So this weekend I boarded a train to London to attend my first ever Britmums conference.
Britmums is the ‘big’ event in the blogger’s calendar in the UK. It’s a
two day conference that incorporates fun, networking and also meeting brands all in one building!
I bought my ticket to the event last Summer and to be honest it’s been a long time coming. The event ticket, travel and accommodation (plus meals, drinks etc) have cost me well over £500, so I had big expectations. Yes, I wanted to learn new skills, chat to brands (especially Butlins!) but mostly I wanted to meet other bloggers, so many of whom I’ve been chatting to on Twitter for over a year now, and I consider many of them to be good friends.
The event did not disappoint. It was an extremely well organised two days, with structured sessions covering a variety of topics. The three sessions I attended were useful and also relevant. I went to ‘Legal and Accounting’ which covered really interesting topics of slander, and libel; which being a bit of legal geek, I really enjoyed. Steve Keenan presented an interesting talk on using images from the Internet and explained how to deal with slanderous comments on blogs, and also showed us well known examples of content copying.
Next I attended the (very full) Google+ session. James Dearsley did a fantastic job of explaining the network, have tips on improving circling and explained the best ways of how to use Google+ for business. I’m the first to admit I don’t find Google+ very user-friendly but I found this session really inspirational. James presented the session well and answered the questions clearly and concisely, which I imagine was quite difficult at times. I won’t ever be an expert but I’m already feeling more confident when it comes to using circles and posting links.
Lastly, I attended the ‘Tech Knowledge’ session by Ruth Arnold. This session was presented well, and was engaging but sadly I didn’t learn loads, but it was a good ‘refresher session’ for me. Reminding us bloggers to back up, reduce image sizes and to watermark/protect content is all useful stuff. Ruth clearly knows her stuff and I’d love to attend a more ‘intermediate’ session next time perhaps!
In the rest of my conference time, I wandered around the brands area, met some amazing bloggers and got quite drunk thanks to Lindemans. (Really excellent Merlot & Rose!) It was so wonderful to catch up with great friends too. On Saturday night we went for dinner with Jennie from Kiddicare and we had such a good laugh together. She really is the best PR! A huge thank you to her, for the dinner but mainly for her company!
Friday night was the ‘Brilliance in Blogging’ awards, which was enjoyable, and some great bloggers received the recognition they deserved. Although I would have personally chosen different winners, all the finalists deserved to be up for nomination, and although I’m not completely sure about how I feel regarding the process of the voting, I do think it’s great to incorporate so much positivity into the conference by adding an awards ceremony.
So would I attend Britmums again?
It’s hard to attend all the sessions and mingle, but I do think they have a good balance. After all, you can only do so much in two days!
The keynotes at the end of the weekend were truly inspirational. Most of the blogs read were heart-wrenching, and I was amazed the readers were not in tears. I was! (As were most others!) But despite being difficult or ‘taboo’ topics, they were beautifully written and I very much enjoyed hearing them. One thing I will be doing from now on, is reading more blog posts. I rarely have the time, but this weekend has made me realise I should make the time. There are so many talented bloggers out there!
Thanks to all my friends that made the weekend great, and it was so wonderful to meet so many influential and experienced bloggers!
See you all next year!