What’s on my agenda for #BML17 by a conference newbie

In just one month we will be welcoming you to the UK’s buzziest social media conference and blogger event, BritMums Live 2017 (#BML17). Whether you are a conference newbie or a seasoned pro, there will be something for you to spark or reignite your blogging passion. Our Shopping Hauls Round-up Editor Lauretta Wright shares here her action plan for the last weekend in September! Over to Lauretta…

“There has been a lot of hype in the run-up to #BritMumsLive17 and I myself am itching to go. And even though this will be my debut attendance at the event, I’m betting I would have been amongst the first few to book a ticket.

Why? Well, apart from making the most of the early bird deal (thanks BritMums – I love a good bargain, me), I wanted to ensure that I secured a ticket to find out what all the hype was about. I have to go, I have to see – and I have to conquer.

So with success on my mind, I’m determined to have an action plan in place to ensure that I get the very most from #BritMums17. A bit tricky when I don’t know what to expect, but not impossible.

Here’s how I’m planning my time:

The early bird catches the worm
First up, #BML17 opens at 8.30am. And most likely little old me will be standing there waiting for the doors to swing open. I like to familiarise myself with my surroundings first and foremost to ensure I’m not aimlessly walking round in between sessions trying to find the loo or a drink.

Secondly, as I’m going on my tod, I’m thinking I might have a better chance of finding other bloggers to talk to. Have you ever walked into a huge room full of people chatting away in groups and you don’t know anyone? It takes a lot of guts to bite the bullet and interrupt a conversation to introduce yourself and pray you’ll be welcomed. I always find you have a better chance of networking before the crowds arrive and it becomes a lot more difficult to ‘work the room’ – especially if, like me, you’re below the average height of most women.

Star student
In the run up to #BML17 I’ll be keeping a close eye on the timetable of sessions as I really want to get the most from the main day. So far, the sessions I’m planning on attending include:

The SEO Deep Dive session
I’m guessing that Judith Lewis will be delivering this session – and if she is, we’re all in luck. You see, I saw Judith earlier this year at an event I was also speaking at and she’s bloody brilliant! But bring a notepad as there’ll be plenty to learn; Judith is full of knowledge and could talk all day long about SEO. And if I remember correctly, she might bring her bag of goodies with her (ask her a question during the session and you might receive a sweet treat!)

As the name of this session suggests, I know that it will go far deeper than the basics of SEO. Yes, we’ve probably all got the Yoast plugin, but it would be good to get a real understanding of SEO to know how to make the most of our blog posts and make sure we’re increasingly being found via Google’s algorithms – and in plain English so we can all understand would be super.

The Video Deep Dive
I keep hearing how video is ‘the next big thing’, so rather than waiting for it to pass me by, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon and I now class myself as a YouTuber as well as a blogger.

I upload a video every week without fail (sometimes even two), but I know that I could really improve my visibility if only I knew how. I have plenty of questions for this session – how many tags should I use for my video, should I record a video for a minimum amount of time? Do hashtags really work on YouTube?

And finally, is the title of my video really that important in getting found? For example, my daughter made a video called ‘Bob the hamster’ (with no tags) and got more views in two days than I got in a whole week of showcasing my ‘what’s new in travel and interiors this week’ video. Yes, of course her video was much better, but just HOW was her video getting found?

The best of the rest
I’ve also got my eye on the Trailblazers session, which is a panel discussion where attendees can learn how leading bloggers and influencers continue to innovate and forge new paths.

I love hearing about real people’s experiences and their path to success. It’s great to hear their knowledge, the lessons they learnt and most importantly, what not to do! I’m hoping that the session will prove to be a real eye-opener in terms of being open and honest and getting to the nitty gritty.

I’ve sat at other conference sessions that have skirted around the issue of how much bloggers should charge for their time and services and whether or not to offer ‘follow’ or ‘no follow’ links, so I’m hoping that these issues that concern us all will be tackled head on.

I also love the idea of the time-saving social media strategies. Blogging is hard work and you have to be multi-talented, there’s no doubt about that, but one of the things that I really struggle with is time management. And I’m probably not alone.

It doesn’t help holding down a full time job and having a family, but in the few hours I get in the early morning, evening or at the weekend, I really want to know how to utilise this time to the max. Social media is undoubtedly really important – and naturally goes hand in hand with promoting your blog. So if there are any time-saving tips, I’m eager to learn!

Finally, I’m also really excited about the brand experiences sessions, which give attendees the opportunities to build relationships with brands.

As we know, it’s important to have a niche, so I’m hoping that there’ll be a variety of brands across most sectors to engage with (and hand out the business card to). And as we’re all looking to build our own brand and get noticed in an increasingly crowded market, then what better than talking to the people who can tell us exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to working with bloggers?

If you are a first-timer at #BML17 these tips from my website might give you a helping hand.

What sessions are you looking forward to at #BML17? Let us know in the comments!

 

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BritMums is the UK's largest parent blogger collective. We offer bloggers the latest support, advice and how-tos as well as feature great content on food, travel, relationships, health, charities, crafting and much more. Our social network is free to join and helps bloggers connect with others; our BritMums Pro programme connects bloggers with brands on our high-quality projects and our annual conference, BritMums Live, is the blogging event of the year.

2 Responses to What’s on my agenda for #BML17 by a conference newbie

  1. Mainy 16 September 2017 at 09:50 #

    Each post that I read now is helping formulate my own schedule for attending. It’s my first bloggers conference after a year and a half of blogging and I’m really excited and motivated to make the most of everything on offer. My tip to myself is to plan but not be too rigid with myself. If a great opportunity comes up then go with the flow.
    Mainy

    • Jennifer Howze 17 September 2017 at 15:59 #

      Great tip about not being too rigid. Once you’re there, you may discover a session you didn’t realise you just *must* attend. Plus, there are all the great people to meet! See you there. x

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