Hits, Misses, and What I Could Have Lived Without from Mom 2.0 Summit

I’m tempted to wait a bit longer to write this “recap” post from this weekend’s Mom 2.0 Summit, but two things are forcing me to charge ahead: (1) the realization that I won’t have much more than five minutes between now until the end of the week to pull my thoughts together, and (2) I’m afraid if I wait too long, I’ll be too intimidated by all the “this was the best! conference! ever!” posts to share what I felt were some real challenges of this years conference.

Mom 2.0 Summit logo

So, for better or worse, here goes…

Hits:

The people. As always, the best part of any blogging conference is the chance to meet (or reunite with) other bloggers. This year I was able to make some genuine connections with new friends, renew relationships with old friends, and discover that bloggers whom I truly respect are wonderful, down-to-earth people. I also got to see some of my favorite PR people and was proud that other bloggers got to meet some of the best of the best in their field.

Sessions with actual take-aways. My favorites from this year included an Entreprenuerial Strategy session with Stephanie Smirnov, Erica Diamond, Shelly Kramer, and Gabrielle Blair, and a session on Writing with Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy. I took feverish  notes in both sessions and left with actionable take-aways that left me inspired and motivated.

The emphasis on social good. From the new “&you” campaign launched by Johnson & Johnson to the IKEA exhibit furniture which would be donated to local shelters, from the feature on the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center to the actual playground build performed by conference attendees and Let’s Play/Kaboom leaders – this year’s Mom 2.0 made an impact with focusing on social media for social good.

The opportunity to speak. Although I have some serious misgivings about what went down this weekend, I can never thank the organizers enough for giving me my first chance to speak at a conference. True, I was ultimately given less than half the amount of time I was told I’d have (due to the conference running very late…see “misses” #1), but this opportunity was no small thing. It put me in the company of many amazing people, and I know there will be long-term benefits of that.

Misses:

Disorientation. It was difficult to keep up on time changes, room changes, and just the general layout of where things were. I don’t think the conference ran on schedule for the entire weekend, and after a while the confusion became very frustrating. It also seemed impossible to have a conversation in group settings without having to yell over one another. I’m not sure if the space was too small or the group was too large, but by the time I left the conference, I was on auditory overload and I had practically lost my voice.

Sessions with too much self-promotion. This might be my biggest complaint of this year’s conference. I sat in on too many sessions that boiled down to “This is who I am, this is what I do, this is how I got to where I am, there is what I’m doing next.” I could have read their About Me pages and blogs to find all that out; what I wanted to know was “What about me? How can I do these things?” After all, that’s what people are paying good money for – not to learn about the session panelists, but from them.

Certain exhibitors and the expo space. I have a whole post I want to write about Nintendo (and how much they annoyed me), but I’m still pondering the wisdom of that. I do want to say that having the expo lined up along the routes to each of the session rooms was very distracting and I found myself confused between not wanting to ignore them, but not wanting to get sucked in, either. When I did stop to talk, it was tough to get away, and I ended up late or absent for a few sessions. I’m not sure what the balance would be here, but I think it deserves a second look.

What I Could Have Lived Without

Mom 2.0 Summit is emerging as a conference that seems very concerned with the finer things. Hence its connection to the Ritz Carlton and the growing attraction to “Destination” locations for the conference. For two years it was held in Houston, but who wants to come to Houston? Where’s the pizazz in that? So this year it was in New Orleans, and much was made of the French Quarter location. Next year it will be held in Miami, with what I imagine will be even more emphasis on outside opportunities to party and play. All of this is lost on me. I want to come to learn, network, and yes, have a few laughs, but I don’t look at attending a blogging conference as a vacation. I don’t need an exotic destination or outside programming as part of the bill. I freely admit that I may be in the minority on this one, but it’s true, and it does affect my conference experience.

From the receptions to the food to the la-dee-dah, I just feel like Mom 2.0 could benefit by scaling back on the Wow Factor and getting back to tightening the nuts and bolts on schedule, content, and programming.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, I’m glad I went to this year’s Mom 2.0. The networking and connections alone were priceless. I respect the organizers of this conference and can only imagine that they will be analyzing everything and looking to see where they can make improvements for next year. And while I’m not sure I’ll attend in 2012, I would hope they look at ways to feature fresh content, new speakers, actionable take-aways for attendees, and get back to their original mission of opening conversation (versus promotion or the hard sell) between marketers and bloggers.

