Thanks to my fabulous sponsor SiliSqueeze, last weekend I attended my first ever Britmums Live and the excitement levels had been building up for weeks.
I made the fateful decision to drive, which I had sworn I would not do after a nightmare driving in London in April. I convinced myself it would be better this time and my satnav – Dave, would be on his best behaviour. Let’s just say, I am NEVER driving in London again!
After driving around in circles for an hour I finally arrived at the Brewery in the midst of everyone rushing to get to the keynote speech. I have to admit I felt a little overwhelmed and wished I had arranged to meet a buddy as I headed inside.
I decided to grab a coffee first and had a quick nosey around the hub, before heading into the main room to see Emma Freud speaking amongst a room full of bloggers all wearing tiaras!
She was brilliantly funny and spoke of how she badgered and cajoled people into raising money for the likes of Comic Relief. There are a few celebrities that avoid her phone calls – funny that!
The Friday for me, was about finding my bearings, working out what sessions I wanted to attend and catching up with some of my favourite bloggers. Everyone recognised Sebastian before me and I think he was a little overwhelmed by all the new faces but he took a real shine to Monika from Mumonthebrink.
We stayed for the BiBs Awards and with the exception of OneDad3Girls I was disappointed that none of my favourites won – in fact I hadn’t heard of many of the winners so I have some new blogs to check out.
Once that had finished I met up with hubby and headed back to fetch the car and then on to Premier Inn in Old Street, where we would be staying for 2 nights. By this time it was getting late so took our stuff to our rooms and then headed downstairs for a bite to eat before turning in for the night.
Our rooms were small but perfectly adequate and we all slept well. There were lots of other bloggers staying in the hotel too, so we arranged to meet at 8am the next morning and walk to the Brewery.
I am not sure if someone mentioned it, or if my badges were spotted but the staff all gathered outside to sing me happy birthday – which, in a crowd of bloggers is something that was filmed, photographed and online within seconds. Big thanks to Frugi for my nursing maxi dress.
The walk to the Brewery took around 15 minutes and we all had a lovely chat as we ambled along. I was much more relaxed about today, although I did try and persuade hubby to take Sebastian with him so I could concentrate better.
My first session was the Do’s and Don’t’s of Blog Giveaways with Di Coke of superlucky.me – it was a great session, packed with useful information about hosting giveaways (Don’t call them competitions). Click the link to download the PDF.
Frustratingly the video and photography sessions clashed and I had to make a decision about which one to go to. I chose photography and for me it was the wrong one. Although Julia Bogglio is beautiful and fabulously talented, I just didn’t get what I wanted from the session.
Using the colour wheel is a great way of ensuring people are wearing clothes that co-ordinate but I wanted to see her playing around the camera and taking us through settings etc. The session was mostly about light and staging – a real beginners guide.
Next up was “How to Make Money from your blog” – this gave a great insight in how different bloggers have done it but in a nutshell it takes time, hard work and sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time. There is no right or wrong way to blog, your site will grow and develop over time. I know when I first started I had no idea which direction it would take and I toyed with food and craft posts before it took the days out direction.
I did find the sessions that I attended very basic, and aimed at beginners. For me, Britmums is all about networking. I met up with genuine friends, was introduced to bloggers and brands that I love and got to chat about my blogging life that my friends just “don’t get”, all with added cake and wine!
Sebastian met his “Bump Twin” Deacon from Innocentcharmchats and the boys enjoyed sharing their 1st birthday weekend together by stealing most of the Biscotti biscuits from the Heinz Baby area between them. Thank you mytwomums for the photo’s.
Sebastian also did a fab job of demonstrating his Sili Squeeze to interested mums and was beautifully behaved throughout both days. I did find having him with me was a bit of a tie though and if given the chance again I wouldn’t take him with me.
The most emotional part of the day were the closing keynote speakers. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as bloggers read some of their most moving posts. Thankfully there was light relief at the end thanks to the Good Enough Mums club, before we grabbed our goody bags and headed back to the hotel.
Britmums Live 2015 early bird tickets are available now until 1st August at £65 – will you be going next year?