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
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
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..
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!