What a whirlwind BritMums Live was ( I literally write this very sentence in every single year’s round-up about the biggest UK blogging conference in the UK, but it’s true)!
I’ve not missed a single BritMums yet and my love and admiration for its founders, Jen and Susanna knows no bounds. That dynamic duo are smart, fearless, funny and total babes to boot and the mumboss twosome endlessly empower creative parents, informing, supporting and celebrating them whenever they can.
I was honoured to be asked to speak about my career again this year and as the proud recipient of the ‘Best of the Best’ award last year and Best Social Media at the Bibs (Brilliance in Blogging Awards), I want to formally thank BritMums for everything they’ve done for me, since day one.
They get a big fat Greek thank you in my Mumboss book but I want to repeat my praise for them here because BritMums played a huge part in helping me regain confidence after a traumatic birth in 2010, at an emotionally crippling time.
4 weeks after setting up this blog, I was a finalist at the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards.
I went from being voiceless to feeling my opinions mattered. I was a broken creative with a lifeline in a blog and the recognition in their then virtual awards meant the world to me. It was the catalyst to getting me back on set as a director, my former career and to later make blogging and vlogging a full-time job.
That’s not where BritMums’ support ends either.
My book deal came after my win last year when a publishing house called me on the Monday after the weekend’s awards. I didn’t end up going with that particular publishing house but it gave me the impetus to me find a literary agent and garner the book deal I did with Piatkus/Little Brown/Hachette.
The pre-order link is HERE by the way and the book hits the shops on May 3rd 2018.
This year, saw a change of location for the conference as we gathered at the legendary County Hall on Southbank overlooking the London Eye and the banks of the Thames (the views are achingly beautiful there).
It was a roaring success with the chance to meet and chat to lots of friends, old and new and although I had to return to film a campaign I was on deadline for, the few hours I spent there were an utter joy, providing me with meaningful IRL connections with bloggers I’d clicked with online.
When it came to the sessions, I spoke early in the morning on a panel with my good pal, brilliant blogger and bestselling author Matt Coyne of Man vs Baby and others, sharing what we’ve picked up over the years working professionally in this field.
Up next, my manager Neil Ransome spoke about his work at Insanity (home to renowned musicians, presenters and performers-and the far less cooler me) and emphasised the distinction between a manager and agent and the purpose of digital talent being managed (having a rock, a business negotiator and someone who has overview of your personal career has been a gift for me). Neil rocked the room, despite his initial nerves and offered detailed insight into the media world he inhabit.
The biggest highlight of the day was hanging out with everyone and receiving lots of hugs from women who touched my heart with their words and often brought me to tears. To know that my blog in some small way is helping to inspire and mobilise women and men into becoming bloggers and vloggers is what drives me, so thank you for sharing your stories with me and coming over to say ‘hi’.
I also want to give a HUGE shout-out to one of my closest, oldest blogging pals, journo, Jacqui of Mummy’s Little Monkey who firstly writes like an absolute dream so go check out her site, and who, secondly, makes the best of friends. Jacqui is one of the most wise, level-headed women I know and she’s been a rock to me over quite the traumatic year behind-the-scenes, here. So much so, she was the one who helped my family and I scout for areas nearby when we decided to move to Windsor and she kindly introduced me to Cliveden House where we both got to play ‘Lady of the Manor’ recently on a serene spa day. I know she hates soppyness (sorry Jax) but I love you, girl and thank you for everything!
Truly, the greatest gift from blogging is the friends like Jacqui I’ve made.
Other highlights was seeing my pal Susie of So Happy In Town blog who sent me the most touching email last year and we soon became firm friends, the delightful Rebecca of Wishes and Wellies I loved putting the world to rights with, sweet broadcast journo and blogger Sophie of Mama Mei , inspirational author Arnie of The Goddess Mum, Jo of fab Jo’s Kitchen and my girl Kat Bruni of Katrina Bruni whom I met two years ago and feel like I’ve known forever. I adore her post on BML you can read here.
Seeing my good friend Ursuala of Mumbelievable was flipping glorious as always, as was meeting Jen, Al’s wife and business partner at The Dad Network and going for a cheeky glass of wine with them and Neil, after.
I’m sad I didn’t get to hang out with more close friends at the awards but a long overdue party catch up is being arranged!
What a fabulous day. I hope my words on the industry, on overcoming self-doubt and being led by your passions resonated and inspired others. It’s exciting times for bloggers and vloggers right now and it’s only going to get bigger and better!
Did you attend the conference too?