Don't get me wrong I actually enjoyed Britmums and learnt an awful lot about working with brands, making the most out of your blog by adding pictures and so many other things that I use today, but it was hard work and I see familiar tweeters heading off there again this year, with the same issues and worries, namely:
What if no one speaks to me?
Put any group of people together and you'll discover they have little in common apart from the fact they are bloggers, tweeters, Mums (and Dads) stay at home/work part time/work full time.
I met people last year at Britmums that I admired, people whose blogs I read and enjoyed, people I wanted to meet and surprisingly people who wanted to meet me and actually sought me out.
However I met a few people who I never wish to meet again, in fact I unfollowed quite a few while I was there, especially the woman who walked up to me, took one look at my name tag and said 'oh you're Chickenruby' and turned her back on me to talk to the person I was with. A couple of other people did not come across as the person I knew online, looked different, sounded different from how I thought and in a lot cases acted very differently to the way they do online.
There were a lot of cliquey groups, seated together, attending the same seminars, closing others out, but hey that's their problem, not yours. A lot of you seem to raise this issue generally whether it's about Britmums, the school playground or an after school activity.
If I can give you any tips on how to make the most out of Britmums, how to relax and enjoy yourself, it would be:
Wear what you would normally wear for coffee with a friend, be comfortable and feel comfortable.
Don't automatically follow someone on twitter just because you've just met them.
Don't be afraid to unfollow someone when you have met them.
Don't worry about sitting on your own or joining another person who is also sitting on their own.
Don't be afraid to get up and walk away from a group or an individual if it's not 'your thing' say you need the loo, just be polite.
Remember most people in the room are probably feeling the same way as you are, nervous and apprehensive. The online world isn't the real world, you sit at home, go out with your friends for coffee, play dates with the kids, work and when the weekend comes you socialise with 'real' people and tweet and blog about your experiences and share with an online world, that you don't actually live in.
I'll leave you with my most awkward Britmums moment.......On the Friday night, I sat down for dinner with a group of people I'd never met before and the woman on my right said 'Why did you block me on twitter?'