Well, it happened.
I went to #BML16, the conference formerly known as Britmums.
And although my dreams of making my way up a lengthy red carpet past hordes of paparazzi whilst TV crews vie for my attention, as I imagine is the lot of the superstar blogger, are as yet unfulfilled; and I am yet to sweep the board at the accompanying awards ceremony, being plied with such accolades as Best Blog, Best Writer, Best Outfit and Most Fabulous All-Round Individual, I have to say it was pretty good.
In fact I loved it.
Admittedly the speakers, although interesting and at times informative, were not as good as Blogfest. However, that didn’t matter as for me the focus of the day was more on networking than learning new things. For me, blogging is a constant push and pull between trying to be successful and get all the page views and have all the followers, and just writing whatever I like, even if I know it’s never likely to be remotely commercially successful. Speaking of which, I am as yet undecided on how and even if I want to monetise my blog. Obviously I want to earn megabucks and be showered with accolades, but I had always envisioned these coming from writing plaudits and book deals (HA! May as well dream big) rather than writing overly sincere puff pieces about the “lovely people from (insert name of company here)”. I have never seen myself as a digital marketer, but it was interesting to explore the possibility by speaking with some of the brands in attendance.
In other words, you could be seeing me flogging some stuff on here very soon. Watch this space.
No puff pieces though. I will be telling it like it is. Wit, sarcasm and straight to the point, no faffing around talking about the Queen Mother for two paragraphs (OK, no promises there).
I am also unsure about the suitability of my blog for Pinterest. I love Pinterest, but I am not sure if I am qualified to give advice on any of the topics about which Pinterest excels. My home decor leaves a lot to be desired (I will spare you the trauma of a picture, but suffice to say I sleep in my brother’s old room, and there are piles of clothes on the floor, as wardrobe space is sadly lacking). My recipes are hardly original and anyway there aren’t any on my blog, and I switch off entirely when people start talking about “crafts.”
So there we go, Britmums. I spoke to some brands. I attended a talk on Pinterest. I ate some food…
OH, and I met loads of people from online. People I had secretly feared might not even be real people, but avatars, or 55 year old men called Roger from Wolverhampton who still live with their mothers (NO JUDGEMENT).
But they were real people. Utterly fabulous real people, who I only wished lived closer (like, maybe in my street), so that we could get together more often, and share copious free bottles of low-alcohol spritzers, or their non-free, but higher alcohol, alternatives. I won’t go into names here as there is such a long list that I know I would definitely miss someone out, but basically, big shout outs to everyone I spoke to. You know who you are. And (whispers) there were even some people there who had heard of me EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T REALLY KNOW WHO THEY WERE. I am beyond flattered. I’ve basically made it.
Highlight of the night, however, was without a doubt the moment that Island Living 365 won the Brilliance in Blogging Award for Fresh Voice. Let’s just say that our table was like that rowdy group you always get in the bar at some of the cheaper caravan parks, who start whooping and shouting every time the compere asks if there’s anyone in tonight from Birmingham.*
I also managed to take this brilliant photo to capture the moment. Although by the time I’d worked out how to use the zoom lens on my “blogger camera” (which I spent the day wearing around my neck in an attempt to look like the serious blogger that I obviously am) the moment had basically passed.
Well done Island Living. Definitely a well deserved win. I am already preparing my acceptance speech for next year. Or at least my dignified loser face anyway.
So basically, the long and short of it is, if you are a parenting blogger, and you are thinking about going to Britmums at some point in the future, I give it my sincerest recommendation.
And the lovely people at Britmums didn’t even tell me to say that. You can trust me for a 100% honest review.
*Is it just me who holidays in these establishments?
55 Comments Add yours
One year, when the stars align in Saturn (or wherever) and BML falls on a ‘daddy weekend’ I will bloody go to this thing! So jealous but also so chuffed you had a great time! See you there next year…maybe?!
You may well do! I would definitely recommend it.
I feel the same about crafting posts… Just saying. I had a brilliant day though, really enjoyed my first blogging conference. Really wish I’d been able to stay for the BIBs though 🙁
Yes, the BiBs was great. I had to leave straight after, and would have loved to stay longer.
I love your round-up Min! It was lovely to meet you, and finally find out Piglet’s real name? Shhhhh I won’t tell! x
Haha, yes everyone was desperate to know Piglet’s real name! It was great to meet you too. x
It was great. And meeting everyone was a huge part of that, so thank you! As it happens I got my very first view from pinterest today so dreams really do come true… ?
