The Disney Social Media Mom On the Road Celebration stopped in Chicago last week, the first of three cities on its itinerary. Chicago was the perfect location for this amazing conference for moms given that Walt Disney was born in Chicago.
The event was billed as a “dynamic line-up of speakers and interactive sessions that will support the goals and unique lifestyle demands of mom business owners” and it certainly provided that and much more.
One of my favorite quotes was from Jenn Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager for Walt Disney World, Disney Parks and DisneyParksBlog.com:
“We’re Disney. We have to be magical, we can’t help ourselves.”
She said that when detailing the very sweet story of how the Disney cast members reunited a small guest with an incredible special, irreplacable bear. You can read the story here, and have tissues handy. It was the perfect illustration of Jenn’s point about using content to portray your values.
She also discussed and then showed a fun video detailing the making of the ultimate tweet with 140 characters (literally) announcing the all night Disney Side party.
Gary Buchanan talked about new and exciting things happening around the parks, as how the Diaper Dans came about as the result of typo. Sometimes mistakes are opportunities for creativity!
He also talked about the Bethe8thminer.com website and the opening of the new Seven Drawfs Mine Train ride and it made me want to book my next trip then and there. We were there in April, a bit ahead of the Mine Train’s opening.
He also rocked the Obi Wan robe and Donald hat/ears, but that came a little later. Gotta love when fun also helps ward off the chill from conference room air conditioners!
Ramon De Leon brought a ton of energy and used it to deliver a ton of good advice about marketing and social media. One of my favorite quotes from him: “We are in an age where anyone can build an audience and effect change, advocate for brands, build relationships and make a difference.” Also, the photo of Ramon below does not begin to adequately capture his high-octane talk. Not even close.
Lori Lorenz with HP talked about the #HPSmartMoms solutions to “mom problems” and really showed how moms can work smarter, not harder. The TwoSmiles website will spare me some last-minute scrambling for gifts, and the cards they had printed using each attendee’s Disney Side photo were adorable. We were able to send them to our parents, and mine were happy to see the photo of our little trio visiting Donal appear in their mailbox.
Michelle Stepney offered solid advice about handling media and specifically getting ready for your close up when being interviewed. I loved her idea to write down your key points and revisit them periodically.
We also got to meet Jane Labowitch, who is also known as “Princess Etch-A-Sketch.” She’s amazing and does all kinds of amazing Disney designs. Check out this sketch that she did of Elsa from Frozen:
I didn’t learn how to Etch A Sketch (which is good, because that’s a bit of a lost cause) but we did learn about the Huggies MomInspired grant program, which awards up to $15,000 to “further the development of innovative products inspired by the joys of motherhood.” They’re taking applications for this year!
Maria Bailey, the force behind MomTalkRadio and BSM Media and the source on marketing to moms, moderated a panel discussion with two past MomInspired grant winners, Alicia Overby of Baby Elephant Ears and Lily Winnail of Padalily. They discussed taking making their ideas not only a reality, but shaping them into thriving businesses while also balancing family life.
I was the lucky winner of a Padalily give away and can’t wait to share with a friend whose arms could use a break when hauling around a heavy baby carrier.
That wasn’t all. There were also all kinds of treats, and I felt like a kid when I wanted to dive into the Mickey-shaped rice krispie treat at my place before eating my breakfast.
Everyone got a pin for trading and my pin-collecting daughter was more than happy to add this cute Tinkerbell pin to her collection.
But wait, there’s more! (I’ve always wanted to say this in an awesome announcer voice – hopefully that’s what you’re hearing in your head when reading it.) There was a bag with all kinds of fun treats. Check them out:
As a Donald fan, I’m especially fond of the “I don’t tweet” poster. The Mickey puzzle was great for family game night. My kiddo also put the Mickey tattoos to work in short order.
HThe On the Road team saved the best for last and ended an amazing event with an appearance by Mickey himself!
It was an amazing event and I was thrilled to be included. It was great to reconnect with old friends and meet so many fun and amazing bloggers who quickly became friends and have already expanded my Disney knowledge.
Huge thanks to Maria, Gary, Jamie Langdon, Leanne Jakubowski-O’Regan and the whole team from BSM Media and Disney that made this amazing Disney Social Media Moms On the Road event a smashing success and brought some of the magic to the Windy City.
To see more on what advice we got at the conference, check out my Chicago Parent blog “Parenting and business collide at Chicago’s Disney Social Media Moms event.”
You can find all my Disney posts here.
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I was invited to attend Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road and I received no compensation, though I did get a very nice swag bag as an attendee. I was not asked to write about my experience. All opinions are my own.