Have you ever wondered what the #DisneySMMoms conference is all about? Up until yesterday, I had no clue what was in store. Read on to find out what this celebration is really like! We started off the official conference portion of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration with a very delicious breakfast in the Fantasia Ballroom of the Contemporary Resort. It was a relaxed vibe, and attendees were able to enjoy tasty breakfast foods while chatting with new blogger friends and conference sponsor, Hanes, at the "Hanes Comfort Breakfast."
To kick off the event, President George Kalogridis spoke to us about the Disney Parks, and the new and exciting things that are changing. One thing that he described were the interactive line queues. With the new interactive line queues, the magic begins before you step foot onto your favorite ride! Pretty neat, right?
Our event host was the energetic and amazing Rene Syler, aka @goodenufmother. She gave me a lot to think over. A few GEMS from the Good Enuf Mother: Find your passion - then hone it. Don't compare yourself to others, or you'll despair. And the best advice: Big rewards necessitate big risk! She was so full of wisdom that one post couldn't possibly hold all of her remarks. Don't worry - I will have an additional article on the Classic Mommy blog devoted solely to Rene's words of wisdom very soon!
Next we heard from former Olympian Shannon Miller. She shared a lot of inspiration regarding personal and professional success. A few favorite quotes:
- With determination, hard work, and a little luck, you can accomplish anything.
- You don't stumble onto a gold medal, and you don't stumble onto success.
- There are no do-overs in social media. (And would your mom approve of your message?)
- Social media magnifies the power of mom.
- Love what you're doing and it won't feel like the hard work it is.
- Women shouldn't feel guilty for taking time to themselves. We need to stay healthy for the ones we love!
- Sometimes what seems like a brick wall is actually a springboard to something else.
- Everything that you do matters.
- Anything is possible under the right circumstances. Visualize success! Dreams come true every day!
Ok, pretty much everything Shannon Miller said was inspirational and well-deserving of attention. She is an incredible woman who has lived a life that she can be proud of. She gives everything 100 percent, and I know that she is more than qualified to be a role model for moms everywhere.
We also heard from Jackie Huba, who taught us that Lady Gaga has a thing or two that social media moms can learn from. Her main advice? Focus on your "one percenters." What are one percenters? They are the people that are your biggest fanatics. They will go above and beyond to follow you and promote what you do. Nurture them and treat them like the special people they truly are. Jackie pointed out that it is a common mistake to focus your outreach on getting new customers at the detriment of your current ones. (Cable company??) Jackie also posed the question: Do your readers know what you stand for? Something to think about as I get back into my daily routine.
Ashley Eckstein was another special guest. She created @HerUniverse as a means to provide fashions for fangirls of all ages and sizes, from onesies to plus sizes, and youth sizes, too. Ashley noticed that many girls in the sci-fi community would pretend to be guys on message boards and forums so as not to be made fun of or shunned. Her mission is to make sure that girls of all ages are able to enjoy sci-fi without fear of being bullied or ostracized for their interest.
Next we heard from John from Disney Infinity. He answered a question that I've wondered about ever since the first time I picked up my first game controller: Want to be an awesome game developer? Be good at learning new things. Design a game. The Disney Infinity game is a great place to start! Players can design their own adventure. And perhaps the best feature of Disney Infinity is that the game figures will work with ALL game platforms! No need to search for a Wii-specific figure or PS3, etc. Very cool!
Catherine Connors, from @herbadmother, took the stage to discuss the latest app from Disney: Story. She demonstrated how easy it is to weave stories together with the new Disney Story app. This app is so easy, my mom could figure it out (and she will, because I made sure to install it on her iPhone). This app provides a way for everyone to share their story in a way that is rich and meaningful. Pictures and video blend seamlessly in this new interactive storytelling app, and while audio is not included in this version, it is coming soon! You can share your story creations to facebook or email straight from the app, making the storytelling process a breeze.
We were treated to a special presentation from Thomas Smith & Gary Buchanan during our lunch. They discussed the Disney Parks blog and what makes it work so well. (Hint: Personality!) A favorite lesson from this session: People connect with people, not logos. We also took a peek at the Disney Parks blog editorial calendar. With 7-15 posts per day, a calendar is absolutely necessary! The guys also demonstrated what sets Disney's social media apart from other brands. Check out this wonderful video from Disney Parks to see why:
We also learned about the Disney TRYit initiative. Disney has a commitment to create healthier generations. They are the first in the entertainment industry to offer nutrition guidelines, and they have built 31 playgrounds so far this year in partnership with KaBoom! to get kids up and moving. Isn't that amazing?!
Our next speaker was Marc Mero. He presented us with a very challenging and deeply touching message. His life experiences, while often sad and depressing, taught him a lot about life. His advice: The best way to accomplish your goals is to write them down then take action towards them! And I'll never forget this little tidbit: Your friends are like elevators. They can take you up, or they can take you down. Marc travels to schools and talks about the impact of bullying. He is a very compassionate person, and this comes through in his talks.
Dayna Steele was our final presenter of the day. Her brand of humor was just my style. In reference to The Rolling Stones: They look like a pack of Shar Pei puppies! Seriously! Her big advice: Do whatever it takes to wow the customer. Go the extra mile. Dayna provided us with many examples to illustrate her point, including one anecdote about rocker Sammy Hagar, the band Van Halen, and a teenaged boy that they visited in the hospital. She posed the question: What is the one thing you do every day for success? (I make an effort to interact with a certain number of new people every day.)
The Disney Social Media Moms conference sessions would not be complete without the little surprises that makes Disney such a magical brand. We had fresh centerpieces on the tables for every session, delicious foods and drinks, great swag from event sponsors, and even surprise guests (R2D2, Storm Troopers, and Gaston joined us during the event!)
I realize that this is a long and detailed article, but there is still so much information that I just was unable to fit in. Is there a particular speaker that you would like to hear more about? I will be working more on creating detailed posts about each session, but in the meantime, if there is someone that you are particularly curious about, please let me know!
As an attendee of this invite-only event, I received complimentary items, special discounts and other benefits, such as food and entertainment, from the event organizers so that I could experience the magic of the Walt Disney World Resort in a unique way. The opinions shared in this article come from the careful consideration of my own personal experiences, and were not influenced or purchased in any way.