_____________________________________________________________________

  • Anonymous

    Well done, my friend. While I left with probably a much more favorable impression, I totally see your points and agree with many of them. I really could have done without the Ritz-Carlton.

    • Thanks for the support, Sarah! I know everyone has a different conference experience, and I was grateful to be able to chat about our different perspectives last night. I always appreciate your opinion on things! 🙂

  • Laura Mayes

    Thanks, Stacey for attending and offering your feedback. We value your perspective. In fact, the team just got out of a 6 hr recap meeting (that started at 8 am this morning…ooof!) , where we discussed many of these exact same things. We’re already on new ideas to improve on learnings and make next year even better. Here’s to always better! Thanks again for coming this year and for leading a panel discussion!

    • Laura, I appreciate you taking this post in the spirit it was written – which was with a lot of love, despite my concerns. I think I’ll always regard Mom 2.0 as the place where my current success in blogging was born, way back in 2009 with the opportunity you gave me to live blog the original conference. It gave me the confidence I needed to want for something bigger. I knew (as I mentioned) that you would all be taking a long look at this year and working hard on 2012. Here’s hoping you get some well-deserved rest soon! 🙂

  • You are in my head. I agree so much with this: “I could have read their About Me pages and blogs to find all that out; what I wanted to know was “What about me? How can I do these things?” After all, that’s what people are paying good money for – not to learn about the session panelists, but from them.”

    But overall, I am so glad I went, too! And for our brief bumpings-into in the elevator and halls. 🙂 I appreciate your honest post.

    Steph

    • I have respected you from afar for a long time now, and was grateful for those brief exchanges. I do hope to get the chance for extended conversation in the future. 🙂

  • I was a lucky bug last year and WON a ticket to Mom 2.0! I scrimped and scraped to purchase a plane ticket and hotel room. I could not have gone without winning the pass. Attending Mom 2.0 was amazing — the conference sessions were chock full of solid information.

    But, I am astounded at how much more expensive the Mom 2.0 conference pass is from all other conferences. Even the early bird is not cheap. The conference literature is very much about pampering, luxury hotels, spa visits, and the like. I can tell you that when I am on vacation I NEVER pamper myself. I’m always traveling with kids and husband at breakneck speed without time or cash for spa visits and the like. I barely pamper myself at home.

    • I hear you, Jill! Which is why maybe for many, the chance to get away and have that taste of luxury is an added benefit. It’s just too hard for me to justify, though, as I know it is for a lot of women.

  • Mir

    Well put, Stacey. I’m glad I got a chance to meet you, even if we didn’t get to talk for very long!

    • Mir, I *sincerely* appreciated the chance to sit next to you at the speaker’s dinner. Although we were side-by-side and I still needed to shout at you, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and getting to know you a bit.

      Which reminds me, can I beg you to offer a “subscribe via email” for your Woulda Coulda Shoulda & Want Not blogs? That’s where I like to read my new favorites. 😀

      • Mir

        Yes, I would’ve loved to chat with you at dinner without us having to scream at each other. 😉

        As for the email thing… I’m a (very) slow adopter, but people keep asking, so I will keep you posted on that!

  • Stacey,
    Very interesting read here. Have only been to 2 blog cons, have not been to Mom2Summit. I appreciate your honesty and I probably would have felt the same way. I go to conferences to learn, and because I do not have sponsors, I would put the education over the pampering (though pampering would be nice!) I have to consider all the costs involved when attending a conference, and I can only imagine how much staying and meeting at a Ritz would cost.

    Personally, on a little bit different aside, I find myself in an odd place with blog conferences. I am not a reviewer, I am not a mommy blogger. I am not a business in the sense of what you would think of the sponsors who attend. I am an entrepreneur with my own personal product and services (and not handcrafted items). My blog is to increase awareness and traffic and ultimately sell my product. So, many of the conference sessions are not applicable to me. Maybe I need to approach them in a different manner.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Bernice
    Does having less stuff make life easier?

