Wednesday, 29 June 2011
CyberMummy 2011 - My Take on the Conference!
So I made it! In the run up to CyberMummy 2011 I was in fear that I wouldn't make it there as by the 25th June I would only be 6 days off my due date but as is true for most of my male friends, boys are never early, so I needn't have worried. So I strutted my heavily pregnant stuff around the conference and had a thoroughly enjoyable day!
As you know I was sponsored to go to CyberMummy by Mamas and Papas with whom I've been doing a few reviews on the blog of their wonderful range of maternity clothing. They generously paid for my ticket to the conference and supplied me with a fabulous new outfit to wear on the day - I really did feel good that morning!
There were 3 other bloggers sponsored by Mamas & Papas and we were all part of a competition that they were running on the day whereby bloggers could take their picture with us and then tweet it to Mamas & Papas with the hastag #lovelife and be in with a chance to win £250 worth of store vouchers! The lovely Maria from Mixed up Mummy won this after having her picture taken with me!
How my day started
Myself and 3 other mummy bloggers (ChocOrangeCityMum, Superamazingmum, Mummymummymum) were lucky enough to be able to drive to the conference in one of the Hyundai sponsored cars. We had a Hyundai IX20 which made it a nice comfortable drive up to town, there was also a hamper included in the boot for us to use on the way up with some goodies (thank you!). We chatted all the way there about this and that and also about our expectations for the conference.
Here's a pic of us all before we set off to the conference (with my bemused daughter, who was busy eating her toast when we dragged her outside!)
We arrived a little late but luckily the speakers were running a bit behind, so we didn't miss Sarah Brown give her keynote speech. I was really taken by her, she seemed like such an approachable lady and a great mum. She said that people always commented that it was nice that she was so ordinary, she liked to think that they actually meant 'normal' rather than ordinary! She opened by telling us that she had come to the conference carrying a ginormous box containing a Robot birthday cake for her sons birthday the following day, after the conference she was off to the train with the huge box on her way back to Scotland. She told us how she ensured her children could lead private lives while her husbands role was so public. She now has a huge twitter following and is very proactive in using her online influence to help all kinds of causes.
After the speech, we had a break and it was time to go and look at all the different sponsors and brands that were there on the day. I made my way to the Crocs stand because I'd promised them a short vox pops piece. They had also organised some pedicures of which I had one at lunchtime and was given a fab free pair of Crocs flip flops - these were my salvation for the rest of the day - nice cushioning for my poor weighed down feet!
I chatted with the lovely people at Leapfrog, they were promoting all the fun, educational toys that they have on offer. They marvelled at my determination to make the conference at 39 weeks pregnant!
Boots gave out a fabulous goody bag and to my happiness it included a gorgeous Champneys Bubble Bath - I didn't hesitate to try this out on the Sunday night when I was still wiped out from spending Saturday on my feet!
Johnson & Johnson were also represented, giving out information about their latest campaign 'Wipe Out Waste' - see previous blog post on this - we can all help the environment by sending our wipes packets to be upcycled and transformed in to new products!
Those were a few of my highlights in terms of the sponsors.
Adjoining CyberMummy Central was The Recharge Room sponsored by P&G - This was a lounge created to allow us all a bit of chill out time from everything that was going on. It was brilliant, they had the Caroline Barnes, the Max Factor Make Up Artist on hand to give quick make overs and give make up tips, two top stylists on hand to revive our hair, a Smoothie bar so we could replenish our bodies with some energy, 2 masseurs to take away the strain on our shoulders from carrying all the goody bags (hahahaha!) and finally a team of experts from Pampers. All in all, it felt like all bases were covered, I for one had a great make over, a delicious smoothie and chatted to plenty of people in there.
I also took part in the photo shoot organised by Tara from Sticky Fingers and Jay from Mocha Beanie Mummy . They organised a collaboration with SnapFish to produce a CyberMummy calendar in which I will feature as a Mum-to-Be - I can confirm I did have the biggest bump there!
I'm not going to go into too much detail here, I will link to the bloggers who live blogged the sessions I attended.
I was late to the 'Marketing Your Blog' workshop but the speakers were very good and the session can be followed here at WitWitWoo
Worth a mention is the presentation that Erica Douglas made in the 'Working with Brands' workshop - she was very inspiring and was also a key influence for me when setting up my blog as I followed her Mummy Blogger e-course. Session blogged by WitWitWoo
I also caught some of the 'How to be a Blogger Activist' session, it was really interesting to see how wide a reach blogging can have in terms of raising awareness of charity campaigns. Session blogged by Jamandclottedcream
I missed the afternoon session because by that time I was dead on my feet and took the time to get into the Recharge Room and give the bump a rest!
Crowd Sourced Keynote
At the end it was the turn of the bloggers to read out some selected posts. Most were enjoyable but I have to say my favourite one from More than Just a Mother was entitled "how does one dispose of a vibrator?" - really had me giggling, go on - read it!!
Other Highlights of my Day:
Meeting other mum bloggers I hadn't met in person, can't possibly mention them all but amongst them are @chocorange @helloitsgemma @iamubermummy
Saying hi to those I had met before, again I can't name them all: @superamazingmum @_MummyManda_ @northernmum1 @iamwitwitwoo
The day had to come to an end and so I said my goodbyes and on my way out to my awaiting carriage I picked up my Cybermummy Goodie bag - it was filled with fab things, including a cool Leapfrog Toy that Isla already loves and some bits and pieces that will be very useful for Baby Boy. I had a really good day and I'd do it again. I was however really happy to get back to my Other Half and find out how his day had gone with our gorgeous girl!
The conference has been covered by national newspapers, if you want to read their take on the Cyber Mummy phenomenon then read on here: