Thoughts on BritMums Blogging Conference 2017
I went to my first BritMums event back in 2012 when I started my first blog. I loved blogging back then and was doing really well, working with great brands like Lavazza and Wimbledon. My daughter wasn’t yet one and my son was on his way. I had all those lovely milestones and moments to write about but life became hectic. My mother in law in Italy had just recovered from breast cancer only to then pass away from a triple brain tumour. My husband shortly after had a brain haemorrhage and I found myself looking after him, a one year old and a two year old. I wasn’t much in the mood for writing after that so the blog got trashed. BritMums blogging conference 2017 promised to be a motivational new start and a rekindling of all the creative things that I love to do.
BritMums 2017 was seen through new eyes, for a new blog and with new purpose. I knew what I wanted to get out of it so I was prepared. Blogging for me is not just about the writing but about the community and the networks of like minded people who support each other. I was really looking forward to meeting some of the new people in my life who have pushed me to start over as well as reconnecting with some who I knew way back when and are now doing amazing things! This was my #BML17 experience:
A few weeks before the conference, the seminars list is confirmed by email. I had a scout through and spotted a session on how to create a killer a You Tube channel.
I’ve never been particularly forthcoming with being in front the camera but it’s definitely something I want to start doing, especially with regard to the travel section of my blog. Video marketing is increasing hugely and for me its a no brainer do it. The session was extremely informative and I made lots of notes to take away and action. I especially loved being invited to go and block shoot at the You Tube Space in Kings Cross next month!
I’m pretty much already clued up about blogging but social media is an ever changing, all encompassing arena. I wanted to go to the Trailblazers session to hear how some of the pro-bloggers have dealt with social change and how they adapt their copy to topical situations as they arise. Katie from Mummy Daddy Me nailed it when she said that blogging isn’t just about the blog anymore, its about being visible and active on all platforms. Vicki from Honest Mum was frank in her admission that authenticity stems from just being a nice person, make your blog about YOU, don’ be someone you’re not and basically, don’t be a Tw@t! (verbatim).
As followers of this blog may know, one of my absolute passions is photography. I don’t profess to be a genius but taking photos is something I love to do. It’s so easy to quickly grab my iPhone, which to be honest is what I did all day at BritMums. I would really like to get comfortable whipping my camera out on every occasion. Over the summer I took a few photography courses but I still had questions to do with light. I was beside myself to meet Rachel Riley who with one sentence explained the whole light situation and the penny dropped! I’ve been practicing loads ever since and I’m really grateful to Rachel as her session, for me, was by far the best of the day!
Connecting with Brands
As I mentioned earlier, I have worked with some great brands with my first blog. However, my style and purpose now is completely different. I’m not blogging about the life stages of a parent but about the opportunities that life presents when a parent decides to be themselves as well! I am a mother but that’s not the only thing that I’m good at. Being a parent and business owner means that I can set my own hours and routines to suit myself and family. This also means that I can take my work wherever I go.
One of the things we love to do as a family is travel. With the children being bi-lingual Italian and both Max and I speaking Spanish, Italian and English, we are really determined to bring our children up knowing and respecting other cultures and traditions. For this reason, it was really important to me to connect with the travel brands present at Britmums 2017.
The ladies from Barcelona were a hoot and got me involved in taking photos at their stand to promote how family friendly Barcelona is. I’ve been to Barcelona a few times before I had a family so I’m familiar with the culture, food, architecture, music, dance and general style that it has to offer. After taking a few pics wearing random things from their dress up box, I took away a copy of their family magazine to read what family orientated things we could do in Barcelona.
Whilst sat in one of the afternoon sessions, I got a message Susanna, founder of BritMums and pro-blogger at A Modern Mother, to say that I had won the Barcelona Instagram competition! Off I went to collect my prize of three gorgeous bottles of Torres wine in a stunning gift box. I was so happy with that!
I also spotted out of the corner of my beady eye that the ladies at the Mauritius stand were making cocktails! Not one to be unsociable, I joined them to partake in a Mauritian rum cocktail made with the island’s renowned Pink Pigeon Rum. The stand was very popular, for obvious reasons, but I was thrilled to discover that they do not only work with families but also with working mums (sans children! Bingo!). With that box ticked I expressed my interest in working with them from a mum in business perspective then casually stepped out of the spotlight with my Pink Pigeon in hand.
Connecting with Bloggers
The highlight of these types of events is meeting friends that I make online. It sounds really weird I know but these are people who really get what I’m doing. We share common interests and goals and they encourage me to improve all the time. In the months leading up to BritMums, I was getting super excited to finally meet Katrina Bruni. She has been no-end of support over these last few months, on a blogging and on a personal level. We have built a beautiful relationship and I’m so happy to call her a real-life friend too!
Kat also introduced me a while ago to Amy from Amy’s Borderline World so it was lovely to meet her in person. Another lovely lady is Cyran from Corporate Style Story who’s blog takes me right back to my days in the city!
Amongst many others, I absolutely adored meeting Vicki from Honest Mum. She dashed into the room in her red dress and red felt hat and was just as bold in life as she appears on her blog.
Back when I had my first blog, I met some really lovely people online and at similar events. Parent blogging, and actually mummy blogging, was still in its early days. Around the same time as me in 2011, Katie from Mummy Daddy Me set up hers. Its the only blog that I have followed passionately since then. Katie has done amazing things and it was lovely to bump into her (outside the loo no less!) at BritMums. I can’t quite believe how six years have passed by!
Blogging conferences can be a bit hit and miss. They tend to be quite cliquie; pros & non-pro’s segregated and exchanging glances from the either sides of the room although emoji kissing all day long on Social. I’m glad to say that BritMums was not like that at all. I met and spoke to some really lovely bloggers, of all levels and I wasn’t made to feel inferior at all – lots were free flowing with their tips and advice!
My thoughts on the sessions are a bit mixed. I don’t feel there was a good spread of options. I mean, I wanted to go to You Tube but I needed to go to SEO. To have two major subjects on at the same time was a bit rubbish. However, I understand that the choice was mine to make based on my needs but I’d have expected there to have been more technical help than there was – or at least spread out a bit better throughout the day.
Overall, for my first blogging conference as a Lifestyle/Travel blogger, I got more out of it than I needed. I met new people, made contact with amazing brands and won a competition!
If you are new to blogging or just want to connect with more like minded people, I’d highly recommend going. Big thumbs up for BritMums from me!