    • Bernice, I absolutely appreciate the situation you are in. Trust me, you are not the only one who feels that way, and in fact I overheard some women this past weekend who were expressing the very same thing (being unsure how this “type” of blogging related to them). I wish I had a clear answer for you, but I do know that you have SO MUCH to offer other attendees, and I know many can be encouraged and inspired by meeting you!!

    • Shelly Kramer

      Bernice, many conferences aren’t for “mom bloggers” and Mom2Summit is one of them – as is Blissdom, Evo and many others. While some of the attendees are moms and mommy bloggers, many are entrepreneurs and business owners, looking to learn more, do better and build and grow their businesses. Don’t let the word “mom” in a conference title throw you off! I promise, there’s much to be learned at some of these conferences!!

    • Shelly Kramer

      Bernice, many conferences aren’t for “mom bloggers” and Mom2Summit is one of them – as is Blissdom, Evo and many others. While some of the attendees are moms and mommy bloggers, many are entrepreneurs and business owners, looking to learn more, do better and build and grow their businesses. Don’t let the word “mom” in a conference title throw you off! I promise, there’s much to be learned at some of these conferences!!

  • Elz

    Good points, Stacey. I have some good and some definite “needs improvement” notes on my Mom 2.0 experience. I hope that Laura & her very capable team read the recaps that come in over the next few days and work to make this conference better next year. Great meeting you, even though it was only for a brief minute!

    • I think it was a brief “two” minutes, actually – once when Sarah introduced us on the fly, and now I’m remembering a quick exchange at the sink in the ladies room. Makes me chuckle to think how fast things move at a conference. 🙂

      I have every confidence that Laura and the “Krewe” are taking all this feedback in and putting it all into proper perspective with their own goals and plans. Thanks so much for adding yours!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for writing this Stacey! I think we really do have to think of these conferences in light of how they affect our professional life. It’s too much money to spend just on spas and dinners out. I’m so glad you got to speak, and I’m sad I missed your debut!

    I still am wishing to attend Mom 2.0 at some point!

    • All I know is that I really, *really* hope we get to see each other in the next handful of months. I’ve got a great big hug I’ve been dying to give you. 🙂 Thinking of you lots these days. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Rachel Ferrucci

    Stacey well put, Conferences are for learning and growing, of course some of us “wink” love to meet up at night to have our fun time then. I wish I could have been there to hear you speak for your first time!!

    Thanks for being so honest and not being all mushy!!

    • Rachel, I have a feeling I might not be able to keep up with your kind of fun. 😀 Ha ha! Thanks so much for the comment.

  • Christy @morethanmommy

    Great points. I always feel that panel sessions end up being more about learning about panelists than learning from them. I enjoy some of that, because they’re interesting people, but I appreciate most the sessions with people representing a particular field that is relevant to bloggers (law, literary agents, publishers, PR/marketing reps who aren’t there for their clients, etc.).

    It was my first Mom 2.0 and I had heard such amazing things. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. I need to spend some time thinking about why and jot my thoughts down. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • First of all, Christy, congrats on all your fabulous luck at the conference! 🙂 And thanks for coming by to offer some of your thoughts. I know what you mean about needing some time to think on it – even since writing this points some things have stood out more and some things have faded away. It all sort of falls into place over time.

  • I admire your honesty and intelligence in writing this — especially, as a blogger who did not attend this conference — thank you for your very informative recap and I really do hope that organizers of Mom 2.0 are reading along, as well.

    • Thank you, Liz, for those kind words – it means a lot coming from you! I know for sure that the Mom 2.0 organizers are taking everything in this week, which is why I wrote this recap (and wrote it the way I did) in the first place. I have a lot of respect for them and believe that they want the best of their vision to come to life.

  • Gigi927

    HI Stacey,

    So glad we got to meet at the conference.

    I think your post is pretty spot on with nearly all of the points (and plan to reference it in my own, which will be a humor post).

    I give the organizers a bit of a break on the schedule because I think it’s hard to make these things run on time period. The ultimate challenge, I think, is that it was so packed with stuff that there wasn’t any wiggle room (or, hello, time to eat dinner? I’m a mom and don’t eat dinner at 9 p.m. anymore!).

    I think the organizers should take a note about the luxury factor. I agree – I’d rather stay at a more modest hotel and have a less expensive ticket and hotel price. I think they could achieve this also by having less speakers to compensate/give free tickets to. Having 2 to 4 speakers on nearly every session seemed excessive. I would much rather listen to 1, maybe 2 speakers talk about a very focused topic than hear 4 talk in generalities.

