BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?

BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?

IMG_6314I didn’t write an ‘after’ post last year. I didn’t know what to say – and in situations like that I generally tend to think that it is better left unsaid. I sort of feel like that this year but I can’t not write one again! That would be rude. I wonder if it is a psychological thing as in not wanting to believe it is all over again? Or maybe it’s because everyone else has written their posts and already said pretty much everything I have wanted to say?

Anyway, I would like to give you my take on this year in comparison to last year. I consider myself a much more experienced blogger now whereas last year I was only 9 months in and still had lots to learn.

I would certainly say that this year was much easier. Partly because I knew what it was all about and what to expect and partly because I didn’t want to go to every single session under the sun and cram in as much as possible! I could be a lot more selective about what I needed and wanted to know and planned my sessions carefully in order to make sure I could network with the brands too (tip: DO make sure you try and do this when many others are in sessions – it makes it easier to talk to them ((damn, damn, damn, I’ve just given away a secret!!)).

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The first keynote speaker, Emma Freud, was interesting and spoke about many things that were relevant to us bloggers including comic relief and fund raising. I know a few people have a problem with her speaking about sleeping her way to the top. I just looked at it as an amusing anecdote and took it the way it was meant – tongue in cheek.

There was a beautiful courtyard marquee outside this year that wasn’t there last year. It was a great place to hang out with others and eat your lunch and I really loved that there was somewhere outside to relax. Personally, I didn’t really like that it was used for the pre-awards BiBs party. There was just too many of us crowded into one space. I much preferred last year when we were on the balcony of the main room and able to spill down into the hall to our tables. 

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The awards ceremony itself all felt a bit rushed in comparison to last year. I preferred Katy Hill as a presenter and felt that she was engaging. I was disappointed for the finalists in that their blogs were not read out like last year. I remember feeling very proud when mine was read out in the finals of the Video category last year. I also felt there was a conflict of interest with the Fresh Voice winner. If Katy hadn’t have been the presenter as well as the winner, I don’t think that there would have been so many shocked faces on my table (let alone anywhere else).

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Once the awards were over and we were all piling out of the Brewery, I noticed Sarah from the blog Grenglish. I went over for a chat as I knew that she was one of the bloggers delivering a keynote on Saturday afternoon. I also knew that she would be reading her post ‘We Need to Talk About the M-Word’. I discussed it with her and told her that I knew I would be in floods of tears. Then she hugged me and I went. I cried in front of all of the people in the Courtyard of the Brewery and, for one of the only times in my life, I found myself thinking that I was crying at a completely inappropriate time in an inappropriate place! 

As with last year, I preferred the Saturday. By that point I had found my feet, knew what was where and knew what I did and didn’t want to do. The first keynote of the day was Benjamin Dutton-Brooks from Life As A Widower. He was an inviting speaker full of beautiful anecdotes about his life before and after losing his wife. The speech was heartfelt full of happy and sad moments. 

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I was approached by a number of bloggers during the weekend – it was FAB to be able to say hi to people I communicate with regularly. Lots of people who told me how wonderful PoCoLo was but, as I said to them, to my mind it is all the people who link up who make it wonderful – not me. One blogger even told me that because of SoFoLo, they had increased their Pinterest followers by 100!  There were two who nearly made me cry – in a good way! – Kanchan from Intrepid Misadventurer and Amisha from Mish Mash Mamma – both of whom said that I had made a difference to them and their blogging. 

I attended 4 sessions during the day: 

  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Blog Giveaways hosted by Di Coke. She was an engaging speaker full of great tips and advice. She has not only done a round-up on the competitions that are in our BritMums goody bag but has also given advice on how to use the new Gleam competition widget.
  • Social Media for Advance People hosted by Paul Armstrong from Digital Orange. You can find all his slides from the talk here.
  • Travel Blogging with Steve Keenan, Trish Burgess, Simon Calder and Emma Raphael. I am just starting to take more of an interest in the travel side and was keen to hear what they said. 
  • New Ways to Monetise hosted by Penny Alexander, Helen Neale and Sophie Tanner. An interesting and informative session.

