I hadn’t planned to go to BritMums Live 2016, but then an email from Coca-Cola GB landed in my inbox last week, saying that they would like to sponsor me to attend. I’ve never been sponsored to attend a blogging event before, so was really excited! I said yes, and it turns out that I am going to BritMums Live after all! I did some work with Coca-Cola for the 2014 World Cup, which you can read about here!
So what is BritMums Live?
BritMums Live — aka #BML16 — is the UK’s biggest, buzziest blogging and social media conference and it’s where you’ll find technical workshops, creative juice, social media leaders sharing their secrets, panels that will leave you enlightened, conversations that will inspire and friendships that will last all year long. This year they celebrate their 5th birthday, so you can also expect some great birthday surprises.
How I look: Picture of me to the left there, taken today, after just having my hair cut and coloured (I’ve gone back to black, after a couple of years as a kinda red-head)
I will be wearing: Black leggings, purple shoes, a purple top, purple make up, purple glasses,and if I can find it, my purple pumpkin necklace that I had made for last years event, but mislaid it… I’m the plus size bird dressed in purple, you can’t miss me.
Is this my first blogging event? This will be my 4th BML, but I’ve also been to BlogCamp, BlogFest, and Blogstock. The thing I’m looking forward to most (aside from meeting the team from Coca-Cola GB, which I’ll be writing about after the event) is meeting up with my blogging friends! Since BML wasn’t on my radar for this year, I haven’t looked at what sessions there are this year, so I think I best find out!
What I hope to gain from #BML16: From past experience, I know that I always come away from BritMums Live with a renewed zest for blogging, and full of inspiration. I hope that I will feel exactly the same this year!
Last year, I brought my husband along with me for some moral support surrounding my anxiety issues. Those issues are still there, but I’m suppressing them. I don’t have anxiety about being there, I’m just not a fan of going out in public. Many people are surprised by that info, but it is what it is.
By now I’m one of the “older bloggers” not just in age (hello 40), but also in terms of length of blogging, and times attending! I know last year I saw LOTS of new faces, and less of the old – I do hope there will be people there that I recognise from events past.
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My tips for a great BML16:
I’m sharing last years tips, as I’m pretty sure that they will still apply!
- Wear comfortable clothes + shoes – there are lots of steps to go up and down (although there is a lift too), as well as standing around chatting to fellow bloggers and brands. High heels are gonna end up hurting your feet by the end of the day. I find it gets quite hot in the main hub too, so wear something cool, or do as I do and take a hand fan with you!
- Take some business cards – but don’t go nuts! There are often special offers and discount codes – have a hunt around online.
- Take a charger for your phone – you’ll be on social media like mad, and your phone will not last all day! However, with 500+ bloggers wanting to also charge their devices, sockets are like gold dust. Bring a mobile a mobile charger with you – they’re not too expensive. I can’t be without mine when going out!
- Use your camera to take notes – during workshops, slides are often used so I took quick snaps of the screen in case I can’t write everything down quickly enough!
- Don’t take too much with you – really, I learned my lesson from my first BML in 2013 – I took, my phone, iPad, a notepad, pens, camera, plus all the other junk you find in a handbag! I never used my iPad once and there was lots of paper and pens to use.
- Make yourself heard – don’t be afraid to ask a question, or give an opinion during a workshop, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t!
- Arrange to meet with other bloggers – you may know each other through reading each other’s blogs, through Twitter, Facebook, wherever – try and have one friendly face (at least) that you will see in the crowd! And if you really don’t know anyone, come find me, I’ll be more than happy to talk to you!
- Look at the agenda before you go – you won’t be able to attend every session, so make a plan of action! If you buddy up, maybe make a pact to swap notes from different workshops, which is something I’ve done in the past. Other bloggers often write up about their experiences and notes, so you can often find out info you missed.
- Network – be it will with brands or with other bloggers, make use of the time you have at BritMums to build connections – you don’t know what will come of it!
- Be social – of course that means talking to others; but also tweet, gram, snap, scope, facebook…whatever it is you do, share the day with other bloggers who can’t make it on the day!
- Relax and enjoy the experience – there is so much going on…it can be quite overwhelming the first time! You’ll meet lots of people, and learn lots of things. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be inspired!
- Put your strong arms on – there was some serious swag last year in the form of goodie bags, so eat your spinach and be strong like Popeye!
- Blog about your experience when it’s all over – it’s great to read back on everything when the dust has settled. I’m so glad that I wrote about the BML that I’ve attended over the years: day one and day two in 2015; day one and day two in 2014; and day one and day two in 2013.