    With them having announced 2012 in Miami, I highly doubt that’s going to be in my budget next time around.

    • Gigi, thank you so much for that link in your post! I hear what you’re saying about the schedule, and I know others appreciated the fluidity of it and the stress-free manner in which everyone decided to “go with the flow.” I totally own that I’m a little more Type A with that kind of stuff. 🙂 And I hadn’t thought of the size of the panels before, but I do think you’re right – I think it was easier to lose focus with so many voices in the mix. I would *definitely* like to see that format change in the future.

      By the way, you weren’t kidding when you referred to yours as a “humor post.” It was hilarious! 🙂

  • Great points well said, Stacey. Good for conference folks to know, and for future speakers to keep in mind as well. Glad to have met you at the roundtable!

    • I’m glad I got to meet you, too, Asha! I’m still feeling like maybe my roundtable didn’t apply to you or help with what you were looking for, but I am genuinely glad you were there. And I sure wish I would have known that you’re from Portland! We lived in Hillsboro for many years (and in Oregon for 16 total). I miss, miss, miss it. Say hello to that Pacific Northwest sky for me. 🙂

  • Congrats on speaking and thanks for the balanced feedback on the event.

    • Thank you, Kim. I had to wonder if your ears were burning this weekend, as I mentioned you to a handful of people. Basically in the context of “people I admire online.” 🙂 Hope I get to see you at some point this year!

  • CarissaRogers

    Great post. Glad you were ‘brave’ enough to speak your mind.

    I have to say there were more sessions I truly wanted to attend than I could fit in and my takeaways from those genuinely were fab. I totally agree that SO many people on a panel is somewhat useless, one of my fave sessions was personal branding and only two speakers were there. Another fave session was about blogging/life/balance and for whatever reason there were only 5 people in attendance. Talk about the BEST session I attended by far…

    Also the round tables were great (WAY too loud for the space) but great. I would have preferred 3 or 4 of the round tables instead of only 2 (choosing from 20 was impossible!). They were great for BOTH networking/meeting new bloggers and getting in depth info from the round table speaker, ya know?

    I too have an issue with the ‘same ten speakers’ problem. I know they are great bloggers. But as already mentioned, if I can email them, see their about page etc and get the SAME info as given in the speech, that makes NO sense!! Why would I attend? Blogher is particularly bad for these issues. And more ppl are in the halls than the sessions because they can be so useless.

    I think all the small AND large conferences need to take note. Find new speaking Blood or you’ll see more revolt. I literally saw the same slide show presentation from one speaker as at BlissDom. This person felt no need to ‘freshen’ the content from one conference to the next!! Hello. Find someone else.

    As for the brand involvement I totally disagree. (In a happy way I promise) 🙂 I was there for myself (mainly to meet and connect with other bloggers– YOU!) And for a sponsor who would love to have more connections with brands and PR. I truly thought it was a MUCH better way to have the brands in the same space really as the conference and sessions. I mean, Edy’s shake on my way into the next session. Yes thank you. And many sponsors/PR/Brands need to take note of your thoughts about what/how Nintendo could do better. They all could do better as far as really connecting with the Bloggers. And I don’t mean with a follow up, Hey! Like our Facebook page! How about: Hey, what did you like about our presentation? What could we do better? And just for fun: What would you love to do with our brand… if give the opportunity? Back to the self branding session, speak to the gal from Abbot (I never got her name), @JeffFrom or @Akeats (Adam). Talk about PR folks who GET what it means to interact with bloggers and really LISTEN. (They weren’t even the speakers of the session!!)

    Also I disagree about the Wow factor. Oh my gosh! LOVED it. Loved that there was enough ‘down’ in-between time to enjoy the wow factor and the location. The service project was fabulous (I heard) as was the walking tour, I think I met 3 new BFFs just from the French Quarter walking tour. 3 minutes before a session is nothing compared to 2 hours walking around the French Quarter. I was also very appreciative of how responsive the hotel was via Twitter and I saw a staff member (Mike) NOT a server, who ran to get a wet towel when wine was spilled on Jyl Johnson Pattee.

