Attending your first blog conference can be a little nerve wracking. Especially if you are a relatively new blogger, and don’t know many people. Each year in June, BritMums Live takes over most parenting bloggers lives and their social media feeds too! Held over two days, it is the largest conference of its sort and so can seem a little intimidating for a newbie.
The reality is, it is a fabulous event, not scary and you will learn so much. I thought I would ask a bunch of my friends who have been before to share their top tips with you all. Hopefully it will all seem less scary then!
- I am going to kick things off. My top tip would be to make a plan to meet people before hand (Hannah from Mum’s Days agrees with this tip), maybe for lunch, then all go to the venue together. There are various ‘organised’ meet ups, one by the BritMums butterflies (to help newbies) and a few others. However, last year I contacted some bloggers who I was friendly with online and met up them for lunch. The two lovely ladies I met are now among my best friends – the power of BritMums!
- “I would say book at least 2 nights accommodation if you can – there’s nothing worse than having to rush off to catch a train and miss the keynotes. I would also say – wear comfy shoes! There’s a lot of standing around when you are chatting and there’s a walk to the tube and coffee shops etc” – Kate Fever, My Family Fever.
- “If you’re feeling nervous, join BritMums Butterflies on Facebook who will help hook you up with someone. The group is lovely and so helpful for first timers. Take a BIG bag or suitcase, there are lots of freebies and last year I had to carry a fully inflated football all the way home on the train, I’m taking a suitcase this year for sure!” Em, Snowing Indoors.
- “Bring some spare carrier bags or drawstring bags with you for all the freebies! I’m so glad I did this!” Twin Mummy and Daddy
- “Don’t be afraid to say hello to people – everyone is lovely. Take a phone charger with you and extra bags for the things you will pick up.” – Over 40 and a Mum to One
- I know it sounds a bit anal, but it really is worth making a kind of ‘hit list’ of people you want to meet before leaving. Arrange to meet at breaks and dare I say it….maybe even miss a session or two?! You will kick yourself when you get home and remember all the people you so wanted to meet, if you don’t go prepared. Suzanne, 3 children and it.
- “On the Friday night for the awards, sit on a table with the breastfeeding mums and you will get more wine”, Clare Nicholas, Emmy’s Mummy.
- “Good thing about taking a baby – it makes everything a bit less daunting as lots and lots of people will talk to you and your little one. They are attention magnets! But also do make sure you take a baby carrier with you, getting pushchairs around is a bit of a mission. And don’t arrange to go for after conference drinks at All Bar One – they won’t let babies in!” Lauren Gee, Spoon Paws.
- “Don’t take babies – I took Sebby last year and the sea of faces really unsettled him and I felt like I missed so much as I was tending to him!” Kara, Chelsea Mamma.
- “A massive DON’T……….Do not lunge gleefully at people in Starbucks that you think you recognise………….I did this only to find out the poor woman was just getting a coffee and a Panini in her lunch break.”, Sam, 40 year old Domestic Goddess “Oh and don’t wear high heels!”
- “The first day can be overwhelming, so don’t worry if you feel like it’s a bit too much, just step out and take a breather” Lisa, Hollybobbs
- “Just relax, enjoy it and don’t be nervous” Gretta, Mums do travel
- “Be brave and talk to anyone and everyone. It was liberating to be able to talk to complete stranger and instantly have something in common. I haven’t really had that experience since uni.” Clare, The Supermommy Club.
- “Write a list of people to meet – I still missed a few, but so glad I had a prompt of people to look out for!” Donna, What The Redhead Said.
- “Keep hydrated, it can be a long two days chatting and meeting new people and you don’t want to get yourself a headache or start to feel run down” – Sarah, Boo Roo and Tigger Too
- Another tip from me. I think name badges are a great idea. You are given a lanyard and name tag, but quite often they turn round and there is nothing worse than talking to someone and not knowing who they are! You will meet so many people and it is such a fabulous opportunity to make lots of new friends. Make it easy for them to remember your name! Name Badges from Simoney are a really good choice. I was recently sent mine, how posh does it look!? Also with these name badges you can incorporate you blog logo/design, so that might ring bells with the people you meet.
So hopefully this will reduce any awkward moments!
Are you going to BritMums Live this year? Have you been before?