Between sesssions, I spent time networking and taking part in the competitions. I also spent rather a lot of time in the Morrisons lounge eating most of the food on the tables – which was delicious! 

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At the end of the day we were treated to keynote speeches from Mad Mum of 7, My Two Mums, Chocolate is Not the Only Fruit, Grenglish (as predicted, made me cry), All At Sea (again, tears!), Older Mum in a Muddle, Diary of the Evans-Crittens, Tired Mummy of Two, Sandy from Baby, Baby, Keynko, Wife Mum Student Bum and Supper and Syntax. 

Then, something right up my street! The performance from the Good Enough Mums Club. Totally and utterly brilliant! Especially when they had a room full of bloggers doing ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Boobs’! 

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All too soon it was time for goodbyes.  The group I was with – The Olivers Madhouse, PODcast Grappling with a box of frogs, Wicked World of Lucas, Mum Turned Mom and Me and the Tiny 3, ventured back to our hotels, dropped off our goodie bags and made for All Bar One – staying up far later than we had anticipated and despite saying at 9.30pm ‘I’m going back to go to bed soon’ we stayed until closing time and carried on staying in the hotel (although I went to bed before all the others at gone midnight!).

This photo sums up a group of bloggers. Thank you to Charly from PODcast for letting me use it:

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Thank you so much to Jennifer, Susanna and all the team at BritMums for all their hard work and fabulous organisation. Thank you too to my BritMums Live Sponsor Zita West who helped make it possible for me to get there.

 

 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2014-2016 Victoria Welton

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56 Comments

  1. Pingback: BritMumsLive! and Us, and You! | The Good Enough Mums Club
  2. June 29, 2014 / 7:56 pm

    Brilliant roundup of the event – and lovely pics! I didn’t take nearly enough. #PoCoLo

  3. June 29, 2014 / 5:07 pm

    Great round up. It was a great weekend, though tiring. You had good stamina lasting til late on saturday!
    Karen Bell recently posted..Salt paintingMy Profile

  4. June 28, 2014 / 1:35 pm

    Great round-up, it sounds like a wonderful (and exhausting) weekend, I really hope I can go next year. I cried quite a bit reading Grenglish’s blog post so I can’t imagine what it would be like hearing her read it in person! #PoCoLo x

  5. June 27, 2014 / 9:07 pm

    Reading this has made me realise that your blog is actually around the same age as mine – but about 10 times as successful! What’s your secret?
    Great post; made me realise all the things I missed, and I was there!

  6. PottyMouthedMummy
    June 27, 2014 / 3:57 pm

    Fab round up, I only saw you from afar and must admit I bottled coming over to say hi! I nodded away to most of the post I think!!
    PottyMouthedMummy recently posted..Out On A LimbMy Profile

  7. June 27, 2014 / 12:52 pm

    For a title saying Do I Really Have To? You certainly packed a lot into the blog post! Sounds like a fab event and something mums and dads can really connect at, going to have to think about whether we should attend next year with our little one! #PoCoLo
    Rob George recently posted..Ten things I have learned so far…My Profile

  8. June 27, 2014 / 12:44 pm

    What an amazing post. I feel quite sad now as I hadn’t thought about the fact that my name wasn’t called during the BiBs with the others in my category. This is a great write up and I did laugh all over again when I saw the photo of Jaime doing my #WIDN hashtag for Instagram.
    Pinkoddy recently posted..Bloggers on Instagram TipsMy Profile

  9. June 27, 2014 / 12:09 pm

    Looks like a great week-end. Even though I did not attend, it is great to feel part of it all through everyone’s posts, tweets, stories. I am really determined to go next year! x Mel
    Mel recently posted..DizzyMy Profile

