So you are going to BritMums Live. You think you are on top of it – think again.
I have put together some thoughts on how I could have made my experience better and hope it helps someone who is planning to go next year.
You will feel lost. Don’t expect to be an instant star unless of course you are a celebrity, your badge says sponsor, you are at a Brand stand or you walk in and fall flat on your face because of the ridiculously high heels you decided to wear.
Susanna and Jen are women and mothers just like you. They don’t bite, believe me, I have met them, so you can go and say hi. In fact since they are hosts, it would be polite to do so.
Go up to other bloggers and say hi, exchange cards. Don’t be insulted if they seem uninterested. Everyone is trying to meet as many people as they can. I was too shy to go up and say ‘hi’ to many people and I lost out.
Before you go to the event, read as many blogs of the attendees as you can. There are Twitter lists and Facebook groups that you can join before the actual event.
Remember there are women who know each other and are probably meeting up face to face after a year .They will be hugging each other and catching up. If you have started a conversation with someone and they meet an old friend, don’t feel awkward if you have nothing to say. Excuse youself, walk away and find someone else to talk too.
Plan your sessions. You cannot attend all as they clash. Choose most relevant to you and feel free to change your mind because when you get there, you will!
Don’t be disappointed if you think you learn nothing. It is not a course. You will not be given handouts to study. Most of the sessions are discussions and talks given by other bloggers who have experience in the area. They are not lectures so don’t expect to take a huge amount of notes. But in their sharing, you will definitely learn to better your blog. You will learn to write better posts, take better photographs, engage more in social media and come away inspired to make huge changes to the way you blog.
Don’t stress out on what to wear. Yes, there were some ladies who dressed to the hilt and then again there were some who dressed fairly ordinarily. No one really bothers. It is YOU who will make the impact, not your clothes. Wear something you feel comfortable in.
Take advantage and engage with brands. There is nothing better than meeting a brand face to face and this is your chance. Meet them and don’t be someone who you are not. Be yourself because if they decide to get back to you, you will not be able to pretend for too long.
Please DO carry a business card. It does not have to be impressive, glossy or top of the range. It should have your blog name, url, email contact and your Twitter handle. Brands ask for it and it is easy to exchange with fellow bloggers too.
Take your mobile phone charger, with the tweeting and facebooking you will need to recharge your phone and there are several electrical points for you to do so.
Take a good camera phone or a camera and take lots of photographs. When you come back, you will need the memories.
Take a carrier bag (or two…or three) There will be freebies besides the overflowing goody bag. Or better yet, get your partner to pick you up after the event.
You will laugh till you cry and cry till someone makes you laugh. Take tissues and give someone a hug – because you will definitely get one back.
My suggestion – book into a hotel to make the most of the two days even if you do not have to travel too far. I had to leave early because of train connections and did not make it in time for 8.30 the next morning too.
Be prepared to come away with a whole lot of ideas for your blog, friends who you may have met fleetingly or friends who you spent the entire weekend with but most of all you will come back feeling proud to belong to such a wonderful community.
Finally DO book your ticket for the next BritMums Live in 2014. Tickets are already available.
You DO NOT want to miss out on being a part of this vibrant, phenomenal event where the online and offline come together as a family to share in your joys and support you in your sorrows.