This past weekend, I found myself treading water in an ocean full of creative, talented and admired members of the British blogging community. I attended, BritMums Live - the most prestigious event of the year for parenting and lifestyle bloggers and boy was I glad that I did. For those of you that don't know what BritMums is all about; well it's the UK's biggest, two-day social media conference and blogger event, where lifestyle bloggers and social influencers gather to meet and socialise, network with brands, improve their skills, and fire their creativity. I travelled to London and found myself sitting in on talks, classes, award ceremonies and creative workshops - a real bloggers heaven. But in actual fact, none of those things are the reason that I came away feeling positive about the weekend.
Thanks to Pizza Express for feeding us Dads. Featured above (in no particular order); Dave from TheDadventurer, Al from TheDadNetwork, John from DadYouGeek, Tony from Papa Tont, Darren from OneDad3Girls, John from DadBlogUk and behind the camera Tim from SlouchingTowardsThatcham.
Since becoming a parent 2 years ago, I've found myself a little lost from time to time. My blog is my outlet when I need one, and it serves a purpose but I often crave a bigger stage to sound off from. I'm 29 years old and am still the only one of my friends to embark on the parenthood journey. I live away from my family, and even further from my wifes family. I have no other parents that I can call friends in a similar position to me, fighting the same battles as me or even on the same wavelength as me. Noone who can relate to the every day struggles of being a working parent to 2 small children. The internet though, is a wonderful thing and every year with new apps being created (Periscope is a world away from the 140 characters of Twitter) the world gets smaller. Through blogging, I've connected with so many people who understand me, my life and can relate without having to pretend or force the issue. BritMums Live gave me the chance to connect with some of those people, and meet a plethora of others to add to the list. BritMums Live allowed me to socialise with other Dads and talk mens issues, parenting and blogging. BritMums Live welcomed me, as a first timer with open arms and made me feel as though I belonged to something much greater than my own corner of the internet - it showed me that the much talked about blogging community does exist and they're more than happy to accept new members. BritMums Live made me feel like a real person again, even if just for the weekend and for that I'm grateful.
I met far too many wonderful, creative, friendly and inspiring people in my 2 days to even attempt to compile a list and risk offending anyone I may miss. I didn't meet one bad egg, or witness any negativity first hand. Admittedly Dads were in a minority compared to the female attendance but forget gender when thinking about BritMums Live. Everyone there can relate to the next with a common interest and for that weekend, we're not Mums, Dads, male, female or even parents... we're bloggers. We're all people with the ability to use our creative minds to influence others and we're all there to interact with people just like ourselves. My top tip for attending BritMums Live is to let your hair down, relax and embrace the atmosphere. I was so nervous about attending, but I encourage anyone who is in two mind about going to do so - you really won't regret it! If you need convincing otherwise, then come and find me... because I will most definitely be there again next year!
My travelling companion kept my nerves at bay - the bundle of energy that is Ceri, TheGingerWarrior.