#BML16 and why I’m choosing to focus on the positives

I’m quite sure most of you who read my blog have no interest in the practical side of blogging. I can’t imagine how boring a post about a blogging conference would be to someone with no interest in the industry. But more for my own sake really, I’ve decided to write my reflections on my first one, #BML16, that I attended in London this past weekend.

So ok, I’ll be honest (as I always am) it wasn’t perfect. What event is? I could talk about how I spent some of the day wandering around alone, unable to find a familiar face or approach an unfamiliar one. I know now others were feeling exactly the same and I suggest next year giving some space over to a dedicated ‘making friends’ area. Not everyone who attends has a group to ‘hang out’ with. I’m pretty confident and even I felt I couldn’t always approach people in case they didn’t want to talk to me!

I could talk about how mixed in terms of usefulness the sessions were. The technical ones were fascinating, but waaaay too short. Other just felt like a massive ego stroking session (theirs not mine!), not really what I signed up for.

I could also talk about how I was so dismissed by the first brand I approached, that I barely spoke to another all day. I went in fully aware that, in terms of stats, I was a small fish in a big pond, but to be shot down like that so early, meant I didn’t get the network contacts I went to the conference hoping to get. My fault and not theirs I guess, but still….

But you know me. I try and focus on the positives when I can. And so I have decided to concerntrate on my personal highlights of #BML16.

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My dress

Come on! How could I not talk about my mushroom dress? Everyone else was! I received so many wonderful compliments on the dress, it’s material and look. Which was lovely! But the best bit was totally the amount of these faces 😱🙀😮 I saw when I told people that my husband Ben had made it for me. For one it was a great icebreaker (oh my god you’re the girl with the mushroom dress /didn’t you make this or something/ btw can I just saw I love your dress etc) but everyone was soooo nice about it that it also gave me confidence in a room where I knew practically no one.

Top conference tip: wear a dress in an eyecatching fabric that someone unexpected has made for you!

Mushroom pattern dress

The mushroom frock

A good lift selfie. Gotta be done

A good lift selfie. Gotta be done. The dress looked surprisingly good with my Next pleather jacket

Friends

Blogging is a funny old sport. You get to know people you have never met in real life, sometimes quite intimately. You can talk for years before actually meeting in person. So actually getting to meet and hang out with some of what I would class as my blogging buddies was fantastic.

Me and Natalie from Diary of an Unexpectant Mum

Me and Natalie from Diary of an Unexpectant Mother. This is a bit blurry but I had just had a bottle of wine!

Me and Maria SuburbanMum

Me and Maria from Suburban Mum. Crazy lighting in the main room for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards (which I was not nominated for boohoo 😉 )

Kelley from BringingupGeorgia, when we finally got our full size Coke Zeros. Happy!

Kelly from Bringing up Georgia, when we finally got our full size Coke Zeros. Happy!

Fangirling

Getting to talk face to face to some of the bloggers I admire was an amazing, if a little disconcerting, experience. Once I got over the “oh, I know her from somewhere don’t I?” feeling, I was able to approach people to thank them for their writing or to introduce myself (although the first time I did this it came out a bit gushing “hi I’m Lisa I follow you on Instagram I love your pictures” literally without pausing. I’m not sure poor Hannah from Make, Do & Push knew what to make of me!).

The Fat Girls Guide to Running

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I have nooooo interest in running. Never have. However, the keynote speech given by Julie Creffield from The Fat Girls Guide to Running, really touched something in me. Not to start running necessarily, but the points she made about motivation, self belief and setting goals, or as she calls them Big Fat Stupid Goals. My life is about to change. Oscar starting school is really going to shake things up around here and it feels like the time to DO something is coming. I got to talk to Julie afterwards and it was super interesting. Watch this space!

Making new friends

I’ve been joining Laura’s #effitfriday link up over at Life with Baby Kicks for a while, but we only started talking recently over Twitter. We had a great chat on Saturday. I couldn’t get over how much she reminded me of my sister in law Rachel, which may explain why I later went on to pinch her bum as I walked past. It was only afterwards that I wondered if that might have been a bit forward for someone who I’d only just met. Turns out not, when I saw this on Sunday.

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And this really is what I went to this conference for. The human connection. Reaching out to real people. I love blogging and the space it affords me and the friends it creates online but nothing compares to real human interaction.

Yeah the conference had it flaws and if I’d gone with the sole goal of making money I think I might be feeling pretty maligned. Thankfully I got to make connections and touch someone (and I don’t just mean their arse). Conference made.

This was next door to my hotel and seemed so very apt!

This was next door to my hotel and summed up my feelings about the day.

 

Comments

  1. Ohh Lisa – sorry to hear you were wondering around on your own for some of the day. Great idea about a making friends area – I do think something like this is needed. It’s one of the reasons why I felt I wasn’t ready for BML last year.

