BritMums Live ’16 Review
BritMums Live was my first ever blogging conference. Since then I’ve gone onto attend and write about many others, both inside and outside of the blogging niche.
BritMums Live is the premier event for BritMums. Which is a network of the largest lifestyle bloggers in Britain. The event describes itself as “the premier networking conference for the UK’s most influential parenting bloggers and social media players.”
With the slight confusion over whether it suited lifestyle bloggers, parenting bloggers, or both. An the excitement I had at the prospect of meeting other bloggers and taking my blog to the next level I booked myself a ticket.
The location was central, although the venue itself was slightly too small for the number of people attending. The offerings of food and drink were good, although again challenging due to the lack of space. All this contributed to the value for money being a little too high. Unfortunatly, the real downside to this particular even was the feeling of 'cliques'. Then again, what mum's with a 2 year old want to be friends with me?
The event was located at The Brewery, just outside of central London. London is always the number one choice for venues when it comes to events in the UK. An despite being a Yorkshire blogger, I don’t mind an excuse to take a trip into the big smoke now and again.
While the location was okay, the venue itself was a little on the small side for the number of people in attendance. BritMums ’17 has moved to a new venue, so space might not be much of an issue this year. Many people were sitting on the floor during some of the break-out sessions while networking with brands and other bloggers was uncomfortable as you stood shoulder to shoulder with someone else.
There were three sessions / sets of speakers that for me personally stood out as being fantastic.
Firstly, the session on networking with brands. Hosted by two bloggers (who’s names I have since forgot) who were both based in the travel industry. They explained the good, the bad, and the ugly that they’d seen when working with brands and provided some essential advice on how to strengthen bonds with PR networks and use their services to your readers advantage.
The next session was hosted by Nigel Camp over dinner. Nigel provided us with an in-depth look into the different cameras and camera accessories available on the market. As well as the difference all of this can make on your photography. The session was much smaller than the others during the day (mainly due to it being hosted in a side room during lunch) and was both informative and interactive.
Finally, an Instagram session (once again hosted by bloggers who’s names I can’t remember) In this case the speakers worked really well together. Each having a unique take on the purpose and possibility of Instagram which gave a ‘something for everyone’ answer to anyone and everyone in the audience.
I’ll start by saying I’m a bit of an introvert. However, from the second I arrived I felt awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe it was my age, maybe it was because it was my first blogging conference. Who knows… I got there early, grabbed a seat at the front and the table of around 10 seats around me started to fill.
Attendees who knew each other sat down alongside one an other and I was sort of just left in the middle of a table of friends. I did in fact move from that table to another, and played the whole “Is anyone sitting here / do you mind…” and while I ended up with a new seat, I still ended up with no conversation.
My only thought on this is that it’s possible that this event of approximately 300 attendees was a little too big to create a real sense of community. Then again, I’m a 20 something introvert, so what do I know?
Value For Money
The 2016 BritMums Live blogger ticket was £82.64 – weird number I know… Was it worth it? Almost…
While the event was great, I didn’t leave feeling inspired. I didn’t want to rush to my desk with pages filled of notes. I’d not made any new friends, and I’d struggled to fight my way through to network with any brands.
It’s worth mentioning that the price of BritMums Live has increased to £100 for bloggers in 2017. However, with a new spacious venue and a new much more interactive format I’m very much intrigued and excited by the prospect of perhaps attending again in 2017.