Sunday, November 08, 2015

This is How Awesome BNLF Mumbai 2015 Was

I have attended a lot of IndiBlogger meets over the last 4 years. None of them come anywhere close to how grand and epic #BNLF Mumbai 2015 was last weekend. And I knew this when I got the first glimpse of the preparations at the venue a day before the event.

'BNLF is actually going to be inside an aeroplane and a grand one at that!' I told my sister that night. Her interest had been piqued. ‘Complete with check-in counters, baggage counters, boarding gates, security checks, an aircraft with a cockpit, windows and everything else’.
 
The Grand Bloggers' Group Photo, BNLF Mumbai 2015; Photo Courtesy: IndiBlogger
Being an insider has always excited me more than being just a guest/delegate, and so early on I had applied for the IndiCrew pass for the event (even before I moved to Mumbai). I had been selected for the IndiWelcome team and so on the first day of the event, had to reach by 7 AM. I was too excited to check out the venue and the completed mock-airport setup.

The lounge at The Lalit Mumbai was completely unrecognisable from how it looked the previous evening during the crew briefing session. I was awestruck with the details, the planning and the execution of the entire event.


Indiblogger events that are not sponsored and are completely managed by Inditeam, are usually the best ones. BNLF was entirely Indi-funded and I think that's the best thing that made the conference so coherent and fun. No stupid sponsor presentations, no advertisements. Just Hurr Hurr!

The IndiWelcome team had yellow tees which we initially hated. But soon enough we realised that we were the only team that stood out in the crowd. No complaints now.

Day 1 began in the most non-formal and Indi-way- With a Band performance by Indi’s in-house band: Blunder in the Code. As the flight took off on its worldwide journey, we were flown to meet and greet blogger-turned-writers Purba Ray, Arnab Ray, Preeti Shenoy, Jeff Bullas, and Christoph Trappe. The highlights included the superbly humourous Kannan Gill keynote and the entry by Iron Maiden’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson. The first day ended with a high with a huge group photo accommodating close to 500 or more bloggers along with the guests and Inditeam.

The afterparty saw everyone coming together for an evening of talks, networking and selfies.

Day 2 was organised at The Majestic inside The Lalit. (I missed the indi-plane!) It saw two 3 hour long workshops from Jeff and Christoph, followed by a short creative writing workshop by Arnab Ray where he revealed why he hated the sudden ending of Harry Potter (and we shared mutual feelings on this one). A group photo with the now so familiar Indiblogger team followed and BNLF Mumbai 2015 came to an end.

Before leaving, I met each of the IndiBlogger Team members- Renie, Vineet, Anoop, Karthik, Swati and Saurabh- and congratulated them for the success of their months of hardwork. It was surprising as each of them gave me the same reply- Congrats to you. It wouldn’t have been possible without you!

I didn’t mind spending my entire weekend at BNLF that lay between two full weeks of work. For me BNLF was about the loads of new friends I made. It was about meeting bloggers who have made it big. It was about meeting the faces, from across the country, behind the blogs I have followed for so long. It was about being an active part of the IndiBlogger community that has made me a huge IndiFan since I joined in December 2011. It was about the two days that kept me completely engrossed in blogging- the one thing I have enjoyed doing for the longest time.


I now look forward to the next BNLF. To those who missed this one, don’t repeat the mistake. Now check out the photos from BNLF Mumbai 2015 on 31st October and 1st November 2015:

IndiCrew briefing session on the eve of the event, BNLF Mumbai 2015; Photo Courtesy: Kaustav Sen

Jab we met our fellow crew members, BNLF Mumbai 2015; Photo Courtesy: Kaustav Sen

The Welcome arena, BNLF Mumbai 2015

The check-in countersBNLF Mumbai 2015

You can never separate humour and the Indi TeamBNLF Mumbai 2015

The Departure GatesBNLF Mumbai 2015

THE BNLF Flight awaits bloggersBNLF Mumbai 2015

Inside the aircraft, the main stageBNLF Mumbai 2015

The Indi-Journey since 2011 when I became a memberBNLF Mumbai 2015

The Blunder in the Code members kick start the eventBNLF Mumbai 2015

Iron Maiden's lead singer Bruce Dickinson during his keynoteBNLF Mumbai 2015

Afterparty Picture with comedian Kannan GillBNLF Mumbai 2015

Afterparty picture with blogger-turned-author Purba RayBNLF Mumbai 2015

Afterparty picture with blogger-turned-author Preeti ShenoyBNLF Mumbai 2015

Afterparty picture with writer Arnab RayBNLF Mumbai 2015

Afterparty picture with internet marketeer Jeff BullasBNLF Mumbai 2015

Had wanted to do this for so long, Segway ride thanks to Cleartrip, BNLF Mumbai 2015

Rock climbingBNLF Mumbai 2015

Meeting apne Delhi ke bloggers in MumbaiBNLF Mumbai 2015

And then fun time with Mumbai bloggersBNLF Mumbai 2015

The 'red' IndiBloggersBNLF Mumbai 2015

Weird faces, huh? BNLF Mumbai 2015

From Mumbai to AmrikaBNLF Mumbai 2015

Chalo smileBNLF Mumbai 2015

The yellow IndiWelcome Team pink-ed inside the aircraftBNLF Mumbai 2015

The IndiWelcome team ready for actionBNLF Mumbai 2015; Photo Courtesy: IndiBlogger

The briefing is on, kaam kar lo sabBNLF Mumbai 2015; Picture Courtesy: Kaustav Sen

End of Day 2 Group Picture, BNLF Mumbai 2015; Photo Courtesy: IndiBlogger

Something to be treasured, BNLF Mumbai 2015

With the team which made it all possible, BNLF Mumbai 2015
Blog Now Live Forever! 

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