Cybermummy 2011 - Thanks and Thoughts

I can't believe that it is almost a week since Cybermummy '11 and the hype is still electric.  I'm reading lots and lots of blog posts with varying accounts of the day.  But I was brought up good and proper and have been instilled with good manners.  This post is to thank those who made it all possible.

To Jennifer Howze, Susanna Scott and Sian To:  Thanks for being the inspiration and driving force behind the Cybermummy conference.  Thanks for developing a (seemingly) smooth event with enough sub-events to keep 450 opinionated bloggers out of mischief for at least one day.  Thanks for providing an occasion for me to meet hundreds of inspirational people, many of which I am extremely proud to call my friends.  Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to read out my crowdsourced keynote blog post and to re-examine it with fresh eyes.

To all the "behind the scenes" people: Too many of you to mention but you know who you are. Thanks for your input and help.  It didn't go unnoticed.  Your volunteering was invaluable.  I was surprised to see who was involved with things like registration and workshop organisation and to see some new faces who I had no idea were involved with Cybermummy.

To the blogger-to-blogger speakers:  To do what you did, without payment, shows the passion behind blogging and has strengthened my belief in what I do here on this blog and why I do it.  It's not for payment or recognition.  It is because I love writing and interacting with a readership.  This was a turning point for me.

To Jay Mountford:  How on earth you managed to keep going all day is beyond me.  I know you probably already have done but give yourself an enormous pat on the back.  What with the Blogger Calender, the photography workshop, trying to get the Blognonymous team together for one group hug and the *ahem* after-after-party I'm not surprised you weren't curled up in a ball, weeping silently.  Well done, you!

To The Brewery: Your venue is lovely and your Mr Benn meet-and-greet man is an absolute gem.

To me:  Hello new me.  I know you have had an epiphany of sorts with regards where you want your writing to go and that is mainly from meeting people both at BlogCamp the week before and at Cybermummy.  It's so good to feel you bubbling with ideas.  It is also an amazingly positive feeling to have some headspace and confidence to move forward in a direction that you want to go.  You feel that you didn't attend the right sessions and a bit overwhelmed by that but you can always go and read the live blogs and digest the information at leisure.  Buzzwords for the moment: Uplifted. Inspired. Animated.

Thoughts and Digests:

The passport was a crap idea.  There, I've said it.  I did fill it all in but only because once I'd got halfway through it, I felt it was a shame not to complete it and some of that took over my "brand experience".  And I know it's been said over and over again, but there were not enough chairs anywhere, other than in Cybermummy 1.  Workshops in break-out rooms were over-crowded (but which shows their success) and in the P&G Recharge room, I was tripping over bags and bloggers every time I turned round.  I also wish that the goodie bags from brands had been issued at the end.  I am grateful for all the freebies I received but I had a bag pressed into my hand even before I had walked through the door of the venue.  Next year I would like Cybermummy to be sponsored by a luggage company and offer little trolly-dolly cases.

I don't like the term "mummy".  I've not been a "mummy" for over 8 years and now I'm a nana (hey, who doesn't know that now?).  I would have liked to have seen more brands geared towards mums of older children.  Disney were almost there, Ubisoft were on the right track and the Boots goodie bag did have some nice freebies in for mums.  The weekend away was a treat for many of us and to prolong that experience would have been even better.  Pampering treats, notebooks and stationery and wine vouchers are all winners in my eyes.  Any bumph and brochures should have been on pen drives.

I regret not picking the right workshops to attend.  Not just the Sophie King experience, but everything else.  To me, that suggests that there was an enormous amount of good content and I will be picking up lots of information from the live blogs.  If blogging in general is heading towards the digital/vlogging era then maybe sessions could have been filmed and made available to non-attendees for a reduced fee and to attendees on a password-protected part of the website after the event.  This then excludes no-one.

Which leads me onto my final point.  We, as bloggers, are forever banging on about events only being held in London and that PR's and brands should recognise that there is life outside of the M25.  Without sponsorship, I would never have been able to afford this event.  I have also read a number of blog reviews of the event that mentioned the sheer quantity of attendees and that it was overwhelming.  Could Cybermummy be split into two (or more) events and held in different parts of the country?

But, the main question is... am I going to Cybermummy '12? HELL, YES! I had a ball and would do it all again in a heartbeat.  Anyone got any plans for Saturday...?