Two weekends and two very different blog conferences, one for the creative bloggers and another for the parent bloggers.
I’ve been aware of Britmums Live for about four years, but I never thought it was my kind of thing until last year, when I felt a pang of regret as I watched the tweets from those who attended. Even having finally made the leap to attend, I doubted my decision and headed for London with a truck load of prejudices about an event which was primarily aimed at Mummy Bloggers (oh that dreaded phrase!) There were going to be too many people, too many babies, too many buggies and too many bloggers younger than me.
But oh how very wrong I was. From the moment I arrived at the Brewery On Friday, I was enveloped in warmth, acceptance, support and encouragement. There was none of the tepid arm’s length mingling that I had grown used to at Blogtacular; at Britmums it was full-on bear hugs and unabashed enthusiasm.
I was hugely lucky to have hooked up with the brilliant Em from Snowing Indoors before the conference and she introduced me to a collection of wonderful bloggers who until this weekend had only existed as distant digital figures.
The talks were inspiring but where their tight schedule had been central to everything at Blogtacular, here they existed to compliment the mingling, tea drinking and cake eating that took place for the bulk of the weekend. I never felt under pressure to hurry off to an allotted room at an allotted time, but I learnt loads and still got to have great conversations with the people I had traveled so far to meet.
I was prepared for a few cold shoulders, blank looks or half-hearted ‘hellos’, but as I worked my way down the list of those I hoped to meet (yes, I really had a list) everyone dived into conversation like we were old friends and if they hoped I’d go away, I was too thick-skinned to notice.
Was great to finally meet and chat to the awesome @maybushstudio. Go follow for fab photography! #britmumslive A photo posted by My Two Mums (@mytwomums) on
The lovely Laura from Side Street Style was also there (she who I so bravely introduced myself to last weekend) and we all nearly exploded from our seats when she collected the Bibs award for style, taking to the stage with Baby G strapped to her chest (if that isn’t awesome style my friends, then what is?)
Pre-conference there had been a frenzy of Facebook posts about what people were wearing which was enough to unnerve the most confident of dresser. In the end I chose an Isabella Oliver maxi dress from the Friday, teamed with an ancient Miss Selfridge waterfall cardigan (found lurking in the depths of my wardrobe) and on the Saturday an equally old black Seraphine maternity dress with last summer’s saltwater sandles. Both dresses were fantastically comfortable and the maxi dress even attracted compliments from a couple of complete strangers (worth going to London just for that I’d say!) But the real triumph in the fashion stakes was my bright red lipstick which I found the confidence to wear amongst my new blogging pals on the Saturday.
Of the talks I attended, particular mention must go to Judith Lewis of decabbit.com who did a funny, punchy, inspiring talk on SEO and dealt with crying babies in the room in the the warmest and most welcoming way I have seen. The Google+ talk was also useful though it will probably take me about a month to digest what we were told and longer still to put it into practice.
I also went along to a vlogging session with Mario from Youtube who said encouraging things about the growing demand for content for an older audience produced by an older vlogger.
I’m not the kind of person who is usually late to the party with things, but I’m very very late to the party with Britmums Live. Spending the first 6 years of my blogging life an airline flight away from London is part of the reason, but does not excuse me entirely. My weekend at the Brewery made me realise how essential (and rewarding) it is to mix with real bloggers in person and that this dreaded ‘Mummy Blogger’ tag does such an injustice to the variety of talented women who blog in so many variations and just happen to be mothers.
For any new bloggers reading this post (or old ones who still haven’t done a conference) I would say that Britmums Live is an essential booking for 2016. Don’t over think it, just book it as soon as the super-early bird tickets go on sale. You will not regret it…
Huge thank yous to…
Aby (You Baby Me Mummy)
Amber (Goblin Child)
Amy (Mrs T Plus Three)
Di Coke (Superlucky.me)
Donna (What The Redhead Said)
Em (Snowing Indoors)
Hannah (Mums Days)
Helen (Coco Mama Style)
Katie & George (Minis And More)
Katie (Mummy Daddy Me)
Katrina (Mum For Fun)
Katy (Carry On Katy)
Katy (What Katy Said)
Kiran (Mummy Says)
Kirsty & Clara (My Two Mums)
Lizzie (Lizzie Somerset)
Nadine Hill (Juggle Mum)
You made my weekend unexpectedly awesome with your warmth and humour and to Bella Bathrooms for being my sponsor and making my attendance possible.
Linking up with Aby & Em…