    I loved how compact the conference was. All the sessions VERY nearby each other(and the few down on 1st floor didn’t bother me easy to find). The last conference was so spred out, from sessions to hotel rooms, I hated that!

    As for your thoughts about the overtime/lateness. I LOVED that. I loved that everyone was calm enough to let it flow a bit. I loved that when I saw the event organizers that they had time to talk. That’s not the case with every conference I can tell you.

    Also I really enjoyed both the opening and closing keynotes. 1) because they weren’t the same 10 people talking, weren’t even ‘bloggers’. and 2) because they spoke on very relevant blogging things. 3) because they cared enough to listen to questions and save time for questions.

    Okay that was Way too long and please forgive me when I lift my whole comment here for my own follow up post… 🙂 !! PS I totally would have gone to Houston, I love travel!!

    • I love that you posted all of this here, Carissa – all of it! – because it adds a depth to the conversation that my one perspective alone could not have achieved. I respect and appreciate all you had to say, and am both happy that we finally met and sad we didn’t have more time to sit and get deep in conversation. Save me a spot on your dance card next time? 🙂

  • Good for you for being honest about the good and the bad. Too often the posts you read right after conferences are all full of love and gushing. I’m all for the love and gushing… but there certainly had to be SOMETHING you didn’t enjoy. Something that could improve.

    I’m giving BlogHer a try again this year. We’ll see if I’m as overwhelmed this time as I was last time! (And maybe I can meet up with you before checking out in the lobby!)

    • I’ll be at BlogHer, too, and am feeling much more prepared for it this year than I was last year! And yes, yes, yes, no “hey, aren’t you ___?” in the lobby upon check-out next time. We must catch each other MUCH earlier. Thanks so much for the comment, Colleen.

  • Jenn @ Mommy Needs Coffee

    As someone who wasn’t able to attend Mom 2.0, I really appreciate your post. More people need to be honest about their conference take away. I think it would help any or all conference organizers. If people don’t mention the misses, how are the organizers to know what to adjust? Thanks for your post.

    • Thank you, Jenn, for the comment! And I just got your message about Katy – it *is* a small world, isn’t it! 😀

  • Anonymous

    What a great post, Stacey. And I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed our panel (I always cross my fingers and hope to deliver a “hit”).

    Like Carissa, my impressions were a bit different, but that doesn’t mean yours are any less “real” or any less significant. It was my first time at Mom 2.0, both as a speaker and as an attendee, and I really liked it. I loved the Ritz and was reminded – yet again – why I always love staying there and loved the fabulousity that is NOLA, even though I get to travel often and see lots of cool places. I rarely pamper myself, so when a hotel does it for me, I do so enjoy it.

    I loved the way the vendors/exhibitors were arranged in a more intimate space and thought them very personable and interested in me, unlike some other conferences I’ve attended.

    I didn’t get to every party, but the ones I did attend were also very nice, especially the Truvia cocktail party and the Wine Sisterhood events on Friday evening.

    However, like you, I also tire of the speakers who are all about “me, me, me” and who are clearly either mailing it in or using the opportunity to speak as a way to sell themselves, books, or something else, so I understand your concern as an audience member. Trust me, even when you’re a speaker and you hear that crap you just shake your head and wonder how people can be so self-absorbed. And why they don’t respect the money that folks have paid to attend and how badly they seek actionable takeaways that will help them in their businesses and with their goals.

    I thought Laura Mayes and company did a great job, loved the fluidity of the crowd when it came to schedule changes and overall thought it was a lovely conference.

    But I also very much enjoyed your frank analysis and applaud you, one MILLION percent, for speaking your mind. The only way that speakers can get better is to hear this kind of feedback, same thing with brands who are involved and, believe it or not, conference organizers really appreciate your feedback, too.

    You’ll have to let me know the next conference you’re traveling to so that we can make a point to hang :))

    Take care. And thanks again for such an honest recap.

    Shelly
    @shellykramer

    • Shelly, I truly appreciate you taking the time to comment! And I appreciate your perspective and how it differs and intersects with my own. I’m not sure I anticipated the discussion this post would generate, but I’m hoping it can only serve to help the organizers, who take on a job much more monumental than we can imagine.

