On Wednesday, June 25, 2014, a conference room at the Fairmont Princess Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona was turned into a little slice of Disney heaven. The hotel hosted the final stop of the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms On-The-Road event and I was lucky enough to be in attendance. This was my first Disney Social Media Moms event and I hope it won’t be my last.
For those that don’t know me, I am extremely shy. I was nervous as other attendees gathered in the lobby chatting with existing friends and meeting new ones. I knew one other attendee, Becca Ludlum, author of ‘Everything But The Posts’ and quickly said hi. She introduced me to a few other Arizona Bloggers and invited me to sit alongside them during the event. Thank you Becca – one of the most difficult parts of attending a conference as a shy first-timer is finding a place to sit.
Once the doors opened, the music filtered out and the crowd of moms made its way into the conference room. Before the conference started, moms took turns taking fun photos, networking with one another and connecting with event sponsors and speakers. After a nice breakfast, the conference started.
Michelle Himmelberg, Disneyland Public Relations Director, kicked off the event with an introduction and a look at what’s new at Disney parks. Did you know that on July 17, 2015, Disneyland will celebrate its 60th anniversary? I did because my dad is only two days younger than Disneyland. Michelle couldn’t share what’s in store for the 60th anniversary, but did direct everyone to DisneyParksBlog.com on July 17, 2014 at 10:00 am for the big announcement.
Next up was Erin Glover, Disneyland’s Social Media Director. Erin’s enthusiasm for not only Disney, but her job, shone through during her presentation. A few of the highlights from Erin’s talk include:
- The Disneyland Instagram account is all user-generated content.
- As a blogger, you should find the thing that makes you special. What are stories that you can tell that no one else can?
- How can you utilize video to share your point of view?
- Look for intersections of neat and inspiration – keep ideas written down somewhere because you never know when you can pull from this list to make something fun.
- A behind-the-scenes look at what went into making the Grumpy Cat/Grumpy Dwarf video (this ended up being a bit of foreshadowing).
Lori Lorenz of HP was up next, discussing The Solution Side of Motherhood. Lorenz shared the inspirational story of how she and her daughter both graduated from college on the same day. Lori graduated with an advanced degree and her daughter received her bachelor’s degree, which made for some very special photo opportunities.
HP shared the importance of these special photo moments with a few lucky attendees, including me! A handful of us received special gifts from HP – mine was a set of coasters made out of the #DisneySide photo I had sent in prior to the start of the Disney On-The-Road event.
In addition to my own personal highlight from the HP section of the conference, Lorenz also shared HP’s printable page success as well as the company’s great HP Instant Ink service. Certain web-enabled HP printers send ink status information to HP and Instant Ink customers will automatically receive new ink when the printer is low. What a practical yet ingenious use of web-enabled technology.
Tracey Clark, author of ‘Elevate The Everyday’, spoke about mobile photography after a quick stretch and snack break. Clark showed everyone how you can take amazing photos using only your mobile phone and Instagram editing tools. A few of the key takeaways from Clark’s presentation include:
- Being deliberate in your photography means that you are more deliberate in your everyday life.
- Snap out of snapshot mode and capture the unexpected.
- Shoot what you want the end product to be.
- Tell the story – know what you want to say and figure out what matters most.
By this time, I had already taken pages of notes, but the conference wasn’t yet over. Up next was the Huggies Inspired Moms Panel moderated by MomTalkRadio’s Maria Bailey. Panel members were Lisa Cash Hanson (Snugg Wugg), Romy Taormina (Psi Bands) and Allyson Phillips (Tilty Cup). Each of these women were Huggies MomInspired grant winners – check out the program if you have an idea for a product.
All of the panel members had inspirational anecdotes to share (of course, they were Inspired Moms!) but the one line that stuck out to me most was Allyson Phillips’ statement, “I can do it all, but I can’t do it all well, by myself.” It is okay to ask for help – it was as if this one line was meant specifically for me.
After the panel Nadine Bubeck closed out the conference with how she went from little girl with a dream, to the woman that achieved those dreams. Although time was tight, Bubeck managed to share her 10 tips for reinventing yourself in marketing, which include having a plan, never burning your bridges and have tough skin.
The conference was coming to a close and now it was time to meet our special guest. Having followed along with the Chicago and Philadelphia events, I expected Mickey Mouse to come waltzing through the conference room doors. I was wrong; our surprise guest was the one, the only – Tardar Sauce – aka GrumpyCat. Oh my goodness, she was such a cute and tiny little kitty. I was more than excited to get my photo with the cat of Internet meme fame, even though I’m super allergic to cats. In true GrumpyCat fashion, she just sat there with her little frowny face while I smiled with delight behind her.
A big thank you to Maria Bailey of MomTalkRadio and MomTV.com, the staff at Disney Parks and the team at BSM Media for producing and hosting such a wonderful event. I am honored to now call myself a DisneySMMoms On The Road alum.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I attended the event as a guest and received a goodie bag with items from event sponsors as well as the above mentioned pack of coasters. This post does not contain affiliate links.