Every year I want to attend one of the biggest blogger conferences for influencers and entrepreneurs. Every year I would total up the costs of attending the conference, the airfare, the hotel stay, being away from my babies, and I couldn’t justify going. This year the Mom 2.0 Summit was in Austin, TX and I thought, this is my year. I am going to make this happen!
I was a mix of excitement and anxiety. I had been to blog conferences before. Sometimes I knew all the information and felt like I wasted my time. Other’s were way above my head and I walked out with my head spinning. As a first timer returning from the conference, I can attest that attending the Mom 2.0 Summit will be well worth your time.
1. The Sessions & Speakers
Keynote speakers at past events have been leaders in their field, award winners, entrepreneurs, artists, celebrities – basically kick-ass women who will leave you inspired and empowered. This year’s speaker Brené Brown did not disappoint. If you haven’t checked out her Netflix special what are you doing with your life?
The sessions – It was hard to choose because there were so many I wanted to attend. From how to work with PR agencies, creating and producing a podcast, creating traffic with SEO, building a brand, editing photos…the list goes on and on. The sessions I attended were packed with information I could use. The panelists showed you exactly how they achieved their success and taught you how to do it too. I advise you to make a friend and attend different sessions then share notes afterward.
2. The Brands
Here is your opportunity to get in front of the PR reps of the biggest brands and directly ask them questions about how you can partner with them, if you both would be a good fit, about their influencer programs and about their latest campaigns. These sponsors came prepared with giveaways, contests, photo ops, and goodies. The reps were welcoming, their booths were interactive and it was great learning about each brand. I met with reps from Google, Amazon, Best Buy and Dove just to name a few.
3. The Networking
I briefly met with Laura Mayes a co-founder of Mom 2.0 Summit and she told me there were over 1000 people registered at the event and it certainly felt like it. As an admitted introvert, I could have easily wilted as soon as I arrived but I quickly realized that everyone was in the same situation I was in. There were many ‘first-timers’ who didn’t know a single person there and making friends with the person seated next to you was as simple as saying Hi and introducing yourself.
Everyone around you is just like you – raising a family, running a household, growing a business and here to learn. You will find your tribe here. Make the connections and learn from one another. As Tim Sanders said, “Your network is your net worth”.
4. The Parties
OK so partying shouldn’t be one of the main reasons you attend the conference but it’s a fun perk. The food, the drinks and the fun times are abundant. There were tacos, cabana parties, open bars, DJ’s and lots of dancing which is a nice break from cooking, cleaning, worrying about kids and working.
5. The Iris Awards
I’m so thankful to my friend Qiana for talking me into staying back on Friday night and attending the Iris Awards ceremony. Not only was it fun to dress up and walk the red carpet, but it was also an impressive event with Adam Rippon as the MC. Something in me shifted during the Iris Awards. All week I was surrounded by women – empowering, uplifting and encouraging women, who share and collaborate and build with you. The ceremony was more than the nominees or the trophies or the winners. It was a celebration of achievement, of support, of believing. It was such an inspiring night.
If like me, you are weighing all the awesome reasons above against the costs of attending the conference let me tell you this – on Day 1 of the conference I felt that I had gotten my money’s worth. Next year’s conference is in Los Angeles. Stop thinking about it and do it! Will I see you there?