There’s always that worry that your second Instameet, or your second of anything for that matter, may not be as good as your first. But I can, and I will say that this certainly was not the case for my second ‘Just A Little Instameet’ – an event designed to bring together like-minded people for a day of all things lifestyle, home and interiors.
Through the support of some fantastic workshop hosts, a beautiful venue, some delicious foods and some wonderful brands, my second social event for Instagrammers, held on 28th March 2019 at the Marchmont Arms in Hertfordshire, was a huge success!
I thrive off positivity and Instagram gives me a great platform to share and find inspiration in all areas of my life – home and interiors, travel, family, food and generally living life to the full. So I thought, what better way than to bring this to the real world and create a day centered around well-being and happiness.
As such, I was joined by some exceptional speakers whose intentions were to help guests find happiness through their home and interiors, their hormones, their way of life and their state of mind. I was also joined by six inspirational entrepreneurs who have launched their own businesses with a unique identity and brand concept, all of whom were on hand to showcase their products and talk to guests about their journeys.
Much like my first Instameet, this event involved a lot of planning, organisation and commitment. The irony, yet again, is that this ‘Just A little Instameet’ was by no means ‘little’! There were 15 brands involved, 5 workshops, morning and afternoon refreshments, buffet lunch, luxury goody bags, and over 100 people who attended!
Jane Burkinshaw was the official event photographer again (because she was just so good last time!) and captured the essence of the day beautifully. I have pulled together below a selection of her images and described how the day unfolded. I hope you enjoy the read…!
The event started at 10am although we had quite a few ‘eager beavers’ with at least 30 guests arriving 25 minutes early!! As guests arrived they were greeted by myself and my two good friends, Chris and Lucy. They were given their own personalised lanyard, a ‘Just A Little Instameet’ branded pencil, a mini notepad and handed a printed Order of Events for the day. Hot teas, coffees and breakfast pastries were served in the reception and bar area, where guests were able to get social and meet all who were attending the event.
Once everybody had arrived, I nervously took my position in the reception area and said a few words to welcome each and everyone to the event and to fill them in on the day’s activities. I’ve got to say, I was feeling all the Britney Spears vibes with my headset and mic on!!
From there, we split into five groups and began our workshops. One of the workshops was presented by interior designer, Lauren Gilberthorpe. Lauren has a wealth of experience ranging from complete new builds and full-blown home renovations to bespoke project work on barn conversions, townhouses and seaside retreats.
Within Lauren’s workshop, guests learned how to draw to scale using an architects ruler and also how to make decisions for their home based not just on style, but on how it would make them feel and the impact that design can have on their everyday life. Lauren was one of the stars from my original Instameet and again, delivered an inspiring, educational session.
In the main dining room, guests were able to free their minds through some creative crafts with The English Stamp Company and Emily Rollings. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this session as it was a great opportunity to try something new and to have a bit of fun! Yve and Bella did a wonderful job at hosting the workshop and Emily was on hand to give useful hints and tips on how best to use these stamps with everyday stationery.
With two workshops complete, it was time for lunch which was served in the orangery. And wow, weren’t we treated! The Marchmont Arms laid on a beautiful spread of delicious foods, from Wholefood Salads, Plant-Based Burgers, Roasted Lentil Falafels, Mini Beer Battered Fish and Chips and Panfried Tenderstem Broccoli in a chipotle dressing.
After lunch, we rejoined our groups and began the afternoon workshops. In the lower dining room, Nikki Hill gave a fantastic presentation on how to learn the most effective ways to spring clean your home and your body, to feel lighter, refreshed and revitalized. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the best time to detoxify the body and mind, to start new habits and clean up old ones.
Through organising these events, I really have felt a sense of connection with all the people involved. Nikki is someone I now consider my friend – it just goes to show how good this Insta community can be! My birthday twin and as pictured below, my outfit twin!
Business and personal coach Pam Cottman hosted a fantastic session in the main reception room. Pam explained what is meant by resilience and focussed on how we can develop greater self-awareness (of our strengths, values, purpose and beliefs). Pam also talked about the techniques that can be used to enable us, and those around us, to thrive.
I cannot tell you how many positive comments I received from everyone who attended this! Pam was a breath of fresh air and brought such a wonderful aspect to the day.
With four of the five workshop rotations complete, it was time for an afternoon cup of tea, or coffee, and something sweet!
The fifth workshop of the day gave guests the opportunity to meet the people behind six inspirational small businesses. It was a fantastic networking (and shopping!) session where people could discover how these brands had developed, understand what hurdles they have had to jump through to get to where they are now and to learn about their strategies for achieving a successful business.
As part of the event, each guest was treated to a cotton ‘Just A Little Instameet’ luxury goody bag, filled with lots of wonderful items (worth over £120!). Below is what was inside…
- Hunter and Co Porto Ceramic Frame
- Jord Home Eco-Friendly Cotton Rug
- English Stamp Company ‘Just A Little Thank You’ stamp & Gold Ink Pad
- Tutti & Co Curve Earrings & Bottle Stopper
- Nikki Hill Female Harmony Tea Sample
- Emily Rollings Plan The Week Deskpad
- White & Gray Travel Candle
- Lily & Mortimer Sleep Well Oil
- Stib Mini Colouring Crayons
- Sugar Me Cupcakes Vegan Shortbread Biscuit
- Amatte Coffee Sample
As the day drew to an end, we gathered outside in the sunshine to reflect on the day’s activities and for me to say a personal thank you to each and every one that was involved with the event. Whether they were a guest, a workshop host, a contributor or a supportive friend, everybody made the day what it was – a positive, inspiring, off-the-gram, social event!
Finally, I want to share this email that I received the day after the event. It truly touched me, in fact, it even made me cry – but in a good way!…
“You allowed us all to shine in such a busy space. It felt like we were really given something very special yesterday and that’s all down to you.
Thank you for what you do for women. I lost count of the amount of people I spoke to yesterday who had plotted the day in advance with their husbands, parents & in-laws; almost like a wedding, it was set in stone in their diaries; often the first time they’d had to do something for themselves for months, if not years, and they had fought to get the childcare they needed as it was something they really needed for their mental well being. It really mattered to them to have the chance to restore their emotional batteries and take part in something so nourishing and collaborative. Again; that’s down to you. These meets are very special places.
Thank you for using your role on Insta in such a positive and pioneering way. I know we chatted about the negativity you have to put up with, which is just unacceptable, but please know the good that you do is way, way bigger than that. It’s all such new territory, but I think you are a leading, inspiring voice in the space and you have hit on something very powerful in connecting people ‘off the gram’ and giving them something much more than just a day out; but something deeply reenergising and nourishing.
On so many levels you gave a room full of women a huge dose of exactly what they needed and for that I am truly grateful. I think your role as a connector; for small businesses and the Insta community is something very needed & important (that will hopefully grow) and I am truly grateful to have been part of the journey with you.”
Thank you for reading and also for following my journey.