Mrs Lighty’s Lessons from #BML17

There’s not much that will get me up at 5:15am on a Saturday morning. A holiday? Yes. Baby Lighty? More than likely. But a blogging conference? Well, having signed up and paid for my spot at #BML17 earlier on this year, it had to be done. The 5:15am start was probably not helped by the fact that I hadn’t gone to bed before 11pm the night before, mostly because I was bouncing off the walls of Twitter with excitement. But there I was, on a cold Saturday morning at the end of September, up bright and early, with a new bag, a carefully chosen outfit and my friend Abi from Something About Baby for company.

Mrs Lighty's Lessons from #BML17!

Abi and I selfie-ing it up before the conference began!

Neither Abi or I had been to a blogging conference before, and are both at very similar levels of our blogging career. I think it’s safe to say that we were both super excited, but also a tad nervous too. We didn’t know what to expect, or who would be there. We knew that a few of our bloggy pals that we’ve made along the way would be attending, but what if they didn’t recognise us in real life? It was ironic, therefore, that as we stood on London’s iconic Southbank, trying to get over the very first hurdle – where was the entrance?! – we spotted some more of our tribe. Along strode four gorgeous women, and we instantly said, “they must be bloggers!” As Abi said, just look at their coffee cups!

They were indeed bloggers, and as our numbers swelled, we managed to find the entrance to BritMums Live, or #BML17, and make our way up to registration. I can say that what greeted us upon arrival was not at all what I was expecting! I didn’t realise that so much food would be laid on, and we were greeted by a beautifully arranged breakfast buffet. We stood there nervously, supping our tea, waiting to see what happened next, before it became the moment for us all to diverge off and attend our first sessions.

Mrs Lighty's Lessons from #BML17!

The gorgeous breakfast buffet!

Obviously, Mrs Lighty being the super unorganised spontaneous creature that she is, I hadn’t decided what sessions I wanted to attend until we were sat on the train journey in. We’d planned on meeting up with Dawn from Rhyming with Wine and Gemma from Colleys Wobbles before the sessions began, but they hadn’t banked on what us Londoners will know is a regular occurrence: weekend engineering work. Dawn in particular has been one of my blogging besties since All Things Spliced began, and I’m honestly not exaggerating when I say that we have pretty much ‘spoken’ via Twitter every day for the last two and a bit years. Much virtual cake and virtual fizz has been exchanged during our online friendship, so I was excited to finally be able to meet up and enjoy real cake, real fizz and chats in person. I always felt like if we were to meet in real life, we’d instantly hit it off as good friends. So I was a little worried when we didn’t see each other before the sessions began that our paths wouldn’t cross. Imagine how excited I was therefore, that the very lady that I’d tweeted the night before to tell her I couldn’t sleep as I was on such a hype, came and sat right down next to me during the first session of the day! Hugs exchanged immediately, and I joked that this was the worst possible time to meet, as I couldn’t squeak with excitement as the session had already begun and it would have been rude!!

Mrs Lighty's Lessons from #BML17!

Finally getting to share some real fizz in real life with one of my best virtual friends!

Anyway, from here on in, the day was all systems go! In the coffee break we managed to meet up with more of our bloggy friends: Bridget from Bridie by the Sea, Ed from No Need for Postcards, and Kimberly from Media Mummy, to name a few. It’s a really weird thing going to a blogging convention; you may not have met the lovely people you’re chatting to, but at the same time it feels a bit like you know these people intimately, as you’ve read so much of their lives.

With regards to the conference itself, I think it’s safe to say that I haven’t been in a learning environment since Uni. Considering this year marks 15 years since I started university, that was a bloody long time ago! I did worry in advance that I’d be out of my depth, but actually I think I chose the sessions I attended well in relation to my bloggy needs. Having said that, I think these are Mrs Lighty’s main lessons from #BML17:

  • If you do the blog redesign session when you work for a graphic design agency, you will come away from it thinking, “yeah, I’m never going to do redesign my blog myself when I have five excellent designers on hand to bribe with chocolate to do it for me…”
  • You’ll be chuffed to attend a Facebook session run by an accredited Facebook trainer, as I always maintain that no one knows the ins and outs of Facebook and Instagram apart from Facebook and Instagram themselves.
  • The organisers are never going to please everyone at such an event. There were some sessions that I feel like I learnt loads from, and others where I felt I didn’t learn anything new at all.
  • You’ll feel like a bit of a diva when you have to wait to one side for your gluten free lunch, but you’ll risk it for the pretty dessert.
Mrs Lighty's Lessons from #BML17!

