After taking a year off of writing for my mommy blog I jumped back on the blogging train and started this blog I am a Disney Nerd. I was so thrilled to learn that I had been invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration on the Road Tour (@DisneySMMoms) when it stopped in Berkeley, CA. There was no doubt about it, I had to be there. The event is an off shoot of the much bigger event that happens once a year where a small group of about 150 mommy bloggers are invited to attend an exclusive conference in Walt Disney World. My goal is to attend the next one in 2014.
At the Berkeley event it was a rainy day in June! But that didn’t dampen our spirits at all. The room was electric with everyone networking, taking pictures and having fun. The event was hosted/organized by Maria Bailey of MomTalkRadio, MomTV and countless other mom inspired companies. She was a hoot to listen to and I loved hearing all of her stories about how she got to this point in her career while still being a mom. Tweeting during the event was Erin Glover from Disney Parks Blog. She was super great and after the event I talked to her about the blogging she did for the 24 hours Monsterous Summer event.
Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort gave us a wonderful overview of all the new and exciting things at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. At Walt Disney World there is the most wonderful update to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. My favorite thing to hear about was the new Gaston’s Tavern, Beasts Castle and Belle’s French village from “Beauty and the Beat” which is my favorite movie and by far my favorite princess. I would LOVE to have dinner in the “Be Our Guest” restaurant and listen to Enchanted Tales with Belle.
I was also happy to learn about a new value resort hotel at Walt Disney World called Art of Animation. I checked them out online and saw that they have a Cars themed room, Abby would LOVE to stay there, it looks really cool. Much like other value resorts the theming at the Art of Animation is over the top and over sized. I think it looks like a lot of fun. When we head to WDW I plan on staying at one of these types of properties. I like these because are affordable, clean and look like they are fun to stay at.
Michele also informed us that Cars Land in Disneyland is celebrating their 1 year anniversary! I have been to Cars Land and it is simply awesome. I really felt like I was visiting Radiator Springs, it was a trip! A new live stage show has been added to the Disneyland entertainment and it is called “Mickey and the Magical Map”. It features Mickey and a Magical Map (duh) that is as long as the stage. Characters that are involved in the show are from Mulan, Pocahontas, The Jungle Book and The Princess and the Frog. Lastly, there has been an update to the area just outside of Sleeping Beauty’s castle to the left before you cross into Fantasyland. It is called Fantasy Faire and here you can meet several Disney Princesses in the Royal Hall or during the musical show at the Royal Theater featuring Rapunzel and Belle.
The keynote speaker was Mindee Doney of Boogie Wipes fame and Juice Box Consulting. Her story was very inspiring. Her message was about making time for your family and establish boundaries in your business. It is ok to say “no” and to tell people what the expectations are in your work style. It’s ok to not respond to email at 11:00pm because if you do then you are setting that expectation for the next time and that client will be expecting you to respond outside of normal business hours. Her overall message was to embrace, empower and accept.
The next presentation was a Mom’s Panel made up of previous Huggies Mom Inspired Grant winners. They are Erin Kelly of the Hulabye diaper changer helper. I could have totally used that on Abby when she was a baby. Alma Moussa creator of Baby Covee which is a 6-in-1 luxury baby blanket and Romy Taormina creator of Psi Bands. It was very interesting to hear their stories about how they come up with their ideas and their solutions to the mommy / work / life balance. For more information about the Huggies Mom Inspired program go to http://www.HuggiesMomInspired.com
Lastly Michelle Stepney who is the Global Content Development for Disney Parks. She gave us some great tips on how to work with the media she was a hoot! Michelle also gave us the inside scoop on a Disney Parks Blog post about Disney character inspired fashions found on Main Street. You can check it out here – http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/06/disney-style-snapshots-main-street-style/
There were also wonderful prizes given away but I didn’t win any of those, which is ok because just attending the event was the best thing I could have won!
If you are attending a conference be sure to:
- Bring plenty of business cards – I only had 5 left when I got home and I brought 50. Clearly 50 was not enough.
- Bring your laptop, ipad or whatever you use to blog and bring the charger!! I would suggest purchasing a charger with a long cord as well. Maybe even bring a power strip and be the hero at the table and let everyone plug in. Most conference rooms have plugs located in the floor under the table but there could be only 1 or 2 outlets for a table of 10 people.
- Bring your camera (charge the battery, bring a back up battery or charger) and take a lot of pictures of the event and take pictures with the speakers and your new connections. These make for great social media opportunities when you get home.
- Tweet & Facebook during the event and use the event hashtag and tag the speaker and folks around you.
- Network, network and network - have you elevator pitch ready to go, look at the person in the eye and have a great handshake. Keep your networking quick and to the point. Write on the back of the business cards of the person you meet with information about them such as ‘email her asap’ or ‘connect her with jane’. Once you get home you will have man y business cards and it will be hard to recall all of the details you wanted to recall about each person.
- Lastly – this is something you need to do ahead of time but design your business cards without a glossy finish on the back and leave space for folks to take notes about you.
For more information about the tour visit this link – http://www.disneysmmoms.com/disney-smmc-on-the-road/