If you’re a parent blogger or Tweeter, you may have noticed something happened this weekend. Something called BritMumsLive. About 500 parent bloggers disappeared off the face of their blogs to attend it (except those who photographed, vlogged or live blogged it of course!). We also crashed Twitter a few times as we tweeted our excitement and dismay at the various proceedings, managing to trend for most of Friday and Saturday.
BritMums has invited all attendees to blog about it and post it on their BritMumsLive linky so we can all share the love. So what was all the fuss about and what were the good and bad bits for me? Well, I thought I’d interview myself to make this more fun to write:
Why did you go to BritMumsLive?
First, I wanted to meet some of the wonderful people I read online ALL the time. I also wanted to pick up some tips from the same wonderful people about how to improve my writing and blogging experience for myself and my uber-wonderful readers. Finally, I wondered if I might be able to con those lovely PR people at Doco into letting me work with Lego/Duplo to review their fabulous toys…? I’d been thinking about it for a while, but it took a nudge from the lovely From Fun To Mum to get me to hit BUY!
What did you wear?
I wore my favourite pumps on both days. I also wore my new gift from Mayfair Dad, a navy cropped cotton tweed jacket from Jigsaw with my jeans on Friday, but had to change it for an older Hobbs one on Saturday (due to an incident with a mozzarella cheese on Friday night!).
Where was it held?
The fabulous Brewery in Chiswell Street, London.
How easy was it to get to?
Very – The Brewery is only a few minutes walk from Barbican tube station.
Was it expensive?
BritMums had an early bird offer (which I missed – doh!) of £49.99 and I think my full price ticket was another £20 for being a slowcoach. Both prices included what seemed an endless supply of tea, coffee and cake, wine, a luscious lunch on Saturday and of course, the goodie bag! So, no. I don’t think so.
Did it meet your expectations?
Mostly, yes. I expected meeting people who I feel I know already, especially when I’m not the most well-read blog on the block and I haven’t put my face out here yet (thinking about that…) to feel a little surreal. I expected to have to make an effort to interact with everyone and I expected a little less than perfect (most conferences are).
What were the best bits?
Definitely making creative cakes with the lovely Kerry from Doco on the Lego/Duplo stand! They tasted pretty good too 🙂
I hoped for inspiration from the agenda and I got it in spades – from the amazing speakers, Ruby Wax and Sarah Brown, both incredibly busy women, both of whom have had their share of personal difficulties and both just doing what they can to make a difference to others. I stopped at the PiggyBankKids stand too, to indulge my creative side some more and painted a piggy bank for the Little Chap. The session on taking your blog to the next level was definitely inspiring, led by BritMum royalty, like Melinda Fargo from Her Melness Speaks and that and several other sessions really came back to reinforce one thing and one thing only – sod the stats and blog for happiness. Yay!
I hoped to learn something new and I did – the sessions on legal issues, Pinterest and Advanced WordPress were very informative.
Last but by absolutely no means least, there was the real life interaction with the really lovely people who attended. That alone made it worth every penny spent. I can’t speak for all 499 other people there obviously, but those I introduced myself to or who were kind enough to approach me, were at least polite, if not hugely, reassuringly warm and fluffy.
What were the worst bits?
There were several workshops I wanted to attend but couldn’t due to scheduling. I would have liked to have taken part in the Discussion Den: Can you really have it all? but it clashed with the Bloggers’ Studio: Crossing the Chasm, how to bring your blog up to the next level. The Advanced WordPress session clashed with the Blogging for Happiness session and the information given in the programme could have been more specific (I’m a .com not a .org user and it turns out that to use all the plug-ins and tips mentioned, I’ll have to find a new webhost for my domain and make the jump to .org – useful to know but I may have made a different choice with more information beforehand…!). Finally I was faced with the dilemma of whether to find out more about using PInterest or Facebook Pages – both of which I use. Still, I guess it gives me a reason to go back next year.
There was also the incident with the mozzarella cheese and the jacket…but I think it was worse for the waitress who dropped it on said jacket, as she had to pay for my dry cleaning and it was only her third day…
Would you go again next year?
Definitely. I hope to build stronger relationships with those I’ve met by interacting with them more on-line so it will be lovely to meet up with them again.
Who did you meet?
This is a tricky one, as I’m bound to forget someone lovely (apologies now!) but here are the people I made a note of as I met them so I can pop on by and visit them from time to time…
- Five Go Blogging
- From Fun to Mum
- In A Bun Dance
- Missy B
- Ministry of Mum
- Mummy Whisperer
- SAHD & Proud v2
- Wit Wit Woo
If BritMums Live left you with one thought, what was it?
That my challenges are really very small and insignificant compared to those faced by some parents who blog and I am privileged to have been able to join the ranks of diverse parents who write and share their lives with us on-line for so many different reasons. As one PR said to me on Friday night, our generation more than any other before it lives in a truly global community, where our judgement of others’ personal choices and situations has no place, only our acceptance and support.
Any last words?
Business cards & here’s to 2013!
Have you ever been to a blogger conference? Was it your first time and if so what did you think of it? Would you go again or try another one? I’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.
© Mayfair Mum, http://www.mayfairmum.com 2012