Haha, if you ask, the universe will give. Or something like that. I have started looking at Pinterest more, mostly longingly, wishing I was able to actually put text on photos and not look like an amateur!
Was great to meet you! Although you’re one of the people I wished I’d managed to chat to a bit more – it was a bit of a mad day wasn’t it?!
Agree with you that the highlight was Emma winning, we were rather rowdy weren’t we!
It was. It was fab to meet everyone, and Emma’s victory was the icing on the cake.
Excellent review of Brit Mums ; ), honest and sincere. Really glad to meet you although would have liked to chat a bit more being that our main conversation was about breastfeeding haha. Well these days, most of my conversations are about breastfeeding unfortunately. Anyway, agree on Pinterest, but on the money thing I quite like writing puff pieces so you may be seeing more of this, soz! ; )
Haha, looking forward to all the puff pieces! I’m sure you’ll do it in style. Yes, we will have to make sure the conversation moves beyond breastfeeding next time. Was fab to meet you.
Such a fab day!! I was thinking the same about the speakers vs Blogfest speakers BUT, absolutely, Saturday was much more than the talks. I loved meeting everyone and I loved the buzz and busyness and just had a totally brilliant day. Want to do it all again next weekend!
Same here, it was just brilliant. All about the networking, Britmums, I think.
Oh it was such an amazing day! I loved meeting you although I really wanted to have a proper natter with you but it wasn’t really possible. I also LOVED our table at the BiBs, I don’t think I will ever forget it. It was just so fab being sat with you lovely lot. I had the BEST time and mostly that was all down to the people I spent it with. Like I said on the day the award was just the icing on the cake 🙂
How good was our table? And please tell us what you’ve done with the award. Is it pride of place on the mantelpiece? Does it have its own special cabinet? Definitely agree that the people made it what it was. It was fab to meet you all.
Lovely roundup. I do wish I had been there! Hopefully next year!
Yes hopefully. I would definitely recommend it.
Argh, I so wish I had gone! SO jealous of the networking, free alcohol, food and seeing Emma collect her award! Lucy xx #TribalLove
It was great-you’ll have to come next year!
Thanks for the review, I couldn’t make it this year but was really interested to read some (honest) reviews afterwards. I did get a sense that BML is very much about the people but in my opinion that’s the fun bit ? Jeez, Pinterest – I keep blimmin forgetting to even add my posts- oops! X
I know, I’m the same with Pinterest. The talk I went to about it was useful and informative, but I’m not sure if I can see anyone searching for the kind of stuff I write about on there. Oh well! BML is definitely about the people. I had a fab time though and would definitely go again.
It was a brilliant day. I really enjoyed the networking with brands & meeting bloggers the most too. You really captured the essence of what BML was all about! #coolmumclub x
Thank you. Such a shame our paths didn’t cross whilst there. I really enjoyed it too, and hopefully meet you at another event in future.
It looked like such a fantastic day! I am hoping to go next year 🙂 I have yet to get into the swing of pinterest either… it hasn’t clicked just yet. Did you pick up any good tips? #StayClassyMama
Yes-I wrote some stuff down. The main thing I took away from it was to set up a Pinterest business account, but other than that I have still not mastered it at all!
Glad you had fun and made the most of the time to meet new people.
From the sounds of it blog fest may be better for me. I’m not really a review person although someone did offer me the chance to review cakes. Not entirely sure they read my blog…
From what I’ve read of your blog I would say yes, Blogfest would be more your cup of tea. Tickets are on sale for it now, btw! Actually, there is a “campaigner” award in the Mumsnet blog awards which I think you should win.
… the table from Birmingham … didn’t we just? Was too exciting when Emma won – do you think anyone noticed?! Do you thunk they will let us in next year?! Oh wasn’t it just great though? I so enjoyed meeting you and so many other bloggers and I, too, wish I loved down your street – don’t reckon us lot would get much blogging done though if we all lived a little closer! #stayclassy
No, I don’t think anyone noticed us at all. Even Carol Smillie was like, “you were up here like a flash Emma. Do you have no friends at all to prevent you from taking your rightful place on the stage by clocking you with big bear hugs and tears of joy at every opportunity?” Haha, it was amazing!
