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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Cybermummy 2011 - 2 months on

Shameful to be posting this so late, but in-between scorched logic boards, tech-free summer holidays, a bit of laziness and a big personal tragedy it's had to wait until August. Two whole months after  Cybermummy, the ultimate UK parent blogger event of the year, but it's still fresh in my mind. Hard not to as it was rather overwhelming walking in - one of the rare people not to come in a pack of pre-prepped tweetups, and having bag upon bloody-goody-bag thrust into my hands while being channeled into the brand room well-stocked with PRs and a tasty breakfast.

Cybermummy: The Conference

After some talks by Facebook (You own your data now! and can download it anytime ;) and Sarah Brown (ex PMs wife and writer, campaigner, tweeter etc so sweet, calm and likeable and encouraged using social media for positivity - loved the image of Gordon popping down for dinner with the family before nipping back to the 'office') I was looking forward to the four sessions to come. Each session had three choices but I'd planned my day to attend : 1. Writing Workshop, 2. Working With Brands, 3. How to be a blogger activist and most importantly, 4. Blog-life balance.

1. The Writing workshop by Sophie King peed off a few bloggers when oddly suggesting to change blog names frequently adding a link on your 'old blog' to direct readers to your new blog each time... Her advice to find your unique voice and blogging niche seemed slightly obvious but it's worth hearing again and was a common theme throughout the day. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting but I liked the idea about writing as the person you'd like to be as it will sounds much more exciting. She also mentioned something about writing shorter blog posts.... (Will forget that for this one!) The mini writing challenges I was pretty crap at but it was fun to try something different. The great thing about Cybermummy was that many people were tweeting using the #Cybermummy11 hash-tag so you could follow people's opinions throughout the workshop which could be quite fun and I also got a good insight to the other workshops I was missing at the time.

2. Working with brands brought together different points of view of how brands and bloggers work together, with HP printers explaining their process of finding who to work with and underlining the importance of having a human-level approach. Personality and creativity works wonders when trying to catch a brand's eye: citing a vlogger who hosted an "un-boxing party" when unveiling his printer... Contrastingly, Natalie Lue from Bambino Goodies told us that she doesn't accept sponsored posts of any kind on her blog as they stay online permanently, worth much more than you think. She makes her money from other sources like ebooks, workshops and consultancy work. Amazing!

Unfortunately I missed the third workshop, How to Be a Blogger Activist (but apparently it was very moving) as childcare for the evening fell through and I was trying to sort it out to no avail meaning I'd have to make an early departure. Boo!

4. For Blog-Life balance I was expecting lots of tips of how to cram in time for blogging in-between the hundreds of other tasks occupying the day and the best point I took away from it was to plan your blog posts for the weeks to ensure you have varied content and if you manage to write a lot in one go, then scheduling posts gets them out on time for you! Nadine also explained how writing regularly builds your writing muscle -I need to get the hang of this!- and stressed the importance of de-cluttering physically and mentally (*stare at my corner desk stacked to the brim with papers and boxes...*) So, yes it was inspiring, but there could have been, well, a bit more.

Overall, I enjoyed the sessions but understand why next year BritMums Live! and CybHer will be potentially splitting up the sessions by blog 'level' as the talks at time felt a bit self-explanatory and I didn't leave with as much new info as hoped.

Cybermummy: Planet PR

The organisers had done a fab job of getting some top brands to come to the event. They talked endlessly, handed out many flyers and goodies and most had a competition to enter... Highlights include:
  • Chatting to the Lego people and discovering how much they've developed since I was little, whilst staying true to their roots. 
  • Racing Disney cars with Working London Mummy 
  • Chatting with the delightful Glenda at the P&G recharge room (irked I didn't wait long enough for massages and other pampering!) 
  • Seeing who was brave enough to try the Ubisoft Just Dance game
  • Learning that the Johnson's Baby and Terracycle 'Wipe Out Waste' upcycling venture do accept all brands of wipes
  • Slightly bemused by the 20th Century Fox PR explaining that from now on each film will be sold with 3 disks for DVD, PC and BlueRay and I just couldn't help thinking - but what do you do with the other 2 disks you don't need? But then I suppose it's less plastic being used...? 
The friendliest stall had to be Leapfrog - who spent ages explaining the purpose of each toy and the relevance to my toddler. The sweet PR even offered to share a cab back with me as we lived close by! I entered almost every competition going and thank goodness I did ;)

Never fancied Mauritius anyway
I liked the passport aspect of Cybermummy where you got a stamp from every brand stall then handed in to win more prizes. Managed to fill it with all but one stamp (damn you Mauritius) and even then I was tempted to forge the signature....

Cybermummy: Social overkill

I was happy to see some fellow tweeps, blogger friends and chat to new people, discovering new blogs, and businesses, finding out how sites like eBuzzing work and conversing with the infamous Dodo lady. Unfortunately I missed out on the main social event: the 3 party. But again, I followed a bit from home using the hash-tag.

Many bloggers were sponsored to attend Cybermummy and some brands such as Mamas & Papas had created a fun competition whereby you had to locate one of their sponsored bloggers, snap a picture with them and tweet it using hash-tag #LoveLife. One lucky winner would win £250. I actually wasn't aware of this until I bumped into Sharon who divulged all and was fighting  people off to have their pics taken with her.
Me and the lovely and heavily preggers Sharon I Heart Motherhood

Cybermummy: The WINNINGS!

As I was leaving, I spotted Sian with the Lego people and wanted to say Hi and Thanks- and coincidentally they'd just pulled my name out of the hat to win a box of Duplo! Amazing! Leon already received a gift of Lego from a friend but it's too small for him and I have no idea where all my old Duplo has ended up so he'll love that.

After the journey back home with 3 massive bags full of goodies of which my favourites were:
- brilliant E45 junior bubble bath
- Leapfrog farm game that is magnetic enough to stick to the fridge that Leon ADORES! "A pig in front, a duck behind, put them together and what do you find? A PigDuck? That's silly! Hahaha" Love it.
- Pampering goodies for me
- Dodo pad family planner

I was excitedly sorting these out (and making a large "for recycling/charity shop" pile) while keeping my eye on Twitter #CyberMummy11 to keep up with what I was missing. Suddenly I learned that I had won the 3 iPad! The competition was to enter in 50 words why you were a busy mum and I must have sounded like a manic mother as I won it! Yippee! Perfect as my laptop had pretty much exploded. If that wasn't enough, turns out I had also won the Mamas & Papas #LoveLife prize of £250 vouchers - get in! Perfect for some decent maternity clothes I think ;)

Leon was cracking up at my squealing and jumping up and down- I couldn't believe just how lucky I'd been :D

No More Cybermummy

So after all that- turns out that the 3 founders have separated ways meaning 2012 will bring us a choice of: Brit Mums Live! or CybHer - the difference between the two is not yet clear but I'm eager to see more info in the weeks to come! Hope to see you next time :)


  1. Great post!
    CybHer information will be released in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned and I hope to see you there.