Where online and real lives come together | BritMumsLive 2015


BritmumsLive MrsShilts

Last weekend was BritMumsLive 2015, the annual blogging conference for parenting bloggers and social influencers organised by the blogging network BritMums held at The Brewery in London. Having been to BritmumsLive twice before (2014 / 2013 I / II) I pretty much knew what to expect; think free wine, a few freebies, laughter, hugs a plenty and brain ache.

I was really looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces, enjoy a glass or two of wine and having some down time away from being Mummy and just enjoying the buzz of what happens when social media lives and real lives come together.

It’s crazy to think we spend so much time online at all times of the day and night talking to people who are all over the country that when we actually meet in one place, we can’t hide behind 140 characters and we have to interact with real conversations and find out what people are really like in the flesh. I’m not ashamed to say it but it’s really hard work, so many faces, so many blogs, so many twitter handles not matching their blog names or their faces matching their avatars! So many childrens lives you follow on instagram and via blogs it’s so hard to recall every single one of them when you’re right in front of them. I know I didn’t get chance to speak to everyone I wanted too and I do apologise that I didn’t spend enough time with you all!

I had such a wonderful weekend at BritmumsLive, with thanks to ISA Holistics for their sponsorship, there’s too much to write about so I’ll share some snippets of how I found the weekend in a love, liked and wasn’t not keen on style!

What I loved

– Meeting up with friends that I don’t get enough chance to see or speak to throughout the year
– Spending quality time with my blogging bestie Lucy
– Meeting new friends that I just clicked with straight away
– Meeting up with friends I’ve spoken to on FB /Twitter / Instagram for ages but never actually met in person before
– Going for dinner with friends and having a good giggle
– The craft lounge was brilliant. A space to take a breather and learn something new
– The steak and chip canapes were rather tasty even if they were tiny!
– The outdoor space outside The Brewery was brilliant and was a welcome retreat
– The Bloggers Keynote speeches had me in tears and it was so lovely to see everyone come together to support each other

BritmumsLive MrsShilts

What I liked

– Meeting a couple of the PR’s of brands I have worked with in the last year and them actually knowing my name!
– People recognising me as they’ve read my blog and stopping me to say hello
– Wrapping Lucy up in toilet roll with Jade for our Guinness World Record attempt
– Watching friends win a BiBs Award (Well done Rachel and Helen) and telling Hayley from Downs Side Up that she had won an award as she came into the room late after an interview
– The hugs I got from friends and their congratulations on my weight loss
– Listening to knowledgeable bloggers in their sessions and gleaning some tips from them to help with my blogging and social media interactions
– Deliciously Ella seemed as nice as she comes across on Twitter and has done very well for herself
– The relaxed, chatty vibe from everyone there. I didn’t find the event cliquey and everyone was willing to chat

BritmumsLive MrsShilts

What I wasn’t keen on..

– Being honest, I didn’t rate the brand hub. It was far too quiet and I hate introducing myself to brands who look like they don’t want to be there and couldn’t care less about my blog.

– Fair enough, Caprice has a stunning figure and lovely hair and she’s been through some hard times but she was patronising and definitely isn’t in the same boat as me! I didn’t appreciate her telling us that if my husband wants sex we should just put out and get on with it.

– Some of the sessions seemed rushed and were well over attended meaning a lot of us had to sit on the floor and couldn’t make notes quickly enough

– The goody bags weren’t really anything to write home about, sorry! Although Little Mr loved the Milkshake magazine and the free beach ball from the Joules stand.

– The lack of ‘proper’ food. Many of us got a bit tiddly on just one small glass of wine as there was nothing substantial to eat during the tea break on the Friday afternoon. I’m afraid a macaroon isn’t going to soak up anything!

– I know people have to get home on the Saturday evening after the event but they missed out on supporting brave, courageous bloggers reading some of their most successful posts. I was in floods of tears and completely moved by them. I also laughed a lot so if the Blogger Keynotes could be moved to the Friday evening so more people could enjoy them that would be amazing!

– Sleeping on my own in the hotel room. I didn’t like it and even left the light on in the bathroom all night!

– Missing the chance to speak to other blogging friends for longer than 5 seconds when we were changing rooms, passing by each other in the brand hub or mid-conversation with other friends.

Will I be going again?

Of course I will. I absolutely love seeing everyone and catching up. Although, I don’t think I learned enough to warrant my ticket price, from the social aspect of it, it was worth every penny!

I would really like to see some changes to the BritmumsLive schedule as I fear next year could be a bit of a wash out if they don’t and I would love to give my feedback to Susanna and Jen when they have recovered from the weekend.

Huge thanks to..

Special thanks go to ISA Holistics for sponsoring me to attend the event and to InstantPrint for providing me with my business cards to hand out to friends, bloggers and brands.

Big squishes to my fabulous friends who really made the weekend for me; Lucy, Jade, Debs, Rebecca, Amy, Donna, Steph, Natalie, Emma, Jen, Laura, The Gibsons, Kara and Emma to name just a few. I loved spending time with lots of my favourite bloggers including all the North West bloggers. You’re all rather fab and I hope you know that!

See you at BritMumsLive 2016!

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  • Reply Colette 26/06/2015 at 6:27 pm

    Up the North West ;)
    I can definitely see where you’re coming from on some of the less positive aspects x

    • Reply Emma Shilton 26/06/2015 at 6:49 pm

      Lovely to get some time with you Colette, would love a drink or two with you next time! xx

  • Reply Debs @ Super Busy Mum 26/06/2015 at 6:31 pm

    It was so lovely to finally meet you properly in person this year. I think last year we briefly said hey and that was it. But this year I got to know you and lady, your a doll! Thanks so much for the laughs {the wee mention!}, the hugs and the memories! Until next year! ;) xx

    • Reply Emma Shilton 26/06/2015 at 6:50 pm

      Aww Debs, you’re ace and you made me giggle so much! Lovely to spend time with you xx

  • Reply Amber 26/06/2015 at 6:41 pm

    Reading this account made me smile and feel as though I was there all over again! It was amazing, wasn’t it. Best first Britmums Live that I could have had. I wish that I’d come over to meet you but there’s always next time.

