Well that’s that for yet another year, my 5th year attending Britmums and another year I’ve enjoyed for differing reasons.
This year the timings were completely changed and instead of being mid-year in the summer the conference moved to the end of September and that wasn’t the only change. The venue changed too from The Montcalm where it has been for the previous years I’ve attended and moving to County Hall on the Southbank.
This shift of venue coupled with an increase in the ticket price and the actual conference being over 1 day as opposed to previously 2 days meant that there were less in attendance both bloggers and brands.
I personally found the reduced numbers worked in my favour as I was able to actually chat to those friends who often I find myself shouting Hi and Bye to on passing as there is too much to do and not enough time or space to chat. I was able to spend large blocks of time catching up and felt I mainly saw all those I planned to without that annoying end of day feeling of ‘I wish I could have chatted with…’
There was also a definite shift this year from sessions suited to newbies, intermediate and advanced levels and these were geared more to the intermediate/advanced bloggers who weren’t just starting out but who’s sites were established and wanted to improve upon their skills.
I really enjoyed the SEO deep dive sessions I attended with Judith. 3 hours aimed to look at digging deep into SEO – some of these tips I have already started to implement – yesterday I optimised over 12,000 images on this site, compressing them to improve site loading speed.
SEO wasn’t something I really looked at for 5 years until last year when I moved over to WordPress. Now I do start to think about it more than I once did but it’s never in the forefront of my mind and I’ve not gone back through old posts which I really do need to do.
Aside from this session I wasn’t interested in the others persay, Facebook live isn’t my thing at all, I don’t vlog and while I do use Instagram my content is more in the now and not styled so flat lays wasn’t for me either. I did go to the Pinterest session as I don’t use it beneficially to me. In fact, I always forget to pin, don’t make pretty images which are Pinterest worth so when I do have a post I could pin I don’t as I add to the to-do list and promptly forget.
I’m what I’d call a lazy blogger, I do what I’m comfortable with, have so much on my to-do list and really want to improve upon a few things but life gets in the way.
There was a lot of time between sessions where I was sitting around chatting with friends, there were ‘brand sessions’ running during this time but I’d not found them to be very inviting so sat out of those, as did quite a lot of others. This time could have been used for either a few more actual sessions relevant aside from wine tasting, food making etc. (Yes you may be surprised to know I sat out of that one too!) Or bumped off to make a very long day shorter.
The brands in attendance were less than usual and I found they really weren’t too approachable, there was a language barrier and they didn’t seem to want to chat with us or really be there. That was fine for me, and I used the time to chat and catch up with friends instead but it did mean there was a huge 3 hours block where there were only brand sessions and lunch which seemed such a wasted time but I made use of it by laughing so much my face hurt.
I found the bloggers keynotes very moving, making me both cry and laugh in equal measures but it was hard to see and hear due to the room used and how the tables were laid out.
Lastly, the day ended as it always does. With the BIBS (Blogging in Brilliance Awards) this was onboard a boat this time and we were treated to beautiful night views of London from the Thames thanks to City cruises. For me it went too fast to actually enjoy the scenery and coupled with free wine there were many left with sealegs and rather wobbly by the end of the evening, myself included and I actually wasn’t drunk nor do I get seasick but I also don’t generally walk around a boat while on it, preferring to enjoy the views so this was possibly the reason.
So, for me, I enjoyed the day but mainly for being able to catch up with lovely friends and being given the time to make some new ones.
There was also the experience combined with Britmums this year which, I chose to take a tour of the Houses of Parliament. There will be a separate post on this to follow later this week.