“Muuuummy, come and fiiiiind meeee”
That’s how I was woken up on Saturday morning, and thank goodness for Sausage because my alarm on my iPhone failed to go off for some unknown reason, which meant that my planned 6am rising became a 7.20am rising…and my train was due at 7.58am. Somehow (and it must’ve been magic or a fold in the space-time continuum) I managed to shower, wash, dry and straighten my hair, get dressed and to the station in a cab in time to get the right train! Actually, sod magic, I deserve some credit here; the reason it was so easy to get ready is that I was organised to the nth degree and had my bag packed, clothes laid out and shoes by the front door. I threw my make-up into my handbag and did it on the train.
The train journey was uneventful (except when “I Don’t Smoke The Reefer” came on my iPod and made me laugh out loud, like a mad woman, in a packed carriage) and I watched Twitter and Facebook as the excitement built amongst the blogging community. Because Sian had the genius idea to hold Cybher so centrally, I only had two tube changes and my travel was super easy. Once I got out of Charing Cross station, it was just a short walk to the venue and I didn’t get lost once, quite an achievement for me in London!
The venue was beautiful, a mixture of old-fashioned glamour and modern clean lines, it oozed class. We queued to get in and lots of bloggers were moving up and down the line, recognising each other from their pictures online. Once we checked in, we got to choose our very own Cybher branded leather satchel, which is probably the best free gift I’ve ever got at an event. The bags are so well made and utterly gorgeous.
The main ballroom is where the action began with the intro from Sian and then the panel discussion, which was informative and totally relevant to what’s going on. I saw a few tweets about people’s opinions of one of the panel speakers, who made it clear that blogging was a business and that it didn’t matter what the blog was about, as long as it was commercial. I think it highlighted the division in the blogging world, about what people want and expect from their blogs and really made me think about Mum’s the Word and where I want to take it.
The next talk was from Zoe Margolis, who is my new hero. I’m sure you’ve read about all of this on other blogs, but I found her really inspiring. The thing that struck me about her was that, even this many years after what happened to her at the hands of the press, you could still see a genuine sadness and vulnerability, however you could tell that she’s extremely strong and has real character, the combination of which makes for a very interesting and urbane person. I’d love to go to the pub with her and just have a chat, you know?!
We stuck around in the ballroom to hear Spark and Fuse with Di Coke talking about the laws and rules surrounding competitions and not only was the material (which had the potential to be quite dull and legislation-heavy) delivered brilliantly and I found every scrap of information useful in this session, I’m really glad I went.
During the next session, I attended Phillipa Davies’ talk ‘Blog to Book in 30 Days with WordPress’, which was great but not what I thought it would be. Phillipa was so charismatic and natural, I could have listened to he for hours and her anecdotal style was very comfortable to watch.
I have to say, I heard several people say that the sessions were not very clearly titled. Two people I spoke to ended up in the Digital Diaries session, which happened to revolve around having kids, though neither of them have children. I wonder how many other people ended up in sessions that were unsuitable, because of lack of clarity?
To be continued….