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’.
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 counters, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|You can never separate humour and the Indi Team, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|The Departure Gates, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|THE BNLF Flight awaits bloggers, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Inside the aircraft, the main stage, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|The Indi-Journey since 2011 when I became a member, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|The Blunder in the Code members kick start the event, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Iron Maiden's lead singer Bruce Dickinson during his keynote, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Afterparty Picture with comedian Kannan Gill, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Afterparty picture with blogger-turned-author Purba Ray, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Afterparty picture with blogger-turned-author Preeti Shenoy, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Afterparty picture with writer Arnab Ray, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Afterparty picture with internet marketeer Jeff Bullas, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Had wanted to do this for so long, Segway ride thanks to Cleartrip, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Rock climbing, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Meeting apne Delhi ke bloggers in Mumbai, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|And then fun time with Mumbai bloggers, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|The 'red' IndiBloggers, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Weird faces, huh? BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|From Mumbai to Amrika, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|Chalo smile, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|The yellow IndiWelcome Team pink-ed inside the aircraft, BNLF Mumbai 2015|
|The IndiWelcome team ready for action, BNLF Mumbai 2015; Photo Courtesy: IndiBlogger|
|The briefing is on, kaam kar lo sab, BNLF 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|
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