I was so thrilled to get an email inviting me to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, Disney on the Road San Francisco. I had heard about the Disney Social Media Moms conference and had always thought how great it would be to go.
The conference was at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley California. I only live about an hour south, so it worked out PERFECT for me. It was suggested we arrive after 7:30, but I had heard from social media friends that attended in NYC and DC that arriving at 7:30 and not any later gives you more time to meet everyone and network. I braved the rush hour traffic and headed up and arrived at 7:30 on the dot.
I checked in, dropped my business card in the basket for door prizes, I was given my bag of swag and my name badge lanyard. We mingled for a little while before the doors opened for us to seat ourselves at the tables. At each seat was some material about Disneyland and Walt Disney World. There was lots of fun info about new things happening at the resorts, such as the new Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom and the new stage show, Mickey and the Magical Map, at Disneyland. I actually got to see this show on its opening weekend and you can read my recap here. There were also delicious Mickey rice kripsy treats at each seat.
We were quickly served our breakfast of a personal size quiche and some fruit. Yum!
Each of the tables had a fun Monsters University Character on them as a center piece that was later given to someone at each table.
Maria Bailey, who you can find at momtalkradio.com, led the show and was full of so much information and some things that I had never even thought about before. She talked about the importance of balancing your work and being a mom. Maria has an amazing background and very impressive and extensive experience. She seems to be the “go to” expert on marketing to moms. Maria is also an author and has her own radio talk show. She shared a tip which was, when your child is talking to you do you look at the whites of their eyes? Your child wants your undivided attention. Maria had lots more helpful tips like making sure you have your contact info on your blog, as in more than just a hard to find email address. Maria shared with us some impressive statistics about mom owned businesses. Did you know that there are 5.5 million mom owned businesses and they add 1.7 trillion dollars to the economy?!?!?! Amazing!
Michele Himmelberg, who is the Public Relations Director for Disneyland Resort, spoke to us next about what is going on at the Disney Parks. I get to go to Disneyland at least 5 times a year and Walt Disney World about 5 times a year and have been lucky enough to see the new stage shows and the new rides. If you haven’t been lately I can’t say enough about how Disney puts such amazing magic into everything they do. Erin Glover was also there, who some of you might know from her great writing at the offical Disney Parks Blog. If not check it out! The Disney Parks Blog has some really fun and interesting articles.
Next up was Mindee Doney, who was one of the founders of Boogie Wipes. This was especially exciting because Boogie Wipes have been a big part of my life with my now 3 year old. When my daughter was born she only weighed 3lb 15ozs and was to tiny to use a bulb syringe on, so Boogie Wipes came in very handy on that teeny tiny little nose. Mindy talked about her journey with us. Mindee created Boogie Wipes when her daughter was a baby. Her daughter freaked out at the sight of the bulb syringe and didn’t want it near her, so Mindee put the saline solution on a wipe and sure enough it worked really well. As a mom I can totally relate. A lot of times our best ideas of products we need don’t exist yet. This is how mompreneurs are born!
Mindee’s father gave her the picture in the bottom right that says “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment.” This is so true in so many aspects of life.
Mindee shared her stories about the tough times too and how being a mom isn’t an easy job. I think any mom can relate to this. I enjoyed Mindee and her presentation so much. You can be a great mom and you can be great at business, but you can’t be supermom at EVERYTHING. Truth.
You can learn more about Mindee Doney and her consulting company Juicebox Consulting here. (Isn’t that a great name?!?! Love!)
After Mindee Doney was done with her inspiring presentation, Maria Bailey introduced the mompreneur panel. All 3 of them were winners of the Huggies Mom Inspired Grant. The grant is $15,000 to moms who have a great product idea and need help getting the business off the ground. Erin Kelly created the Hulaybe Happy Changer. Alma Moussa created the Babee Covee. Romy Taormina created Psi Bands (who you also might have seen on Shark Tank). You can visit all of their links to learn more about their inspired products. Maria did a question and answer panel discussion and it was very interesting to hear how they got their ideas and than what they did to start making their product ideas a reality.
Lastly we got some great advice from Michelle Stepney, who is the Public Relations Director for Global Content Development at Disney. She is another women with AMAZING credentials! The most important thing I took away from her presentation was that nothing is ever off the record. Someone can always “use” anything you say. To me this is a constant reminder that what I put on the internet will always be out there even if I delete it.
This wrapped up the conference and in my opinion it was a huge success!
In our awesome swag bag we got a super cute shirt with Snow White and a trunk organizer by Case Logic. I love Snow White and organization so I was a happy camper.
The time went by SO fast. There were so many other people there that I “know” from social media and didn’t get a chance to catch up with. I learned so much in such a short period of time and made so many new friends and connections. I feel so fortunate to have been able to go to Disney on the Road in San Francisco.
Did I mention that there is a huge Disney Social Media Moms celebration annually? The last couple years it has been at Walt Disney World and the conference lasts several days. In 2014 it will be at the Disneyland Resort! There is no way to apply or buy entry, it is by invite only…so maybe with a little faith, trust and pixie dust an invite will find its way!