am SO flying over for it.
    I wish I'd seen you and Lori meet in person -- tho I would have blubbering like the Worlds' Biggest Sook.

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  10. It looks like it was a truly amazing occasion! So pleased for you!

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  11. @ Mary, I am SO glad we met. Meeting you felt like meeting an old friend. You are a treasure. I can't wait to see the pictures from this afternoon.

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  12. @ Toni, I will be there for ABC 2012 and I really, really want you to be there too. You know, I still have that box of lovely little magical things you sent me. It's by my bed. I think if the house was on fire I would grab my kids, my photos and that little box. It gives me hope. x

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  13. And it was an emotional night, wasn't it? Lots of tears all around, as well as laughter. Thanks for all the lovely comments. x

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  14. Looks like a great event, and greaqt to be able to meet everyone! Wish we had something like that on our side of the world :D

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  15. Wow, they really rolled out the red carpet for you, K. I am so glad!!

    The moment with Lori and yourself would have been the end of me for the entire evening... tears!!! x

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  16. That would have been amazing, you deserve nothing but the best!
    I got goosebumps reading about you're embrace with Lori.
    Its amazing how 'online' friendships are just something so much more then that and its a shame more people don't realise how close you can become with these women..this blogging community.

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  17. So happy you had such a wonderful time, very sorry to have missed the ABC and meeting you and all the other lovelies.

    You deserve this.

    Hugs
    LCM x

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  18. @ Maxabella - yes, it was a bit unreal. I felt like I was transported into a fairy tale!

    @ Ebonie's Mommy - meeting my online friends in person has been so fulfilling. There is no awkwardness. It's like we already know each other, since we've shared so much of our intimate thoughts with each other online. I wasn't prepared for how comfortable it would be; just easy.

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  19. Ah, LCM, I struck a post in your honor. Photos to come!

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  20. Ok in random news, that dress to the side when you're giving your talk...how hot is that? I want it. You should have nicked it for me ;P
    I really hope you do move to Australia and we do get a chance to meet eventually.

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  21. @ Pink, yes, I hope so too. I would love to meet you, especially while you're sporting that pink dress!

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  22. Hey spunk, you look HOT. Fantastic speech, too. Your hug with Lori brought a lot of warmth and love and beautiful Light to the room.

    xox

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  23. @ Eden, takes one to know one, hottie. x

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  24. Kristin - did you spend today with Mary! Isn't she the most delicious of human beings. I am catching up with her tomorrow for the first time in too long.

    It will be so strange when you are not in the country. How can that be? You just fit here.

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  25. @ Kim - I did! I love her. And yes, it will be strange to not be here. I'm trying not to think about it. x

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  26. Why did I think you were migrating to Australia? and if you're not, why aren't you?

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  27. Nice one. You are even more clever than I thought you were - and that's saying something!

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  28. It was a wonderful night. I was honoured to be there and involved.

    xxx

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  29. How wonderful!! What a great sponsorship and trip. I am disappointed that I missed this event. Would have been great to meet.

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  30. November 25 sounds like the day the stars re-aligned in your favour; and its exactly what should happen to someone with such a beautiful spirit as you.

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  31. This sounds amazing and I am so glad you were able to find sponsors.

    I love your attitude that there is enough success for all of us. Yay for Australian bloggers. (Or in my case...a girl who blogs in Australia)

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  32. Oh Kristin, it sounds wonderful! Congratulations ... for so many reasons ... congratulations.

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  33. just loving reading all your posts and seeing pics of you Downunder. hopefully i will engage back with the blogging community again soon and become an active participant ready for next years conference xxx

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