Wall Street Journal that painted the moms that go Mom2 as sort of a group of partying housewives who are plotting and planning for any opportunity to leave the drudgery of their kids and housework on a purported "business trip" for the freeing lap of luxury that the Ritz-Carleton provides. This was taken to task in a number of MOM blogs and various other sites. See the Mom 2.0 Appropriate response here. (and see this hilarious photo taken by Cecily Kellogg of Babble.)
And based on my experience, the article did not create a very accurate picture. I am not denying that Ritz wasn't luxurious, or all that (because in fact, it was pretty flipping fabulous!-- overlooking the ocean, with amazing views of surfers, and swells, and a delicious wind full of flowers, carefully kept up gardens, and people waiting on you almost hand over foot)
|Some beautiful photos of Laguna Ritz Carlton|
by Stephanie Schwab
This year, I would estimate there were approximately 75% women to 25% men. The conference was both very luxe and very informative) Dove was the title sponsor of the event, and kicked off a #girlsunstoppable campaign, to help girls realize their true beauty and self-worth. (They were also the title sponsors of the Dad 2 Summit) Other sponsors included Honda, Whirlpool & Lowe's, CVS Minute Clinic, Starbucks, Treetop, Snugli, Arm & Hammer, Bissell, Jamba Juice, and a TON of other people. SEE THE FULL LIST HERE
There were lots of parties and giveaways, but most importantly, conference sessions. I had a great time sitting in on a number of sessions, meeting sponsors during the other portions, and yes indulging a little. I even had my first FACIAL! Sponsored by Dove. I am a #clownunstoppable!
Here's a few of my takeaways or favorite session parts. This is by no means complete.
1) THE POWER OF EMOTION
#girlsunstoppable to help combat self-esteem in girls (which is a great program, and I hope they expand it to #kidsunstoppable), brought in powerhouse speakers like Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador Jess Weiner and actress Amanda Peet to talk about their message, gave product samples to each attendee, and set up really amazing suites for people to talk about their programs, and receive facials/manicures, and other beautifying treatments. Once thing they didn't talk about was their product, or its benefits, even once! They've really captured the idea that being on the same side as their demographic is JUST as good. And it's clearly working for them.
I attended a really interesting session about the ins and outs of crowdsourcing done by Dr. Letitia Wright and Sarah Gilbert. They gave some great tips about successfull techniques for fundraising using tools like Kickstarter and indiegogo. I'm not in the market RIGHT now to do this, but I've been thinking about it for a while, and I liked getting some great tips.
Fascinating discussion by some of the top brands and brand managers (including Adam Keats of Weber Shandwick, Caitlin Melnick of 360PR, Monica Teague, brand manager for 6 brands at Whirlpool, and Cindy Meltzer, of the Social Craft) about what they are looking for when they partner with bloggers, and how quantification (ie, your blog page hits, twitter followers, klout score) can often be misleading. What advertisers/brands really want are expressions- people to do things when you write about them. That's how you get from being a blogger to being an influencer.
4) THE POWER OF SAYING NO
Discussion with some top bloggers (including Charlie Capen of How To Be A Dad and Liz Gumbinner of Mom 101 )about how to say NO to the pitches from brands that aren't worth your time or don't lead anywhere. The big takeaway is to not try for a single post-- try for a longer relationship that works for both sides, and try to write something that you WANT to write about.
5) EVALUATING YOUR MILLION DOLLAR IDEA
|The 100,000 bill is actually the largest US currency ever printed. |
(and only for a 3 week period in 1934)
I could talk more and more about other things I learned. Next year, Mom2Summit will be in Atlanta, and as part of it they are establishing the IRIS awards, to recognize the best parenting blogs and posts of the year-- and it will be televised on TBS! I expect I'll be attending that one also. How about coming with me? Dads represent!
I'd love to hear your comments about the conference (if you attended)