      And I meant what I said – your panel was huge for me. I write for a small business website, and I was very inspired by what you and the other women had to say about entrepreneurial strategy. Not to mention you gave me some great material to share in my assignments for next month. 😉

      ps: I’ll be at BlogHer this year. See you there?

      • Anonymous

        Isn’t great discussion always such a heart-warming thing? And “proof” that you’ve written a post that resonates with so many others. I love it.

        Please take me at my word and ping me if I can help you in anyway. Or, better yet, write a guest blog post for the V3 blog sometime, we’d love to have your voice around these parts.

        I don’t know about BlogHer. I’ve not ever been – if you can believe that. I’m headed to BWENY in May and still shocked by the almost $500 plane ticket (damn those rising gas prices).

        I will definitely stalk you if I do decide it’s in the cards for me – it would be lovely to see and spend time with you. And cocktails. #justsayin

        Thanks again, my friend. For a brave and thoughtful post.

        Shelly
        @ShellyKramer

    • CarissaRogers

      I have to say, walking up to shake hands with Shelly after her talk and getting a HUGE hug instead likely was the highlight of my trip. 🙂

      THANKS.

      • Anonymous

        You’re a dork. And I love ya! Next time, I’m gonna hug you AND French kiss you. So there.

        Shelly
        @ShellyKramer

  • Anonymous

    And Stacey, I forgot to say CONGRATS on speaking! You were mahvelous!!!

  • Shasta

    Great post! I agree with almost everything 🙂

    • Thank you, roomie! I still have a couple of session recaps I want to publish. I’ll make sure to send you the link to the Writing one. It was fabulous!

  • CharChronicles

    This was my first Mom 2.0 Summit as well, and I went because it was talked up so much. Unfortunately, I too was disappointed and annoyed most of the weekend. Your points are spot on and I commend the fact that you spoke up. To add to your list though, (1) the rooms were freezing. Expected at most conferences but this was too much. (2) the lack of phone and internet service. Seriously, at a blogging conference? (3) The snobby or clueless brands. 20 somethings at the Huggies table, and brands that turned their back on me when someone more important came to the table. I thought it was about connection? Overall, I agree, not sure if it was the conference space, hotel or what, but for a very expensive conference ticket, I walked away with just a few nibblets.

    • I can identify with what you’re feeling, Charlene. And I had no idea about the wireless until I heard others complaining about it on site. I had decided not to lug my huge laptop around, so I didn’t realize. I can understand how it made many very upset!

      On the flip side, I do have to thank you for coming to my roundtable, and am truly grateful for your presence there, and for the conversation. I hope our paths cross again!

  • First, thank you so much for this post. I agree with many of your points(the good and the not so much) and you presented them so well. Hopefully all conference organizers will be taking note. I loved getting to spend a few minutes with you and hope to grab some more time when we meet again!

    • Amy, I have to tell you – you were like a little piece of serenity for me last weekend. I just love your energy and am so grateful for the bits of time we got to spend together! THANK YOU for coming to my roundtable and for all your encouragement. It is so appreciated!

  • Liz

    Stacey, I think it’s so great that you were honest in your feedback. I had heard about Mom 2.0 and noticed some of the big bloggers who were going. I have always thought it was strange how exorbitant the price of a ticket was, and now I know why. Hopefully the organizers will take posts like this to heart and improve for next year.

    • Thank you for the comment, Liz, and I’m sure organizers are looking for any way they can to make positive changes for next year. But what I want to know is – what about us? When will you and I get to meet? Will you be heading to any conferences this year?

      • Liz

        Awww, Stacey! I really, really would love to meet you. I’m going to Type A
        – what about you? What other conferences are on your agenda?

        Liz

        a belle, a bean & a chicago dog – *Blog
        *

        Eli | Rose Social Media – *Co-Founder*
        My profiles: [image: Twitter] [image:
        Facebook] [image:
        LinkedIn] [image:
        Blog RSS]

  • You weren’t kidding that your thoughts were in line with mine! I do think that this kind of feedback can be valuable to Laura and her crew, and I have no doubt that next year’s sessions will reflect change, and I’ll probably go because of that.

    My only real complaint with the conference was in the sessions, and because that’s a huge part of why I go, it stood out like a sore thumb to me.

    • I think the phrase “great minds think alike” applies in this case. 😉 As always, it was a pleasure to see you!

