I cannot believe that in just 3 weeks I will be packing my bags ready to head off to London for my 3rd BritMums Live. How has it come around this fast and how can it be my third year already? When I went to my first one in 2012 it was a real eye-opener... it showed me how much I love socialising and being around people who are all passionate about something (whether it's food, crafts, technology, family life, health... or just simply friendship!) I almost didn't book a ticket this year as I thought it would be too much, but I am so glad I did as I would have missed it so much!
My first year I went with an old uni friend. Last year I went on my own. This year I am going with two wonderful women I have met through my work for Pregnancy Sickness Support - Emma and Katrina. Emma is even a finalist in the BiBs so for the first time ever I will be ditching an early night on the Friday and attending the awards ceremony. I cannot tell you how exciting that is.
But other than knowing I cannot wait to get there and I cannot wait to fully immerse myself in the amazing experience that BritMums Live is, I do not really know what my plan is yet. And so whilst I deliberate over train times and what on earth to wear, I thought it was high time I looked at the agenda properly and decided what I wanted to do.
As always, there is far too much to choose from and I know I will most likely change my mind at the last minute on several points, but here's my very loose plan for the two days.
In the morning: I plan on travelling down, meeting Emma and Katrina and hopefully attending the BritMums Butterflies pre-event meet up in Starbucks (if you are going for the first time, going alone, or just simply nervous around big crowds, this is a really great way to ease yourself into the whole thing... I went last year and it was fab!)
2pm: Register and grab a cuppa (they have such a wide choice of herbal teas, I love it!) I must remember to pack some wheat-free snacks though as all the cake is way too tempting. This is also the time to have a quick look around the Hub.
3pm: Grab a seat with some lovely people and listen to the welcome and keynote and relish in the fact that returning to the Brewery for BritMums Live feels just like "coming home".
3:40pm: Continue to soak up the atmosphere and listen to the first session "Women's Voices and the Media: making your voice matter" - oooooh!
4:25pm: More tea and coffee... perhaps another look around The Hub. I shall also, at this point, reflect on the fact that last year I was waiting nervously to see a literary agent to talk about the HG book and less than a year later my co-author and I submitted said book to our publisher - eeeeeeeek! How very much has changed in just one short year.
5pm: I'm really looking forward to attending the session "How I did it: success stories from high-profile bloggers" not because of the content matter (I am not really aiming to be a high-profile blogger, I don't think I could hack it) but because I adore Annie from Mammasaurus and just want to hear what she has to share.
5:50pm: I was really torn here... I would have loved to go to the session about making your blog look gorgeous because I am still not 100% happy with how mine looks. But, I have been such a long-time fan of Cherry Menlove I could not miss the opportunity to attend another session with her. I met her for the first time last year and am so excited I get to see her again - there is something very special about seeing someone in person whose blog you have read for years, whose story you have followed along with, and whose outlook on life just seems so special you want to hear what they have to say in person as well as on the page. So I shall be attending the session "The power blogging can bring to your life" at this point in the day.
6:35pm: Emma, Katrina and I are most likely going to head out at this point to grab a bite to eat before the BiBs Awards Ceremony as none of us think we'll be able to last out until afterwards!
7:15pm: THE BiBS!!!
8pm: I shall be heading off towards my hotel room and bed at this point... although as Emma, Katrina and I are staying in the same hotel we may not quite make it to bed that early if we get caught up in conversation!
8:30am: Now someone told me that there was breakfast at the Brewery if you got there early enough... I really must try and get there in time this year!
9am: Grab a seat back in the main room and listen to the keynote - have a little bit of a chuckle at how many bloggers seem a little hungover from last night's party and remind myself that there are some real benefits to not liking alcohol!
9:35am: Now here is where I get unstuck... I am interested in 3 of the 4 sessions at this point. I'm surprised it has taken until Saturday morning to have such a dilemna but there you go. I am torn between "How to be an agent of change: advocacy and charity campaigns" because of the work I do (but I have been to a similar session a couple of years ago), "Podcasting: the hows, wheres and whys" because I have no idea what podcasting is and with a panel of dad bloggers I would love to hear their point of view on blogging, and "Hands on video session part 1" because I'd love to do some more videos on the blog. I don't think I will make my decision until I get there and see who is going to each one and which one draws me in at that point.
10:10am: And so because of my indecision in the previous session I have more indecision in this one too... if I have been to the "Hands on video" session I will need to go to the second part here. If I haven't, I will still find myself totally torn between "Pinterest: How to be a power pinner" and the other 2 sessions as well. I do feel that Pinterest may draw me in more than the others, to be honest, so I'm not going to write the other two down just to try and look like I have some idea of what I want to do here... but the reality is it could swing in any direction at this point!
10:50am: I think I will definitely need a coffee break at this point!
11:30am: Now I find I have a different dilemna... I have an interest in two of the sessions here, but I could also kinda happily miss both of them and take advantage of a bit of quiet time in the Hub. Last year I took my crochet with me with great plans to skip a session and just catch my breath but I didn't. I feel like it would be a good move this year with how ill I have been lately, and yet the thought of missing any session is hard! I went to a session by Julia Boggio in my first year at BritMums Live, so whilst I would love to be inspired by her further I know I could just about bring myself to miss her session. And I love the idea of the collaboration session because it has some awesome bloggers on the panel and it's something I am interested in... but I already collaborate with others through my work so I do feel it is something I could miss. So I guess at this point I will most likely skip a session and crochet quietly in a corner so I don't exhaust myself too much.
12:20pm: Finally I am back in the realms of knowing exactly what I want to attend and that is the session called, "Google+: Learning to love it". It was at BritMums Live in 2012 that I first heard about Google+ and despite joining it way back then I still don't really know how it works. Yet it sounds like an amazing social media platform and so I really want to learn more about it.
1:10pm: Lunch - and a natter, of course!
2:10pm: As someone who signed up to Instagram in 2012 and yet only started properly using it after one of the Team Honk Team told me I really ought to be following them on there too, I am really interested in the session, "How to instagram better: take gorgeous snaps, build followers, be part of the community".
3pm: I'm really intrigued by the title of the session, "Things you didn't know you could do, but you can" because I am always amazed at how many things people do that I have never even heard of or thought were way too complicated. I think this could be a fun session, especially as geekmummy is running it!
3:50pm: More cake (I hope... I really must pack a big bag of wheat-free goodies!)
4:45pm: Bloggers keynote... last year was the first time I attended this as I skipped out early the year before. I have to say that it is really emotional, often funny, and totally heartwarming to realise how many things we all share through our blogs. I cannot wait to see which posts have been put forward this year!
5:45pm: Special performance... oooooh that sounds interesting, I wonder what it will be like!
6:15pm: Swap my namebadge for my goodie bag, say a fond farewell to The Brewery for yet another year and realise that whilst I've had an amazing time it is all over and I have to go home *sniff sniff*
Looking through this I realise just how amazing it's going to be and I cannot wait for it to come around. Tell me, are you planning on attending any of the same sessions as me? Let me know so I can try and sit with you and have a natter!