The gorgeous dessert!

  • Aside from the learning aspect, a massive part of the day, for you, will be catching up with friends both new, old and virtual. Aside from the lovely bloggers mentioned above, later on in the day I also managed to meet the fabulous Talya from Motherhood the Real Deal, Claire from The Pramshed and Prabs from Absolutely Prabulous.
  • Having said that, you’ll still feel like a little fish in a big pond, and will be too intimidated to go up to many of the bigger bloggers that you read regularly and admire lots.
Mrs Lighty's Lessons from #BML17!

With some virtual-turned-real-life blogging besties! Apologies for the weird pink light!!

  • You won’t be ashamed to cry – and laugh – in a packed room and feel incredibly proud of your friends (go Dawn!) and the blogging community at large during the keynote speeches.
  • You’ll feel even more pride again when one of your friends goes and wins the Fresh Voice award at the BiBs (congrats again Bridget!)
  • Two glasses of fizz on an empty stomach is never a good idea!
  • In fact, two glasses of fizz on an empty stomach on board a boat is a recipe for feeling sick the whole of the next day!
  • All that learning will leave you completely shattered! An 8pm bedtime on the Sunday after #BML17 it is…

A week and a bit on, these are definitely my biggest observations from the day. Obviously I learnt lots more besides from the actual sessions, and have a notebook full to prove it! I had a really fabulous day, with highlights being the Facebook session from Avocado Social and the photography session from Rachel Riley Photography, as well as the really relaxing session after lunch with Jennie Maizel’s Sketchbook Club.

Sending many thanks therefore to all of you lovelies in this little blogging community bubble that we’ve created. Same time next year, anyone?!

Mrs Lighty's Lessons from #BML17!

Three quarters of the #DreamTeam!

For All Things Spliced, follow The Lightys on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Proud to be linking up with:

Motherhood The Real Deal
Rhyming with Wine

17 thoughts on “Mrs Lighty’s Lessons from #BML17”

  1. Love this Nic! It was so fantastic to finally meet you and Dawn – I only wish we’d had more time together 🙂 It was a fab day xx

  2. Mrs L!! Ok so I’m supposed to be going into work but instead I’m stood in the middle of Leeds station with about a zillion people marching past me and I have tears of happy reading your lovely post! I was so incredibly excited (Bouncing both on Twitter and on the bed in the room I shared with Gemma!) to meet you after all this time and so much virtual cake. I recognised you from the back of your head no less! (Which was quite a relief as I pounced on you in a bear hug begore even seeing your face haha. Good job it was you!) You are every bit as gorgeous as I knew you would be. Big hugs and more virtual cake xxx

  3. Ah it was so lovely to finally meet you at #BML17, and it was such a great day too. Hopefully we will meet again in soon, but in the meantime we can stay virtual friends. Claire x

  4. Awww thanks for the mention. We met so briefly that we’ll have to address that next time. Well my uni days are 30 years behind me (ahem) so this might be the reason why I didn’t come away with loads of notes and have to read other people’s posts and ask close blog friends if I can copy their notes!! Some things never change…

    1. Haha!! Well I’ve swapped notes with people too, so it’s all good! I know, all day I was saying I must say hello to Prabs! Next time we’ll get to chat about Mr Slighty for longer!! 😉 xxx

    1. I’d definitely say book for one of the conferences next year, I really enjoyed it! Would be lovely to meet you too! #coolmumclub

  5. How lovely to meet up with your friend there. One of the best things that has come out of my blog and YT channel is the friends that I have made along the way. One if my next milestones for me is to brave getting out to one of these meet ups! #coolmumclub

    1. Yes definitely try to get to one of the conferences! I really enjoyed it! Great to meet all of our blogging friends too 🙂 #coolmumclub

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