This weekend your social media might have blow up a little bit with over 500 bloggers frantically tweeting about #BML16. Britmums Live is an annual conference for parenting bloggers to mingle, connect with brands and attend seminars. It’s a beast of an event that must take monumental planning to pull off.
This year Britmums Live was held in The Brewery, a conference venue attached to The Montcalm hotel in London. The event was only for one day but I flew out on the Friday. I can’t thank my wonderful sponsor Alphabet Babies enough for this opportunity. You can find out more about them in this post and keep an eye out for more news on their literacy programmes soon.
This was my first big blogging event so I was really nervous and almost chickened out a few times. Thankfully I had a lovely little team of bloggers to remind me to get a grip and enjoy myself!
I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and photos from the conference. I’ll try to keep it to useful & practical tips rather than waffling on about how much fun I had. Hopefully it’ll be interesting to anyone who’s considering attending next year.
The Brewery is really easy to find, it’s within walking distance of Barbican and Moorgate tube stops. The venue was really lovely, well equipped with lots of toilets, seating, lifts and lovely outdoor spaces. There is a cloakroom available free of charge even for bulky items. I found the staff to be really helpful even offering us an umbrella and access to the baby change facilities in the main hotel later on in the day.
I wanted to wear something nice and ‘cool’ but still feel like me so I went with a fine knit jumper and denim skirt – both from Primark. On reflection the jumper was far too warm for muggy London and I would have been better off in a thin top or blouse. My belt was stolen from poor Matt as I forgot my own. He’s a good egg 🙂
The adgenda was really full on, there were talks and seminars throughout the day and you often had to choose between 4-6 things that were running simultaneously. There wasn’t much space left for mingling unless you were willing to skip sessions. I would have much preferred the event to be over two days as there were a lot of talks and workshops that I missed out on.
The sessions I did catch were:
- 10 Ways to tell Compelling Stories with Photography – Charly Dove
- YouTube: Collaborating & growing your audience – Kate Rushworth
- Sketchbook Club – Jennie Maizels
- Table Talk – Parents Under 30 – Amie Shearer
I thought all the sessions I attended were good fun but unfortunately not in-depth enough to teach me a great deal. That being said I enjoyed myself so it was a positive experience. I was really disappointed to have missed out on the SEO, Google Analytics and Instagram sessions but I’m hoping someone has notes I can borrow.
For me, hands down the best part of the day was meeting all the bloggers I’ve formed friendships with over the last 18 months. It was so inspiring to spend time in their company and bounce ideas off each other.
I loved being in an environment where it was totally acceptable to be on your phone, have impromptu photoshoots and compare notes on effective hashtags. We all managed to concoct masterplans for world domination so watch out…
- When choosing sessions/talks to attend go with your gut, not the crowd.
- Talk to everyone! Don’t be shy just take a leap. Most people are really very nice.
- Bring a power pack, your phone will die! Unless you have an alien phone from the future.
- If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed just take a breath and get back in the room.
- Take photos of everything, you’ll only regret the ones you didn’t take.
- Don’t forget to stop and eat. Also, drink more than just prosecco, it’s a long & tiring day.
There were a few bloggers I was desperate to meet but either didn’t have the confidence to approach or time to find. I wish I had been more forward.
As I said before I was too warm and should have gone with a lighter outfit.
I didn’t really take any selfies with my blogging buddies and I’m really annoyed about that. An opportunity missed.
All things considered I really would reccomend that you attend Britmums Live or similar. It’s a great opportunity to learn and network. It’s not all good, there are some aspects I really didn’t enjoy. At times I was a bit lonely and overwhelmed but I’m glad I persisted. It’s best to ignore the cliques and focus on having a good time.
If you do go to Britmums live next year and you’re feeling a bit left out, tweet me, I’ll be your conference buddy!