What I Learnt At #BritMumsLive 2012

Last year I decided that I didn't want to go to CyberMummy as, on the surface, it seemed too much like an INSET day for me. When it came to a month beforehand, I suddenly realised what I would be missing out on and decided that 2012 was the year that I would be going. And so on Friday morning with my husband and son in tow, along with our suitcase and bedguard (!), we set off on the train to London.

I had an amazing weekend; meeting new and old friends, learning ways to improve my blog (mainly thanks to Julie Hall's sessions) and remembering how to be me again. Way too many things happened for me to blog it all but I will give a run-down of the things that were most relevant, informative and interesting for me. Basically, what I learnt:

  • It didn't matter I was wearing because no-one cared. Honestly. I think most people went with the philosophy of not having baby sick, toddler snot or ground-in Weetabix on them, and by and large it worked.
  • According to the TK Maxx woman, I need to wear dresses. I did try and let her down gently that it was never going to happen, but she refused to believe me. Poor deluded fool.
  • I didn't win the BiB Snap! award, but for the first time ever I didn't beat myself up about it. The celebratory atmosphere of all involved was so lovely that I genuinely didn't mind. Having got to the finals was reward enough for me.
  • Twitter avatars are deceptive. People you think will be tall (Her Melness, From Fun to Mum, and Kate Takes 5) are actually petite and perfectly formed. Completely took me by surprise. Likewise those that I thought would be smaller in stature were in fact joining me in the lofty heights (The Ana Mum Diary).
  • Jenny from Mummy Mishaps is a fantastic friend that I am lucky to have.
  • You need to take twice as big a clothing recepticle as you initially need. The quantity of goodies that you will leave with, will far surpass the available space in your luggage.
  • I have the attention span of a gnat and was only able to see out the end of two sessions (Accountancy & Design, and Crossing the Chasm). I ducked out halfway through others as they were either of no interest to me or I wanted to catch up with people.
  • Don't sigh out loud when the long-winded stage discussion is opened up to the floor. Especially when so many bloggers (about twenty-thirty in this case) can turn around and smile at you knowingly. And if you tweet about it, be prepared to be retweeted. Quite a bit.
  • I do want another baby. I blame Matilda from Edspire for this; she's too damned gorgeous. In fact, I cried when I held her. Who knew that would happen?
  • I need to label my pictures on my blog with keywords in order to increase my SEO chances. I should also use subheadings with the keyword.
  • Bloggers are genuinely nice people who care about each other and are supportive and friendly. I was especially pleased to get to meet bloggers who I've been chatting with for over a year, some for eighteen months (RedTedArt, Christine Mosler, Michelle TwinMum, Seasider Clare, Two Point Four Children, Missie Lizzie B, Mum On The Brink).
  • You can never have enough wetwipes (goody bag contents).
  • The Hoxton Hotel is not child-friendly and is an extremely expensive breakfast options (£32 for the three of us).
  • When Ruby Wax isn't trying to be funny, she's actually quite funny.
  • Sarah Brown is funny. And honest and humble, courageous and an amazing woman in her own right.
  • The man from Google+ is a very nice chap, but when he says that your personal Google+ profile will not be linked to your anonymous blog page in anyway, he is in fact, talking absolute bollocks. To clarify, Mr. TBaM did a search on me and the profile picture that came up was TheBoyandMe's. Not good for an anonymous blogger. I knew Google+ was evil.
  • London is a very nice place to visit occasionally, but there's no way I could live there.

I could talk about what I didn't enjoy but well, what would be the point in that? Enjoy the pictures!

[slickr-flickr tag='britmums2012']

Many thanks to Toyjeanius who sponsored my ticket to attend.

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  1. says

    awww you are a great friend to have too!!! and i would love to see you in a dress even for a few minutes!!
    yet again you and i are up late blogging – things must change!!!
    i am glad you had a good time though i did too and your photos are great reminders of a wonderful two days x

  2. Kara says

    Lovely informative post – I am definitely going next year and hope to see you there!!
    Can you tell me what I am supposed to put in the sub headings of my pictures – I'm all confuddled!!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Apparently if you are doing a post about a topic which you think might draw crowds, like a review or maybe about development or an informative post or the like, then when you upload a photo on WordPress there is the image title and alternative text boxes and you should enter the keywords for the subject in there. For example, a recipe photo you could put in the food type, or a review put in the product name. Apparently when Google trawls the posts looking for keywords, it also looks at image information. Oh and it also looks at subheadings, so use the keyword in that as well as in the title and image description.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      When we walked into the Hoxton on Friday night and there were tiny, young women dancing in the reception area, I knew I was too old for the place! I most certainly will be there next year.

