If there’s one thing I came away from Cybher* with it is the message that we should all make love – and not start wars. An inspiring first Keynote speech by Zoe Margolis talking about Cyber bullying and how she was treated because she was a woman who wrote about sex. That what we ought to be doing is supporting one another.
This event made me more confident as a woman and as a blogger before I even attended.
Firstly the fact that I was asked to be a Most Wanted correspondent (the lifestyle magazine from the UK’s #1 voucher site, VoucherCodes.co.uk) gave me a real boost (they paid for my entry ticket and transport costs). Then secondly because my husband always holds my hand for me (and would have driven me to London and back if I had let him) but I decided that it was time to be brave and do something on my own. So again, thank you the empowerment of just going to London on my own, and finding my way around and meeting new people.
Sian, the Cybher event organiser, was very helpful in helping me sort out my ticket, the Cybher twitter account reassured me on my journey that I didn’t need a printed out ticket. Thanks to the twitter list that MyTwoMums had produced I could find out who else was going, noting people who I already “knew” online and finding new connections.
I made a list of people who said they would say hello to me, and those of people I really wanted to meet. My main worry was that I would offend someone, if I didn’t know what to say, I think I may come across as confident but really I’m rather insecure. A bit of advice I received off a fellow blogger Mammasaurus is to ask people for their business cards – this really meant that when I got home I could easily track down the people I had spoken to.
I wore a t-shirt with my Logo on – and I feel this really helped, as people approached me with an idea of who I was. There seemed less shyness about speaking to me, or awkwardness of asking who I was – and before I had stepped inside into the venue there was much chatter.
Once inside the impressive venue, and after collecting my badge, I was delighted to find that I could just take a lovely Leather Satchel Co making me one of the first people in the World to possess their new “Pod” bag. They, in their own words, use a ‘revolutionary printing and tanning process that allows them to produce single pieces of leather with almost design printed on them in photographic quality.’ They are a small family business based in the North-West of England where they have been hand crafting satchels and leather goods since the 1960s.
I love my satchel so much that I’m recommending that you get one too PLUS they have given me a £5 VOUCHER to give to you!
There were many tips on how to tidy your blog, and make sure it sits right with the new Google Penguin update – and some things were just a matter of preference: For example, whether to watermark your pictures or not. There were tips about how to make your blog better (photo taking etc) and how to promote them using social media. And important points, such as if you are paid to insert a link that you legally MUST declare it, make it no follow (or you may result in losing your Google Page Rank).
The most important thing for me was the positivity I felt about the`Pinkoddy Brand‘ after hearing these talks. Donal Mcintyre The Art of Modern Storytelling – said to be an individual, have your own voice and do not try to sound the same as the others. Doug Richard and Medeia Cohan – How to make your blog pay – also talked about the importance of your USP and that it’s when you have a community, rather than an audience, that makes you powerful. It’s how you engage and not how many people are following you. In fact this was reflected back to me when Maggy Woodley – The Art of Plus Size: Google+ told me that she receives lots of e-mails from me (due to my Google+ settings) but hasn’t unfollowed me because of who I am! (I’m still trying to sort my e-mail issue out too!!).
This brings me back to the personal preference thing. I think you need to decide what you want from your blog – what is it’s purpose. If you want to show Brands that you are loyal and honest then keep linking to fellow bloggers – regardless of their Page Rank.
I learnt that Blogs are very important for the future as more people are turning to the internet rather than the shops. People now compared prices online and look for reviews of things before they buy. People are more likely to listen to a trusted source. Bringing “real” people, people they can read about their lives, get to know, are more likely to influence their spending choices than an actor on the television. Blogs can also help others, and make changes – you may be a small blog, but if you write good quality content, then it only takes one person who knows lots of people to share it and get it out there.
Thank you to all the sponsors – in fact I had such a good time conversing with the brands that the whole morning flew by and I missed the Ditch the Fugly and Keeping it Legal sessions that I did mean to attend. However, I did speak to other bloggers about them and found it interesting to discover what they took from the sessions. Special thanks to Browhaus for shaping my eyebrows, Freya Lingerie for helping spread the message that the right size bra is really important, Battle Box for letting me plug in my iPhone (if you are going to an even make sure you have a charger!), Collective Bias for the Cocktail Party.
Thank you to the event organisers for all your hard work.
As my decision to attend was last-minute then I would like to suggest that an improvement is really giving more of an idea about which hotels are available, as the 2 on the website were rather pricey. Also that if there were something put in place for those who are lost/shy/nervous I am sure that would be a great help.
Special thanks to all the bloggers that made my day so great.
If you are at Britmums Live and are shy then please come over and see me. If you find I don’t know what to say then that is more to do with me than you, and give me your card :O)
* an empowering women, female only, blogger event, which aims to bring together the most influential bloggers and speakers to inspire, network and share tips about blogging.
I received a free entry ticket for Cybher and transport costs for this report. All opinions are my own and all links are my choice to add and not associated with the affiliate.