Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Dad in the Momiverse-Year 2: One Dad's report from Mom 2.0 Summit 2013

For the second time in a row, my wife and I attended the Mom 2.0 Summit.  This time it was in Laguna Beach, California at the ultra luxe  Ritz-Carleton.  You can read my recap of last year's Miami proceedings right here: A Dad In the Momiverse

As with  last year, I was overwhelmed in a good way.  Prior to this conference, there was a kind of influential (and controversial) article in the 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
But the attendees of this conference were not unsatisfied or bored housewives looking to be pampered. For the most part, the people I met were either super-savvy mom bloggers, people trying to reach super-savvy mom bloggers, or people trying to BECOME super-savvy mom-bloggers.  (I probably fall into the latter camp- although I was also there on behalf of my conference Digital Family Summit, which will happen in October in Baltimore this year (please read more here!).  Mom 2 is a great place to meet potential sponsors and potential attendees/speakers which made it very worthwhile for us to attend.) (NOTE: I was comped tickets to this year's conference  We generally trade tickets between our two conferences.  I am not in the employ of the Mom 2.0 Summit, nor is this review vetted by them.  My opinions are entirely my own)

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.

DOVE, the title sponsor, spent a lot of money to reach these bloggers and this demographic niche  They started a program #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.

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.

The 100,000 bill is actually the largest US currency ever printed.
(and only for a 3 week period in 1934)
Jennie Baird gave a great 10 minute presentation on figuring out your monetization scheme for your project-- loved it, and some great tips.  She gave a number of ways to monetize, and I'm pretty new to most of them from a blogging perspective. (I don't have the paperwork handy, but if you contact her at the above site, I'm sure she'd be able to hook you up, or even better, consult with you!

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)


Unknown said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my session, Adam. I loved being at Mom 2.0 for the camaraderie, the networking (met lots of great people who will be good business contacts), the inspiration and the entertainment. My favorite sessions were the Dove Keynote Conversation re: Girls and self-esteem with Lisa Ling and Jess Weiner; several of the 7-minute stories, notably Jenny Isenman's and Amber Doty's; and Ciaran Blumenfeld's workshop activities on being multi-passionate and sorting out your priorities.

Gray Matter Matters said...

Great post. I really enjoy having some men-folk there. I LOVE Cecily's picture. Truly brilliant.


Thanks guys-- I like it when people like my writing!