BritMums got talent

The stage at BritMums Live.

Yes, I know that headline isn’t grammatically correct, but I’m tired. Really tired, in fact. Yes, as I write this, I’m still knackered from the experience that was attending my first ever blogging conference. BritMums Live was a great event, densely populated by genuinely lovely but nonetheless irritatingly talented people.

I will confess now to having been nervous about the whole thing in the days approaching the event. After all, I knew how many bloody brilliant writers I was going to find myself among.

I needn’t have worried. Everyone was approachable and I spoke to loads of them, which was just as well as I had to get up in front of people and exercise my silly voice on the Saturday – more on that in a bit.

If I mentioned everyone I chatted to, this would be a very long post indeed. But, I’m going to name a few who I particularly enjoyed talking to. Here goes! Mutterings of a Fool, Life with an Autistic Son, Hello Wall, Reluctant Housedad, HerMelness speaks, Bringing up Charlie, Geekmummy, Alexander Residence, Mammasaurs and SAHDandproud. Take a bow, my blogging chums!

The bloggers and other speakers were all fantastic. There were some very moving stories in some sessions and the bloggers’ keynote at the end of the weekend too.

The celebrity speakers were all excellent. As a couple of others have pointed out, it was good to see TV presenter Katy Hill still in attendance at the very end of the show. Long after her scheduled commitment of presenting the Brilliance in Blogging awards on the previous evening.

So what of my public speaking bit? Well I was part of a panel of dad bloggers answering questions about what it is to be part of a female-dominated domain and whether we need special treatment as a result.

Unfortunately, this session clashed with a few other appealing ones, so the attendance was quite low. However, I feel that this reflected the general consensus of the discussion that unfolded in a way.

Those of us who blog and also happen to be dads want to be part of the bigger picture rather than singled out. It was lovely to be asked to speak and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but perhaps a session about dads wasn’t needed.

Similarly, having our own category in the Brilliance in Blogging awards – taking nothing away from Ben at Mutterings of a Fool who won it – maybe sends out the wrong message too.

All this said, it would be nice to see more blokes at BritMums Live next year. We’re part of a strong community, so let’s make sure we’re well represented to acknowledge that! It’ll be taking place on the same weekend next year – I’ll see you there!

So that was last weekend. This coming weekend, I’m going to be in Bridgend. Surrounded by hundreds of people dressed as cats…


  1. Kate On Thin Ice

    Yes would be good to see more of a balance of dads and mums but I am sure that will come in time. I was nervous too and speaking adds another pressure but we lived to tell the tale.
    Good to meet you at last.

  2. Tom Briggs

    Good to meet you too, Kate! It was a great weekend and I think everyone had a fantastic time.

  3. JanMary @

    I thought the conference was great too – but wonder what your thoughts on the name “Britmums”? Maybe britparents doesn’t flow just as well, but maybe more relevant. In fact I think I prefer to be a parent blogger than a mum blogger. Any thoughts?

    1. Tom Briggs

      Good question! I think a non-gender-specific name would certainly make men feel more welcome, but coming up with one that’s as snappy and logo-friendly as BritMums may be a tall order!

  4. Laura - Chez Mummy

    It was a shame I didn’t get to speak to you because I would’ve liked to. And you may have only taken one photo during during the entire conference, but it’s still one more than me!

  5. Tania @ Larger Family Life

    Sounds like an experience and seems all attendees had a lot of fun. I’m still debating attending next year.

    I think a big problem with these things is the title of them. The “Mums” part is clear – but the title naturally excludes/omits the “Dads”. Britparents, perhaps?

  6. Reluctant Housedad

    Hey Tom, thanks for the name-check. It was great to meet and chat – and good to have a hand-holding buddy to walk into the venue. It was still terrifying, though, wasn’t it? After that initial anxiety though – which I know everyone I spoke to had (men and women) – I never once felt like a fish out of water, an exception, a special case. I just felt I was among peers – parents, regardless of gender – so despite saying to you over a beer I liked having the dads’ category (because I thought it created a competition within a competition), I’ve totally come round to your view. The awards – and the event – should be gender neutral. Perhaps if it wasn’t called ‘Mums’, then more dads would feel it was aimed at them, too.

  7. Sarah Miles

    Some good points and was great to meet you at Britmums. Britparents. Europarents. Globalparents. Globalbloggers. Does that encompass everyone?
    Not very catchy…..but at least it’s politically correct and that seems to be emerging as the most important thing here….not blogging.

    Maybe Mammasaurus should have a Love All Blogs conference….

  8. Tom Briggs

    Thanks for your comments everyone! To sum up then: it was a great event, everyone should go next year, we ought to take more photos and a non-gender-specific name may help things. Oh, and no narkiness – is that a word? it is now – detected, Sarah! 🙂

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