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.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.Obviously, Mrs Lighty being the
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.
- 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.
- 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?!•••
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