If I’d known there was a table representing Birmingham I would have squeezed in an extra chair. Like to see myself as an honory Brummy as I married one and very proud my kids are half-Brummy, half-Mauritian. Such a nice honest write up. Agree the Pinterest thing can be a funny one. Still haven’t sorted mine out yet but will give it a go at some point! BML was my first conference but will be keeping an eye out for BlogFest now. Handy hearing what other bloggers really think xx #coolmumclub
Yes, the tickets for Blogfest have literally just gone on sale. Cashing in on post-BML excitement I think! Thanks for commenting.
It looked so full of events. I so want to go next year. I like the way you are talking about it with honesty. I don’t Pinterest is for me either. I might try but not sure. BLogfest? I need to check that out and maybe go.
Yep I’ve been sold on BlogFest and bought my ticket last night before I forget! Lots of Good Times at BML16 with meeting peeps but looking at the BlogFest line up from last year it looked pretty damn good. Hope you guys manage to listen to the music playlist I pulled together for the blogger crew on my post from Thursday (whether I now know you or not!). I’m hoping it worthy of a dance around our kitchens across the country X #coolmumclub
Yay! Blogfest was fab last year. Loads of great speakers.
Love this round-up! I think networking with other bloggers definitely makes it all worth it – I love Pinterest but really should’ve gone to the session (I chose the Instagram one which I didn’t get much out of), but like you I am rubbish at crafting! Hopefully I’ll bump into you next year! x #coolmumclub
Yes, hope so! Thanks for commenting. I agree-it was all about the networking at BML.
I agree it was so much fun and it was amazing to meet you and everyone else – double thumbs up! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub chick xx
Thank you for having me! Was great to meet you. xx
I had a really strange dream last weekend, that I went to a conference in London and met all my online friends. In that dream, we ate vegetable curry from boxes while Carol Smilie bounced on a trampoline beside us to promote incontinence knickers. We were sponsored by Topshop, and there was a half naked man serving us prosecco…
Oh, hang on…
😉 Thanks for linking up with #coolmumclub
If only ALL of that were true (I’m thinking of Toppers here). It does sounds very surreal the way you’ve described it though. Carol and the knickers! Thanks for having me back at #coolmumclub xx
Hi, thats a really good post about the awards…and I’ve read a few as I didn’t go…far too new (and scared) to pop along. I haven’t heard a bad thing about it yet so I will get my arse in gear for the next ‘event’:) x
Oh you should definitely go. Don’t feel too new. There are loads of new bloggers popping up all the time, and we are a friendly bunch!
Love this, wish I could have come and met you all. I don’t think I will ever be on Pinterest either, don’t think it works with messy living rooms and tales of burnt microwave meals. Exciting that you may be going down the monetising route! And I have every faith that book deal with come at some point, Min! I can just imagine the tribe when Emma won, must have been epic!!! Well deserved. #StayClassyMama
It was brilliant. Hopefully next year we will have some more winners. I reckon I’m going to try and do some stuff with Pinterest, just to see how it goes. Thanks for commenting.
Love this post, I will definitely be there next year, glad you enjoyed it 🙂 xx #FabFridayPost
Thanks, it was fab and I would definitely recommend it.
Fab post Min and so wonderful to meet you at BML! It was a great day and I had such a laugh, can’t wait for the next one. There was so much to take in that it’s taken me most of the week to recover from that overwhelming feeling but excited for you that your going down the monetising route…I do hope the TV crews/paparazzi are there waiting for us at BlogFest though. #coolmumclub
Haha, they’d better be. We’ll be famous by then, right? Fab to meet you and hopefully see you at Blogfest. xx
It was great to meet you! I agree with your points, I didn’t feel that I learnt a great deal but then I was in such awe of everyone and everything going on around me – it might have been my fault! I think I’ll go to BlogFest this year – hopefully see you again #stayclassymama
You too. Hopefully see you at Blogfest! x
So lovely to hear that you had a lovely time there. Perhaps, next time I will make it to the ball. Thank you for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost x
Yes, hope to see you there next year. xx
Aargh, I WISH I’d seen you! Hope you are well. I’m back to work on Monday and dreading/VERY excited about it!! (I haven’t worn a dress in sooo long and have one all dug out, which is probably highly inappropriate given I sit behind a desk but what the hell). Happy weekend. xx
Ooh, hope it went well! I’ve been on holiday and only just picked up comment. xx