This past weekend I attended my first major blogging conference. I have spent days trying to digest everything with not a great deal of luck. Here is a list of what I learned, mainly about myself.
- I really, really shouldn't have worried about what to wear. Or whether my make up would stay put all day. I don't think I scared anyone even when the conference finished and I hadn't had time to top up my make up all day. Just don't quote me on that.
- If you put a photo of yourself as your Twitter avi or on your blog, you WILL have people coming up to introduce themselves to you!
- Being out of the workplace or learning environment for years, I have lost my ability to take notes.
- If there are only around 10 men attending a conference with 490 other women, it is highly unlikely you are the most nervous person there. Unless, of course, you are one of those 10 men reading!
- Whilst I had already thought Katie Piper was inspiring, hearing her speak was just incredible. We were all on the edge of our seats and awestruck by her strength, determination and kindness. There is a lady wise beyond her years.
- If you tire yourself out almost to the point of collapse, you will get ordered to rest and skip a session. Isn't that right Jen, Emily and Chelsea?!
- Six females (namely myself, Emily, Jen, Ella, Kath on a train journey together are very noisy and have a lot of laughter. Even without alcohol.
- That 1.5 days just isn't enough time to get to see everyone and merely waving to The Boy and Me and One Dad 3 Girls right at the end of the conference just isn't good enough, next time!
- Lizzie in heels is a VERY tall Lizzie. At least to a 5ft nothing like me.
- Kirstie Allsopp always wears dresses. Always from the same two New York designers. Even when she is scrubbing her kitchen floor after feeding the dog jelly beans.
- That lots of people really did genuinely want to meet me. Spencer had to practically order me to go and see him after a session we were in was over. An award winning blogger wanted to meet little me?! And that double award winning Tanya was rather cross I didn't barge my way through the throngs of people to see her.
- Hearing bloggers read their keynote posts out aloud, even when you've read them before, can ignite that same laughter or sadness months later.
- Two utterly tragic events united the parenting blogosphere in a way I had never seen and the tributes to baby Matilda Mae and Kerry from Multiple Mummy were beautiful, touching and well thought.
- Katy Hill (of Blue Peter fame) can (and does) over share like the rest of us. She even managed to do it on the live UStream!
- It is almost impossible to sing when you have a lump in your throat from the emotion that is shown and felt.
- It really isn't that scary asking a stranger at a tube station if you are about to board the right train. He may even help with getting your case on and off the tube; who knew?!
- The post-Britmums come down is horrible.
- When I am busy, I forget to eat.
- It is OK if you chose the wrong sessions to go to. The absolute main thing about the conference was the social aspect.
I cried. I laughed. I talked. I drank. I came away inspired, more confident and had the best weekend I have had in a long time, mostly spent with people I had never met in real life before.
Would I do it again? Absolutely!
Now, I just need to work out how to get through the next 361 days until the next time!