Mum Muddling Through…a Blogging Conference

As someone who is ridiculously over organised, and cursed with obscene punctuality, the preparation for my first blog conference, #BML16, has been quite a long haul. Tickets purchased at an early bird rate in November, meant not only a money saver (ker-ching), but also plenty of time to cack your pants get in the zone.

I planned and replanned my outfit. I purchased the essentials: a portable phone charger, a nice note book, funky business cards. I had my hair done. I scoured the agenda, and even printed it with annotations. I packed not one but two bags, filled with items for every eventuality – spare outfit, water, mints, make up, anti-humidity spray (courtesy of Batman’s belt), deoderant, two jackets, my passport. (I know, WTF? But the small print said bring photo ID?). I even shaved my legs. No idea why. I noted down train times there and back, and had my tube journey planned. I even checked with British rail there were no weekend works and bought my ticket the day before. I found myself (somehow) on a group chat with some legendary bloggers who had invited me for a post conference and awards ceremony dinner (money was on several of them being winners). My ‘I’m going to BML‘ post was written, circulated and even on the Britmums linky.

So, I had it covered. Didn’t I?

Well here’s what I learnt along the way…..

  • DON’T expect the hubby to be available to cover the childcare if he has a job which sends him away with work at the most inappropriate times. Beg your parents to be on standby at 6.30am to babysit, or overnight the night before.
  • DO get prepared as best as possible the night before – and remember to do the stuff you planned. If only my bowl had actually fulfilled its breakfast destiny I would have been a lot less flaky by lunchtime. [Wo]man cannot live on coffee alone.image
  • DO check your onward journey route…trains were perfecto, but tube? AAARGH no trains in my direction which meant getting on an actual BUS. Channel your inner fifteen year old to remember what to do on one of those. image
  • DON’T think you know better than the bus driver courtesy of Google and ignore his advice on where to get off.feet walking on pavement
  • DO wear comfortable shoes, flats preferably if there is any chance you may be wandering lost through Graveyards  in London at silly O’clock in the morning.image
  • DO say a prayer of thanks to the Gods of Google Maps.
  • DO get a train one earlier than you think if you want to do all of this and still make it perfectly on time to the conference.
  • DON’T worry too much about being late – loads of people were and it took a while for everyone to get in and get coffee and cake. (Oh, and for the record…no photo ID or ticket was required either).
  • DON’T waste precious brain cell energy stressing about the weather…the event is indoors – you will be oblivious to the storms.
  • DO be friendly. Chat to other people who look as lost as you feel when you arrive. The first five minutes are the hardest but after that you feel like you just met a load of people just like you.
  • DON’T be surprised that your best blogging friends are equally (or more) incredible in the flesh. After all, their words on line were generated by them and their spectacular brains.image
  • DO take note and actions…boring boring blah blah blah BUT you may want to remember some of the stuff you want to do when you get home. (I already set up my info@mummuddlingthrough.com e mail AND have set about trying to increase my e mail subscribers).
  • DON’T skip the lunch / pick at a tiny morsel because you were too busy chatting – take the opportunity to get some fuel into you because it’s still a long way till dinner.
  • DO speak to the brands and other bloggers and be sure to network at every opportunity – the day goes SO fast. Sprinkle those lovely business cards you got printed like fairy dust.
  • DO NOT accidentally lose half of your business cards somewhere in the venue (although that could have been a magical marketing tactic?…)image
  • DON’T expect the famous bloggers to come screaming up to you knowing you by first name. Turns out – everyone knows them, they don’t know us…you just weirdly feel like you are friends. That’s blogging.
  • DO pack lightly, it turns out my two bags of useless stuff was a thorn in my side – added to the piles of free stuff I had to carry home it left me cursing why I brought my make-up bag / spare dress / two jackets.image
  • DO use the cloakroom service – DON’T leave your worldly beauty product collection on a random chair in a bag in a deserted arena. I came away unscathed but it took me until late afternoon to realise I needn’t have risked it.
  • DO check out the break out sessions that appeal to you – keep an eye on the time so you don’t miss any key speakers.
  • DO ask questions, but maybe think twice about telling THE Mother Pukka Anna Whitehouse that you love her in a (huge) room filled with people you look up to.image
  • DO mingle. Hang with your tribe, but make new connections too. Mix the day up and sit with different people at different sessions. Get chatting, exchange blog names.
  • DON’T forget you are an anonymous blogger…if that’s your thing. It’s kind of easy to get caught up in all the selfie action – just remember to politely ask your fellow snap happy bloggers not to share on SM with you tagged.
  • DON’T underestimate how draining the day may be – keep hydrated and well fed at every opportunity. Maybe had I headed for the tapas instead of the prosecco I may have made it to dinner…
  • DO get home safe, and in one piece; listen to your body. I sadly ducked out of dinner with those incredible bloggers – although I have had a pang of ‘I could have been in those photo’s’ now but my legs, eyes and brain were shutting down by 7.30. A wise woman once told me…Far safer to regret leaving too early, than regret staying too long. Damn, have I FINALLY grown up?
  • DO download Uber and tell that messed up tube journey to do one on the way home.
  • DON’T give evil eyes to the kebab shop owner for not feeding your exhausted starving body quickly enough. It’s not his fault a chicken shish takes 12 minutes to grill…he’s only trying to prevent food poisoning.
  • DO have an amazing day, filled with tears of laughter (@Cherry Healey), speakers that will move you (What Martha Did Next @5742days), learn stuff about SEO (spiders, pandas and penguins?) to impress your IT geek husband (@JudithLewis), and realise those amazing bloggers are just human beings like you and I.
  • DO get a random end of the day selfie with Carol Smilie (but absolutely DO NOT call her Carol Smiley Smiley Smilie).image

