So it’s that time of year again, the ‘blogging event of the season’ is upon us.
Last year was my first BritMums Live and only my second blogging conference ever. Only a year later and this will be my fourth.
To help delegates get to know each other before the big day and know what faces to look out for rather than blog logos, BritMums have encouraged us all to write a bit about ourselves. So here we go…
Who am I?
I am Amie; 27 years old, marketing professional by day, blogger on my commutes to and from work, Mama to one and girlfriend to the Other Half somewhere inbetween (sorry OH!). Chocolate cake (warm, with fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream, please) is the way to my heart and I am social media addict.
Where can you find me?
What do I look like?
Short. Really short. And I’ll be damned in I’m wearing heels to an all day event, so expect a short brunette with brown eyes, red lips and a loud laugh.
Most likely will be holding a cup of tea (never trust the coffee at these events…) as well.
I refuse to answer the ‘what will you be wearing question’. The event is two weeks away. I have absolutely no idea what will be clean (I’m not a fashion blogger for a reason, people). Last year I wore a hat. I doubt I’ll don a hat this year as it just created something else to think about during the day – do I leave it on in talks? Do I take it off? Did I look like a try-hard plonker? (Not neurotic at all then…)
Lipstick, however, will most definitely be worn. And either Nikes or flip flops depending on the weather.
If you’re still not sure who I am, listen out for the weird crossbreed twang of Hertfordshire-meets-Atlanta-drawl…
What I hope to gain from #BML16:
This is where my BML experience differs hugely from last year. Last year, I was all about the learning – quote, “I fully intend to act like a sponge and soak up all the knowledge I possibly can”. And I did that. And I utterly burnt myself out, left the conference exhausted (for all the wrong reasons) and even left wondering why I was blogging at all. (More on this below.)
I knew one person ahead of BML last year. This year, I know quite a few people going, meaning it’s as much about the social aspects this year for me, as well as the learning.
I’m also hosting a Table Talk for Under 30s during Break Out Session III (14:50pm, do come say hello and save me from talking to myself at an empty table, that would just be embarrassing…). I’m hoping to put faces to the blogs I’ve been featuring in my monthly BritMums Round-ups and get a feel for what the Under 30 community would like the Round-up to showcase. So please do come along, introduce yourself and have a natter. And if you can’t make the table talk, make sure you say hello at some point throughout the day.
My tips for a great conference:
Take time out. Don’t be afraid to take time a break, miss a session and recharge during the day with a cup of tea and just have a natter with whoever else is taking five.
It’s a lot to take in and last year I went to a different talk every session, determined to ooze out every possible crumb of knowledge and learning from the weekend. I sort of over did it… And also, there isn’t really opportunity to meet people if you’re head down scribbling notes the entire time. Which, truth be told, the social side of this event is as much what it’s about as the learning… Possibly more so…
A note to newbies, the socially awkward, the overwhelmed, the introverts, the tired and the hungover from the Friday Night Fringe – the designated breaks get quite busy in the central hub area, so opt for one of the lounge areas during this time for a slightly less cramped and buzzing atmosphere or head to a table talk during break out III for an opportunity to get chatting to likeminded bloggers if you’re in need of some light relief rather than another full on learning binge. (I’m not bias about the table talks… honest…)
Business Cards vs. not. It can be handy to have some business cards in your back pocket – you never know who you might meet that it would be worth giving one to.
However, I am increasingly of the opinion, I’d rather follow a fellow blogger on [insert social media platform of choice] than do a card swap. I’m far more likely to come across your content again in the future and reconnect than if I take your business card, which considering how much other bumph you get during the day from brands, etc, are likely to end up in the bottom of a bag.
If you choose to follow people on Twitter, start a Twitter list (e.g., ‘#BML16’ – but hopefully you could have thought of that title on your own…) that you add them to so you can easily find the people you met on the day again once you’re home and away from the noise and chaos, when you have time to go through and explore.
Another alternative is a LinkedIn bump. Download the LinkedIn Bumo app before the event. The best, once you find someone worth card swapping with, both open the app, bump your phones together and voila! You exchange business card deets without their tiny card getting lost in the bottom of a goodie bag. It’s also more environmentally friendly. Job done.
Key Note Bloggers. This, without a doubt, is the highlight of the entire event. Showcasing the Creme de la Creme of the blogging community, old and new bloggers as voted for by the blogging community read out their posts in their own voices – just as they should be read. I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay to the end to be a part of this inspiring session.