I’ve just come home from this year’s Brit Mums Live. It was a fantastic couple of days of meeting bloggers, chatting to brands and attending informative, interesting and inspiring talks and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’ve come home thoroughly knackered, but inspired and happy.

Brit Mums Live 2015

I went last year too, but that was an entirely different affair. Aside from the fact I got a horrendous migraine and had to leave well before the end, it didn’t seem to have quite such a good atmosphere. I felt like I was surrounded by cliques of which I was not a part, and as if people were not inclined to chat to me or even be particularly nice to me. I enjoyed the talks I attended, and spent some lovely time with a friend, but didn’t really speak to anyone else while I was there and felt a little isolated and alone – as if I wasn’t one of the cool kids.

This year, I hadn’t arranged to meet anyone there and I did feel a little nervous on the way – but I resolved not to worry about the social aspect of the event, and just to make the most of the sessions I attended. I arrived late thanks to a Google Maps failing, and was surprised when the first person I saw upon entering the building recognised me, and seemed pleased to see me! I chatted with PRs and brands, and bumped into so many lovely people who seemed pleased to see me, many of them recognising me before I recognised them (to be fair I did have my name embroidered on my top in rather large, pink letters). There were hugs and selfies and chats and a lovely meal for a group of us after the BIBs. This morning I went back to the venue with no worries about making sure I met someone I knew; I wandered around with my coffee chatting to people, before heading to the keynote and then various sessions. At lunch time I bumped into some of the people I’d eaten dinner with last night and we had a lovely meal together before going our separate ways to various sessions.

What was so different, this year? By definition, the attendees were by and large the same people as last year’s event, so it’s not like the pointy elbows I experienced last year just weren’t there this year. What if they weren’t really there last year either, though?

Last year I was really intimidated by the whole thing. I could hear the crowd forming as I got ready in my hotel room, getting louder and louder. I queued up in the entrance in a massive crowd of bloggers who all seemed to know each other and were whooping and squealing as they set eyes on each other for the first time in a year. I didn’t know anyone, and when I met my friend we clung to each other for the entire event. I felt like we were ignored by groups of other bloggers who didn’t want to speak to us. Looking back, what’s probably more likely is that they were so busy being excited to see the people they knew, they didn’t even register the people they didn’t know – especially on the first day.

This year, I’ve been much more sociable on social media, and interacted with a lot of different people. It was wonderful to meet so many of these people face to face, having spent months chatting to them and reading their blogs. I put faces to names, and had some wonderful discussions between sessions, as well as meeting people I hadn’t really known before. It was lovely and I left on a real high.

It’s so funny how attending the same event, run by the same people, in the same venue, with many of the same speakers as last year could be such a different experience for me, one year on. I think perhaps that’s more to do with my having changed than anything else, and perhaps being a little more confident.

It makes me wonder how much more awesome next year’s Brit Mums Live will be!



Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


MyLifeMyLove · 20/06/2015 at 21:45

That’s funny isn’t it, but I reckon you’re right, it must be down to you being more confident. I couldn’t make this year but I’m definitely going to be first on the list for tickets next year! Ps I just bought my ticket for BlogOn Winchester, that’s quite near you, are you going? Xx

    Vicky Charles · 21/06/2015 at 07:38

    I am going to Winchester – see you there! I’d definitely recommend Brit Mums too, it’s brilliant x

Amanda · 21/06/2015 at 17:45

I’m so glad you had a much better year this year. As I think I mentioned when we spoke, last year was also a funny year for me, even though it wasn’t my first. I was, however, in quite a dark place personally at that time, so as you say, I think our own emotions can affect how we perceive things like this!

I am so happy we managed to meet up… Dare I say I was worried you might not recognise me or be interested on chatting to me? It’s true, we all have our moments of worry ;) but I am so glad we saw each other as you’re amazing and it was a highlight of my weekend seeing you after reading so much of your writing xx

    Vicky Charles · 22/06/2015 at 20:22

    How could I ever not be interested in speaking to you?! I had such an enjoyable chat with you! I’m so glad you saw me and came over, talking to you was the perfect end to an amazing couple of days. I was trying to think of something clever to say in Russian to end this comment but my mind is blank!

tanita · 22/06/2015 at 00:16

Hello there you lovely lady!!!! I was the one I said hello with a cup of tea I read your blog all the time I knew I recognised you at Britmums but I couldn’t put name to face. Eeeep I am so happy I met you. You write some really great posts that I really enjoy reading. We will have to get that selfie together next year so glad I met you!! And so glad you had a good time xxx

    Vicky Charles · 22/06/2015 at 20:19

    Ahh hello! So lovely to meet you too, selfies next year for definite. You were one of the first people I met and you were so lovely xx

Claire Jones-Hughes · 22/06/2015 at 20:21

Sounds like you threw yourself into it and reaped the rewards. Although I’ve been before, I’ve been a bit off the radar but felt everyone old and new was really welcoming. Great atmosphere. See you next year!

Kate Holmes · 23/06/2015 at 08:52

Empathise on so many fronts. It changes for me every year. Nervous wreck in year 1 and this year so many folks said I appeared so very different and confident. Wish we had a chance to catch up.

Leigh - Headspace Perspective · 23/06/2015 at 15:39

I was so pleased to meet you Vicky. You’re just as lovely as I hoped you would be. Fab you enjoyed yourself more this year – our experiences of last year compared to this sound pretty similar xxx

Tim · 26/06/2015 at 16:47

It’s funny how much of it revolves around your own perception, isn’t it?

I arrived terrified and left exhilarated. People have commented on how outgoing I was and how well I ‘worked the room’, whereas the reality was that it was a few people running over to me early on to say hi that gave me a huge shot of confidence to go and be more outgoing, and even then it was more people approaching me than the other way round. To be honest, as one of the small number of dad bloggers and a reasonable networker on social media, I was just very easy to recognise – although I was still completely blown away by how many people actively knew me and found it a little overwhelming at times. On a couple of occasions I had to hide away somewhere quiet for 5 minutes just to regroup.

Nonetheless, I had a great time. The social element was my key reason for going, so on that front the event more than met my expectations. I’m still knackered now, though.

    Vicky Charles · 26/06/2015 at 20:30

    I was really nervous when I arrived and had said to myself, “it’s fine if nobody talks to you; just go to the sessions and get as much as you can out of them.” Then the minute I walked through the door Hannah from Hannah Spannah recognised me and said hello and just set the scene for the rest of the day to be honest. Even with my blog name written on my top, I was still surprised anyone recognised me or had heard of my blog!

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