Disney SMMC - Austin

#DisneySMMC stands for Disney Social Media Mom Celebration - it is an invite only conference for blogger moms and dads who are seen as influencers. There have been a few years of conferences before now, but this was the first year that I applied to attend. I had the great disappointment of not being invited the first round of emails that went out, but after I had my moment, I was fine. I have learned through the process of Moms Panel applications and trying to get my social media numbers up that it doesn't always happen for everyone. There were many new invitees to the conference and a few others who had attended them before.  I knew that if it was supposed to be, than it would be. It wouldn't help anything to get upset and over dramatic about not getting an invite. I was happy for others who I knew were going and I appreciated that they aren't the kind to rub it in when they know you weren't invited...

Much to my surprise I was invited the week before the conference and immediately RSVP'd. I knew that if I didn't jump at the chance to go, this could be my only shot!

Why do moms and dads want to be invited? 
 - We know that anytime Disney does an event, it's gonna have bells and whistles and lots of pixie dust!
What does it do for you?
 - Networking - meeting other people in your niche and those who are in the same area and interest groups
 - Putting a face with a name
 You aren't just a twitter or instagram handle. You are now someone they have met and hopefully had a good impression of! It's your opportunity to say hello and make connections.
 - Encouragement
 The speakers from the Disney team and those who were asked to come speak were all very uplifting and had lots of encouraging words for us. I found that taking a break from blogging to really focus on my first year of homeschooling was what I needed. Now that I'm on year #2 and kinda know more of what I am doing and what all it takes, I hope to be able to blog more frequently. Not only Disney, but homeschooling and life in general. I know that putting my family first is always the right answer.
 - Learning
 They taught us about Snapchat, Videolicious and Magisto that are new and upcoming apps that can be beneficial to us in our social media world. Reaching an audience and different ways that social media is changing. In other "On the Road" sessions they spoke about some of the same topics and some topics were different.

Since I had around a 3 hour drive to Austin, I decided to come in the night before. My roomie was Kuleen, from The Disney Kids and Red Poppy Kids we had a great evening getting to know each other along with Lori from Adventurer Mom and Casey from Mommy to all Girls. We walked around the capitol for a bit, got a bite to eat and then went to the infamous "bat bridge" in Austin. If you have no idea what that is - here is a cool website that explains it all! Kuleen and I stayed up talking Disney til 12:30! I was one tired momma when 5:15 rolled around the next morning!

After registration which included a cute bag with treats inside, a breakfast spread that was quite tasty and a pin trading moment between everyone, we started our morning!
There were 8 speakers for our session. Most were from the Disney Parks family and a few that were brought in special for the event. I have to say that being invited was an honor in itself, but to be in the same room with some of these speakers and bloggers was overwhelming. I felt like the new kid on the first day of school. I am a very outgoing person who usually doesn't have a problem being chatty and making new friends, but I was feeling shy and insignificant this day. Some of these ladies have a crazy amount of followers and they do blogging as a livelihood, not just a hobby. They were professional and came across as confident and ready to document the entire event. I was just taking it all in, since this was my first conference of any type like this. I learned a ton and took 9 pages of notes! They were small pages mind you, but that's a lot!

I won't go into every little thing they talked about, but here is what I learned from each speaker -

Leanne O'Regan - Talked to us about how important we are as social media influencers and that the Disney Moms Panel search is starting soon! September will be the start of a new search for a few lucky moms who have a big #disneyside!

Jamie Langdon - Caught us up on all the fun things going on in the Disney Parks this fall and year. From the 60th anniversary of Disneyland and all the unique events they've added, to the new theme of Hocus Pocus for the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Jen Baker - Storytelling and Creativity is important, don't be ordinary, stand out with your content.

Kathy Cano-Murillo @CraftyChica - Follow through, dream big, and make it (whatever it is)  a goal, not a dream.

Maya Murillo @MayaintheMoment - Bring your own personality to your content, have variety and have fun!

Victoria Lynn - Think about what you are taking pictures and video of. Keep a steady shot, with minimal background noise and shoot purposefully!

Alex Ruiz- It's not about followers, it's about partnerships, storytelling and having fun!

Linda Erspamer - Put good out into the world, with the right intentions and have honest content.

My overall experience was a magical one! The session was topped off by a visit from my favorite mouse - Mickey!! I'm 30 something... and he still is my favorite mouse! I had a great time getting to know some of my fellow Disney Mom Panel hopefuls and moms who live in Texas. I would definitely go again and would highly recommend you attending if you get the chance!

M - Magisto is the new and upcoming app to have!
I- Include your grandparents - #disneygrand - nominate them for World's Best Grandparent and win a trip to Walt Disney World!
C- Change your dream into a goal! You are more likely to go for it!
K- Keep your readers interested! Make sure you are storytelling!
E- Engage with your audience! Make them laugh, cry and gasp!
Y - You must believe in yourself and your ideas!

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