Last week I was full of anticipation, wondering what my first time was going to be like? I was nervous, excited and intrigued, would it be fun, would it be frightening, would I make a complete fool of myself? Well, I’m very happy to say that on Saturday, my Cybermummy cherry was popped in one of the longest, most enjoyable and memorable days of my life.
My day began at 4.00am when my alarm rudely disturbed me from my sleep, it was time to hit the shower, make myself look presentable and get some breakfast down me before setting off on our journey. I was to be chauffeur for the day in a Hyundai i30 Estate which had been been loaned to me by Hyundai in a car share scheme.
There would be 4 stops en route to collect my road trip buddies, MummyManda, MummyDaddyMe, TwoBecomeFour and NewMumOnline before continuing with our journey to The Brewery in London to meet up with some 400 bloggers at the event of the year in the Blogging Calendar.
I normally arrive late for everything but for once, I actually made it there on time. My brain must still have been somewhere on the M11 because when I walked through the door I was told “names A-M on the left, N-Z on the right” and I just stared back with a very blank expression until I was pointed in the right direction. Once inside it was a flurry of faces I recognised from Avatars, names I had tweeted with and brands I had already formed good relationships with, it was going to be a good day.
The Conference kicked off with a few words from the founders of Cybermummy, Sian, Susannah and Jen who have worked tirelessly to put together a fabulous programme. Next we heard from Lord Richard Allen, Facebook’s director of policy for the EU on how to work with Facebook and embrace the power of social media.
The highlight of the day was to be the Keynote by Sarah Brown which I was really looking forward to. Unfortunately the programme was running slightly late and I had to leave half way through her speech to take my place in the Blogger Calendar but I enjoyed everything that I had heard so far. And the biggie for me was when I tweeted her later and she tweeted me back!
The day was filled with workshops of which there were 12 to choose from, I had pretty much made my mind up which ones I was going to attend but as the day wore on my choices changed and I’m pleased to say that my last minute decision to attend How to be a Blogger Activist turned out to be one of my best decisions that day. I felt very inspired following the workshop and I definitely want to try to do more to make a difference where I can. Unfortunately, some of the workshops I wanted to attend clashed with others that were top of my list so I shall have to read up on the live blogs to see what I missed.
It was so strange to have face to face conversations with people who I have chatted to so many times on twitter, some people looked exactly like their avatars, others not so much? Some people approached me and knew who I was immediately and a few people mistakenly thought I was MetheManandBaby, I think its the fringe!
One thing which really struck me was how naked I felt without my children or a pushchair to hide behind, I have spent the last 3 years using my children as a mask to hide behind. Whenever conversation has gone quiet my children will have done something amusing to break the ice or I excuse myself to change a bottom. At Cybermummy it was just me again and I didn’t even have a pushchair to carry all my swagbags and let me tell you they were heavy!!!!
Unfortunately I didn’t get to spend any time in the P&G Recharge Room as it was always too busy which is a shame, I would have loved a makeover from the Max Factor Expert and even more so from Michael Douglas (no not that one!) the hairdresser from London. By the time I caught up with him he was heading to his car but I did manage to have a laugh with him and get this picture. Maybe another time he can give my hair that celebrity look?
I had been warned about the perils of listening to the Crowdsourced Keynotes before I attended the event and they did exactly what I was told they would do. Some of them made me laugh out loud, whilst others made me cry like a baby.
We ended the day with a party sponsored by Three where we could all just kick back, relax and have a good laugh with each other, swap numbers, take pictures and make the most of our final few hours at Cybermummy.
After Cybermummy we were treated to drinks at All Bar One with Netmums and finally a yummy curry with some great friends and bloggers before jumping back in our car and heading home to our families. My day finished at 2.30am when I finally crawled back into my bed for some much needed sleep. My first Cybermummy journey was over, now its only a year (I hope) until the next one – bring it on!!!
And no bloggers event would be complete without Jay Mountford who was on the floor from first thing in the morning!