Mom 2.0 Summit: only a part of the whole

Last weekend began my whirlwind of blogging conferences of 2011 at Mom 2.0 Summit. Fortunately, I was in New Orleans for a wedding and the summit. Unfortunately, I was in New Orleans for a wedding and the summit. There have been many times in life where I wished I could clone myself. This is one of them. Unfortunately. I couldn’t. So, I only experienced a part of the whole conference.

NOLA2

2 of my new friends

The wedding was fabulous, picture essay to come because, wow! What a cultural experience I was treated to!

Sadly, attending a wedding took a lot away from attending a conference. I missed every social event and keynote address associated with the conference. So, my take on the conference is very strictly the sessions and the very short conversations I had with friends. I barely had time to SQUEEEEE and make new friends. This conference was way too quick for that, for me. I look at everyone’s recaps and pictures and think, “awww. maaaaaan. I missed that, too!” and “I can’t believe I didn’t see her. or her. or her.” And the worst, “OMG was I actually THERE?”

NOLA4

my fantastic traveling companion, the Huz, and me

I think we all know by now that I’m a very social person. I love parties. I love my online community and environment and it tears me up that I missed out on so much. Tears me up.

It also tears me up that I didn’t get to Breakout Session 1 on Friday morning. While I would have been stressed beyond belief trying to clone myself into 3 breakouts, at least I would have had the opportunity. I arrived as lunch was being cleaned up, so I snagged a quick snack and jumped in with two feet… only to have to run out in the middle of another breakout session to get to an appointment with Microsoft Office (where I fluttered from one area to another area learning all about Microsoft products… including my new WindowsPhone, my conference sponsor). After playing for a bit in the Expo areas, I finally found Leticia (@techsavvymama) who informed me that the schedule I had in my hand was off and that the conference was more of a “go with the flow” when it came to appointments and session times. Good to know. I’m flexible. Going off schedule may throw me for a loop with my kids, but when I’m off on my own, I can deal. As I was about to flutter into another breakout session, I was interrupted by a family thing for the wedding, then I fluttered back in time for round-tables where I had trouble finding those I had asterisked on my schedule and sat down to chat at two that I hadn’t planned to attend. Which was great for socializing, but the conversations I wanted to be a part of I never found. When it was time to race to get dressed for the rehearsal dinner, I was still wondering what the hoopla for Mom 2.0 was–though it was fabulous to see my friends, I hadn’t found the WHEEEEE of the event yet.

Again, I missed the whole by missing the keynotes and the parties.

Saturday was a totally different story. I arrived before breakfast, sat with friends, old and new, and attended every session I wanted to attend. This day was much more focused for me, and I really got to do Mom 2.0 Summit. I took so much from just the few hours I attended this day. Beyond the fantastic conversations with some of the brand sponsors, the opportunity to participate in Emily McKhann and Debbie Stier’s Personal Brand Building workshop was worth the {free, sponsored} ticket. Yes. Participate. This was my favorite part about Mom2.0–some of the sessions actively encouraged conversation from the attendees. Emily and Debbie were phenomenal in moderating, and the discussion evolved and continued beyond the allotted hour. The mixture of bloggers, agency reps and brand reps in the room allowed for an honest conversation. This is what I look for most in a summit or a conference: a true workshop opportunity to be a part of and learn.

NOLA6

Lunch with @LindaSellers, @MommaDJane, @CarissaRogers, and @teachmama -- at the picnic lunch featuring Let's Play

And while I missed even more keynotes and parties, my weekend at the Summit was highlighted with good friends, quick hugs and great conversation. I’m not going to list every friend I hugged and bonded with … I’d feel too guilty missing someone. And the dozens of friends that I tweeted with who were in the same room as me but I didn’t see? Well… there’s always SheCon, BlogHer, Blogalicious or one of the others we have on schedule.

NOLA3

At Cafe du Monde with @whitneyMWS

Would I attend Mom 2.0 Summit again? I do think so. I recognize that I didn’t truly experience the event. I did love the small conference feel. I loved that I had an opportunity to be one of a group in a room, not one of a crowd. I enjoyed the one-to-one conversations with brands and the chance to actually talk with the speakers of the sessions.

NOLA5

Beignets

I’ve stayed at a lot of Ritz Carlton’s in the past… I don’t know that the Ritz is necessary. Nor is the New Orleans backdrop. While I’m glad the location was in a spot that is easy on foot (so we didn’t need to commute a lot or rent a car) and New Orleans is a fun fun fun city, I’d be happy to attend an event anywhere that is easy to get to.

The Krewe of Mom 2.0 had a big, big job. I truly enjoyed the opportunities presented to learn.  I’ll save my tiny critiques for my post-summit-survey and leave you with a bit of advice:

do not, under any and all circumstances, try to attend a big social media event halfway. Do not buy only a party pass. Do not attend for just one day. Do not plan to see family or old friends from long ago. You will miss out. You will not “get” the purpose and the overall excitement of the event. You will feel only a part of the whole, and not a whole of the whole. When you consider attending a blogging event, consider that you want to get 100% out of it. Because that 1 or 2 or 50% that you don’t get, otherwise? You’ll never know what you missed… but you’ll know you missed a big something.

Thanks to the Krewe for a fabulous Mom 2.0 Summit. Next year. Key Biscayne. Looking forward to the whole thing.

And a big, huge thank you to my sponsor, WindowsPhone.

Enhanced by Zemanta
mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel (jewelryverse.com) and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2011, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. says

    I love your photos and have to agree with your great advice to try to do a social media event halfway. I’ve felt similarly when I’ve gone representing a brand and myself. I find that I have to work with a brand who is ok with me representing them through the networking that comes naturally to me rather than the brief interactions in a booth. Only then can I feel like I am fully participating!

    • says

      I’ve been really lucky with brand representations or sponsorships at conferences, their expectations have always allowed for me to do my thing. It would be very difficult for me to have to focus so much on the brand and not the conference experience.

  2. says

    Totally want another beignet. And you know I heart you for coming to my rescue that day.

    Random – I have a weird look on my face there, right? Must be sugar overload.

    I didn’t envy you having to be two places at once that’s for sure! At least you got to attend some though. Next year, tell family & friends no weddings over Cinco de Mayo weekend!

    • says

      seriously! next year, its all about the Mom 2.0. I know! That picture was the WAY better of the two. you’d think our photographer would have looked at the pic and said “let’s take another.” Then again, you’ve also seen his videography work. :)

      I still want to write a post about Saturday afternoon. Maybe I’ll have the time in July, when the kids are at camp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge