A couple weeks ago I had the great honor, privilege, fortune, opportunity….to attend the Disney Social Media Moms, Disney On The Road even in New York City. The experience was absolutely incredible, but let’s start from the beginning.
I opened my e-mail to see a message from Social Media Moms. I thought “Hey! Cool!! I can sign up for the event, I sure do hope they choose me!!” I filled out the form, and crossed my fingers. Then I saw a facebook message from a friend. “Did anyone else get invited to the event?” I responded with a “Not yet, but I sure hope I get one” Then I thought to myself…”perhaps I should check that e-mail again.
Do you see that? On the bottom? Where it has some writing that I somehow missed the first time? Yeah, thanks so much Mommy Brain!!
So, I saw that, and then I lost my mind a little bit! I was so incredibly excited I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I may have run around the living room, and done a little celebration dance. I may have.
And then I thought “OH LORD!! It’s a weekday, who will watch Avery?!?” You see, Avery usually joins me on all my blog related adventures, she’s kind of my little spokesperson who doesn’t say much. She’s my ice breaker. She makes me a lot less shy around strangers. But this was different. This was Disney Social Media Moms and I wanted to go without the worry of entertaining a tiny girl who sometimes has really cranky days. I wanted to be able to focus, take it all in, really absorb the amazing information that I knew would be dished out!
I called my mom. And while she had no idea what I was talking about, she said she’d watch Avery!
Fast forward to 4am (which is too early to buy coffee at the gas station dunkin, in case you’re curious) the day of the conference. I headed down to NYC with The Kraus House Mom behind the wheel! (THANK YOU!!) We made amazing time, and were the first to arrive at the Doubletree Midtown.
We hung out outside the ballroom and met some more bloggers as they arrived. We also picked up our badges.
I don’t know why, but these name badges always make me feel very important.
And then they gave us food!!
And I felt zero guilt eating that strawberry (since my strawberry allergy baby girl wasn’t there to see it!)
I was able to save this delicious Mickey treat for almost two weeks!!
Sulley joined us for breakfast, too!
First to speak was Founder and CEO of BSM Media Maria Bailey. She gave us quite the welcome and explained how important women are to the economy, and what Disney Social Media Moms is all about: Introducing people to the Magic Of Disney!
Following Maria’s welcome, Gary (PR & Social media guru for The Disney Parks) leapt on the stage. Literally. Gary has so much passion and energy it was contagious! He talked to us about everything new and super exciting at the Disney Parks, including the New Fantasyland, Stars Wars Weekends, the updates to Test track and the opening of Splitsville in Downtown Disney. He also talked with us about Disneyland and the new show Mickey and the Magical Map, Carsland (which I am dying to check out!) Buena Vista Street and Fantasy Faire (Avery would be in Princess heaven!) And, of course, we talked about Monster’s University and Disney’s Monstrous Summer events!
When Gary was done, keynote speaker, and true inspiration, Jenn Labit, founder of Cotton Babies & creator of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum cloth diapers, took to the podium. I felt as though she was speaking directly to me. She talked about how her family had once struggled with money, to the point where the had just $30 a week to spend on food for their family. She started a business selling baby slings, mom-to-mom, and eventually designed her won cloth diapers (and is now a world leader in the industry) She told us that we should never give up, and to pursue our dreams, but to be smart about it and learn from our failures while celebrating our successes. Have a plan, know who you are and what is important to you and have an exit plan, were some of her key points to all of us thinking about building our businesses. Jenn was so humble, so sweet and so inspiring, I was grateful to hear her speak.
Then it was time for the Momprenuer Panel. Lauren Levy: Magnificent Babies, Susanne Bodofsky and Robyn Spritzer: Hold On Handles, Bonnie Marcus:Bonnie Marcus Collection and Sandra Frawley: Babybindle & Seatpack. It was fascinating to hear from these women, who came from all different backgrounds about how their companies and products came to be and their advice for all of us budding Momprenuers!
Finally we heard from Disney Parks Global Content Dev. Dir. Michelle Stepney who taught us all about putting our best face forward! She reminded us that we are our brand, we represent ourselves as bloggers, and to make sure we “Stick with your expertise..if you don’t know about it then don’t talk about it” (which I think is key for anyone!)
Oh, and remember the Sulley plush that was hanging out on our table? Yeah, guess who won him??
ME!! (I never win anything, so I was super excited. And I may have an unhealthy obsession with Monster’s Inc/Monster’s University)
Avery really loves him!
The event was fun, informative and incredibly inspiring. I am so glad that I was able to attend and feel so blessed that I was invited and given this opportunity! While I didn’t really know what to expect, the experience was so much more than I could have dreamed it would be! Thank you so much to Maria and everyone at Disney Social Media Moms for inviting me!