Last weekend was the much anticipated Brit Mums Live. Bloggers all over the country booked their event tickets and train tickets months in advance. Outfits were bought for the occasion, business cards designed and excited tweets tweeted.
It was my first Britmums event and my second blogging event. To say I was excited was an understatement but I also had a few nerves. I agreed to meet my friend Anupa outside the Brewery and on the way there Amie messaged me and said she was outside as well. I was so glad I had these two for the event!
I need to be really honest here…I thought Britmums was extremely well organised and I came away with a lot of knowledge and inspiration. However, I did feel let down by some fellow bloggers. I can honestly say I went up to almost everyone I recognised and while it was amazing to meet lot’s of new people, I guess some people find it a lot easier to be friendly/inclusive online than they do in person. And apparently I’m not the only one who felt that way.
The event itself was pretty amazing! Friday got us all mingling with a Guinness World Records Ice breaker. What was it you ask? How many “mummies” (get it? ;-)) can you wrap in 3 minutes? We broke the record by 1 and are now all proud holders of actual Guinness World Record medals. How cool is that?!
I also took part in their “fastest nib” contest. You had to run a marker nib around a track, staying within the narrow lines, in the fastest time possible!
In the second half of the afternoon I went to the “Turning pitches into profits” session by Emily Leary and “How successful bloggers do it” by Helen McGinn, Vicki Psarias and Becky Wiggins. Helen and Becky were new to me but it was so great to meet Vicki in person. I’m a big fan of her blog, she’ll always respond if you tweet/message her and it was nice to put a voice to her name. She’s one of those bloggers who is as friendly in person as she is online.
I had to leave early on Friday because S had a bit of a false alarm at A&E (I think he was having too much fun with the toys they had in the children’s waiting area!).
On Saturday I got there nice and early (unlike Friday when my Google maps app had me walking in circles) and got a chance to chat to some of the brands. Anna Barcelo from Costa Brava, Sarah Keeble from Boots, Rosie Stoddart from Beattie Communications and Amir Nezemi from RealTimes (which have a new video feature on their app which is pretty damn awesome! I can’t wait to try it out).
My favourite session on the Saturday was the one about travel blogging. I always thought of myself as a parenting and lifestyle blogger but after this session I realised that I actually write quite a bit about our travels/local adventures. I’ve since gone on to set up a specific travelling with kids page where I’ll be adding all the links to our travelling adventures.
Britmums taught me to think outside of what I’m doing and to put myself out there. I came away with tools to confidently speak to brands and PR people, to improve my writing and to make the most of SEO.
The day ended with 13 bloggers’ keynote, some of which had us all in tears! Hayley’s (Downs Side Up) letter to Mr. Richard Dawkins really pulled on my heart strings. It was so beautiful to listen to a post read out in the writer’s voice. To hear their emotion come through as they write on topics they feel passionate about.
Being a blogger has given me confidence, a voice I never really used before and the opportunity to be a part of a huge community of some pretty kick ass people! Britmums left me exhausted, inspired, determined, educated and truly humbled! I can’t wait to go again next year!