Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On-the-Road, San Francisco Summary & Tips, Complimentary Event…
In the mom blogging community, one of the most coveted events to receive an invite to is Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (Disney SMMC). This conference happens only once a year and invitees can bring their families to Walt Disney World at a hugely discounted price. The speakers they have are amazing and the networking is even better, at least that’s what I’ve been told. Only 150 families can join in the event so many, many bloggers, such as me, sit on the sidelines and enviously follow the #DisneySMMoms on Twitter. That’s why Disney SMMC On-the-Road was introduced.
Mini-conferences are being held so even more blogging moms can benefit, on a small scale, from this amazing program. One such conference was held in the San Francisco Bay Area at the beautiful Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California. Fortunately, I was able to attend.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After all, much of the Disney SMMC seems shrouded in mystery. There was no theme park involved and only half a day was reserved. Could I really expect to gain anything from it? I have to tell you that this was the most moving, inspirational, and apropos conference I’ve attended, hands-down. Most of it had to do with the speakers.
Starting out our morning, Maria Bailey of Mom Talk Radio gave a great introduction and cleared up the main issues right away (i.e. who got the stuffed plush on the table and few initial giveaways). Apparently, Maria was the one that pioneered the SMMoms event with a main Disney rep. It actually started as FAM (familiarization) trips. She even addressed how one could get invited to the annual conference – basically we still don’t know as numerous ‘factors’ come into play.
With Disney Social Media Moms Celebration being planned for Disneyland next year, we heard updates about the park from one of the two PR reps. Lots of great stuff going on and coming.
Then it got juicy. Mindee Doney, creator of Boogie Wipes and owner of Juicebox Idea Consulting, shared everything we wanted to know (and more) about successful entrepreneurship. She covered the good, the bad, the ugly, and the ‘ah-ha’ moments. She went through what I’ve been headed toward – work overload, mental breakdown, and missing my child’s important moments. So what nuggets of wisdom did I gain from Mindee’s experience? That I need to ’embrace, empower, and expect’.
- To Embrace – Accept yourself in what you do and focus on what your good at. Keep focused on the big picture.
- To Empower – Know when to say ‘no’. Accept help and go ‘off-duty’ to reset yourself, otherwise you’re no good to anyone. When receiving that help, trust that their way works too. Let kids make some decisions to take more load off yourself (i.e. you know when they need you and when they’re just being lazy).
- To Expect – Time goes on so take your ‘work hat’ off to enjoy moments both good and bad. Weigh what you want and what you need. Schedule work time and set regular goals. If people expect things from you, it’s your fault for setting those expectations (i.e. answering emails at 1AM).
Since the conference, I’ve been more attentive to my daughter, enjoying more quality time with my husband, and living life offline. At the same time, I trying to learn to work smarter, not harder. By saying ‘no’ more and blocking out specific times for work, I’m able to get more done and feel like I’m more in control of my workflow. I still have several projects going on but I hope to handle everything better in the near future.
A great point from Maria was that it makes a huge difference if you look at the whites of your child(ren)’s eyes. Knowing they have your full attention makes a huge difference to them. At the same time, don’t feel too guilty for working as you are setting an example for your children and teaching them skills they can use in future.
The panel included Romy Taormina (creator of PsiBands), Erin Kelly (creator of Hulaby Diaper Changing Helper & 2013 Huggies MomInspired grant), and Alma Moussa (inventor of Babee Covee). These three women shared their stories on how they saw a need, thought “Hmm, someone should make something for that”, and then established a flourishing business based off a basic idea. The main point from them? Ask questions, network, and form relationships. Things might start small but need will spur growth. Balance will always be a constant struggle. A couple more speakers were scheduled but they got caught in travel mishaps.
Maria added that we too have a product – our time. When it comes to money, if you have a hard time asking for it, then have someone else do it that doesn’t share the same emotional attachment. She refers clients to her assistant for fee schedules.
Our last speaker was from Disney and she helped us with media training. The information we received is usually for internal use only. There are many misconceptions we might have when dealing with other media. This could affect our reputations adversely if we’re not clear on how to control the process.Here are a few tips:
- Get out your key messages, then stop talking.
- Nothing is ‘off the record’.
- Be mindful of nervous habits.
- Don’t make fun of the reporter or complain about the coverage.
- Reporters do NOT necessarily know more than you so don’t assume so.
- You owe reporters a response, not answer.
- Be confident in your brand.
Our wonderful session seemed way too short but, at the same time, we had A LOT to take in. I thoroughly enjoyed the On-the-Road conference. I gained so much knowledge and am so appreciative that it was all made available at no cost. How generous to provide such useful tools for emerging mom-preneurs. Plus, I was able to see some old friends and meet more new ones. Let’s just say that hugs were flying around left and right!
If the Disney SMMC is anything like what I experienced, no wonder it’s such a sought-after event. Maybe one day I’ll be able to tell you about that first-hand! Until then, it was a treat to be a part of this.
Many thanks go to Maria and BSM Media, Disney, Disneyland, and the featured speakers. You’ve done more for me in 4-1/2 hours than days and days of blogging seminars/sessions.
I attended this event at no cost and did not receive monetary compensation to write about it. I just wanted to share the great information I learned with readers that might find it useful. All opinions are my own.