    I’m glad you’ve focused on the positives (the best way to be!) And I completely agree with you about the sessions. xx

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thanks hon. Meh what else can you do? It was great to see you though. Made sitting through the awards great fun 😉

  2. Aww, was lovely to meet you in person and yes that dress was amazing! Didn’t realise your husband had made it for you – wow, he’s a keeper!! Love that last photo on your post too. We should all do a bit more of what we love and try to stay happy 🙂

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Amen to that! Thank you so much Steph and thank you for letting me ask you about travel etc. It was really useful and so much easier to do face to face.

  3. I’ve been really enjoying reading all the posts about #BML16 and it’s interesting to hear what went on! I’m hopeful that I’ll get to go next year because it would be great to meet the bloggers behind the blogs 🙂 Love that you pinched Laura’s bum lol!

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Hahaha yes that was something of a highlight 😂😂😂😂 I would recommend you do it at least once!

  4. I spotted you a couple of times but was too nervous to say hi as I didn’t want that awkward “Ermmm who are you?” Moments! 🙈 Silly I know and I regret it now xx

  5. I didn’t go this year, although I would’ve liked to have done. Thanks for being so honest, I will bear your comments in mind if I go next year. I hate that you were alone for part of it and love your ‘making friends area’ idea. First time I’ve really come across your blog but I’m sure it won’t be the last time! 🙂

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Several people have said they like the Making Friends area, maybe I’ll suggest it to the BritMums team! Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

  6. Your dress was ace. I felt to shy / intimidated to approach a lot of people. I met my blogging hero though which was cool. And Laura is so lovely, I had lots of time with her. I have no idea what you mean by ego stroking (insert sarcasm here) #blogstorm

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you so much Claire! I know what you mean, and I’m not usually shy at all! Laura is ace, that’s for sure 😊. Who was your blogging hero?

  7. your dress looks fab! I didn’t go to BML this year mainly because I don’t really know many people properly in the blogging circle and my blog is small and I guess I just figure no one will be interested?! Maybe next year – a friend area or something would be ideal haha!

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you so much. I don’t believe no one would be interested in you Emma, but I hear what you’re saying. I think catering for newbies should be a priority of BritMums next year for sure!

  8. randommusings29 says:

    Love the dress! I think an area dedicated to making friends would be great, then you know if people are in that area, they are open to conversation 🙂 #blogstorm
    Debbie

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Exactly Debbie! It’s very hard to approach people you don’t know if you have no idea if they’re busy or doing something or just not open to chatting. An area would give a great signal ‘yes I’m open to chatting’ 😊 thank you about the dress!

  9. I’m quite shy so the thought of going without somebody else to tag onto is really scary. Good on you for being brave enough to just go for it! Your dress looked amazing! Glad you can find positives about the day. #picknmix

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Thank you so much Lucy! It wasn’t the easiest thing, to jut put yourself out there but it was lovely when I found great people to talk to!

  10. Really interesting to hear another side (and a side I’m worried about!) being talked about as I haven’t been yet but as I consider myself a very small fish, I’m really worried about the fact no one will know me and lots of people know each other! I have this massive fear it will be like school again, where I’m stood on my own or wandering around looking lost! I really want to go next year as I think the event sounds amazing and I’m sure I will like it! 🙂

    #PicnMix

    • mrssavageangel says:

      I can apprecaiet why you would feel like that and yeah, it is a bit daunting, but I would wholly recommend you try it out. Don’t let fear put you off!

  11. I know exactly what you mean, I’m pretty confident, well I appear it on the outside, I have been to events before and I still wandered around on my own not sure who to speak to for some of the time. It was lovely to meet you btw and I loved your dress. Thanks for linking to #PicknMix

    • mrssavageangel says:

      It was lovely to meet you too – I knew I recognised you 😉 I don’t know, I think I’d feel better if I went again next year 🙂

  12. Oh I am sorry to hear that you spent some of the wandering around alone and also boo-hiss to that brand. That’s not nice!! We might be small fish but we all have something valuable that we can offer the brand so more fool them for not realising that. However, lots of lovely positives for you so yaaaay! #blogstorm

  13. Oh thank you! Still can’t believe it, I feel very lucky 🙂 xx

  14. I’m a little disappointed that Nats face got a feature and Nando’s didn’t. …..I now know your priorities 😉😂

    I think this actually sums up most people’s experience this year. Was lovely to meet you.

    Oh and thanks for linking up with #blogstorm

    • mrssavageangel says:

      Hahaha sorry Martyn! I am such a bad blogger!
      EDIT:
      We all went for dinner at Nandos thanks to Martyn Kitney and it was ace!

      Happy now? 😂 great to meet you too!

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