Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Britmums Live 2015
This year was my third year at BritMums Live, and once again I had an amazing time! This year was a little different for me as I was invited to speak in a session all about Pinterest - definitely well out of my comfort zone but I'm so glad that I was involved and it was such a confidence boost.
I arrived early at The Brewery as I had been asked if I was able to help out with registration. I eagerly accepted, as it saved me having to worry about walking in by myself, and I loved the chance to see behind the scenes. It was a bit daunting at first when the doors opened and people started rushing in to grab their lanyards, but it was a great way to put some faces to names and I really enjoyed it. I was also very excited to see my badge with the word 'Speaker' on, and to find myself in the agenda!
It did mean that I missed the initial opportunity to find people to chat to, but luckily my fab blogging buddy Swazi saved me a space for the Welcome and opening Keynote talks. Victoria Wright in particular was excellent and really inspiring. Then came the highly anticipated and closely guarded secret event - an Ice Breaker Guinness World Record attempt. A fellow table member spotted the toilet rolls that were hidden underneath our table so we had a bit of a clue as to our task, which was to wrap as many people up as mummies as we could within three minutes! It was great fun, and we all beat the record by one mummy, wrapping up 51 people in total!
During the tea and coffee break I found my way to The Hub which is the central area populated mainly by brands. Apart from briefly popping out to check in to the Travelodge down the road, this is where I spent the next couple of hours - not really talking to the brands but mostly taking advantage of the biscuits and free wine from Lindeman's and socialising! In fact I only attended one session over the whole two days which is very different from my previous BritMums experiences. I'm not sure why, there just weren't as many that jumped out at me as before, and because I know now quite a few bloggers I was just having too much fun chatting and meeting people.
One area that I wished I had spent more time in was the Craft Lounge, hosted by Lady Sew & Sew and Make it Coats. It was new this year and a brilliant idea for crafty people like me and people that just wanted to sit down quietly for a bit and occupy themselves with something creative. There were three tables - knitting, crochet and sewing - and you could take a seat at one of the tables and either someone would be along to give you a hand or you could just sit there and work on your own project and chat.
A lovely lady tried to teach me crochet, and I managed a few sad looking rows, but I just can't get my head around it which is a real shame. All the other bloggers on the table were producing some wonderful granny squares! So I tried out the sewing table and had much more success over there, I made a couple of patchwork hexagons and would have loved to have spent more time here sitting and sewing away. There were also performances from Elle & The Pocket Belles who were wonderful, three glamorous ladies singing away and giving it their all, I really enjoyed listening to them.
There were some fun stands in The Hub with brands to chat to, I particularly enjoyed the SuperSavvyMe stand where I created a magnetic moodboard, and the ladies at Parragon books were super friendly as always. Every attendee also received a gorgeous keepsake bracelet from Merci Maman which is engraved BritMums Live 2015, what a lovely memento. I'm looking forward to trying out my tortilla goodies from Santa Maria, and as I've mentioned already the Lindeman's wine stand was also very much appreciated!
We went out for dinner at Wagamama's and then finished off the evening in the Travelodge bar, so when I got up on Saturday I wasn't feeling that great - partly due to the drinking but also feeling a little overwhelmed after the hectic day on Friday and of course nerves due to my session which fell in the last group of the afternoon. Every time I was in The Hub I couldn't miss the sign at one end announcing to the world where to find us speaking about Pinterest! The day went quickly, especially as I found myself joining a group of bloggers for lunch at All Bar One down the road - I've never got on very well with the BritMums lunch before and have found myself wandering aimlessly around with a box, nowhere to sit, and no-one to talk to, so I'm so glad that they invited me along.
Our session went really well I think, I did my introduction and then Jen Stanbrook and Helen Neale had some brilliant tips to share about using Pinterest to grow traffic to your blog. I hope that we gave some useful information and people felt able to ask us questions. If you have any other questions please do feel free to get in touch and I'll try to help, I'll also be posting some of my notes from the session shortly.
I think that this was my favourite BritMums yet. It felt quieter somehow than previous years, and I felt much less overwhelmed, perhaps because now I do actually know quite a lot of people and I was always able to find someone to chat to. Lots of people also came over to speak to me which was wonderful and made me feel like a celebrity - thank you so much for coming over if you are reading this and I'm sorry if I didn't recognise you straight away, I'm hopeless with faces!
Have you also written about your BritMums 2015 experiences? I'm pinning away to the BritMums Live 2015 Pinterest board, so if you have a post that you'd like me to share please either leave it in the comments below or tweet it to me @jenniferjain so that I can include it.
Follow BritMums's board BritMums Live 2015 on Pinterest.