    And also – macaroons?! I didn’t find any bloody macaroons!!

    • Reply Emma Shilton 26/06/2015 at 6:48 pm

      Amber, do you remember the session with Emily Leary? I was sitting on the floor next to you and was admiring your little one. The macaroons weren’t that nice to be honest so you didn’t miss much! xx

  • Reply Michelle 26/06/2015 at 6:44 pm

    I think the hub felt empty too… and I agree with you that I think some things need to be re-jigged around! When you go the first time, it’s all new, but a third time, (like you and me) it gets a bit samey maybe? I’m definitely going next year! x

  • Reply Lucy Bishop 26/06/2015 at 7:17 pm

    Lovely post darling girl & whole heartedly agree on your constructive criticism. Let’s be roomys again next year? Then there’s no sleeping by yourself! I promise I won’t take my pjs off in the middle of the night ;-) love you xxx

  • Reply Amy Squires 26/06/2015 at 8:01 pm

    It was so lovely to meet you! It was a brilliant weekend and you certainly made it very enjoyable!
    I agree with the you on the comment Caprice made, I was like “oh hell no!” lol and you’re right the food certainly needs improving on the Friday. If they aren’t willing to put on more food they need to at least have a longer break so people can go out for something. Either way I can’t wait for next year!

  • Reply Jo Laybourn 26/06/2015 at 8:05 pm

    I hear ya! Can relate to most of your loves, likes and dislikes! Lovely to meet you and chat briefly Emma x

  • Reply Lauren | Belle du Brighton 26/06/2015 at 8:29 pm

    I completely agree that the keynotes should be on the friday night so people can support their fellow bloggers! Was nice to briefly meet you and eat dinner at the other end of the table from you!
    See you next year!

  • Reply Emily G 26/06/2015 at 9:25 pm

    Great write up! I am kicking myself I didn’t grab you for more of a natter during the day. I really agree with all your points especially the things that could be improved; I think they should have keynotes, then a dinner and disco after the BiBs. It would be a fab time and stop everyone running off! I also think the goody bag was very poor compared to other years and also compared to other events, although I really liked the wine! :-) xxxx

  • Reply Donna 26/06/2015 at 9:32 pm

    It was so, so lovely to see you again and spend time with you. I agree with this 100%! I had the same likes, loves and dislikes – Caprice. Jeez! I was sad for the keynotes speaking to a half empty room and the goodie bag was a bit meh! x

  • Reply Hayley - Downs Side Up 26/06/2015 at 9:36 pm

    Oh my, that moment you told me I’d missed my award will be etched in my memory forever. Thank you, and sorry for nearly collapsing on you! I agree with so much of what you have said, for me this year was the most supportive, gentle BML ever, but was gutted to have to leave to catch the last train to Cornwall during the keynote. Moving them to Friday is a great idea!

  • Reply Jenny @ The Brick Castle 27/06/2015 at 12:12 am

    That’s a lovely write up, and very kind words. I had forgotten about Caprice saying that, but you are absolutely right, I was really stunned at the time. I thought the food was 100% better than last year – I didn’t manage to get veggie before it ran out and ended up with a Tesco sandwich last year :) x

  • Reply Amanda 27/06/2015 at 9:37 am

    Love the fact you’ve split this into things you loved, liked and weren’t keen on! I have to say, the thing I struggle with most is not having substantial food throughout a very hectic couple of days!! Also, I see why we leave the Bloggers’ Keynote to the end (to end on a high) but I found it hung over me the entire weekend, wondering how it would go, and mine wasn’t even anywhere near as emotional as some of them were!! I’m sure the feedback forms will come out soon, but I’m also sure Jen and Susanna will appreciate any feedback given directly too :)

    Maybe bump into you to say a proper hi next year?!

  • Reply Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely 27/06/2015 at 5:42 pm

    I’m so sorry we only got to wave across crowded. It was so busy, wasn’t it? Admittedly, I snuck off in to BritMums 1 a couple of times because it was a touch overwhelming. I was petrified about going up on the stage so needed to hide away for a bit.

    You’re so right about everyone being so friendly. I’d read a couple of posts about it being a cliquey event but found most people a delight and very open.

    Like you, my one complaint was that some of the sessions were too short. And because they were taking questions during them, it meant that the speakers didn’t get to the end of their presentations. I think that questions at the end would be better … or maybe time for people to stay behind and talk to the speakers if need be (I don’t pretend to know much but some of the questions were so basic and the speakers spent an age answering them in front of a mostly very knowledgeable audience).

  • Reply Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely 27/06/2015 at 5:43 pm

    Also, I meant to say …. your cheekbones!!! Bloody hell, forget Caprice, you looked amazing. I’ve been following your progress on your blog and knew you’d lost so much weight but in person, you look incredible xx

  • Reply Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life 02/07/2015 at 10:11 pm

    I wish i had of gotten a chance to of spoken to you at Britmums. It sound’s like you had a great time xx

    • Reply Emma Shilton 02/07/2015 at 10:32 pm

      Oh I’m gutted I didnt see you to chat too, I had such a fab weekend. Next time, we’ll chat and have a drink x

  • Reply Anonymous 20/04/2017 at 10:18 am

    Lovely to read your post. I agree about the rooms, putting Lucy in a small room was madness.

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