I am lucky enough to have spent last weekend at Britmums Live thanks to sponsorship from Primula and can’t believe how quick it went. It seemed to go even quicker than last year where I felt very much a small fish in a big pond and where I spent most of the time in awe of the bloggers around me, feeling very new, overwhelmed but very excited to be there.
This year was different for me – although I was dressed again in an outfit from Joe Browns and even wore a Joe Browns outfit of my own on the second day too! No, this year was different for so many reasons. Another year of blogging has meant that I have spoken to more bloggers, read more blog posts, written more comments and just had another year of being part of the blogging community. This meant that wherever I looked at Britmums Live this year I could see bloggers that I felt like I knew, bloggers I had grown close to through their blogs and social media and bloggers that I felt so comfortable with that I could just go and speak to – although I had never met them before. That for me is the great thing about blogging – the people that are always there, in your phone and on your computer screen, those people that completely get you, understand you and think just like you. Those people, those other bloggers – they’re all friends before you even meet and they are all part of such an incredible blogging community.
There were many brands showcased and many I already know from working with the PR companies behind them but, for me, Beattie Communications coming to Britmums as a PR company rather than just one of their brands is something I think all PR companies could learn from. I’m sure all bloggers would love to go to Britmums and walk into a Hub of PR company stands, all showcasing the many brands they work with. Often one brand isn’t a good fit for a blogger but most PR companies have at least one brand on their books to suit each blog. The brands could then share the cost of the PR company going to Britmums and it would mean more opportunity for both bloggers and PR companies – and hopefully a fully Hub! So, if you’re a PR reading this – maybe something to think about next year – take a leaf out of Beattie Comms book! The brand side of Britmums was lovely this year as you could take your time talking to them and there weren’t so many that you were overwhelmed or struggling to find the time to chat to them.
Aside from the brands, the sessions were also a big part of Britmums. I personally didn’t go to a huge amount of them but there was a great variety of sessions to suit everyone, no matter how long they had been blogging and how much knowledge they had. There was everything from technical talks to the more creative and the sessions I went to were great. I came away with a few things added to my to-do list and inspiration for future blog posts.
Another part of Britmums Live that I love is the keynote speakers and loved Ella Woodward’s keynote speech and found her truly inspirational. The other speakers – Carol Smillie and Caprice – I didn’t find particularly inspiring and as one has a new product to promote and the other a new book I would that they were mainly marketing those than trying to inspire a room full of parent bloggers. One thing though that did get us up and inspired was the chance to beat a Guinness World Record – and we did just that! Britmums now holds the record for the number of people wrapped up like mummies in 3 minutes – thanks to toilet roll! Mummies dressed as mummies! Amazing!
I loved meeting so many bloggers this year, and truly felt part of the blogging community. I didn’t find much cliquey-ness – although there will always be groups that congregate with their friends and don’t seem that approachable. I think on that front I was lucky though and caught most people in smaller groups or on their own and loved the amount of people I got to spend time with, talk to and just have a good time with. I loved the outside space at Britmums and the addition of an extra conservatory area was great.
There was plenty of food and drink and I thought lunch on day two was lovely with great options – especially the puddings! Like many, I stocked up on wine on both days although I know my limits – I am sure there were plenty that overindulged!
Lastly, the blogger keynotes. This for me is what Britmums Live is all about – celebrating what the community do best, the best posts that have been written and the things that bring bloggers together to inspire, empathise and really just care about each other. The posts are emotive, real, sometimes funny and so honest and getting up in front of a room full of your peers, people you look up to and new bloggers alike is not an easy thing – I have huge respect for every keynote speaker that stands on that stage. So for the blogger keynote is something so important and so this year I was sad that the room was less than half full by that point as most people had gone home. I hope that next year Britmums make the blogger keynotes have a more prominent position, maybe as a prelude to the BiBs on Friday night or earlier on the saturday. They deserve to have a bigger focus than they ended up with this year.
I loved the atmosphere of Britmums, the laughter, the chat and the excitement. I enjoyed meeting new people who didn’t seem new at all and chatting to more people in two days than I usually speak to in weeks. Britmums, as always, gave me a renewed inspiration for blogging, a need to slow down in what I am doing each day and an urge to get more from my blog – although, if I am doing the same thing in a year’s time I won’t be disappointed! Really Britmums confirmed for me that I love my little space online, I love being part of the blogger community and there is always something new to learn, something else to tweak and something else to add to your to-do list.
Although aspects of this year weren’t as good to me as last year it was a completely different weekend, and so you need to look at it on it’s own and I think I was also different this year – more relaxed, slightly more confident but still very much me. Thank you to Joe Browns for sponsoring my outfit and to Primula to sending me on this weekend and working with me this year. I had a great weekend and can’t wait to tick those things off my to-do list!
Thanks to all the bloggers who said hello and the ones who took selfies with me and thanks for Sarah and Steph for playing such a massive part in my weekend. It wouldn’t have been the same without them!