Singapore Nuffnang First Ever Bloggers Symposium!

Last Saturday I was in Singapore, and while Dom took off sightseeing, I wended my way towards the SMU School of Accountancy for the Nuffnang First Bloggers’ Symposium.

And wow! what a turnout!

Over 2000 applied to attend the symposium, and this was whittled down to around 400. We gathered in the auditorium for the Welcome, and to be introduced to the various workshops we’d be attending that day.  We were also given the lowdown on sponsor Canon’s latest products (and more info was supplied in the goody bag we each received.)
The 5 finalists in the Photo competition on the theme of Happiness, came up to talk about their photo and why they should win. Each said they were every nervous! It became a catchword of the day with each person onstage announcing that they too were nervous.
These were the 5 semi-finalists. It was interesting to me to note how happiness equated to family for them all in one way or another. Even in the white-water rafting pic, which I loved, the author spoke of the sense of community she feels with her team – not just about the rush of the sports themselves on her individually. A definite shift from the viewpoint of many in the west, I think. Which do you think won?
We had a tea break, and it was a good chance to catch up with people. Bear in mind I knew absolutely no-one, but I managed to chat to a few, find out about their blogs – and get recommendations as to where to eat in Singapore! 
While most of us only loaded our plates with 1 x sushi, 1 x chicken wing, 1 x curry puff etc, I saw some others had piled their plates high…and yes, by the end the food had run out, and some people went hungry. For shame! To be fair, the number who turned up exceeded the number they expected 🙂
See? My food photography is definitely sub-standard :/ But there were no tables, and I’m holding the plate in my left hand and taking the pic one-handed with my right, so not so bad, considering.

The bell rang, taking me back to my school days, and we hurried off to our workshops.

Blogger star Xiaxue  held a workshop on Photoshop, which I was sorely attempted to attend. If I’d known Kenny Sia would be there assisting her, I’d have been even more tempted, as he’s another blogging superstar who is very funny. Photos from her workshop are here: There were 300 attending her workshop, whereas the others held 60.

I attended the Fashion Workshop, ran by Nicole Then of mycherrymagazine.com  the owner of a popular fashion blog and blogshop and Velda Tan (belluspuera.blogspot.com)  one of the co-owners of blogshop Bonitochico.

Before they got up to speak, another Nuffie took us through an exciting new concept that meshes Internet shopping with Social Media. It’s called Jipaban.com, and though it’s not up and running til May, it promises to be an exciting innovation. I’ll write about this soon, so stay tuned for more.

Velda was up first, and she gave style tips on must-have items for your wardrobe – a little black dress, a good pair of stilletos etc. Velda also spoke about keeping your readers or buyers coming back, with tips such as update your site frequently, have good clear pictures and give good customer service.

We were able to ask questions afterwards, and though she answered a bit about her blogstore, I’d have liked to know more of the nitty-gritty. Blogstores are not common here in Australia, but there are over 1,000 in Singapore! It’s a real growing trend, and perhaps it’s something that will catch on here – but time will tell.

Nicole then spoke about taking good fashion shots and street fashion. Little Nuffnang gifts were given out to attendees who answered some fashion trivia questions – and I was one of them!

The heart-shaped Nufnang stressball was cute, but the t-shirt with an arrow pointing down towards the belly/crotch area with the words “Nang This!” left me bewildered. Really, Singaporean humour is nothing like Aussie humour. But then, what should I expect, when one of the Nuffie organisers wore a shirt with “iPood” on it? Puerile to some is hysterical to others.

Moving right along…I found Nicole’s talk really useful. She focussed on the challenges of street photography vs editorial photography, giving tips on getting good shots. She used her own examples, as well as some from Yvan Rodic of Facehunter fame, with whom she tagged along when he was in Singapore.

Having tried my hand in Tokyo at street fashion shots, I totally empathised with her battles with timidity. It’s hard to ask people to stop and pose for you when you’re shy! She suggested always having business cards with your blog URL on them, so people know it’s legit, and can go have a looksee when the photos are up. (Hmm…must get some business cards made up, as my Fiend Fashion Director ones aren’t relevant anymore).

Nicole gave tips on lighting and posing, and answered my question about self-pics in blogs. FYI, she uses a tripod to keep the camera steady, and uses the timer function. She got Velda up to help her demonstrate posing techniques, which was really helpful.

Other workshops included the food blogging session with Dr Leslie Tay, of  I eat I shoot I post , the Kids Photography session held by Leonny of Our Everyday Things, and the Events Photography session run by Joe of Techielobang. Actually, I wished I’d been able to go to that one too!

Back from our sessions, we reconvened in the main auditorium to learn the Best Photo winner, and for 2 lucky other people to win a Canon Powershot S90. I elected not to go into the draw to win, since I was an ang mo blow-in. I was lucky enough to be allowed to attend the event at the last minute, so I wasn’t gonna snatch a camera from a local as well!

While everyone was filing back in, some of us got shots with Xiaxue – yes, even me! Everyone’s a fangirl. Sheesh, but she’s short!! I had to lean down in my photo with her, making me feel like a giant (which was kinda new and nice, heh.)

I also met a few more bloggers.

The winner of Best Photo was announced to be….the baby with the balloon!

We then stormed the stage to get an all-participants photo (except a heap of people scurried home instead), and have last minute chats.  I also had a lot of girls coming up wanting photos with me, or of my shoes!! They were definitely a hit. They are Jeffrey Campbell “Tick” shoes, if you want to know 🙂

The official rundown on the symposium can be found at Nuffnang here, or if you want to jump straight to the photos of the day, here they are.

All in all, it was great to see how big the blogging community is over there, and to chat with some Singaporeans. I did lose a big chunk of my first day in Singapore that could’ve been spent sight-seeing, but hey,it was the first ever Symposium; I had to be there! And I did manage later that arvo and night to eat in a hawker style food court and attend the goth club.

The event made me want to be more involved with Nuffnang, (as did the great Sydney Christmas meet-up), and I’d really love to see a Symposium like this held in Australia. Better put my hand up, I guess!

Th
e day also made me aware of how far I have to go with my own photography skills, which are at the bare minimum currently. It was on the advice of Sydney food blogger Howard that I invested in a good DSLR. Now I have to learn to use it and practice, practice, practice!
 
*Photos are mine or the Nuffnang official ones, as noted on each pic.

You might also like:

Comments

  1. wow cool. when u mentioned u were going to singapore i didnt think it was so soon. looks like you had fun! 🙂

  2. Oh that looks like so much fun! I really do hope they have one over here soon, though I don't know how they would work it because everyone is so spread out. Love your outfit for the day too 😀

  3. Steph – yep – it was EXTREEEMELY short notice, but Dom was mega keen to go so we booked at the last minute. More posts will be coming 🙂

    Violet – thank you! I should really do a rundown on what I'm wearing, like the Topshop long tank and the Sass & Bide leggings.

  4. Looks awesome! Should have one in Canberra 😉 make Syd an Melb come to us!

  5. Wow what a huge event. The size and extent of blogging in Singapore always boggles the mind. The t-shirt humour is very different too! Thanks for sharing your impressions of the day. Always great go get an Aussie perspective 🙂

  6. Fiona – not a bad idea – it's not that far. If we make it the first Saturday in the month, I could go to the Canberra goth night as well 🙂

    Helen – it WAS huge. Amazing there are that many bloggers, or blog-readers! I defo read yr blog before I went and we tried prawns in oatmeal for the first time because of it – yum!