  • Oh dear, now I’m worried this was me on stage: Allison, Allison, the kingdom of me.

    I agree 100%.

    • NOT NOT NOT you. In fact (I am mortified to admit) I didn’t make it to your session. But I’ve got a gut hunch that you were not included in the group I was referring to. 😉

  • Anonymous

    First of all, how awesome that you got to speak! Yay! 🙂
    I was so bummed not to get to go, but after reading your post and Blueviolet’s, I’m more okay with not going.

  • Thanks Stacey – I was just typing some of the same things when I came across your post. I had very high expectations of the conference sessions with the high price tag, and found that many were duplicates of sessions I had seen before. I too wish there were some more new faces in speakers. AND CONGRATULATIONS! I wish I had heard you speak. I did not get a lot of take aways. I like to feel like I should be taking notes, you know?

    As far as the Ritz and the location, I do not need the fancy location either. I am there for the people and the learning. I think it is a nice hotel, but it puts the conference totally off limits for many people. I loved the service activity and thought the playground build was awesome! I also loved the focus on giving back throughout the conference. I would have preferred something other than a reading Saturday night so I could have talked more to some of the wonderful people I met.

    I hope that next year a lof of these conferences feel more fresh in terms of content and faces, to be honest. I was told this was THE conference to go to, so I’m sure Laura and her team will make sure to listen to all the feedback before next year’s Miami bash.

    Great post. It’s nice to hear everyone’ viewpoints.

    • Thank you for the comment and perspective, Brittany! I have to confess, in my Saturday afternoon daze, I caught sight of your badge at our lunch table just as you were walking away – I was sad I missed the chance to introduce myself!

      And I totally hear what you’re saying about wanting that “need” to take notes. I ended up not even bringing my laptop, and only twice took notes – once on paper and once on my iPhone. 🙂 I fancy myself more of a student than that and was ready to just be a sponge, but it just didn’t happen for me this time around. I think you’re right, though, I think they will certainly be looking more closely at plans for Miami.

  • I stayed at a hotel across the street. Luckily we saved money that way and did not have the chaos of waiting for elevators, etc. It was great to meet you on Thursday afternoon at lunch. I forgot to present you my resume upon meeting….darn it. You gave a very frank view of the conference and yes, I agree with you, shocking.

    I hope more conference planners realize that people are there for EDUCATION. I find it rare that I get education from the panels at conferences. I did find Shelly Kramer, AMAZING though….

    Anywho, it was great to meet you…blah blah blah…I’m tired…:)

    • Now why would I need a resume when it’s clear that everyone gravitates to you FIRST among a group of people? Your magnetic qualities speak FOR you! 😉 Seriously, I’m really glad I got to meet you, too, because I’ve admired you from afar online and was just tickled to see that you’re completely cool and normal and not at all snotty. Either that or you were just on really good behavior. Now go to sleep!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Julie, for the kindness (in spite of you being tired) (which makes us kindred spirits, because I’m always tired) (darnit). I’m not amazing at all. But, clearly, I’m a good faker :)))

      Shelly
      @ShellyKramer

      • What’s hilarious about that, Shelly, is that I literally took this note from your time speaking on the panel: “Get good at faking it.” Preach it, sister!

  • Thank you so much for your insights. I was upset I couldn’t make it, but I suppose not so much! I saw Shelly Kramer at Blissdom and it was a highlight, as she spoke so frankly and to the point, but did notice the “pitching” from some speakers. I am anticipating Type A and hope to see and hear fresh perspectives, as that is how we all learn.

    This is such a breath of fresh air in conference recap posts– thank you!

    • Anonymous

      Ashley, quit being so nice or people will be onto me! They’ll know that I routinely pay you to say these things!!!

      Seriously, I just happened over here to answer another comment and saw this and it MADE MY DAY, woman! So darling — a big, fat, smoochey, honkin’ kiss to you for the kind words.

      The thing I dislike most about conferences is that I don’t get to spend time with as many people as I would like – and so next time our paths cross, I hope we can remedy that!

      Thank you again for the kind words. You really did make my day.

      Shelly
      @ShellyKramer

  • I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write a conference recap but LOVED reading yours. Nodding my head through a lot of it, and way too tired to delve into the details of my reactions right now.

    But… yes. The Ritz was overrated and unnecessary. That’s probably my biggest gripe of all.

