I can't believe that in a couple of months I'll be packing my bags ready to go back down to London for BritMums Live. Last year was such a blast despite my nerves of attending such a huge event for the very first time. But this year I have nothing but joy and excitement as I read through the agenda and try to figure out what I want to see and do this year!
The focus is heavily on bloggers and brands working together, something that I am not overly that fussed about to be honest. Last year I gave it a try but I found that it was just more work than I really wanted from blogging right now. That's not to say that I don't still work with the odd brand (because I do), but I am rather picky about what I am willing to undertake and am not keen on promoting that side of things.
But even though the focus is on this, I am still super excited as there are plenty of other aspects to the weekend which I am truly looking forward to, including:
- Seeing bloggers I met last year and whose blogs I have throughly enjoyed reading this year
- Meeting new bloggers and finding more great blogs to follow
- Finally meeting Cherry Menlove, whose blog I have followed since she wrote Tales from Pixie Wood way back in 2006/7 (I forget exactly when I found it!)
- The Bloggers' Keynote (I missed this last year as we were rushing to get home, but I'm hoping to stay for it this year).
- Coming home with loads of goodies like we did last year (Little Man was only 9 months old last June and so he wasn't really old enough to appreciate all the freebies... this year it'll be different!)
As for the agenda... well here is my current plan (which may well change right up to the last minute!)
1400-1500: Actually arrive on time (last year we got stuck in traffic and then took the wrong tube!) and enjoy getting to mingle from the very start
1505-1530: Keynote speech (Kirstie Allsopp)
1530-1615: Pop along to the "Writing Funny" session
1615-1730: Enjoy sampling the multitude of herbal teas on offer
1615-1815: (if I have remember to sign up in time) Head to a session with LBA agent to pitch my HG book and find out what an actual agent's thoughts are on the reality of getting it published. Then I'll wander round the Hub.
1700-1745: Join the "Storytelling" workshop (I went to a publishing one last year and found it wasn't so helpful as the nature of the HG book is so different to those of many other bloggers. However I'd love to hear more about people's thoughts on better storytelling for bloggers).
1750-1830: Enjoy the "Is your blog camera ready" - I love taking photos but just don't seem to take as many as I'd like and I want to use my blog to record the beautiful things in our daily lives.
1830... Although I'd love to stay for the BiBs party (I missed it last year too), I am far more excited about going on a date night with TJ in London, finding a new restaurant to sample, and just enjoying some "us time".
830-915: I may be late again... but if I have arranged to meet up with some bloggers I shall make every effort to come and make the most of coffee and pastries before the day begins
915-920: Listen to welcome from BritMums founders
920-935: Keynote speech (Katie Piper)
935-1010: Make notes about "Blogging and Social Media Now" (especially as I am so very bad at balancing this right now!)
1010-1050: I don't really know what "Innovative Blogging Models" is about, so this may change if it sounds interesting. But right now I am thinking of going along to "Finding Your Voice and What Makes Good Writing". I went to a similar one last year and it was so encouraging.
1050-1130: More cake (or in my case, not so much because of the whole wheat issue)... and plenty more herbal tea!
1130-1215: Listening with interest to the session entitled "Are we really addicted to the internet? A conversation from a neuroscience perspective".
1220-1310: I'm torn here between Wordpress gets fancy (as we use Wordpress at work and I use Typepad at home so I'm a bit lost when it comes to blogging for work) and "How I did it: Success stories from the blogging front line". I'll most likely go to the latter, as although I don't want a massive blog, I do want to make it a place of warmth and encouragement for others in a similar boat to us (raising an only child etc).
1310-1410: LUNCH!!! Need I say more?
1410-1455: Okay, so I am completely torn on this one. I don't really enjoy cooking much, so food blogging is kind of knocked out straight away (sorry... TJ is the cook in our household!) But I cannot decide between "The New Feminism: Rebuild or rebrand?" "Social Media: Activating your network", and "Blogging with heart, for support". I think I'll know more nearer the time and can make my decision then.
1450-1545: Again I am torn (oh, why is it so hard to choose?) This time it's between "Photography", "Blogging for good: how to blog better working with charities", and "Style blogging for fashion, beauty and home". To be honest, I love home blogs but not so much the fashion and beauty side of things so it all depends on the balance of those as to whether the latter will interest me in the end. But the other two are real passions of mine.
1545-1640: Afternoon coffee and tea... a chance to chat some more with everyone I've met. Yay.
1640-1710: "Good Enough Mums Club" (sounds AWESOME!)
1710-1815: "Bloggers Keynote (And A Time to Honour Kerry)". I didn't really know Kerry, but the outpouring of love during her long battle and following her passing was so amazing and reminded me just why I love the blogging community so very, very much. I am expecting to cry at this point in the day!
And that's it... I cannot wait to find out more details about who is speaking at which session as I think that will help me make firmer decisions, especially where I am torn.
Are you going to BritMums Live this year? What are you most looking forward to? Have you decided what sessions you really want to attend? Let me know... I'd love to meet you there!