OMG I can’t believe I won the ‘Inspire’ category, partially because of what a lovely title it has and partially because of the amazing women I was up against. I was sure I had no chance, but a couple of my friends were convinced. However, when they read out the description of the winner, even my mate shook her head as if to say ‘Oh wel
l, next time’.
“I loved reading this blog and it proved, if proof is needed, the key to a brilliant blog can be as simple as engaging, heartfelt and funny updates. Packed with personality, it is laugh-out-loud funny, which combined with great navigation and an enticing design, makes it a real winner”
Really, what me, ‘Laugh out loud funny’? That’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about my writing, second only to what my fellow finalist Kylie said here (check it out to see her list of the lovely blogs I was up against).
I have to admit I blubbed AGAIN – my only excuse being it was such a surprise and I was just soooooooooo shocked. So I’d like to do a ‘proper’ acceptance speech now if you don’t mind ….
Thank you so much for this award, it means so much for me to be in this category with such amazing blogs. I love writing, and I love my readers, because without them I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. The reason I write my blog is because I think that Mums are incredibly important in our world as we are where everything starts; so we deserve to enjoy ourselves and we deserve help to enjoy ourselves. Big thank you to the Britmums team for their amazing organisation as always, and to Kids One Stop Shop for sponsoring this category and Carla Buzasi for being the judge (must have been a really tough job).
What Was BritMums Live Like?
The thing about conferences like this is I come away with tonnes and also feeling like I missed out on tonnes.
It was a little tricky because I had Little Dimples with me, as she still breastfeeds at lunch and lots in the evening and I’m a rubbish expresser. Nanny Bets (the little old irish lady I found in Tescos) came to help, and thoroughly enjoyed her day wandering around the hub and holding babies in the quiet room.
From it I could have learnt stuff, met people, and connected to brands, and I’ve come away feeling like I could have done loads more of all three. To be honest I was distracted by being on the panel for a discussion den on online negativity, having Little Dimples there, and by being a little ‘rabbit in the headlights’ when faced by 500 bloggers, so I’m not sure my strategy to get the most out of it actually existed.
I got to put some faces to twitter ids, and even had a couple of ‘proper’ chats with a few bloggers; BUT there are so many I missed too *sad face*, and some people said they were too nervous to come up and say hi to me. So I’m telling you all now – ALWAYS come up and say hi to me!
I probably missed lots because I was coming in and out by train, so I didn’t see Ruby Wax, Sarah Brown or the Keynotes. But I enjoyed the awards ceremony, thought Katy Hill did a brilliant job, and loved Cherry Healy’s talk at the end of Saturday. Katy insisted that even celebs have cellulite; which makes her fabulous in my eyes! Cherry really underlined how important bloggers are to PR’s and Celebs now a days and I came away with a clearer understanding of how we fit into the bigger picture.
I think it’s a bit difficult to span all experience levels, so a couple of the workshop/panels left me a bit frustrated, but I really enjoyed the Youtube one with Christine Beardsell. I think that Mum/Parent blogs can be a bit dry, and was disappointed I didn’t get more from the ‘clever parent bloggers’ session on how to avoid this, but Christine’s session inspired me with ways that I could use Youtube as a funny extension of my blog (I already have a Mummy Whisperer channel); but I’m not giving away my ideas yet, as Cherry told us not to!
I loved being part of the discussion den on online negativity, my summary on ‘Twitter Terriors, Facebook Furies and Blog Bummers’ will be up on the Britmums blog any day now (I’d LOVE some feedback btw) and it meant meeting some big heroes of mine:
- Claire from a Modern military mother (a fave blog and person of mine who has unfortunately been trolled a LOT)
- Diane from In the powder room (which I adore and have a secret desire to write for, but never admitted that to her!)
- Paul from Viapoint (a new hero who I was really looking forward to meeting because he’s learnt loads about the psychology behind online behaviour).
I made a contact in Google who will hopefully resolve my Google-Youtube problem, thus making the whole thing worth going to. But I must admit I didn’t put much effort into getting swag or making brand connections, which maybe I should have focussed on a bit.
However, I did still get loads of swag, and because of winning and being in a panel I have some duplicates, so see below for your opportunity to get some swag too!
My Feedback To The BritMums Live Team:
– I know you had a butterflies section, but it would be great to have a list of names of who is going, so that I could have been more organised about who I got to see (obviously some people might not want to be openly on the list, which is fine). OOOOH and make them add pictures you can actually recognise people from!
– It would be great if you could mark sessions as beginning, experienced or advanced to help us choose.
– Could we have a place marked as ‘I’d like to meet other bloggers’ area, for when we are too tired for brands or learning and fancy a chat?
– I know you gave us great maps and agendas, but I’m rubbish with them; could we have HUMUNGOUS signs please saying things like ‘Warner Bros’ (missed them until Sat afternoon!), ‘Meet bloggers here’, the room names, and marking the quiet baby room (a few bloggers with babies missed it).
– I loved the tea, cake, Prosecco, Saturday lunch, and half naked waiters! The little snacky things on Friday evening were a bit posh for me though. Your organisation is really slick, and I know that each year it’s going to get better and better.
– TAKE MORE PHOTO’s!
– Read the map!
– Take more time to work out who is going & make a list of people I don’t want to miss
– Take tissues if there is any chance of me blubbing!
– Don’t share trifle with a 2yo – they eat it all!
How Did My OutFit Work Out?
A huge thank you again to Joe Browns who provided my clothes for the conference. Apart from the fact that I now have several outfits (mix and match you know!) to wear all the time now, it made a big difference to how confident I felt. (Check out my post beforehand on what to wear to a blogging conference, which explains how come I was lucky enough to get in contact with them).
Loads of people said they liked the clothes, and I felt comfortable, but still pretty. They also handled the freaky weather, which was cold one minute and hot the next.
Now you know how I said I didn’t focus much on getting swag? Well I still came away with a BIG pile: check out my pile just for attending on the left (and looking at the picture, it’s a shame I missed the session on photography!):
And the pile for the winning on the right (my dentist is going to love me, after all my excuses to not floss my teeth, and having been a hater of crocs I have to admit I’m a changed woman!):
But because I won and was a panelist I have some duplicates, so I thought I’d give all those people who didn’t attend a chance to WIN SOME SWAG?
There’s a lovely atlas from barefoot books, snow dogs DVD, Lego city box, little duple box, and a great game from bananagrams:
So as you are meant to do something in order to win a competition, and I thought I’d ask you to give me some feedback so that I can make my blog better and better for you:
- What you’d like to see me write more about.
- What you like best/least about my blog
- Or What was your favourite post so far
The competition will end next Wednesday 4th July 2012 at midnight and is only open to the UK and Ireland (sorry postage costs!). You can get extra entries by following me on twitter and my Facebook page.