The 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration took place at Disney World in Orlando during Mother´s Day weekend. It was my second time attending the event, and both times I took my husband and our three kids, now 14, 12 and 11. We’re lucky. We live only a couple of hours away from the parks so there was no airfare involved.
First let’s get this out of the way: I don’t know how or why you get invited. I’m just grateful I was invited and that I was able to attend this year. Rumor has it that if you are a blogger or social media influencer, you should use the #Disneysmmoms #Disneyside hasthags from time to time and follow all Disney social media accounts, and then hope for the best. I want to make this post as informative as possible for those who are hoping to attend this invite-only conference in the future. So here we go!
TIPS BEFORE YOU ATTEND DISNEY SOCIAL MEDIA MOMS CELEBRATION
1.- Be ready to move fast if you receive an invite!
Even before I received my invitation I had already discussed with my husband what we would do if we got it. Spaces fill up fast, so if you procrastinate or delay making up your mind a couple of days after receiving your invite, the event may be sold out. In fact, it does sell out. And fast. So be ready for that quick spur of the moment decision. If it’s a yes, register as soon as you receive the email invitation.
2.- Make up your mind in advance whether you will attend alone or with the fam.
The conference is invite-only but there is a fee to attend, plus additional costs for family members. Also consider travel expenses, meals that may not included in the conference and whether you’re going to extend your stay beyond conference days. That said, visiting Disney as part of the Social Media Moms Celebration is a one of a kind experience. It’s certainly well worth the price!
3.- Before you go, know your why.
Are you attending as a social media “workation,” are you doing it for the kids, to network, to learn, for the experience? In any case, I’d strongly advise that you sit back and relax and let yourself be taken care of. Once you’re all signed up there will be itineraries and schedules. You will be reminded by text of any and all events you sign up for during the conference.
4.- Introduce yourself to other attendees.
Many bloggers and social media influencers attend the conference. Even if you are connected online, don’t assume they will recognize you. So many avatars, names, faces… Carry your business cards with your online avatar on them and hand them out to anyone you’d love to connect with. Don’t assume everyone else knows one another. They don’t. I’m a social butterfly when I know the people I’m with. If not, I’m rather shy. I made it a point to introduce myself to a few collagues every day. Turns out if others aren’t talking to you it may be because THEY are shy too.
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TAKEAWAYS FROM DISNEY SOCIAL MEDIA MOMS CELEBRATION 2015
1.- I really needed that family time with my kids. Only when we were at the parks did I realize how much I really needed that time with my family. When working online is your business, you have to work really hard, put in many hours—sometimes around the clock. Dancing with my husband and children at one of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration family events, sharing roller-coaster rides and dinner at the Disney Yatch Club, snuggling at night—I really needed that. I think we all did. Now that my little ones are in their early teens, the trip was much easier on the adults. They had a blast roaming around the hotel and going down the water slide on their own.
2.- I’m a freak—and that’s a good thing.
My fave speaker was Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group and a New York Times bestselling author. His chat was short but jam-packed with things that spoke to me. Being the doer that I am, as soon as he stepped off the stage I purchased his book The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth on Kindle. And then when I got back from lunch—surprise! I found a hard copy in our swag bag. So now my husband is reading it too. Win-win. I have already read the book and feel so much better knowing I’m not alone in being a freak—someone crazy enough to have their own online business because, hey, that’s how I roll.
3.- Inside Out by Pixar is a terrific movie.
As part of Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration we were invited to attend a pre-screening of the film Inside Out by Pixar. We watched two thirds of the film, and of course now I just HAVE to see the ending. My youngest turns 11 really soon. She struggles with mastering her emotions, so watching a movie together where the premise is what goes on inside the head of an 11-year-old was an unexpected learning experience for both of us. We’re rooting for Joy all the way, but Sadness was pretty funny too. Don´t miss it.
4.- Follow your passion, you never know who’s watching you.
Jessica Shyba of Momma’s Gone City spoke at the luncheon sponsored by Hanes. She had been a conference attendee in previous years and now she was on stage speaking of the tremendous success she’s had with her book Naptime with Theo and Beau, a project sparked by her passion for sharing beautiful moments between one of her babies and a new puppy. Her recipe for success is simply to do what you do … from the heart. And stay true to your voice, your brand.
Well, that’s what has stuck with me after returning from Disney Social Media Moms Conference. I hope it helps and inspires you. I was not asked to write this post. It’s not a sponsored post either. I was a paying attendee that enjoyed real VIP treatment, along with all the other fabulous attendees, at one of the most magical social media conferences ever!