  10. June 27, 2014 / 8:14 am

    Sounds as though a fabulous time was had by all! So hoping to get there next year. Have no idea how I’ll cope with seeing so many familiar faces & thinking I know every one of them in the real world!
    Izzie Anderton recently posted..Advice To All The Teens Out ThereMy Profile

  11. June 27, 2014 / 6:57 am

    It really does look like Britmums was a lot of fun, I would love to have been able to go!! I love the last photo on this post it’s exactly how I imagined a lot of time was spent at the Britmums weekend judging by my timeline!!!
    It’s interesting to read a comparison to last year….good and bad, hope improvements are made for next year to make it the best yet πŸ™‚
    #PoCoLo
    Seychellesmama recently posted..Flashback to my favourite bump shots!!My Profile

  12. June 27, 2014 / 6:35 am

    Sounds like it was a bit of a roller coaster but overall you had a great weekend lovely. I’m so keen to join in the fun next year, but this year just wasn’t possible with everything else I have going on. Brilliant post with lots of good info and fab photos xx

  13. Paul Armstrong
    June 25, 2014 / 2:31 pm

    Many thanks for the plug – glad you liked it – congratulations on a great blog (and review of the event!).
    Paul.

  14. Wicked World of Lucas
    June 25, 2014 / 10:24 am

    Awesome roundup hun – loved it xxxx

  15. June 25, 2014 / 9:01 am

    I’m loving reading others’ perspectives in the weekend. I must say I share a lot of your views and I certainly felt happier and more comfortable than last year because I knew what to expect.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..The Gallery: The longest dayMy Profile

  16. June 24, 2014 / 10:50 pm

    Great round up of the event honey, and honest too, which is important. And I LOVE that photo at the end! Lovely to meet you and hope to see you at the next event x
    Jude recently posted..What I REALLY thought about BritMumsLiveMy Profile

    • June 25, 2014 / 12:06 pm

      Thank you – I have always thought that honesty is the best policy. I know! I was SO pleased when I saw it, Charly always takes a great photo. Great to meet you too and I am certain we will again xx
      Victoria recently posted..BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?My Profile

  17. June 24, 2014 / 9:44 pm

    We didn’t even get to say hi Vic, that is the problem with that many people at a conference. Your pictures look fab, I want to join you all for a meal next year! and I agree the Good enough Mothers club was fabulous. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted..I love to live by the seaMy Profile

    • June 24, 2014 / 10:24 pm

      I saw you in the distance a couple of time Mich and kept trying to get to you and then getting stopped and, well, you know what it’s like! Thank you so much πŸ™‚ You are on for the meal lady! Hope to see you soon, and thanks for stopping by to comment xx
      Victoria recently posted..BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?My Profile

  18. June 24, 2014 / 5:32 pm

    I love all your photo montages. Sorry to have missed it and miss out on meeting you. kx

  19. June 24, 2014 / 3:45 pm

    I’m so glad that what I said meant something to you πŸ™‚ It’s really true..one of the hardest things as a new blogger is not the plugins and the decision of chosing self hosted over regular WP – but how to fit yourself into a community that seems so networked and established! The feeling of being an outsider is overwhelming… (doesn’t particularly help when you have 5 followers on Twitter and only a tad bit of a silly name ;P) and you’re trying to convince people you’re not spam or a freak! Not only did you add me but FF’ed me too… and I pay that forward to this day! People need a chance, they deserve a chance and the longest journey starts with the first step! You gave me mine…xxx
    Kanchan@ The Intrepid Misadventurer recently posted..“Life is Good!” – A Mini Boden Story!My Profile

    • June 24, 2014 / 7:45 pm

      Never a truer word spoken Kanchan – EVERYONE does need and deserve a chance. The whole reason for newbie showcase. I shall never forget your kind words or support. Keep writing that excellent blog of yours, you deserved that finalist place xx
      Victoria recently posted..BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?My Profile

