I was thrilled to receive an invitation to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road event, which I wrote about here. The On the Road version is meant to bring a small sampling of the annual DSMMC to a few different markets around the country, sharing the magic with some of the many who did not make it onto the coveted invitee list for the big celebration. The New York City stop was the one for me! I took the opportunity to visit family in the area, then headed in to Manhattan on the morning of June 5, 2013 to take part in #DisneyOnTheRoad!
a chance to start meeting and greeting before the presentation, the doors flew open and we were invited in to start the day.
There's nothing like finding Mickey treats and Walt Disney World information on your conference table! A delicious breakfast was served, during which we spent some time networking and meeting many bloggers and social media influencers from all over the Northeast. Business cards were exchanged, as well as handed in for giveaways- of which there were many! (See link below from @DisneyGalTricia, who includes some tips on business cards...)
Maria Bailey, of BSM Media and MomTalk Radio, was the host and Moderator of the Disney On the Road celebration. After giving an overview of the program, Maria introduced the first speaker- Disney's own Gary Buchanan!
Gary Buchanan is Disney Social Media Managing Editor- and a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm! He started off the day sharing insight and a few sneak peeks at what's in store from the Disney company in the coming months. Gary truly put he FUN in this day- it's impossible not to feel good when you hear him speak.
Gary Buchanan, man of unmatched enthusiasm!
The Keynote was Jennifer Labit, founder of Cotton Babies, who spoke about her journey- from an idea born out of need, to business possibility, startup, development, growth, and ultimately success. She was incredibly open, down to Earth, and inspirational with her story of perseverance, determination, and business acumen.
Next was a panel presentation featuring a variety of women entrepreneurs who have successfully launched businesses and carved their way while overcoming obstacles, building brands, and learning to adapt in the social media age. Each panelist had practical information to share, and I learned an incredible amount by listening to their stories and advice, and watching their interaction with participants.
Michelle Stepney, of Disney's PR department, was up next with "Get Ready for Your CloseUp"- a fantastic presentation on working with the media. She was engaging, dynamic, and reminded us all that we are how we present ourselves.
Reflections on the day:
There was an almost-overwhelming (but in a good way!) amount of content packed into an all-too-short period of time. I honestly cannot remember ever getting this much useful, inspiring, and topical information at any other conference. I could have spent a full week listening to these presenters. If this event was meant to give just a taste of the content of the annual Social Media Moms Conference- I can definitely see what all the excitement is about!
Real words of wisdom came from all quarters throughout the day. Just a few of the tidbits that stuck with me...
- If you look at the obstacle, you'll hit it every time- so look at the goal instead
- Choose who you follow wisely- you are who you surround yourself with
- If you don't want it to be repeated, don't say it- there's no such thing as "off the record"...
- Set social media boundaries- if you expect your family to follow them, you must follow them too
- Stick with your expertise!
- Every good business has an exit strategy
- Know your key messages, and stop talking when your message is delivered
- Figure out what you want your life to look like- and include that in your business plan
While all this information was incredible, there was another facet to this event that was equally important to me: being able to meet and spend time with several friends who I've come to know through various social media platforms. For example- Tricia, from www.disneygals.com, who put together this great post on Tips for Attending the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road; and Didi Marie, from www.distherapy.com- whose blog I've been following for quite some time, and who was the impetus for a fantastic meal after the event- a table for six in the heart of Rockefeller Center, at the Rock Center Cafe!
My incredible view at lunch
One of the very best parts: getting to spend time with these women!
L-R: @Distherapy, @DisneyGalTricia, @PlustheMagic, @lovethatmouse, @ANewDawnnBlog, @RI_mom
Follow them on Twitter, and check out their blogs...
Next stop: Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2014...in Anaheim, CA!!
Event disclosure: I was invited to attend this event, which included complimentary registration. I was not required or asked to write about it, and all opinions are my own.