After a full day of panels, schmoozing, coffee breaks, lunch, readings, quiz, prize-giving, hugging, back and thigh-slapping, it felt closer to midnight than 7pm.
Back in the hotel, the party was still going.
I had arrived for registration at 9.30am filled with a mix of anticipation and awkwardness. I watched women pounce on each other excitedly, some having come together in coaches and even in costume (Pink Ladies in the house!), many already firm friends on and offline.
Luckily I was queueing behind the lovely Jacqui from Mummy’s Little Monkey (above), glowing in her sixth month of pregnancy. She became my main giggle buddy for the day.
Bloggers are a strange, mostly nocturnal bunch and Cybermummy brought our virtual selves sharply into focus. It was a funny, slightly unsettling experience rubbing up against such diverse women who all spend a considerable amount of their time bashing away at the keys, sharing intimacies with complete strangers.
Looking around the well-dressed hall, the 180 attendees and the range of sponsors and marketers who had gathered to be ‘part of the conversation’, one thing was clear. Mummy blogging is becoming a force you can’t ignore.
There was so much packed into the day it was hard to digest. I’ll be sharing another post with some nuggets I picked up from sessions on audience, stats and working with brands.
Overall, Cybermummy was about sisterhood and empowerment. We whooped as organisers Sian, Susanna and Jen took the stage. We cackled at Gigi from MumsRock’s wisecracks and gasped at Gina from BlogHer’s stats (from 250 to 2500 bloggers at the last BlogHer conference). We bloomed with pride and possibility.
Most of all, we sniffled through a keynote of blog posts read by bloggers like Sandy Calico from Baby Baby and Jen from The Mad House. Just as I was tearing up for the umpteenth time, I got this photo from hubby that threatened to send me over the edge.
I was having a blast but I missed my babies.
Other highlights included the quiz (our team ‘Nappy Brain’ were ace on ’80s song lyrics but not much else), meeting bloggers familiar and new, the endless prizes (I won a month’s supply of Garofalo pasta!) and of course cupcakes galore!
When I got home, a friend came round and I told him I’d just got back from a conference for mums who blog.
‘How bizarre,’ he said. Then as I told more tales and unveiled my bag of swag, he added, ‘That’s pretty cool.’
It was all that and then some. Thanks to the Cybermummy team for an inspirational event.
Next year, better make it a weekender.