So, I had never heard of Mom 2.0 Summit till last year around December when a few people in the Courage to Earn Facebook group were talking about it. Someone in the group had posted that they were selling their early bird ticket and the cost of the ticket was a whopping $250 plus the $50 transfer fee. What is Mom 2.0 summit you ask?
This is an excerpt from their About page.
Mom 2.0 is the premier professional conference and gathering of influencers who create content online and on air in parenting, entertainment, food, politics, business, marketing, technology, social change, travel and design.
Every year, women leaders in media and business converge at the Summit to compare notes, discuss ideas, and forecast what’s next for women online and in the marketplace. (Read more here)
When I read this, I thought it sounded it interesting but I still was not sure if it would be a good investment for me. When I started blogging my focus was mostly fashion and I called myself a fashion blogger. These days I refer to myself as a lifestyle blogger because my focus has shifted since I became a mom. I still love fashion but I also want to write about my life as a parent, a corporate auditor, wife and dog owner.
I reached out to one of the Courage to Earn members who had been to Mom 2.0 multiple times and asked if it was a good conference to attend. She asked me what I was hoping to get out of it. Mmmmm. I had not really stopped to fully think about it, other than, I wanted to go to at least one blogging conference in 2019. I responded to her and this is what I said “I want to take my business to the next level and want to learn more about the mom realm since I am a first time mom. I also want to meet other bloggers in that space.” Her response was that I should go for the connections and also the different variety of breakout sessions offered at the conference. I purchased my ticket and immediately regretted it, because that is how I am. Had I really thought this through, NOPE I had not. I found out there was a Mom 2.0 Facebook group and so I joined and posted on a thread they had going for people looking for roommates. I ended up with a pretty amazing roommate who was very much like me.
Lets talk total cost of the conference – Total Cost $1,190.50 (approximately)
Conference Ticket $300
Flight To Austin $316.50
Hotel Room $474
Food $100 – you do get all 3 meals covered for all the days you are there. And the food was good.
As you can see it was not cheap. Food was provided most nights except for one when they were supposed to have food but ended up not having any.
I got a text from Southwest around 10pm the night before that my 6am flight was cancelled. I checked on twitter and realized that a lot of other attendees’ flights had been cancelled due to weather. I woke up my usual time and went to the airport and I managed to get on a flight that would get me to Austin an hour later than I had planned on being there. I got to my hotel, checked in and went to register. When you registered on the first day you got a booklet with all the breakout sessions, what room they would be in and what time. They also provided the names and twitter handles of each of the people who were speaking during the breakout sessions, so you had the opportunity to look them up and see if it was something that you wanted to attend. Prior to the conference they send out a detail of the different sessions they would have and the schedule, which helped me in deciding what I wanted to attend and what would be beneficial for me and my business. I ran into my roommate at one of the sessions and we ended up in a few sessions together that day.
The first day was very overwhelming. I am an introvert and so you put me in a room with strangers, I freeze up and keep to myself. Which is a big no no when it comes to a conference because you cannot make connections that way. They had a welcome party with a live band, nachos, tacos, and booze. Porshia and I stuck together and just kinda people watched. We were both first timers and both very overwhelmed. We headed back to our hotel and ended up running into some amazing ladies that are in the Courage to Earn Group that were having dinner at the hotel. We sat and talked to them for a while and we all ended up walking to CVS before calling it a night.
I had an invitation to a breakfast with Dove and so I was excited about that. I woke up at 645am and headed down around 725am for breakfast. When I got down to the breakfast area there was no one in the room that I knew so I just sat down and introduced myself. I got to talk to the ladies and learn more about what they wrote about. My Instagram friend now real life friend, Onyi, (follow her on Instagram here) was also at the breakfast but we didn’t sit together. We got to share our birth stories and just be real about pregnancy and post pregnancy stories. I shared my miscarriage story and felt empowered to just speak freely of how I truly felt. It was such a great experience.
After the breakfast with Dove, I left for the breakout sessions and went to a handful of sessions. Day 2 is also when brands that were attending the conference set up their marketplace. I went through the list and figured out what I brands I really needed to get in front of and talk to. I knew some brands there but not all, and I have to be honest, even though we were provided a list of the brands that were going to be there, I did not do any research prior to the conference. I remember at one point researching a brand outside their suite before I went in there and talked to them.
The second night was the night they ran out of nachos before we could get to them and tacos were supposed to be served, however, we never saw any. It actually ended up being a blessing in disguise because I ended up going to dinner with Karen (follow her on Instagram here) and a few other ladies that I had just met that night. While we waited for food, I was amazed at how they were so willing to share information. I learned so much about SEO during our dinner than I have in my years of blogging. I also had attended an SEO breakout session that day given by Camille and it was one of the best sessions I attended. SEO is something I pay someone else to do for me, and after Camille’s class, I walked away with a basic understanding and the confidence that I could do that work myself.
I was exhausted but knew I needed to put my game face on and make another round with the brands at the marketplace. I made sure I talked to the PR representatives and ask questions in order to have a clear understanding of what those brands were looking for in influencers. We also had table top discussions during the first half Day 3 and I was very strategic with what I picked. I also made extra rounds after the sessions were over to talk to some PR executives that were there to also understand what they looked for in influencers. I wanted to hear from the PR people themselves. I had questions mostly around growth strategy and what their thoughts were around other industry hot topics.
Everyone was very nice and I made sure I talked to everyone I ran into. I also got to meet Laura, who is a contributor for The Mom Edit whose style I absolutely love because she is edgy. She was just as nice in person as she is on the gram. On Friday I got sit and listen to an amazing woman who share the ups and downs of what is now a very successful business. I was in awe because one of her low points in business I probably would have given up but she pushed through.
Prior to leaving for the conference, Brandi, who runs Courage To Earn encouraged us to break away from our friends or people we knew and made sure we went to sessions we were truly interested in and not just go to a session because a friend was going to one. She was another person who was just as genuine in person as she is online. She is someone who I can truly say talks the talk and walks the walk. She is successful at what she does but also very invested in making sure that those of us that are part of her Facebook are just as successful.
Stop and talk to someone you do not know because you never know what inspiring story they have to tell. This was a room full of successful women and men who were on a mission to be even more successful. We all had goals but that did not stop us from being open and honest about our businesses/brands.
Takeaways from the conference
When the schedule is emailed (see schedule here) go through each session and mark the ones you want to attend that will help you expand your business. Also, make sure to have conversations with other attendees on what sessions they attended and what were some of the top takeaways. Another thing to remember is that a lot of the speakers will share their Powerpoint slides. Research the brands that are going to be there so you know which ones align with your business. Also have an elevator speech and be able to talk about who you are.
Lastly, have fun but be always mindful of why you are there. They have free booze but don’t drink too much because brand representatives also attend the conference outside of the ones that set up the marketplace. You never who you are talking to, so always be professional.
The conference was worth every penny and I already purchased my early bird ticket for Mom 2.0 in 2020 in Los Angeles.
Have you been to any conferences or plan to go to conferences?