The parenting community: Brit Mums Live 2012

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I went to Brit Mums Live on Fri 22nd & Saturday 23rd June. I’m not a mum. I’d love to be but I’m a little way off. I do however love my 6 nieces and nephews to death but I’ve never changed a nappy – that’s gross.

I went as I’m really interested in different communities and ‘tribes’. It’s something I’ll keep coming back to on this blog. I also freelance and would like to build relationships with some parenting bloggers, for brands & campaigns in the future. How can you start to do this without actually meeting and finding out what motivates people?

I felt a bit like a fraud though so I kept quite a low profile. When I did have a chat to people everyone was so friendly. In particular Carly from Not A Nottinghill Mum (correction Jane is NANM who I met. Carly sponsored her to attend) Cat from Cat Dean and the lovely Jeen Vojta from the family run business Vitamix.

The ticket price was approx £70 for a delegate, it was £350 for a PR company or brand to attend so quite a big leap but great value for money for ‘normal’ people, which I guess is the point – make it affordable.

They did have major sponsors though such as Lego, Vitamix, Butlin’s, Disney, Johnson’s and Google+ were also their to pimp their product. So although they made the ticket price pretty affordable, they can’t have done too badly from the event (+35 sponsors)

It was interesting to see the ‘ambassador’ programmes some brands offered and the most fun was with Piggy Bank Kids, check them out, they’re doing great things. Lego and Piggy Bank Kids created the most buzz no doubt, with their creative ideas on the day which people were hash tagging, nice touch & effort #spotthepig  #LEGODUPLOcreativecakes

Britmums & The Brewery thoroughly spoilt everyone, from constant refreshments, cakes, lunch, sweets, prosseco, to the heavy weight goody bags at the end (they literally hurt your arm carrying them). The workshops throughout the 2 days covered off a broad agenda but I didn’t learn anything massively new, they were insightful though. I missed the SEO workshop, which was the main one I wanted to see. Luckily they’ll be uploading all the presentations.

The keynote speeches on the Saturday towards the end were shortlisted bloggers, reading out a blog post they’d been selected for. I thought it may feel a bit self indulgent but they were actually very emotional and people walked out crying. ‘You have to make people  laugh or cry’ was a common bit of advice from the weekend.

Although I felt like I was snooping on a special day for very special people, mums, I’m glad I got to see the community that exists. Brit Mums started in 2008 and had grown to a tight-knit community of 3500 parents. Becoming a mother is no doubt the biggest change in your life and it’s great to see mumpreneurs and the support that’s available.

Addition: Idea for next year’s Brit Mums Live 2013

Lots of attendees talked about the incestuous nature and wanting to widen their reach and community beyond parents or parenting bloggers. Could there be different sessions and sections, split into crafts, fashion, lifestyle, food, tech, inviting non-parenting bloggers. Sponsors and goodie bags could then be tailored by these passions.