Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Experience at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference


On June 27 I had the privilege of attending my first blogger conference. It was the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. Disney decided to take this annual event on the road this year, and held the conference in 4 cities around the U.S.  I attended the Seattle event. 

I wouldn't have known about this event if my good friend and fellow blogger Tiffany, from Lookie Boo hadn't told me about it. After she said she was attending the San Francisco event, I was motivated to get into the Seattle one! I didn't have a Twitter account until recently (I know, I know...took a while), but once I got one, I starting tweeting @DisneySMMoms, hoping to get an invite. :) I thought it would be a great experience for me, and I especially loved the part that said it was free! That's always a perk! 

After receiving the e-mail invitation, I hurriedly ordered business cards so I could hand them out while networking at the conference. I left Wednesday morning and headed to Kirkland (just outside of Bellevue & Seattle area). Since I didn't need to be at the Sheraton until 7:30 Thursday morning, I took the opportunity to get some time with my friend and her husband, who graciously hosted me for the evening. Always nice to have an excuse to see a dear friend and have the opportunity to do something to better my knowledge as a blogger. 

Thursday morning wake up call was 5am! I wanted to have time to eat breakfast with my friends and not rush too much. The plan was to meet some other bloggers I met over Twitter and Facebook, for coffee before the event. We were going to meet at 6:30, mingle and then head to the hotel where the conference was being held. Unfortunately, due to bad weather and the fact I'm directionally challenged, I didn't make to Starbucks. As I huffed about missing my pre-planned meet up, and missing out on my morning cup-o-joe, my mood instantly perked when I saw a restaurant attached to the hotel. That meant I had time to get a coffee! You don't understand.... it was necessary. After paying an outrageous amount for just a black coffee with cream, I made my way into the hotel. 

I was greeted in the hallway by smiling faces and instantly relaxed. It can be a little intimidating not knowing a single person, and being at a new place. But then I realized, most of us were in the same boat. Away from our home town, not knowing most people, or in my case anyone, and for many, it was their first blogger conference as well. Conversation came easily amongst the women I spoke with. 

Registration started at 7:30am. We formed a line, grabbed our name tags, were handed a Disney tote bag with some goodies (yay!) and made our way into the conference room. The room had round tables throughout, with a Monster's Inc. stuffed animal decorating each table. At each place setting, there was a chocolate-dipped rice Krispie treat in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head. Cute! I saved that for my car ride home. :) 

We were served a very nice breakfast of potatoes, quiche and a fruit. They also brought out baskets of muffins and croissants, and had orange juice and coffee for us. It tasted so good! Thankful for the great meal to get my morning off to a good start, and thanks to the OJ for kicking my blood sugar into action! 

We had time to mix and mingle, and most people walked around, handing out business cards and meeting new people. I took the opportunity to walk to as many tables as possible to give my card and collect them, since I wasn't sure how much time we would have at the end of the conference. I met some lovely ladies, who I look forward to connecting with more, and hopefully seeing again at a future blogger event in the PNW! 

The conference began around 9:30am. Erin Glover, Manager of Social Media & Print for Disney, made a few announcements regarding the exciting new things happening at Disney parks. I can say this.... I've never wanted to go to a Disney park as badly as hearing the updates made me want to NOW! There are so many awesome new things to experience! Gimme Gimme. Time to start saving..... and I will start 'wishing on a star' that I get invited to attend the official 2014 Disney Social Media Moms event in Anaheim! I want to go SO badly! It's a more in-depth conference, and they invite your family to join you too! What a great chance to create an unforgettable family vacation! 

Mindee Doney, Author and Creator of Boogie Wipes 

Next up was the keynote speaker, and in my opinion, the highlight of the conference. I loved listening to Mindee speak. She had such a great presence, and was completely transparent about both her professional and personal life. She was genuine in speaking to us about where her journey has brought her, through mistakes and difficult times, as well as successes. She was so thorough; I could hardly keep up with my note-taking. So many good points I wanted to remember!

Some of my favorite "Take Home" remarks from Mindee:

- How do you really stay in the journey? Embrace. Empower. Expect.
You are not alone. Other moms know exactly what you're going through. You cannot be Super Mom at everything. You can be super at something, or a few things, but you can't be super at everything.

- Accept your responsibilities. Rock your talents. Believe in the big picture.

- It's okay to give yourself grace to accept where you are in your current chapter of life. If you can't do something  in this season of your life, you'll get there. There will be other opportunities.

- Know when to say "No". Nurture what resets us. Ask for help; specifically and honestly. Believe in your village; their way works too.

- Start as you mean to go. Believe that you're good enough to choose how you use your time and say "No" when necessary. Then ask yourself, "How does this balance my wants versus my needs?". 

- The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment.

- Cherish the highs; be in the lows. Set regular goals according to your current chapter of life. Choose a pace that balances needs versus wants.

- There is no pause button, rewind or fast forward when it comes to the journey. Peace hangs out in our scrapbooks, itineraries and gratitude.

- When we choose daily to embrace life and empower potential, we can easily expect our journey to be 'happily ever after'. 

After the event concluded, a group of about 20 of us went to eat lunch at Azteca, right next door to the hotel. It was so nice to have more time to chat with the women I met, and get to know each other a little better. They are a great group of women.

Despite the very long drive home (lots of traffic and poor weather), it was worth my time and energy. It was a great experience, and I definitely want to attend more blogger events in the future! Now I get to use the things I learned to better myself and my blog. Can't wait! 

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great conference! So glad you were able to get your business cards all set.

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  2. Thanks Amy! It all worked out great. :) Love your blog by the way! I just joined Blog Lovin' and have been enjoying reading some of your posts!!

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