It’s only 7am on my first full day home, and already I feel the tidal pull of my real life drawing me back in. I need to take a few minutes to upload my thoughts about the Type A Mom Conference, or I may never get the chance.
- The location of Asheville, NC was perfect – the town’s cool vibes totally added to the overall “cumbaya,” peace/love/harmony of the conference.
- The conference was small, intimate, very personal.
- Promising connections were made and important discussions were had.
- Drama? Controversy? Public drunkeness? There was probably a bit of that, but I have no clue. I was happily oblivious with my husband and 2yo during the “after hours” festivities. I also had to leave early, so I was not there for the meaty discussion during the Town Hall. (but I’m sure you can follow the Tweets for that, or read others’ recaps)
- Swag was at a respectable minimum, though it was present.
- Personal highlights?* I met and actually conversed with Jessica and Casey, two women I’ve followed and respected for a long time. I decided I could listen to Robin talk all day long (and not just because of her fabulous accent. That woman is wise, y’all!). I met two of the three Vacation Gals and they gave me much food for thought. I decided I want to move to Chattanooga and be great gal pals with Mrs. Crumley. And of course seeing Trisha again and meeting Kadi and the other MomDot ladies was excellent.
- BOTTOM LINE: This was a good one. Make plans to attend next year.
The conference was small, intimate, and welcoming to bloggers of all genres and experience levels. Honestly, the cross-section of bloggers in attendance was quite diverse.
The first night’s “speed dating” between bloggers and pr reps/companies was brilliant, as it offered an immediate opportunity to network and establish relationships that would carry throughout the weekend. The breakout sessions available on Friday and Saturday covered everything from how to deal with online meanies, to how to make money from your blog, to how to become a travel writer, and much more. That is to say – there was a little something for everyone.
I was pleased with the breakout sessions I attended – I felt the speakers were knowledgeable and engaging. There were two general panels as well, one during breakfast on Friday, and one during lunch on Friday. I think perhpas that format should be reconsidered for future Type A conferences – it was just SO MUCH to process to be addressed during breakfast, go to successive sessions, then be addressed again at lunch, then conclude with more sessions. Friday just felt like an awful lot of listening with much fewer opportunities to interact.
Our 2yo attended the conference’s KidCon, or child care, for the entire day on Saturday. I am extremely grateful for that resource; I know for many women it was a total life-saver. I would say, though, that I’d like to see the organization of the KidCon handled a little differently in the future. My impression – after receiving a very detailed list of what to bring for him (including copies of ID for two people allowed to pick him up) and a schedule of what was going to be happening and when – was that it was going to be a very structured program. In reality, it was much less than that. In fact, no one ever asked for ID when we dropped him off *or* picked him up, which concerned me, considering we were in a hotel where many other groups and guests were staying. And there was just total open access to the rooms where the kids were playing. I’ve had more precautions when going to Chuck E Cheese or my local YMCA. Again, I’m very grateful that they had certified child-care providers present, that my son had other kids and brand new toys to play with, and also that the KidCon registration was so inexpensive. I only hope some things might be tweaked for next time. You’ll find tons of recap posts from moms who were completely in love with how the KidCon was run, so remember that this was just my experience.
Overall, I thought this was an amazing conference. I can see a handful of ways it can be improved for next year, and since I hope to be in attendance in 2010, I’ll have to let you know about any changes then!