What a whirlwind BritMums Live, the biggest blogging conference in the UK, was! Wow!
I must admit, I literally write these exact same words every single year post-BritMums!
BECAUSE IT’S TRUE!
There’s something a little bit magical about bringing together thousands of creative mamas and papas under one roof: bloggers and vloggers excited to connect, learn and become their best bad-ass self, myself included 🙂
The blogger-cliche train selfie! It’s got to be done even though this was shot 120 and my train-neighbours thought I was a douche!
But back to BritMums Live!
This annual inspiring, uplifting, informative event is everything and more a blogger, new or established could want from a conference.
No wonder it’s the most popular blogging conference in the UK bringing together the brightest talent our sector has to offer.
It’s utterly unmissable. Literally. I’ve yet to miss a single BML since it’s conception.
Heck, I was even a finalist when the awards were still online and not even IRL.
That’s how long I’ve been around for!!! (Nearly 6 years this November, if you’re wondering which is makes me a Christopher Columbus style pioneer in the field (or a dinosaur)- I know, right, I look so young *flicks hair)!
…This year, was of course a stand-out year for me as I garnered (don’t you just love that fancy word) two, eek, TWO awards on the night in the BiBs: ‘Outstanding’ (made me cry, made my mum cry, and even my friends cry) voted for by an esteemed panel of judges, and the Social Media award as chosen by all you guys with more than 50,000 votes cast across 12 categories! Thank you so much and WOWOWOWOOWOWOOW!
Thanks to you all, I entered the Brewery on Saturday morning a loser (kidding)- as a speaker and left in the evening, a multi-award winner!
And here I am getting my pose on with my gongs while the camera-yielding genuis, Nigel Camp of Devil Boy Productions snapped away!
Sooo natural 😉
…By heck love, as we say up North (no one *actually says this!) that was one very special night will remain with me forevs!
-As will the whole fun, enriching day spent with people I love and admire. My blog squad for the day included my great friend, renowned actress and FORCE of nature/ mentor/second Mum to me, Harriet Thorpe who btw is in the new Ab Fab movie out now, so go watch it; my darling Michelle, blogger at The Joy Chaser and fellow award winner and my sister from another mister, otherwise known as my guru and complete rock, brilliant writer Uju of Babes About Town.
What total babes!
Ab Fab darling!
And it was of course, IMMENSE, to see so many other lovely blogger pals I’ve known for years- over the course of the day, and to make new pals too.
Here with my warrior women Oana and Leigh.
And cuddling Alex of Lamb and Bear’s baby son who is so adorable, my ovaries felt like they were going to explode!
I’m also cuddling up (!) to the lovely Kerry and Charlotte here, who are the sweetest, most amazing girls you could ever wish to hang out with.
…I’m just sad I didn’t get the chance to speak to more of you on the day: time went by too quickly!
And what a packed day it was. Just how I like it!
…Putting names and tweets to faces, listening to passionate creators share their wisdom, taking my place up on the stage to a packed house with my great friend (who really is GREAT in every way) digital strategist, PR and author of The Million Dollar Blog (featuring moi) Natasha Courtenay-Smith (along with Richard from Affilinet)-sharing what we know and love to help others succeed, was a huge highlight for me.
Nothing compares with sharing your passion with others.
If you missed the session, fear not as I’ve written a post that goes live on the BritMums’ blog on Friday where I share my top 10 tips to raise your game as a digital influencer so head there soon! You can also read my Top 10 Social Media tips HERE.
…The brilliant atmosphere at BritMums originates from the top of the food chain and was thanks to the super smart and incredibly kind co-founders, Jen and Susanna, and this year, editor Nadine of Juggle Mum too who ensure the conference is the most welcoming, warm and wonderful events of the year.
Inclusive, fun and simply bursting with sessions from SEO to finding your voice, vlogging and beyond, there is always something for everyone in BM agenda enabling everyone to learn from the day.
I also connected with brands and was approached by several, a global one I’m meeting today in fact! And that’s another brilliant aspect of BritMums, it has always historically led to work for me, even from the very first conference I attended.
Oh and can we take a minute to drool over the food-with vegan, nut-free options and the most mouthwatering of desserts, we were grazing all day! Yum!
Everything about #BM16 was slick and considered.
Led by super women, Jen and Susanna this is no surprise.
They have created and nurtured a community of bloggers over the last 5 years (they were celebrating their 5th anniversary of BML this year); supporting us all online via their platform and social media; bringing us together each year to connect, learn, grow and importantly, celebrate one another.
I love how happy Natasha and I are here (taken by Sunita). It captures the essence of BML-the joy of it all!
BritMums have played such a crucial role in the history of Honest Mum, they feel part of the fabric of it.
I was a finalist in their Fresh Voice category just four weeks after starting up, which was a huge turning point for me, personally and professionally.
I was rather broken back then, suffering from a traumatic birth after my first son Oliver was born and felt lost and alone. Blogging helped me rediscover my voice and feel I had something just for me. It helped me claw back my identity.
That nomination made a huge impact. It gave me the confidence to get back on set as a director and eventually become a full time blogger and vlogger.
I actually remember Susanna meeting up with me (a newbie blogger then) in a hotel in London for tea and cake a while after.
Her wisdom and support helped me hugely. She made me believe in my abilities as a blogger and gave me a renewed sense of direction. That anything was possible.
Ever the supporters, the following year, her and Jen commissioned me to direct and produce a promo for BritMums Live 2012, interviewing Ruby Wax and capturing the excitement and ethos of BritMums.
I loved re-living that year again- I was actually pregnant with Xander when I made it!
But back to 2016 and I’m going to get all Gwynnie on you as the very witty Carol Smilie called me (!)- but to find myself winning the Outstanding accolade on the night, judged by an esteemed committee along with the Social Media prize as voted by you guys, was just the greatest of honours!
I felt so incredibly moved.
To see close friends cry with me on the night and others when they heard the news reminded me of the most important part of blogging: the people, the friendships, the bonds I have with others who have enriched my life and have been rocks to me.
The very thing I hoped for when I started my blog. To connect and feel like I belonged.
The greatest irony was after winning these awards, my phone conked out on me so I couldn’t communicate with anyone! It was clearly shattered from all the tweeting!!! Thankfully, I now have a new phone and soon, camera for vlogging as that’s rather shattered too!
Seriously though, I want to thank you all for making Saturday such a memorable day for me- and for your ongoing blog love and support which means the world.
Here’s to next year, hey!
Oh and of course I vlogged the day. How could I not?!
Don’t miss it!
I wore Ralph Lauren blazer and top, Topshop high-waisted skinny, ripped jeans and shoes I designed myself for since-sold Upper Street.
Huge thanks to all the bloggers who let me use their photos here or took pics of me in this post too, you lot ROCK 🙂 and massive thanks to my gorgeous mate Uju who let me stay over after the awards. Love you all x