Last weekend I visited Brit Mums Live thanks to my sponsor Hilary's Blinds.
I joined hundreds of other bloggers and descended upon the Brewery for a weekend full of natter with like minded people. I hoped to go in with an open mind, learn and meet many of the bloggers I had been tweeting with over the past year and come away with a rejuvenated passion for what I do.
I have to admit, I did only glance at what talks were going on this year and went along to a few that I felt would be relevant to me, and the rest of the time I could be found schmoozing in the lounges or picking at the yummy nibbles that were on offer.
I was so excited to finally be meeting a number of bloggers that I had been chatting with since I first started blogging, Nicola at Life Through My Eyes, Lisa at Holly Bobs and Rachel at Mummy Glitzer. Of course there were also bloggers who I was looking forward to having a catch up with, bloggers who I have been lucky enough to meet before, Bex at The Mummy Adventure who I am always happy to room share with, Emma at Crazy With Twins, Lucy at Dear Beautiful and Katie at Mummy Daddy and Me. Brit Mums really is the place to go when you want to put a face to a Twitter name!
I had the privilege of meeting Dawn at Mummys Little Peeps and Leyla from This Day I love and it was great being able to sit down and have a couple of
bottles glasses of wine with everyone.
There were some truly remarkable speakers over the course of the weekend from the likes of Kirsty Allsop who was incredibly funny and down to earth, and the fabulous Katie Piper, who for me stole the whole show. Katie came on and spoke about everything that happened to her with incredible honesty and openness, she laid her soul bare to each and everyone of us in that room and I thought she was amazing.
I attended the Brand Panel Debate where the topic of discussion was what brands and bloggers really want from each other. Expectations really need to be set from the word go and in that very first email or phone call, there is no point in taking on a project that hasn't got a clear goal to work to. Then of course what happens when you have completed what you agreed to? Do you expect thanks? A retweet maybe? Again this is all something that should be discussed from the start so you know what will be happening when all is said and done.
The second session that I attended was all about storytelling, sometimes I write a post and think to myself 'I could have put that down on paper in a much more interesting way' and then I begin to kick myself. So I am hoping to go back to my roots and make my posts more personal and more enjoyable.
'Stories come in many shapes and forms, each creation is a way to share our story'.
The Brit Mums lobby was bursting with people from all different walks of life with the same passion. We were all there because we love blogging and want to grow. I always find it interesting talking about blogging with other bloggers, they get it and they get you. Sometimes it can fall on deaf ears with family and friends that know your little secret, but not at Brit Mums Live.
Brit Mums Live is very focused around meeting brands and potentially helps you to create new working relationships. Last year I became a Panasonic Intelligent Living Mum and had a fantastic year working along side them on product reviews and work shops at their head office in Bracknell. It really did open up a fantastic opportunity for me to be a part of, so if you are thinking about coming along to next years Brit Mums, I say grab the chance with both hands and come along!
I think my favourite part of Brit Mums has to be the Key Notes, I said exactly this last year. It is really great to hear from fellow bloggers sharing their greatest work on the big stage. Hearing the emotion that they put into each and every word they read. This year was incredibly emotional, we lost two of our own over the course of this last year. The two beautiful MM's, Multiple Mummy and Matilda Mae.
I listened with my heart on my sleeve as friends paid tribute to those who couldn't be with us. But I am sure that both Multiple Mummy and Matilda Mae were there as Katie Perry's 'Firework' played through the room to a standing ovation of bloggers. Bloggers who were clapping along and thinking of everyone who's lives have been touched by both Matilda Mae and Kerry at Multiple Mummy.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jennie from Edspire over the weekend and I have to say she is amazing, and so is the fantastic Heather from SAHM Loving It and Susanne from Ghostwrittermumy, who both took to the stage and read Merry's words.
The whole room listened intently and the atmosphere was so powerful.
The one thing I know, is that the blogging community will carry you through anything. If you need help they will be there, they will get you through and keep your head above water and I feel incredibly proud to be a part of it.