Mumsnet Blogfest – is it worth it?

Mumsnet Blogfest review

So here’s my unbiased review of Mumsnet Blogfest as a first timer and a ‘newbie’ blogger: The event is pitched as an ‘open to all’ conference style day to celebrate sharp writing and big ideas. I considered for a while whether the ticket price of £95 would be worth it, especially taking in travelling to London and the hassle of arranging cover for baby Ethan.

I’m happy to say I do think it was worth it, not only for bloggers, but also for those in the ‘business’ of writing and here’s why:

What I loved about Mumsnet Blogfest16

– The speakers were truly inspiring – not only that but they were all SO different – from MPs and journalists to entrepreneurs and celebrities. This made for a challenging day – not only mentally but emotionally. There were points in the day where these speakers had me in hysterics (I reference here the PTA song by the Scummy Mummies), in tears (during the heartfelt thinkbomb by Bryony Gordon), then furiously writing down tips (throughout Not Another Mummy Blogger Alison’s digital strategy session) and finally uplifted (by Davina McCall’s personal and touching key note speech).
– It wasn’t just about blogging – I attended with my friend Nina, who’s writing a novel – she had a really positive experience too at the Dragon’s Pen session pitching her book idea and gained some really valuable direction and advice from the writers and editors there on the day.
– The vibe was inclusive – from the moment the kick-ass Justine Roberts (Mumsnet CEO) opened the day on stage to the closing drinks of (free..hurrah!) Prosecco and cocktails, I felt the whole day was filled with positive energy and a sense of comradery. It felt like such a unique experience to be surrounded by 100+ women all dedicating time to learn and improve their writing, photography or vlogging. I loved accidentally bumping to fellow bloggers and being able to share contact details or just make a compliment or two on their outfit whilst queuing for the bathroom.
– It was well organised – location wise it was only a 10 minute walk from King’s Cross – these sort of logistical issues to have an impact on your day, particularly when you’re travelling from up North! Everything ran to plan; lunch and refreshments were all provided. The sessions were well timed and put together, giving a useful mix of content, without losing my attention span at any point.
– You could personalise your day – there were three breakout sessions with a choice of 3-4 different speakers to attend – this meant I could pick the session that fitted my needs and skill gaps best. From a blogging perspective, I got some insights into vlogging, building a brand and digital growth strategies. My friend who is writing a novel on the other hand got direction on getting her book published and championing causes through writing – so it was great that our different needs were met attending the same event.

What I’d improve about Mumsnet Blogfest16

– Although I did come away from the day with practical hints and tips, there was a lot to take in on the day. Also, one of the sessions gave quite a lot of time open to the floor for people of ask questions, few of which were relevant to me. I think it would have been a great addition to giveaway a booklet with the key points each session covered. This way, if you didn’t get to attend each session, at least you could get an insight into what it covered, and if time for questions meant some other points weren’t addressed, at least they would be in this material to read at home.
– I met some great contacts which I’m 100% sure I’ll be in touch with, but I really feel there was scope to do more of this somehow. For example, we could have had the opportunity to share our most successful blogpost in a communal online space before the event so we’d have an insight into who’d be there and who we might like to arrange a meet up with. There was a Facebook page, but I’m not sure how many people used it.

I hope you’ve found this useful if you’re considering going to Blogfest next year. I reminded myself being at this event how much I love to learn, feel inspired and be surrounded with positive people – so that’s something I’m going to more of – all of the time!

Did you attend mumsnet Blogfest16?

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