x MMT

 

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31 thoughts on “Mum Muddling Through…a Blogging Conference

  1. thefrenchiemummy Reply

    SEO – spiders, pandas and penguins needs an explanation! I love this post and I took notes of what to do when I go to this type of event next. It seems to be full on but so amazing!!!! Love your sandals and trousers by the way. Off to share it now, so useful and funny #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Trousers? JUMPSUIT baby! Should have added a bullet on what to wear….whatever the hell you feel like wearing. I got a lot of love for my outfit that day, and quite rightly too as it’s currently my absolute fave. Life’s too shorts for skinny jeans and a breton, well, maybe not every day 😉 x

      1. thefrenchiemummy Reply

        Pardon I didn’t realise nice pattern anyway x

        1. MMT Reply

          Ooops sorry didn’t mean to sound shouty 🙂 It was supposed to be an expression of excitement. xx

          1. thefrenchiemummy

            No problem, I got it just wanted to be nice x

  2. Back With A Bump Reply

    Great post. It sounded a fab day of a bit hectic! #coolmumclub

  3. Something About Baby Reply

    Sounds like you had a great day despite the public travel issues – London loves a tube delay!!! I’m loving reading these BML posts, is making me excited to attend next year (but also very very nervous!) #coolmumclub

  4. Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine Reply

    I got my ticket a week before and didn’t even read the agenda. Still had a lovely time though! Was great to meet everyone and the free prosecco went down nicely…. #coolmumclub

  5. islandliving365 Reply

    I can’t believe we never met!!!!!! I am still mourning this. I am so pleased that I was not the only one who had to massively bite her tongue when it came to the lovely Carol, that took a lot of willpower! 🙂 #coolmumclub

  6. Mess and merlot Reply

    Aww I was really sad I couldn’t make it but have loved reading all the review posts! I am planning to do Blogfest in November so must take your advice (especially on the food thing, I’m terrible at thinking I’ll be fine then crashing hours before everyone else!!) x #coolmumclub

  7. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Ahhhh happy memories so incredible to meet you in the flesh and yes you were even more awesome than I could have hoped for #coolmumclub bestie xxx

  8. ljdove23 Reply

    Sounds like you had a fab time, this really made me laugh! The prosecco and chicken sheesh sound like a highlight, I really need to pull my finger out and get to one of these blogging conferences!! #coolmumclub

  9. blabbermama Reply

    I’ve read loads of BML16 reviews, tips type of posts but this one is really good, and useful for anyone planning on attending next year, *mini wave* google maps is a long life friend of mine- couldn’t survive without! #coolmumclub

