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’.

Cybermummy Goodies
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’.

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22 comments

  • Pingback: Canary Wharf and Parkinsons – the last slice! | Julia's Place

  • I liked your sandwich analogy! I’ve loved reading everyone’s different take on Cybermummy 2011. Your friend did well from your haul, glad it can go to a good home though and not be wasted x

  • what can I say – I love this post, true, true, true.
    I was so glad to meet you, as your know my hit list was fairly small and you were on it, so I am so very glad we finally met, it was brief but it was a pleasure. I found it utterly overwhelming on arriving too.
    Christine’s comment made me feel a little emotional – you’ve seen my post today, I would love blogging to be a force for change less than a force for consumerism. It’s a difficult environment, as we are both aware the PR stuff is appealing to many.
    Did your husband make a brief appearance at the after party? I thought it might be him?
    Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend.

    • We are making a difference in some quarters but I think it could be huge. It was super to get together. I didn’t have many folk to connect with either. As for hubby – yes he came into collect me bless him!

  • Hey Julia, so glad you had fun. I hadn’t clicked that you were going to be there. I got offered a ticket at the last minute by Johnsons but couldn’t quite fathom childcare (and didn’t know what Johnsons would want in return!) but if I’d put two and two together and realised the chance for a chinwag for you I’d have left the dog to mind the girls 😉

    I agree re the freebies… but glad that some of yours are going to be appreciated by a new mum. that’s lovely. xxx

    • It would have been lovely to have you there. I felt quite wobbly when I got there. I think you would have found it quite over-whelming at first because it was quite close unlike BECTA. Next time maybe?!

  • Good point and reflective post.
    I try to balance my product reviews type stuff with ensuring I promote one good cause per day on my new blog. Self-analysis, moaning, ranting, raving all have their place but if we can change the world for the better, count me in every time

  • I struggled with the commercialism and PR push having just returned from Mozambique…the contrast between where I had been and where I found myself on Saturday was almost too painful to bear. It was lovely meeting all the lovely people and that is what I am holding in my heart. Good to see you if all too brief! xxx

  • We both had a sandwich of a weekend then! Thanks for your comments on my post. I forgot the day I spent directing a play in a primary school on Friday, that was the other part of my sandwich! I have a bag of stuff I may freecycle, and even wondered about starting a cybermummy goody bag freecycle on my blog. I may have missed the boat. It was nice to hear Hello Its gemma donating her prizes to charity.

    • I didn’t get any prizes but my goodies have all gone to a youngster just about to have her first baby. Makes you feel good! Thank you for popping along!

  • Thats a really good point. Imagine if all those goodies had been sent to children who really need them. Now that would have been amazing.

    At Christmas I think we should do a huge Mummy Blogger Samaritans Purse – Operation Christmas Child push and make 100s of shoes boxes full of christmas gifts to send out.

    x

  • It was lovely to meet you and I will see to the video going up today so you can use it – you come over very well I must say 🙂 Lovely post and yes, my arms were killing me getting my goodie stash home that night but we have babes in the family who will love those gifts
    speak soon

    • Hello & thanks you for visiting! I brought loads back with me because I could use them it was just coming so close to #Pass It On, it felt a bit weird. Looking forward to the video!

  • Julia I really enjoyed your take on this and your comments about the 450 hauls and save the children really struck a chord!
    Glad you made it there x

  • I adore your sandwich metaphor for your weekend. I never heard about the Cybermummy seminars before–interesting.

  • This is a very interesting take on the subject of Cybermummy. I have yet to go to one but have been reading people’s posts about it to see if I’ve missed out. I didn’t really fancy going but I do feel I’ve missed out on meeting other bloggers. I’d have liked to have sat and chatted with you, talked about schools, being a governor etc, and let everyone else pick up the baby goodies!

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