I arrived at?the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration thinking I knew just what to expect.
After all, I?
obsessed?thought about this conference and just what the invitation would mean for YEARS.
Sure,?some of it went exactly how I anticipated?(the wonderful hospitality that Disney is so famous for shined through!). ?But there were a few surprises in store for me as a first-time attendee.
Surprise #1: ?It was not All Mickey All the Time.
The conference had multiple sponsors in addition to the Disney Parks. ?Mickey and his friends were clearly the star players- which makes sense, after all!
We were treated exceptionally well by Babble,?Disney Citizenship, Disney Magic of Healthy Living, Imagicademy, and the Disney Parks themselves. ?#AllGoodThings
But included in the presentations, meals, and social events were companies such as Hanes, Alamo, Taylor Morrison, ?Go-Go squeeZ and?Mylan.
The generosity?of these brands showed me how important they feel bloggers are to the success of their businesses.
The?sponsors I spoke to expressed gratitude for our attendance and shared how they loved our social influence skills.
I can’t lie: that was pretty cool to hear.
A HUGE thanks to everyone who made this event happen.
? Patty (@longhorns2) May 9, 2015
Surprise #2:?I didn’t feel out of place.
When the invitations arrived?I was tickled to see many illustrious bloggers?sharing their news on social media.
Not to drop names, but there were some impressive peeps attending this conference as guests.
Oh. My. Word.
Did they expect viral posts from me leading up to this conference? Did they invite me out of pity? ?Was it all a mistake? ?How can this be? ?No, seriously, do you think they meant to invite ME?
Simma down, Shennanigans. ?
As Stuart Smalley would say: ?You are good enough, you are smart enough, and dog-gone-it, people like you!
A?crazy thing happened: my doubts disappeared as I arrived at the conference.
Maybe it’s because I felt fabulous in my clothes;?maybe it’s because I had a couple of really good friends attending as well. ?Maybe some of that Disney magic was in play.
I don’t know.
But I will say this: ?If you are ever invited to this event know that you were meant to be there.
I have learned over the years that Disney knows what it’s doing and they do not make mistakes. ?Sometimes that’s hard to hear (oh, Moms Panel, you heartbreaker you!), but in Disney I trust.
Surprise #3:?Four days went by very, very fast!
I thought four days of socializing, networking, and learning would go on for-evah?when I first saw the dates. ?That’s almost a full school week when you think about it!
But- BAM- suddenly it was Sunday and the conference events were complete.
It must be the?Disney Bubble. ?Something crazy happens to time when you hit the property. ?It simultaneously slows down and speeds up until you are exhausted and happy and aren’t sure exactly how you got to either state!
Disney magic, y’all.
Surprise #4:?I love Pinterest and YouTube. ?More importantly: ?YOU do too!
One of the biggest takeaways from the conference floor is that I need Pinterest. ?It’s an area that I half-heartedly pay attention to.
But that’s going to change.
And I REALLY need to do more video.
You probably caught on to that little nugget via Facebook videos last week! ?I jumped right in while I was walking around Walt Disney World with a few flash videos. ?Be on the lookout for more like that, as well as some mindfully produced YouTube options.
Surprise 5: ?There are people like Vivienne Harr changing the world.
That’s not the surprise. ?I knew there were amazing people doing good.
But she’s 11. ?THAT’S the surprise.
“At our core, we believe that when you STAND, you are powerful. When you STAND with others, you are unstoppable. When we STAND together, we can change the world.”
Did I mention she’s 11? ?I kept muttering, “Wow…just… wow…” all weekend whenever she was mentioned. ?Hands down, she was the most inspirational person I met at this event.
Someday I’ll be saying, “Remember when I saw President Harr speak at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration?” ?#TrueStory
I could easily write a post a day for the next six?months about this conference. ? The information we heard, the experiences we were treated to, and the people I met could fill up another blog.
I won’t do that, don’t worry.
I will write a?few more posts on specific experiences (wait until you see our Rock N Roller Coaster full ride video)…
…but I won’t give away all the details of everything we did.
After all, you’ll want your own surprises, won’t you?
I know this has been a rather long post, but I can’t sign off without thanking a few members of the team that made this event happen. ?Maria Bailey, Leanne O’Regan, and Jamie Langdon: THANK YOU for the opportunity of a lifetime.
If you are coveting this special invitation and experience, I can’t promise when it will happen to you. ?I don’t know how the invitations are chosen or why I was plucked out of cyberspace this year.
But these three things I know:
It will happen when it should happen. ?It will be wonderful. ?And you ARE worthy.
I was invited to attend the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. As an attendee, I received park tickets and a discounted room as part of my conference fee. ?I was not asked to write anything in exchange, but you know me, I HAD to tell you all about it!?
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)