Most UK parent bloggers will have heard of the annual gathering of like minded social media loving ladies (and don't forget the men) that descend on the stylish Brewery in hip Islington for was is known as Britmums Live or BML16. This was my third time attending this conference and each has been different from the last, perhaps because also what I hope to get out of a conference like this changes.
The first time I attended I wanted to go to as many talks and seminars as possible, the second year I wanted to connect with brands as well as other bloggers plus drop into more select and niche talks that interested me such as how to publish an ebook. This year was more about socialising, networking and catching up with some of my blogging friends I have known for years (but only get to see once or twice a year) as well as being inspired by the ever changing social networking scene, individual bloggers stories and new trends happening in the blogging world right now.
We arrived on the Friday - we being myself and my youngest Baby G, we were also met by John at Paddington who had been to see a band in Oxford the night before and instead of heading back to Cardiff first came straight from Oxford. Ideally I would of left Baby G at home but as I am still breastfeeding him this was not an option. Baby G is pretty easy going however and the 2hr train trip in was stress free with him falling asleep half way through.
Once we met up with John we made our way to the The Hoxton in Shoreditch, a really cool hotel (separate review coming soon) and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the area as well as indulging in a Halloumi and Avocado veggie burger from the Hoxton Grill. I was hoping to attend the Friday Night Fringe Party in Camden but unfortunately I struggled to get Baby G down in time although I did manage to meet up with some Welsh Bloggers in All Bar One later that evening which was great.
Unlike the previous years this Britmums was being condensed from two days into one, meaning on busy Saturday. When I arrived at the venue on Saturday morning with baby G I met up with some of my favourite blogging friends, Fritha and baby Mali from Tigerlilly Quinn, Gill from Baby on Board, Katie and her adorable newborn from MummyDaddyMe and Claire from Evans-Critters. I spent most of the morning checking out the different areas and workshops on offer plus connecting with other bloggers, as well as enjoying the Clangers lunch before checking into the Montclam as at the last min I decided I wanted to stay another night to attend the BIBS awards and not have to rush home early.
In the afternoon I managed to get a few baby free hours and pop into the Instagram seminar and Cherry Healey's colourful and entertaining talk before sitting down to what I found was the most inspiring part of the conference - The Bloggers Keynotes which celebrates 5 special blogposts which are then read out by the bloggers themselves, Oana from Mama's Haven who tragically lost her young son to Leukemia two years ago key note was by far the most moving, another stand out key note was Alison's from Not Another Mummy Blog talking about being a Mum not being your only identity.
After the Keynotes was the drinks reception and Britmums 5th Birthday party before taking out seats for the BIBS awards which was presented by Carol Smillie. Last year I was lucky enough (and in shock) to win the BIBS Style award and had made the finals again this year, something which I am massively grateful for. I honestly didn't expect to win again especially as the other four nominees were so amazing so I was very happy when they called out Fritha from TigerLillyQuinn as not only is she is a blogging friend but I also love her sense of style.
So is Britmums worth attending? In my opinion yes it is as no matter what your looking to get out of it there is something for everyone and has talks and workshops for both the novice and experienced blogger, plus lots of opportunities to network and make friends.
Lastly I would like to say a massive thank you to my Britmums sponsor Skinfix - they are a fantastic skincare brand from Canada which has recently arrived in the UK. Their products have gained tons of rave reviews and have an amazing baby range of products that really help with sensitive and eczema prone skin without using any steroids, fragrances or irritants and is packed with natural ingredients. We have just started using these products on our son and so far have seen some pretty amazing results which I will be sharing with you soon.
They also made a Hand Repair Cream which is perfect for busy mums, especially as we use our hands so much every day running after kids, changing nappies, working, preparing meals etc and being on the go so much during Britmums gave me the chance to use it first hand and from the first application my hands felt moisturised and protected. There products are now available in Boots instore and online.