|Me and Knackered Mummy having fun in the photo booth|
So on the 9th of November I woke up a stupid o'clock in the morning (AKA 5:30am) to catch the train to London for Mumsnet BlogFest, a little bit excited, although not quite sure what to expect. I have been to a few conferences and have mixed feelings about them, although this time I did know a few bloggers who were attending, which always makes things a little bit easier and less daunting.
|Early morning reading and porridge on the train|
I managed to get a very yummy Berry porridge on the train for a great little energy boost and Lauren from Knackered Mummy who I met only a few days before was getting on at one of the stops so it was nice to have someone to talk to on the trip and keep me awake as MR A had been up pretty much all of the night before. With regards to what to wear, I went for something fairly practical, a black dress by Kurt Muller paired with some grey leggings and my current go to shoes - my clark brogues
Once we got into the big smoke it was a quick ride to Kings Cross and a short walk to the stylish venue. After we signed in and were given these amazing digital business card things to use for the day - that were so much fun we joined the rest of the bloggers for morning coffee, it was a little bit overwhelming to see so many other bloggers in one room but hey we are here to network and that is what I intend to do.
So after the registration and coffee everyone made their way to Hall One for the welcome and Keynote Panel - The New Wild West: What Kind of internet do we want - a really interesting talk chaired by Richard Bacon. It covered the more sinister side of social media with people being threatened through twitter and other sites and tackled some strong issues, I think the discussion really set the day off in a bang, with lots food for thought.
|Morning Keynote Panel|
After a quick morning snack came the Breakout Sessions - I attended the Advanced Social Media seminar which was interesting and did actually offer a few tips as well as reaffirming my feelings for Klout and Kred not really being effective ways to evaluate the influence a blog has. The Think Bomb session that followed on after touched a bit of a nerve with one of the speakers - Tanya Byron, a British psychologist who encourages young children to be tech savvy, something I don't agree with, children should be outdoors not staring as an iPad or TV Screen, sorry. However the other two speakers where both funny and engaging and make for enjoyable listening.
|Very yummy cocktails|
Lunch was somewhat uninspiring if you happen to be a vegetarian (although the fish smelled lovely) by the time I got mine the only option I had was a small dried up Polenta cake and some greens but the spiced rice pudding was lovely as was the amazing cocktails provided by Mark Warner, made in a Tiki hut which went down a storm with everyone. I thought lunch time would be a hive of networking but as usual people tend to socialise with bloggers they already know and I found it hard to break into the little clicks that had formed, although I did meet a few new bloggers and had a lovely chat with Claire and Lauren and a quick hello to Fritha.
|Bloggers networking over lunch|
After lunch was more Breakout Sessions, I attended "How to make money from your blog" and I have to say it was disappointing, it was nice to hear about the speakers blogs but in terms of the title it offered nothing new and in fact the speakers where somewhat put out when asked about money/fees they charge etc, I mean it was a seminar about making money and therefore there should of been some transparency in the discussion. Just before the end of the day the most heated panel was put together for a talk about whether you could be a Mummy blogger and still a feminist and to be honest it was a load of bollocks what an insulting topic to put forward to a room of hard working mothers, it's a question that needed no answer and therefore I am not going to go on about it anymore. On another note Jo Brands closing was light, fun and insightful, a perfect way to end the day, well that and the cocktails.
Overall would I go again - Yes I probably would although perhaps I would pick my seminars better as I felt I didn't get as much out of the day as I could of. The prices are a little steep but it is good for networking and finally putting faces to names of bloggers from all over the country.