It’s been 4 days since I loaded up my car after BritMums Live 2014 and drove home through the summer sunshine across London. This is the fifth conference I’ve organised and those waning moments are always a little bittersweet. There is relief of course, and exhilaration, and regret for the things that could have gone better or that I could have done better (“Why did I say that? I wish I hadn’t missed talking to so-and-so…”). It’s like organising your wedding every year.
BritMums is my annual “wedding”
Except my own wedding only included 60 people (instead of 700!), had only a handful of speakers (my dad, my maid of honour, my husband and I, instead of 70 experts coming from all over England!), and only lasted 6 hours (instead of 2 days!). Also, with BritMums Live, everyone attending has rearranged their schedules, sorted childcare, bought a ticket, made the journey, turned up with the aim of meeting friends, learning something, connecting with a brand — and my job is to help make that happen. I cannot let them down. A wedding is “My Day”; BritMums Live is “Your Day(s)”.
And to keep Your Days as exciting and rewarding as possible, this year we did some things differently. We listened to what everyone said about having more practical sessions. We heard that you want to come away feeling inspired. We also wanted some surprises and I hope we pulled them off — from tiaras on the tables for Emma Freud’s keynote (about which: awesome!) to the courtyard “garden” for the BiBs party to the fabulous preview of Good Enough Mums Club.
Thinking about next year
Naturally, I only got to talk to 1/70th of the people I wanted to and only sat in on a handful of sessions. But when people tell me they loved a session or had a moment or saw a longlost blogging friend or met a brand they’re excited about working with, I can’t help but feel good. BritMums Live really does take a year to put together — you should see my “ideas” list so far — and I can barely sit still for thinking about 2015. (Send me your ideas and thoughts and feedback while they’re fresh!)