  20. June 24, 2014 / 3:17 pm

    I’m really enjoying going round and reading everyones different perspectives of britmums. Great roundup and glad you enjoyed your weekend x
    Lisa H recently posted..Home Decor: The Dining RoomMy Profile

  21. June 24, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    Thanks again for sorting the lovely meal! I loved the whole weekend and I can’t wait to go next year knowing what I know from this year. I think Emma Freud was just having a giggle too but hey you can’t please everyone! See you next year lovely xxx
    brummymummyof2 recently posted..Why staying indoors with children is A BAD IDEA!My Profile

    • June 24, 2014 / 3:09 pm

      No problem whatsoever! I think I will do it a bit differently next year πŸ™‚ I am looking forward to next year again too! See you then – if not before xxx
      Victoria recently posted..BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?My Profile

  22. June 24, 2014 / 2:45 pm

    Oh this is fabulous and glad you had a great time this year. Couldn’t agree more on the fresh voice but hey ho another year come and gone. It was AMAZING to get to meet you and I’m sorry I didn’t get to talk to you more! I was so overwhelmed and nervous to go up to everyone and say hi and then not run off and hide. lol Always great to at least say hi and put a voice with a name. You are just as lovely as I thought you would be! hopefully next year see you again!
    Jenny recently posted..Flaky Apple-Cinnamon Square RecipeMy Profile

    • June 24, 2014 / 3:02 pm

      It was so fabulous to meet you too Jenny – especially when you have been such a big supporter of my linkys πŸ™‚ Thank you. It never feels like we all get enough time to speak to each other! It is also hard not to feel nervous when you have regularly communicated with people on line and are suddenly meeting them in real life! Thank you so much – you are lovely too. We will see each other for a proper chat at the MADs..FAR less people there!! xx
      Victoria recently posted..BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?My Profile

  23. June 24, 2014 / 2:37 pm

    Don’t worry Victoria i did quite a bit of inappropriate crying i think! It was lovely to meet you, albeit briefly. Apologies again for crashing the dinner :-/ it was well worth it for the lovely food though! xxx
    Hurrah For Gin recently posted..Our football pizza partyMy Profile

    • June 24, 2014 / 2:44 pm

      At least I was not the only one!! You have NO NEED to apologise at all (as I have said a million times πŸ˜‰ ). You were more than welcome to be there as was everyone else! So fab to meet you lovely lady xxx
      Victoria recently posted..BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?My Profile

  24. June 24, 2014 / 2:36 pm

    It was so lovely to meet you and thank you for coming over to chat to me. It’s such an emotional thing to talk about and I was in tears at many points over the weekend myself, so if it’s inappropriate to cry in a courtyard then I am inappropriate too! I am sorry we did not get to talk for longer, but we can continue our conversation anytime. Sending you the biggest HUG again lovely lady and hope to speak to you again very soon xx

    • June 24, 2014 / 2:52 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing something so heartbreaking yet so comforting at the same time. I needed to say thank you in person. I have never felt embarrassed about crying before! But I guess it was OK. I am sorry too – there is never enough time at these events. We will certainly continue to talk and share and tweet πŸ™‚ MASSIVE HUG right back to you gorgeous, stay strong xxx
      Victoria recently posted..BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?My Profile

  25. June 24, 2014 / 2:36 pm

    I still can’t believe you guys kept going on the Saturday! More stamina than me! Was great to meet you, and thanks again for sorting the meal x
    Steph @ Sisterhood (and all that) recently posted..#7daysofrealityMy Profile

    • June 24, 2014 / 2:50 pm

      Hahaha! Nor could I!! I kept saying to the others that I needed to go to bed but we just kept gassing! FAB to meet you too – you were as lovely as I thought you would be. No problem at all πŸ™‚ x
      Victoria recently posted..BritMums Live 2014: Do I really have to?My Profile

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