What do you get when you mix fun hosts, savvy female entrepreneurs, new and experienced bloggers, a room full of anticipation…and Disney?
Yes, you guessed it…the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration on the Road in DC!
This conference is such a full and informative experience. Not only do you have the occasion to become more familiar with what make Disney so special (for all ages and stages of life), but Disney on the Road offers mom bloggers (and dad bloggers) the rich opportunity to hear from and ask questions of moms who are entrepreneurs and are running very successful businesses of their own. A great time was had by all, and I am sure that each of us will be digesting this experience for weeks to come. Allow me to share a few highlights of my experience and give you a taste of what the conference felt like.
The experience. The DSMMC on the Road in DC was very organized and ran in a very timely fashion from 7:30 registration to 12:30 wrap up. During the hour of registration we were given our name tags and goodie bags (yay!) and we had the opportunity to connect and network with all the attendees. And I have to tell you, there were smiles and laughter aplenty, and many business cards were exchanged. Many bloggers, including myself, were attending a blogging/social media conference for the first time, and many were meeting the person behind the logo/twitter handle for the first time as well. Of course, we were taking pictures of new friends, ourselves, our tables (and monsters ON the tables, lol) and the wonderful organizers of Disney on the Road. Then at 8:30, a lovely breakfast was served, and all the ladies (and one dude) were getting their electronic devices ready to take notes, tweet, FB, and Instagram.
From 9:15 until 12:30 was the bulk of what we came for. We heard from the conference hosts and keynote speaker, and then there was a “Mompreneur” Panel which we heard from as well, and special presentation on dealing with the media. And woven throughout our time on Friday were various giveaways which had us cheering for one another and squealing with delight for the winners! After the last prize was given and conference host Maria Bailey closed the event, we were free to stay and connect some more…and that we did! We just didn’t want the experience to end, and we wanted to let the speakers know how much their words and openness meant to us.
The speakers. As I mentioned before, DSMMC on the Road host and leading authority on marketing to moms, Maria Bailey, greeted us and was our moderator throughout the event. Also in attendance were Leanne Jakubowski, Director of social media for the Disney parks. we also had the pleasure of experiencing Gary Buchanan, social media managing editor and PR manger for Disney, and he recapped the Monstrous Summer 24 hour event on May 24th in a very cool video presentation 😉 He also highlighted some of the new things that will be happening at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland/California Adventure this summer…big fun!
The lovely Jennifer Labit was our keynote speaker, and she captivated us with the story of her journey with Cotton Babies, Bum Genius, and EconoBum, her cloth diaper enterprises. I was blessed by her humility, transparency, strength, and encouragement to us. She is a powerful and compassionate woman, wife, and mom who is impacting families for generations to come.
We then switched gears to the Panel, and we got to hear from Frederique (Fred) Irwin of Her Corner, Anastasia Dellaccio of Dolci Gelati, and Christina Daves of Medi Fashions. Maria moderated and shared with us as well. It was refreshing to hear the stories of how these ladies started their businesses and what they’ve learned and done along the way. They were very open with us on their triumphs and struggles and very relatable as women! We had the opportunity to ask questions of the Mompreneur panel throughout, and we garnered some great information and tips to help us get where we need to go.
The last segment was a presentation from Michelle Stepney, public relations content director for Walt Disney World. She gave us very practical tips on how to prepare for interacting with the media: “Preparing for your close up!” She infused humor into her segment as she taught us, and she was more than willing to answer the questions we had.
The conference then came to a close as Maria Bailey thanked us for attending (and we thanked her for having us). There was then a lot of mingling and sharing and picture taking, and no one really wanted to leave because it had been quite an experience!
In addition, there was so much good stuff that these women gave us to chew on that I want to dedicate a whole second post to lessons learned. Stay tuned for Part 2 😉
I am thankful to have been a part of Disney Social Media Moms Celebration on the Road in DC, no doubt. I learned a great deal, met some phenomenal ladies in the process, and made some new friends. Please visit www.dsmmoms.com for more information and follow #disneysmmoms on Twitter to follow the excitement!