17 Nov 2014

My Day at Blogfest 2014

This year I spent a rare day alone (without kids) at Mumsnet Blogfest. Obviously I wasn't alone but in a throng of over 300 bloggers and boy can they talk!

On arrival there was a queue to get in which added to the anticipation and nerves, after stalling until the last minute I'd only booked my tickets a few days before. Having also been to Britmums live (last year), I found arriving a lot less intimidating mostly because the venue is more sprawling and you don't walk directly into a wall of women (& a smattering of men) instead you glide down an escalator which helps acclimatise you.

The facilities and staff were great and from a delegate point of view it all ran smoothly. The main hall didn't feel over stuffed and the seats were comfy. There was always someone on hand to take your glass away or direct you towards the next destination.

The programme had a mix of brilliant speakers and experts but the subject matter stayed at high level. This is no bad thing but I found Britmums had more sessions and they delved deeper, I'm at the stage where I need the nitty gritty of how and why rather than a general overview.

The people I met where lovely and interesting. I'm fairly introvert so I was very nervous. My best advice is to just go and sit next to people in sessions. I had some of the best conversations like this. There is nothing worse than sitting two seats away from someone and then another person leaving a gap - suddenly you become an island!

I'd definitely recommend this conference to a newbie as it's a great way to meet people, learn some things and see what all the fuss is about without loosing your mind on the way.

My only grumble would be (and it's so minor it doesn't really matter) having the lights up a bit whilst a session was under way because for anyone taking notes, it was slightly more difficult in the dark.

My favourites from the day were the lovely Tara from The Sticky Fingers blog as she gave great advice on how to tailor your blog if you want to make money. Paul Armstrong spoke quickly, provided lots of information and its the second time I've seen him speak and it's always informative. The Keynote speaker and panel debates were really interesting to listen to and helped motivate me. All in all a great day and I'd highly recommend going.
I'm not sure whether I will return next year but that's more to do with me than the conference, I find it really difficult coming away from events like this. You get the high of attending and seeing like minded people all together but this also leads (for me anyway) to a sense of what is it all about! I can't help but compare myself to others and see them doing better/more imaginative/more readers/better photographs...on and on the list goes and I get a bit numb and don't want to carry on writing.
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