I’ve been fortunate to attend a few blogger conferences in the 2 years I’ve been tapping at the keyboard; whether Bloggy Boot Camp or SheCon, I’ve searched for the precious tidbits… Those pearls of wisdom that would adorn DIStherapy. My PT professor once said that if you have just one solid takeaway from any conference, you’ve gotten your money’s worth. Well, at last September’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration “On-The-Road” Long Island I had five… (And it was free!)
Top 5 Takeaways and Tips
1. Since this was a Disney-based event, it felt like a family affair!! Putting human faces on Twitter handles solidified those relationships, and relationship building is a very large part of any such gathering. Luckily, a solid group of us gathered early for registration, and we put that time to good use!
|Look! It’s @DragynAlly and @KathyKellyRN!!|
|We even got a sneak preview from one of the Keynote Speakers, dynamo @TheMojoCoach aka Debi Silber.|
My tip? This is a half-day celebration, so don’t miss a minute of what this golden opportunity is gifting you. Push your Sleeping Beauty traits aside and arrive early, early, early!
2. As said, the power and value of networking at these gatherings cannot be underestimated. By pure coincidence and several degrees of separation, the gals we sat with that day were all social media princesses in their own right. Linda @RunEatDisney is a running machine (I swear she runs at least a half every weekend) and runDisney costume ace . I followed her epic trials during this year’s Boston Marathon, and was so glad for the connection during that difficult time. Erin @LoveDisneyRun is a social media runDisney guru. Susan @MacKidSuze is editor, publisher, PR/Marketing Exec for Macaroni Kid LLC and is everywhere on the web. Add in bloggers from Special Mouse and The Dragyn’s Lair and it became quite the table of talent!
Another tip- don’t be shy. It never hurts to introduce yourself and meet new folks. You might just find your next social media BFF.
3. Business Cards Thank goodness for these little memory-joggers. All dutiful conference goers wear lanyards stuffed with their business cards proudly. But these double as around-the-neck rolodexs. DO exchange cards with your fellow bloggers and file them in your lanyard. Upon returning home, create a lanyard collection. In six months, when you are struggling to remember that oh-so-important contact from the local parenting magazine, simply return to your swinging “filing cabinet”. You just never know who you might meet and who might become a powerful mentor.
4. Take notes, tweet, post to Instagram; you name it. But give yourself the chance to truly listen to the speakers and be inspired. The speakers at the Disney Social Media Moms “On-The-Road” seem to be hand-picked for not only mompreneurial know-how, but for their pixie dust and inspirational value.
|One of my heroes, Maria Bailey of Mom Talk Radio|
Despite their successes and achievements, they do make us feel as though anything is possible as long as you believe. One by one they pull us into the sisterhood, leaving no one behind. “We’re in this together gals” seems to be the message, and empowerment is the result. (Unfortunately, the videos from several of these speakers have been removed from the Disney Social Media Moms Event Gallery.)
My suggestion? Do some research on the background of your speakers. For the 2012 session, I put together a “Disney On-The-Road” board on Pinterest; it helped me to get maximum value for maximum magic!
5. In the literal takeaway category- swag. Think of it as a party favor. After all, any Disney celebration should be a joyful one. Considering this conference was a freebie, I must confess that I wasn’t expecting anything beyond content. However, we were given t-shirts (perfect pajamas), a utility bag, and this beauty that sits on my desk every day:
Not only does it remind me of lessons learned, it always produces a smile. Always. I love it! If this year’s celebrations come bearing gifts, display them proudly; they are links to yet another form of magical Disney memories.
Come this Wednesday, Disney Social Media Moms “On-The-Road” Celebration is at it again, and spreading its reach across the country:
Manhattan, New York Wednesday, June 5th
Bethesda, Maryland Friday, June 7th
Berkeley, California Tuesday, June 25th
Bellevue, Washington Thursday, June 27th
Will you be there? What are you most looking forward to? I will be in attendance in New York City, eagerly looking for familiar faces, ready to make new contacts, with my listening Ears wide open, and with a renewed eagerness to learn. I believe!!!