Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Walking into the lions den – a dad’s view of Britmums live

If I was a Daily Mail journalist that is definitely the headline I would have gone for, I’m not of course but it was probably the topic of the most common question I was asked in the last 2 days. That is ‘what’s it like coming to an event full of women?’, well I hate to disappoint but I didn’t turn up a nervous wreck worried about what would happen after 6pm when everyone had started drinking.

Kirsty Allsop key noteI was one of probably 10 guys at an event where there are 400+ women, what’s not to like? All those mums who write incredible blogs and are trying to stand out, yet all I have to do is quite literally have the balls to turn up and immediately people want to talk to you.

The parent blogging community in my experience is nothing short of welcoming and supportive, you only have to listen to some of the stories being told to know that. But beyond that every mum who blogs that I’ve interacted with online or in person has genuinely been interested in a dad’s viewpoint and to hear about what being a parent is like from our perspective.

I’m not entirely convinced that the brands at the event have quite understood that it’s a parent blogging event rather than a mum blogger event though. There were some very suspicious looks as I walked up to a number of stands and where were the male clothes TK Maxx? Those dresses are never going to suit my runners legs and you definitely didn’t have any shoes that would fit my size 9 feet.

Lewis looking confusedHigh points were the social side of things, loved catching up and talking in real life with people I talk to on twitter and whose blogs I read. There is always a worry that the relationship won’t quite be the same when you meet in person but thoroughly enjoyed talking blogging, parenting and life in general especially with Capture by Lucy, Babberblog, Diary of the dad, A party of seven, Hello wall, Bod for tea¬†and Mama bear with me.

Oh and have I mentioned that Katy Hill and I are now best friends? Just being sat on a table with me at the BIB awards was enough to make her want to follow me on Twitter.

For me the workshops themselves were a bit hit or miss, the using your smartphone to make video session was tremendous and full of useful advice on both equipment and the how-to. I also thought Story of mum gave a great talk on storytelling, I hadn’t come across Pippa before but she was very insightful into how to use storytelling on a blog and I’m fascinated by the story of mum project. There isn’t yet a story of dad equivalent so perhaps something for us blokes to think about?

Nigel Camp video tipsI think the workshops are probably great if you’re a newish blogger but talking with people who have blogged for a couple of years or more there seemed to be a general feeling that there was a lack of sessions that were more advanced. Even the wordpress session that was in theory advanced covered how to install a plugin, not quite my definition of advanced.

All in all a fun couple of days away, but I do wonder if that is more for the chance to sit and talk over a beer with some great people than the event itself? Seems like there is a gap in the market for an event aimed at bloggers who want to talk in more detail about using wordpress and code or transitioning from a blogger to a writer for example. Or even simpler just being social. Perhaps these events aren’t the right vehicle for that and we need to look for alternatives?

Maybe I should find the time and energy to organise a weekend of food, beer and music for bloggers to have a good chat and discussion amongst friends? I certainly learnt a lot from those type of conversations today.

Finally I must say that a 6.30am run is definitely the best hangover cure, especially when you get the chance to take photos like this.

Happy blogging everyone.

Millenium bridge and St. Paul's

  • Sarah Miles

    Great post, spot on in fact. It was brilliant to catch up ‘in real life’. Hope you got lots of cuddles from the kiddlies when you got home. And the wife!

    Organise that weekend – I’ll be there!

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      Good I’ll put you down for the first ticket then!

  • Mamacook

    I think I shun away in general in life from people who tell me their way of doing things anyway. I like to discover. So in general, blogging conferences aren’t for me and I just don’t have the time or money to spend on them. The meeting up bit though I am well up for. Perhaps we just need to organise a tweet up and chat where we share knowledge in a less formal way?

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      Yep I like the idea of a tweetup type event, something closer to that than something so formal.

