So, I went to my first Britmums Live conference - for those who don't know what it is, just think of a massive wine-fuelled two day event about blogging (and everything connected with it) for parenting bloggers in UK. I've even heard of people coming in from abroad for the conference, so clearly it is a big deal with parenting bloggers here.
I wasn't 100% sure if I would go after the first blogging conference I attended. Not that there was anything particularly horrible about my first blogging conference, it just wasn't as amazing or social as I thought. However, after reading tons and tons of stories about Britmums and hearing how people thought it was the place to be I figured why not. The tickets weren't expensive and if I hated it, I only lived a few tube zones away.
As the day approached I got a bit more apprehensive. We are just renovating our first home and time is in short supply at the moment to say the least. Because of the time pressure I didn't attend quite all of the conference, and had to miss out on some of the sessions I wanted to attend to. But in the end I am glad I went to it - overall it was an OK experience and I think I got something out of it.
- Deliciously Ella keynote - I bought her book recently and it was nice hearing her speak about her blogging journey. I haven't actually ever read her blog, but I like her book (I am a bit of a cooking book fanatic - sadly not a cooking fanatic my husband would say).
- Loads of brands - As I had to miss out on so many sessions because of time pressures I figured I'd atleast try to speak to all the brands there. Had some nice conversations, pushed my spanking business cards to everyone and signed up for loads of stuff.
- Chatting to brands and PR - After Britmums I have had a lot more PR contacts than before. Go figure, coincidence perhaps? Or then not.
- Craft corner - I learned how to knit. OK, I knew how to knit before as well, but I badly needed a re-freshener.
- Beating a Guinness World Record - yes, that is right. I am officially now a part of a group holding the current World Record on wrapping most people as toilet paper mummies in three minutes. As silly as it sounds it is true. "We are the champions, we are the champions... "
- Wonderful, tear-jerking, powerful keynotes.
- Meeting nice new people - I met quite a few nice people and some people even said hi first as they recognised me! I also met up with fab Nadia from Scandimummy.com for a quick chat before the conference and we walked in together. Nice to get a bit of a pep up and moral support as it was so manic there! (Check out the picture where I am with Nadia's little cutie Caspian)
- Lovely cute little babies everywhere - oh those squishy little thighs, cooing little gurgles, drooling little poochy-cheecks... A blogging conference is not supposed to make you BROODY! ;)
- I found it really difficult to find the sessions - the signposting was a bit weird and non-existent at some points.
- Some of the sessions were clearly set in wrong rooms - pitching session and photo styling sessions had people sitting on the floor. Surely a bigger room could be found for stuff that is likely to have big crowd interest?
- I didn't get to go to all the sessions I wanted to - OK, that was my problem and due to my time scheduling difficulties.
- Meeting naff people - Maybe it is just me but if I go to conferences (and I do as part of my real full-time job) I go there to network and socialise. I try my damnest to be approachable and positive and chatty to everyone. From some people at Britmums Live I just felt an instant naffiness, and a sort of a cold front. OK, I am not trying to be your BFF here, but you can atleast try and feign interest for a bit, maybe? Or then in the future when I do bump into your blog all I can think of is that this one was the naff one from BML, probably not that great of a blog either. Maybe I am looking at it wrong then and maybe going to a blogging conference is about talking to people you know, and looking at your computer/phone/the wall. I get it, people can be shy, so am I, but there is shyness and then there is "shyness".
How was your Britmums Live?