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.
I 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.
High 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?
I 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.