  • http://OneDad3Girls.com/ OneDad3Girls

    Great write up, it was a pleasure to meet you

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      and you sir

  • Chloe

    As I mentioned on Twitter, I completely agree with your point about a lsck of advanced sessions for those that have ben blogging for a while. As the nature of blogging means we are all technologically savvy, part of me wonders whether my disatisfaction about the lack of useful information from the sessions is because there’s nothing the internet can’t teach us.

    And it’s a shame that some of the brands hadn’t thought about dad bloggers. I can imagine that it’s quite awkward for you to tell people you are going to an event called BritMUMS.

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      Yep the name definitely sucks, feels like they need to change if they really want to embrace PARENTS.

  • Sarah @apartyofseven

    it was lovely seeing you. Im still regretting not coming on that run. next time :)

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      As I always say, you never regret a run :)

  • Tom Briggs

    Great write up, great time, great to see you again mate. It was another awesome event. Now hurry up and sort out that bloggy weekend you mentioned!

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      Yes boss!

  • Alison Pike

    As I woman, I couldn’t agree more (apart from the tkmaxx point). I really got nothing from any of the sessions I attended apart from a few laughs and chocolate. I’d love to see some more specialised events, like for vlogs or photographers or foodies, or tech savvy geeks. I’d go. I’d pay to go. I’d pay not to have so many sponsors and PRs. I’d pay to spend more quality time, talking, not just hugging and looking over that persons shoulder at the next blogger I’ve GOT to meet. Last year I likened Britmums Live to Speed dating. I stand by that. Sorry I didn’t get to talk to you. Think we may have had a few things in common!

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      I guess that’s the challenge, the brands enable a lot of the event to happen but I also am not interested in that element. Seems there is a gap in the calendar for a smaller event, something more like the Blog summits that Tots run

  • Jenny @justphotosby.me

    I’m sorry I wasn’t there to meet you, but I do get the feeling that we need a massive event full of sofas, coffee, wine and food where we can all sit down and talk to each other rather than feeling that we must attend sessions. That photo is amazing and I’ll have to take it from you about it being a hangover cure.

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      Exactly!

  • http://www.bod-for-tea.blogspot.com bod for tea

    Fantabulous meeting you finally Mr. Totally agree with you on the advanced blogging session and moving from blogger to writer and take it from someone who didn’t attend any sessions – it’s definitely fun just hanging out on the sofas and drinking coffee. Oh and thanks for rescuing me from the TK Maxx lounge :) See you again next year!

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      and you, so glad to finally meet! Expensive cup of coffee if that’s all you do though….

  • Babberblog

    My face really does capture how I’m pretty sure everyone was feeling in that particular session…

    Nice write up chap, let’s do something about a big, less formal thing where everyone can chat a bit more, definitely space for that in the calendar.

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      I’m already thinking about the event, probably for next year now but the idea is building.

  • AnnieMammasaurus

    Great to meet you again daddio, twas a mad weekend and I for one am glad to be home, sipping tea and contemplating watching Dawn of the Dead :)

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      and you, also love that we bumped into each other in the bar before the conference started :)

  • http://www.feistytapas.com/ Maria @¬†Feisty Tapas

    I’m so gutted I missed it (but I had no choice since my daughter, the one that makes me a parent blogger, was three on Saturday). It’s funny you should mention that less formal thing where bloggers basically can share their knowledge and socialise face to face. Spanish food bloggers do it all the time, they go and tour one particular town or just get together for the sake of it and have a hashtag for it, it may be the Spanish spirit but I reckon it’s something bringing over to the UK.

    • http://mutteringsofafool.com/ Ben

      I like the sound of that, definitely feels like there is an opportunity to try and do that sort of activity.

  • pippa @storyofmum

    I only just found this post! Sorry for my belated response, but thank you for the kind words about my storytelling talk – I was so nervous, so that is much appreciated :) And Story of Dad? YES! I keep talking to people about this, I just literally don’t have the time to make it happen, but it could be brilliant… maybe we could come up with a plan together…? x

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