Being a bit of a country mouse, attending Britmums Live 2015 in the big smoke of London was a pretty daunting prospect. I’ve never travelled on a train alone before, nevermind attended a networking event! But, I knew I was meeting my lovely friends Donna and Sarah that would hold my hand where I needed them.
Getting onto the train was a bit of a nightmare, but once I had landed in Euston I was so happy to see the beautiful faces of my fellow bloggers waiting for me in one of the cafes! It was rather bizarre to learn that I’d been sharing my train journey down to London with Kel from Preston in the next carriage – although we didn’t realise until we were practically on the platform! We made the journeys across London town to check into our hotel and made our way to the Britmums Live 2015 event at The Brewery.
I was really overwhelmed with how many people were there, in one space, seemingly knowing everyone else and I suddenly felt like a very small fish in a very large pond. Without a couple of really good friends, I would have been really out of my depth and probably ran all the way back to the hotel and not looked back! After registration, we made our way down to the Britmums Live Introduction by Susanna and Jennifer, co-founders of Britmums, and listened to Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella deliver an excellent keynote speech. I’m quite a fan of the clean-eating way of life and so bought a copy of her recipe book and was lucky enough to have Ella sign it for me.
I attended a couple of sessons on Friday afternoon, namely Turning Pitches into Profits which was delivered incredibly by Emily Leary of A Mummy Too, sharply followed by How the Successful Bloggers do it with Vicki Psarias, Becky Wiggins and Helen McGinn which was really insightful into the world of a blogging career. I learnt many tips and tricks during these sessions which I am really grateful for!
There were a good variety of trade stands in the Hub, including Boots, Merci Maman, Vitamix, Lindeman’s, Munchkin, Stagecoach, Carnival Cruises and Joules. They had some fabulous competitions running and it was really nice to speak to PR agencies face to face rather than via email. The displays were beautiful and all the PR agents that I spoke to were really lovely. I can’t wait to work with some of them!
Friday evening saw the Brilliance in Blogging awards, aka the BiBs, where the wine and conversation flowed and the awards were presented by Carol Smillie. I’d like to congratulate all the Award Winners but also the finalists and nominees for just being so awesome. After the BiBs, some new friends and I visited Pizza Express for tea. I felt a bit sorry for the staff having to deal with such a large table of nattering bloggers! But it was a lovely evening and I had most definitely relaxed since first arriving in London.
I wasn’t too fussed about sitting in on many of the sessions on the Saturday, but didn’t want to miss out on Maggie Woodley and Ali Clifford’s session discussing ways to utillise all steams of Social Media to help publicise your blog. This was another really popular session that provided information on how to manage all of your social media accounts at once using scheduling software and tips on where to focus your efforts. I found this really useful and, although there were lots of questions being asked, I managed to catch Ali afterwards in the Hub – she was so lovely!
I spent the rest of the day meeting and chatting with other bloggers and brands and had a really good time. I felt much more at ease on the Saturday and was quite glad to stay out of a couple of sessions to just take a minute to regroup in the peace and quiet. I really enjoyed listening to Carol and Caprice’s keynotes at the beginning and end of the day, but the Blogger’s Keynote was probably the best part of the whole Britmums Live weekend.
I’ve never experienced such a range of emotions within one short hour, listening to the funny, heartfelt, witty and incredibly sad posts that had been written over the last twelve months by the blogging community. I laughed my socks off during Dave’s post titled “An Open Apology to my 8-Month Old Daughter”, and sobbed my heart out during Jenny’s letter to her step-daughter “Dear Elspeth”. All of the Blogger’s invited to speak during the Keynote were fabulous and did incredibly well to speak in front of a huge room of fellow bloggers.
And that was it. The whole Britmums Live experience was over. I can’t believe how quickly time passed those two days. I barely had time to think about my little family at home! I am so pleased that I have fulfilled another of my blogging goals for 2015 by attending a Bloggers Event – and I can proudly say that I am now a Guinness World Record Holder!