Here’s what I learned from this weekend – while at BritMums Live Conference in London:
1. I had forgotten how much faster Londoners walk! Even when I wasn’t in a particular rush, by the end of the weekend I too was walking everywhere at a brisk trot!
2. Easyjet handluggage dimensions include a height of 56 cm, and my case was 57 cm, but fortunately I got away with it!
3. I am SO GLAD I had already met fellow Northern Ireland blogger twopointfourchildren last week. From when we met up at 5am on Friday morning until we said goodbye on Sunday evening, it was great to know we had eachother if either of us felt lost in the crowd.
4. The venue and catering was excellent at The Brewery - at every break there was always lots of tea, coffee, cake and delicious fruit drinks.
5. I found I got most out of the workshops which just had one speaker – in the group discussion ones I struggled to come away with anything specific. There seemed to be a lot of agreeing with eachother and stating the obvious. I learned lots in the photography one from Julia Boggio – B&Q here I come!
6. There were some “real” celebreties as well as “blogging” celebrities, and all made a great contribution. Ruby Wax shared her experiences of mental illness in her indominatable style, and Sarah Brown shared . Katy Hill (TV personality and former Blue Peter presenter) presented the Awards, and did a great job linking between each award with funny annecdotes which as bloggers and parents we could identify with. Cherry Healey spoke on Satruday, and it was lovely to see her and Katy joining in with the rest of us attending the workshops.
7. My daughter was horrified that I had an actual conversation with Cherry Healey…… (how embarrasing) – actually she was lovely and funny and has a wee soft spot in her heart for Northern Ireland.
8. The Brands – thanks to the hard work of the Brit Mums team there were some excellent companies keen to engage with bloggers. It is the sponsorship from these companies that bring us great conferences at reasonable prices, and I was happy to chat to them.
I was able to get a manicure courtesy of the Crocs team, and then my bloggy friend carried my bags so my nail polish didn’t smudge! The Lego team had some great toys in their goody bags, and there was a fun cupcake decorating competition. Here was my entry : (don’t judge!)
TK Maxx had a great area furnished with some lovely comfy chairs and cushions from their HomeSense range, and also had some stylists who gave us advice of our shape/style/colour. I was with the very lovely Georgina on the Friday, and I came back the next day to show off my dress which she approved of!
There was lots of technology – Skylanders (yes, my son loves me even more now), a Wii Mensa game, Just Dance 4 from Ubisoft, Acer laptops and tablets. Warner Brothers had a huge area packed with technology.
However, there is still a great appeal in a traditional family game, and I bought the Bananagrams
for our family.
Vitamix created some beautiful homemade icecream with unexpected ingredients, and I returned a few times for some of the delicious drinks made with Welchs grape juice.
I had a good chat with Universal Studios and the lovely girls at Visit Orlando always had a smile. Disney were there too, and their bags were popular.
9. A 4am start does not lend itself to staying out past 8pm. I would have loved to join a group of bloggers for dinner, but was just too shattered to stick the pace!
10. There was lots of lovely goody bags, but I had to be a bit ruthless with what I could bring back, Easy Jet would not have approved, so somehow I got as much as I could jammed into my carry-on case which just about managed to fit in the overhead locker.
11. Blog conferences are a bit intimidating, but I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and went. I met some lovely new friends, and there are others I wish I had managed to find, but it’s not always easy to locate them. I even made friends with a few who aren’t yet bloggers (but will be after this!)
12. Twitter was my 2nd best friend at BritMums Live – it was great to follow the comments and share ideas or photos.
13. There were a number of adorable babies attending their first blogging conferences too :
14. There was some lovely Prosecco served on the Friday evening, but I would have preferred the serving staff to have worn a little more clothes (!) I chose to stay down in the main hall and watch over our iphones charging.
15. Thie highlight had to be the Keynote Speakers – selected blog posts read by their authors – hilarious, moving, emotional and soul-bearing. Hankies were required.
16. When you have been in London for 2 days at a blogging conference it is time to be a tourist. I will share what a saw, where I went and what I heard in my next blog post.
Phew ….. that’s it for now.
If you were there, please stop with a comment – would love to hear your take on it all.
And if you weren’t there ….. leave a comment anyway!