Cybermummy – the Filling in my Week-End Sandwich!
The Cybermummy 2011 conference was the delicious filling in my very scrumptious sandwich that was my week-end!
Going to London is always an exciting event for hubby and me and we always make sure we get as much out of it as possible. With the conference on Saturday, we travelled up on Friday morning. The slice of bread this day represented was not your normal Value slice. It was really tasty with all sorts of grains in it. We went to the Imperial War Museum to see the ‘Once Upon a Wartime’ exhibition which was amazing (and for another post)
The other slice of bread in my week-end sandwich (Sunday) was spent visiting a new friend who lives in Canary Wharf. That too is for another post but I can tell you the slice came from a top quality baker and had olives, nuts and fruit in it.
So to the filling – Cybermummy 2011. Let me start by saying I had a great time. I hadn’t intended to go because I had assumed that the speakers and workshops would be concentrating on the ‘Mummy’ bit and being nearly 60 (and not a grandma) that did not really interest me. When the programme came out however, there was a lot about the ‘Cyber’ part of blogging and I wanted to know more about being successful.
Thanks to the generosity of Melinda at Her Melness Speaks –Out! my ticket was paid for and so having been dropped at the door by hubby (who was off to London Zoo) in I went. My immediate reaction was – blimey! Reception was a hive of activity full of smiling faces and a huge green dinosaur. Making my way up the stairs, I was then launched into a frenzy of bag and freebie giving. I was sure it had said that goody bags were to be given out at the END of the day.
Brand names, stands and more smiley faces were everywhere and I suddenly felt a bit out of my depth. I knew no-one. Well I did not recognize anyone because they are all ‘virtual’ contacts. I decided to grab a coffee, find a chair and try and sort out my ‘luggage’ as my arms were already aching. I was joined by the lovely Marianne from Maris World who proceeded to interview me! Gradually, I became accustomed to the activity and began to relax. It was 9.30am and the show was about to start.
The ‘SHOW’ was, for me, a great success. The keynote speakers gave me food for thought, especially Sarah Brown (yes, Gordon’s wife – THAT Sarah Brown). The workshops I attended did provide me with lots of tips on blogging and having a presence on the internet. I met up with people I feel I know which is always lovely and also made some new acquaintances.
All in all it was a super day but I am quite unsettled by one aspect of it. This is a badly taken picture of my ‘haul’.
I was travelling home on a train with luggage before I started so I did not take everything I was offered. Much of it will go to a friend’s daughter who is about to have her first baby so it won’t be wasted. My disquiet is about the amount. If you imagine 450 times this plusmore – it is an enormous amount given away.
I understand about branding and getting your product out there. I understand that having prizes such as large flat screen TVs and family holidays to Disney are all part of the conference experience but it was only a couple of weeks ago when I was supporting the work of Save the Children with their Pass It On campaign to get more children vaccinated. The children who write weekly supported a special 100 Word Challenge over at the Head’s Office and then followed the Maputo diaries of the bloggers who went to see for themselves. It was only 13th June when David Cameron pledged £814million to support this campaign.
For me there seems to be a mis-match here. Bill Gates got lots of plaudits for his involvement and donation to the campaign. I can’t help think that some of these goody bags could have done a far more important job had their companies given money to good causes. I doubt there were any bloggers there on Saturday who went for the freebies. I doubt that anyone not receiving freebies would have made negative comments about it. The goodies were there and I for one took them but perhaps we need to think about it for next time.
There will be a next time (providing those wonderful ladies Sian, Jennifer and Susana can do it all again!) From what I picked up, this year’s conference showed how far the blogging community of parents has come. Just think how much more we could do if the focus was changed slightly!This post is for the Gallery. Click the camera lens at the top to see some more great entries for ‘My Weekend’.