  3. says

    I am relishing in the fact you thought I petite and perfectly formed (ok I may be stretching your words a little there) I found it really interesting meeting you, especially as an anonymous blogger. I had no preconceived ideas what you would look like, it definitely adds a mysterious air to you. Like a secret agent on a dangerous writing mission, and if you choose to accept it the goats cheese pie may explode.
    Was great to meet you at last, wish I'd met the gorgeous boy too. 🙂
    Did you catch the keynote bloggers at the end?

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I like the idea of being Jane Bond! Michelle from Mummy From The Heart thought I'd be a brunette, I pointed out the fresh highlights 😉

      The Boy was there but I didn't want to bombard people with him as I didn't know how that would go down with the Britmums people. I saw half of the Keynotes.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I was glad we got to have that chat too, it was nice to talk away from the hustle and bustle of it all, and to actually 'talk'!

  4. says

    It was good to meet the woman behind the avatar – if only briefly.
    I am glad you enjoyed the weekend – bloggers are nice people and it's not about what you look like, but who you are.
    See you next year?

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I completely agree with you, and I thought that the BiBs were really friendly and supportive. Well done you for winning. You will most definitely see my next year.

  5. says

    Great pics and a wonderful account of the conference. I really thoroughly enjoyed Sarah Brown's 'speech'. I came away thinking she seems like a truly lovely person.

    Question, how do you go about labelling pics?

  6. says

    It was really good to meet you, and I must confess that you were at least a foot taller than I had anticipated from the twittersphere. It was a great weekend and wonderful to put some names to all those twitter IDs. I look forward to seeing you again next year.

  7. says

    I probably shouldn't say this, but I could have sworn you'd said you were going to Cybher this year, which was a big reason for me wanting to go…I was gutted when I realised you were going to BML instead! It soulds like such a great event, I was put off by the fact that it's a two-dayer but I think I'm just going to suck it up and come along next year.

    • says

      Jayne – I would highly recommend a room mate. I stayed with SilentBeauty and it was lovely to have some company and meet someone new. I hadn't met her at all before and only exchanged a couple of tweets. Everyone is so friendly.

  8. says

    You thought I was tall? ah! that makes me laugh. Even in my days of wearing high heel with cheeky platforms I was always the shortest one at the party. Hence I don't even bother that much anymore these days.

    It was lovely meeting you and Jenny and your photos are very good. Great tips about keywords etc if I did actually ever bothered with things like that

    See you again next year

  9. says

    A fab post, was sad you didn't win but as you say getting there was a massive achievement 🙂 Dress….yes please the Mads is a great reason for a dress, I'll wear one if I get a ticket it will be my scruffiest clothes if I'm to be a stalker…lol… x

  10. Jennie @ Edspire says

    Was lovely to meet you and give you that cuddle with Matilda. You did make me chuckle with your super fast hand cleansing!! I do hope that we will meet again one day x

  11. says

    It was a great weekend – lovely to see you again too although we did not get to chat as much this time. Apparently I am a pear/hour glass as my hips are slightly too wide for my shoulders – or so the woman said!

    Bit crazy at time – I spent many a moment wandering on my own bemused but happy.

    Missed the kiddies like crazy though.


  12. says

    I wish I'd gone two days now but I'm v glad I was there just the Saturday at least! Was really lovely to meet you, I think you'd look great in a dress!! I think next time I'd relax a bit more and not dart around like a mad woman!

  13. says

    I definitely think you should try a dress….you've got the height to carry off a maxi, I haven't!
    That's weird about the Google+ thing, sounds like even the people at Google+ don't know how Google+ works!

  14. says

    Glad you enjoyed it! I also found that no-one looked like I expected them too, very strange when you're trying to meet people!

  15. Alli Marshall says

    Sounds like you had a great time – I might just go to one of these events next year; I still struggle with the idea that I am a blogger worthy enough of going to an event like this & that people will look at me and think "why are you here?"

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