There’s a bunch of very good questions. Every content producer and company representative had their own reasons why the wanted to be part of the first ever PING Helsinki event. My own reasons were, above all, networking, learning and getting to know other Finnish bloggers. PING was organized in Helsinki and Tallinn, and on the boat between the two cities, on Friday the 23rd of March. But what was PING really about? There was a big fuss about it in Finland, but why? What did the people do there?
So who was there?
The participants consisted of the best content gurus in Finland: people blogging about travel, food, fashion, family life, sports… and so much more. But bloggers weren’t the only content gurus present in PING. Also the best Finnish Instagram and YouTube experts were there.
Besides the content gurus, also business hippies came on board. Business hippies are representatives of the companies that already are, or would be interested in working with the Finnish content gurus.
Content is THE thing. PING is the event, where people producing content and companies needing content met each other.
But what were the gurus and hippies doing there?
The schedule of the day was tight. Very tight. But it contained a huge amount of interesting (and due to strong wind at sea, also quite rocky) keynotes, workshops, inspiration boosts and living examples how dreams can really come true.
The most interesting workshop in the morning was held by a famous Finnish blogger, Marinella, who was talking about building your own brand. During this workshop, one very sensitive subject was brought up: money! Marinella was talking about pricing the work, when a content producer is working in co-operation with a company, for example a blogger reviewing a product and writing about it. Should it be done free of charge? Of course not.
This is a subject that is only rarely raised in public in Finland, so I will be curious to see how the discussion continues, as the topic created a lot of fuss among the content gurus AND the business hippies. I would also be interested in finding out how sensitive is this subject in your country, so please feel free to comment the topic.
After all, I don’t believe anyone would start writing a blog or create an Instagram account with euros (or pounds or dollars) blinking in the eyes. Neither do I believe that anyone is a content producer just because he has to. Bloggers, vloggers and photographers are producing content because they love doing it. For some people it’s a hobby, some people make their living out of it. If the only reason to start writing a blog is to make plenty of money out of it, it won’t probably get very far. It’s the passion that drives us. And it’s our passion on what we are doing that gets people to read, watch and share our work.
Whatever you do, do it with passion. If the content you produce doesn’t inspire you, how could it inspire anyone else?
– Free quote from Marinella’s workshop –
The second workshop that I participated in during the boat trip to Tallinn was held by Expedia’s Michele Machio. The topic was how to sell your creativity to an international company. I had a high personal interest in this workshop as I have been working within PR and content at trivago.
How about the inspiration?
Once the boat arrived to Tallinn, all the gurus and the hippies were transported to Sokos Hotel Estoria, where we got to listen the keynote speakers of the event, the real content gurus. These were the living examples who prove that dreams can really come true and it’s possible to make a living out of the thing you love the most. Sometimes it might happen by accident. I’ve even proved it myself that the most amazing things in life can be born as an outcome of unexpected coincidences.
Let’s have an example! Norwegian Ida Skivenes, better known as @idafrosk, didn’t expect that being silly in her own kitchen might be her career one day. She started making art from food on top of her breakfast toast, took pictures of them and shared them on Instagram. Her food art became so popular that today she makes her living by playing with food. I bet that if someone had asked her a few years back what was her dream job, she probably hadn’t said “I want to make silly things with toast, bacon and eggs”. It was an outcome of unexpected coincidences. And unique content.
We also heard some Finnish stories of great success from the most followed humor group on YouTube, Justimus, and a Finnish explorer Patrick “Pata” Degerman, who has often proved during his career that the setbacks only make you stronger and increase your passion to get through the storm. Even if it might sometimes hit you on the face.
What else happened in Tallinn?
Us content gurus were divided into groups, and each group had their own destination in Tallinn. As I mentioned in my previous post, I got to try out some ballet. I wouldn’t call my performance as ballet, though. Even if I admitted after my first (and probably last) ballet lesson ever that it’s better for me to stick with playing football, ballet was a fun thing to try. I’m pretty sure I would have never ever taken a ballet class by myself. Never. Ever.
As a sum up, I can only say that PING was a huge success, an amazing event full of great personalities. Unfortunately the day passed by so quickly, that I feel I didn’t get to talk with the many interesting people I would have wanted to chat with. But hopefully there will be more chances in the future to do that.
Thank you for everyone who was involved in the first PING Helsinki, especially the group of four amazing ladies who organized the event and the co-operative companies who helped to make it happen. And of course I want to thank all the keynote speakers, business hippies and content gurus. Can’t wait for next year!