It was with nervous anticipation and excitement that I hot-footed it all too early on a Saturday morning to East London last week on my way to the biggest and best UK mummy-blogger conference “CyberMummy”, at The Brewery in East London. After I got over the strange feelings of being out and about without a Bugaboo strapped to one hand, a muslin clutched in the other, and of course being sans bebe, I revelled in the chance to “play commuter” again by striding with purpose towards the ticket barriers, swiping my Oyster card like a pro, then scowling at the dithering tourists that stood in my way and looked at maps upside down. Fun.
After meeting my new (fellow mummy-blogger) friend @Smudgerella (who blogs at http://grenglish.wordpress.com/) at Liverpool St station, we tried to navigate our way to The Brewery much like dithering tourists with maps upside down; mine on the iPhone, hers on an old-skool print-out… hers proved the most useful.
On arrival we strode through the doors, picked up our blogger delegate badges, happily received the first of many swag bags, then wandered through to the exhibition area to mingle with brands and munch on cheesy-Marmite twists (delish). Having only joined the mummy-blogger world a mere 5-months ago I have to admit, I felt horribly fraudulent. There I was, swanning about and introducing myself as @RichmondMummy – because that’s who I am, I wasn’t fraudulently trying to masquerade as someone else – talking about my blog with brand reps. and being suitably vague about site stats…
In truth I do of course know that I have much to learn and much yet to achieve when it comes to blogging. My little blog is still firmly in the fledgling category, but I’m proud of the fact that I have got it up and running and more than that I am enjoying it as a hobby more than I ever imagined I would or could possibly. So what if I don’t enjoy post views in the 100s or 1000s, or have enough subscribers for a brand to deem me worthy of engagement, the fact is that I enjoy my blog and the whole new world it has introduced me to. Anyway, back to my day at CyberMummy report…
After munching on muchos cheesy-Marmite twisty thing-a-mees, it was kick off time and we plonked ourselves stage right to enjoy the keynote speech from former PMs wife Sarah Brown; who I must say came across incredibly well and was instantly likeable. Down-to-earth and very much a busy working mum, I was impressed by her and ended the day as one of her biggest fans after she “followed me” on Twitter: too exciting! Now there’s something that would NEVER have happened had I not been circulating in the mummy-blogger world. Exciting! Fact. Although now of course the pressure is on to improve the calibre of my tweets somewhat; reporting on baby’s latest bowel movements is probably not going to cut it and god forbid she “unfollows” me. The shame…
I struggled from that point on to choose the best workshop sessions to attend, there were too many running simultaneously that appealed and as always it’s easy to kick yourself for making a bad choice after the event. But, on the whole, I got a lot out of the day. Particularly those sessions led by other bloggers were the ones I really enjoyed, namely the “Blogger-to-Blogger Inspiration” session, where some leading lights talked about their motivations and what inspires them to blog, really insightful and got me thinking about my own little blog in a new and different way.
Regrets? I have a few… wish I hadn’t gone to the WordPress workshop session: wasn’t really that helpful and unfortunately the speaker was thwarted by technical issues and the Internet being down at the time (oh, the irony). Wish I had instead gone to the video blogging session with My Daddy Cooks star Nick Coffer; am almost sick of hearing just how good that session was. Bummer. Oh well, next time I’ll know better.
But, beyond all the workshops and the cheesy-Marmite twisty thing-a-mees munching, what I really really enjoyed on the day was the chance to meet so many of the lovely fellow bloggers that I have started to get to know online. The chance to put faces to avatars and actually have some real life chats instead of 140-character Twitter ones. And it was marvellous, the total highlight of the day, and one of main reasons that I plan to be back, next year, schmoozing at CyberMummy, hopefully a little more established with the blog and armed with a freezer-bag to siphon off some of those cheesy-Marmite twisty thing-a-mees.
CyberMummy 2011 Meet & Greet
I’m very excited to be going to CyberMummy this year, as a newbie blogger I can’t wait to meet lots of fellow bloggers and find out more about getting better at this whole business of blogging; which I am loving so far!
Of course it’s a bit nerve-wracking to think I’ll be going and not really knowing a soul there, which is why I think it’s a great idea of Carly over at Mummy’s Shoes to hold a meet and greet on her blog so we all get the chance to say hello before the big day rolls around.
Name: Bianca Cox
Twitter ID: @RichmondMummy
Height: 5ft 6 (ish)
Hair: Long Brown (thanks to those clever people at RUSH)
Likes: candyfloss, karaoke, cauliflower cheese, interiors shops (especially for the cushions), pale grey, French Sole pumps, pussycats, The Mentalist, having a written/paper diary as well as an online one, picnics (except for the fact I can never get comfy sitting on a rug on grass… hmm), walks by the river
Dislikes: exercising, being forced to watch sport on TV by Richmond Daddy, camomile tea, getting the “bad person” feeling the morning after the night before