  10. powerporter Reply

    What a day!! I’m not nearly as half as organised as you so god help me! I had been wondering what it’s like meeting the BIG bloggers if they can possibly recognise people or they have so many followers we are just one in a million! Swinging by for #coolmumclub

  11. Tall Mum in Manchester Reply

    Sounds like a fun and hectic day. Would love to make it one year.
    Great tip about wearing flats to be prepared for walking round London, even if your journey goes to plan there’s a fair amount of up and down tubing to be done. #coolmumclub

  12. alisonlonghurst Reply

    Another great take on the day! There have been a fair few and yours was really zappy and engaging. It left me breathless 🙂 I am definitely inspired to go next year. Alison x #coolmumclub

  13. crummymummy1 Reply

    This made me feel tired just reading it! So much to think about! #coolmumclub

  14. Lucy (@Lucy_at_home) Reply

    Hehe – as a super organised person myself, I totally get the whole ‘take a spare dress’ thing! Glad you had a good time. Sounds like it was a real learning curve! #coolmumclub

  15. Emma Plus Three Reply

    Haha this made me laugh. I’ll bear all this in mind if I go next year x #coolmumclub

  16. laughing mum Reply

    wow.. thats some list lol! glad you had a good time!! I cannot even imagine what to do when you get on a bus these days haha 😉 Very organised you are indeed. #coolmumclub

  17. Amina Ali Ulhaq Reply

    Haha Carol Smiley! Smiley Smilie. Ok had to get that out of my system. Aww the BML conference sounds fab. I have been to a few blogging events but probably nothing on this scale. I can imagine it’s probably a bit nerve wracking. Maybe I will see you there next year. Eek.

    Amina xx

  18. Louise Reply

    Lol these are all really good tips and would completely agree. I remembered to travel light this year and brought an empty suitcase to transport the goody bag home – made it much easier! Unfortunately I didn’t think to break in my shoes first (thankfully I did bring another comfy pair) and already had a blister (or two) by the time I arrived! Sounds like you had a good day – it is quite draining though isn’t it – I went out for dinner afterwards and was practically having to prop my eyelids up by the end of it! So lovely to have finally been able to meet you and #BML16 🙂 #coolmumclub

  19. twolittlepiggles Reply

    I love this!! The post is fab I was only saying yesterday how scared I would be to go to a blogging conference. I love your take on it and well done for going and having an ace time #coolmumclub and sounds like you are a cool mum!! Xx

  20. Julie S. Reply

    Network at every opportunity – good advice. You never know when someone you happen to randomly meet turns into a great relationship/partnership/lead later.

  21. Mrs Morgan Plus 3 Reply

    Sounds like you had a good time 🙂 sorry I’m a little late fell asleep while commenting last night lol #coolmumclub

  22. Double the Monkey Business Reply

    I am so bookmarking this post for next year! I am going to go and I am already scared! xx #coolmumclub

  23. Cheryl @ Tea or Wine Reply

    Awhhh!! Slightly sad and gutted to have missed all the action! Sounds like you had a fab time. How organised are you? I must take note for next year! #Coolmumclub xx

  24. Emma Jones Reply

    Sounds like you had fun but over did the packing really would like to try it one year myself. #cool mum club lifeinthemumslane

  25. Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu) Reply

    Oh No!! I didn’t see you there but it was totally awesome wasn’t it?! My plans all changed last minute due to a poorly baby but I still had an awesome albeit crazy time!!
    #coolmumclub

  26. absolutely prabulous Reply

    You’re my blog twin! I actually tried to write my original BML post in that do’s and don’ts way and it just didn’t work. I bow to you; this is FAB. So who are those lovely bloggers you keep mentioning then? 🙂 Ha ha. I totally get you were exhausted but I must say every time I see that hilarious dinner selfie on my FB wall and the blog, I feel sad that you and Talya aren’t in those pics. You should have been. And I was gutted not to have seen you before you left the awards. Sounds like you had a fab day and yes you rocked that jumpsuit. Talking of fab pics I can’t publish, have such a great one of you and Single Mum Speaks sitting on my phone. Gorgeous to meet you my blog bestie x #FrenchieMummysPost

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