BritMums Live, the biggest blogging event on the UK calendar!
Last weekend was the biggest blogging event on the UK calendar, BritMums Live! I was one of the people working on the Brilliance in Blogging Awards on the Friday night and I also worked in Room 1, introducing the sessions, which meant I was in attendance to some really fascinating discussions. For the first time I was on the inside looking out and I enjoyed this conference as much as I always do, but in a different way.
1. The opportunity to meet up with good blogging friends
I organised an Expat Dinner on the Friday night, because I knew that for many expat bloggers–Brits in other countries or foreign nationals in the UK, BritMums Live would be the only opportunity to meet up and say hello. And I wanted to meet these people too! I love expats, they’re so friendly, interesting and open minded.
2. The opportunity to finally put faces to names
I worked on the BritMums Live reception desk which was a fantastic place to be as you get to finally match faces and blog names or twitter handles! Doing so makes chatting with people on Twitter or commenting on their blogs even more meaningful. Of course I didn’t get to meet every single one of the 500 delegates that walked through the door, but I think I increased my faces-to-names ratio considerably.
3. The opportunity to hear how others ‘do it’
No, not that, silly. I mean things like juggle everything, or take your blog to the next level or create an interesting food blog, or blog for good. I was especially taken with Her Melness and her tips for Taking your blog to the next level. I highly recommend that post if you need focus in your blogging.
4. The opportunity to push my boundaries a little
I know a lot of bloggers feel more comfortable in front of their computer screens than in front of a mass of 500 people. One of the truly fantastic things about blogging is that it has given a lot of men and women a voice they never had before and a way to connect to others when they may not have been able to so easily before blogs. And although these same bloggers will buy a ticket and attend BritMums Live because they’d like to learn a bit more about their craft or because they want to meet those online friends they’ve made, it is still an incredibly daunting task. And I also know that these same bloggers feel a huge thrill at just doing it, just getting on with it, pushing their boundaires and going to the conference and meeting people.
I pushed my boundaries in other ways. I wasn’t sure if I could do some of the jobs asked of me, but thought ‘I’ll never know unless I try!’ Cheesy, yes, but true. And I found out that I could indeed do them.
5. The opportunity to meet and speak with some really inspiring people
The guests at BritMums Live were amazing. Camila Batmanghelidjh from charity Kids Co; Sarah Brown, former Prime Minister’s wife and president of Piggy Bank Kids; Ruby Wax, American expat in Britain (!) and founder of The Black Dog Tribe; Katy Hill, former Blue Peter presenter, fellow blogger and really lovely person; and Cherry Healy, intrepid TV presenter. And that’s not forgetting all the bloggers who inspire and make a difference like Hayley from Downs Side Up or Kate from Kate on Thin Ice.
6. I came away feeling blog invigorated
I have a sense of focus and direction now. Regular readers will know I have let days, then weeks slip by before posting on my blog recently. I have been very busy working with BritMums and the Brilliance in Blogging Awards and that has taken all my blogging energy I think, but after listening to some of those remarkable men and women speak last weekend I have a new feeling of clarity for what I want to do with The American Resident.
- I want to support charities–not loads, just a select few that I can really put my energy in.
- I want to write from the heart a lot more.
- I want to focus on quality not quantity–I want to spend more time on posts and write better, rather than beat myself up if I don’t post frequently.
- I loved supporting BritMums and the Brilliance in Blogging Awards and would enjoy doing that again in focused, specific ways. There is nothing like working with an excellent, efficient, friendly, supportive team and Jen, Susanna, Karin and Mari were exactly that. I think this will only enhance my personal blog work.
- I want to post more regularly, but see the comment above about quality–I don’t want to post regularly at the cost of quality.
- I want to keep the long term expat slant because that is my most authentic voice.
- I want to keep variety on my blog, but not so much that it seems all over the place. Some focus is good!
- I want to keep remembering why I blog, my compelling reason–I enjoy being creative with this medium! I love combining writing with images, I love creating a ‘look’ on my blog, I love experimenting around with styles and subjects to see what people respond to and what they don’t.
- I want to remember that I can pick and choose who my online tribe is (and my offline tribe!) and I want to keep that focused on good people who will offer support as well as constructive criticism, inspiration and laughs!
So what about you readers? Do you go to BritMums Live, or are you ever interested in going to a blog conference?