    I also found the ticket prices to be exceptionally high considering the short amount of time for the actual conference. (I’m very fortunate that my ticket was sponsored by WindowsPhone.) But for future planning, the full ticket price seems unnecessary.

    As always, I loved networking with others and opportunities to reach out and think beyond the daily topics. Like Carissa, I found the branding session to be spot on (yay Emily and Debbie for leading a great discussion) and probably the most beneficial that I attended.

    Ahhh… much more to add later. When its not 12:24 am.

    Just one other thing. Really, really bummed I didn’t meet you. We even stayed in the same hotel!

  • Stacey, you were one of my highlights of Mom 2. Your session, though sort, was perfect in that it gave carefully crafted nuggets of information that made a difference in how I think about my blog. You cannot ask for more! Thanks for taking the time to participate!

  • Aschultze

    Ok, so I can only afford one conference a year.

    Doesn’t sound like Mom 2.0 is the one to save my pennies for.

    It looks like BlogHer, or Bloggy Boot Camp then.

    I love the honesty, thank you. Kludgymom sent me over.

  • Miss (on my end): I didn’t get a chance to talk with you more in NOLA. Well, of course we do live in the same part of the world so that probably could be fixed at some point. Good recap.

  • What a great and thoughtful post that included many of the things that I was thinking but haven’t composed into a blog post yet.

    Hit: Seeing you IRL!
    Miss: Not spending more time together!

    Thank goodness Type A is on the horizon! 🙂

  • So glad I got the chance to meet you this year! Yes, it was “fab” in some ways… but I felt rushed and disorganized much of the time. It should feel more like a marathon than a sprint. The quality of people there, however, made it so worth my time (even though it took longer to drive there than the entire conference lasted.) Hope to catch up soon!

  • Maricris of Zensible Mama

    It’s great to see a perspective written objectively on a conference I was sad to miss, yet again this year. Thank you for sharing this Stacey.

  • I appreciate this post. I’ve been telling people I’d like to go to a ‘take it to the next level’ conference and Mom 2.0 has been recommended. I, too am starting to dislike so much of the self promotion and same-speaker rotation. It’s one reason I haven’t gone to any conferences since last year’s BlogHer. I want solid takeaways I can put into practice as soon as I get back home. I also wish there were fewer ‘booth bunnies’ representing the PR (I forget where I first heard that term).

    It’s interesting that we are asked to fill out post conference surveys but some of the same issues keep coming up. I will say, though, that I do treat these things as a mini vacay. I don’t really need the Ritz and spas but a nice hotel in an area with things to do is always appreciated.

    Thanks for the post!
    (came via Social Media Bitch)

  • I was so glad we had a chance to meet- that lunch that Carissa put together was awesome and gave me a chance to connect with a number of women in a real and meaningful way.

    As a conference organizer, I know how tough it can be to regulate temperature, stay on time, keep the wireless working, etc. We don’t do many panels at Bloggy Boot Camp {they can easily turn into a self promotion competition}, and ask that the speakers offer at least 5 things attendees can walk away with and implement as soon as they get home- this goal seems to help them organize their thoughts and presentations geared towards real info.

    I am not interested in hearing people pontificate on their personal successes- at a conference or anywhere else.

    I found Liz Gumbinner and Shelly Kramer to be excellent speakers and felt they both offered what I came for- real, thoughtful and valuable insight and advice. They could have each easily filled the hour on their own.

    As a business, we were also able to make some great connections with brands. I actually found the set up allowed for brands to engage with bloggers much more effectively then having them off in a hall somewhere.

    I do think there is a place in this space for a variety of conferences. While a ticket to Bloggy Boot Camp is around $100- we won’t be at the Ritz Carlton in Miami {or anywhere else for that matter}. And, with Mom 2.0, you’ll have a full weekend experience at a fancy hotel in a glamorous city. Different strokes for different folks.

    Plus, I had the chance to try fried alligator, see the ninth ward with my own eyes and moan out loud while eating a beignet at Cafe du Mond. All in all it was a pretty good trip.

    I will finish like I started, saying how nice it was to meet you- I love meeting women I “know” online when they turn out to be as kind, warm and engaging as I hoped.

    Hope to see you again soon!
    Tiffany

  • Trisha

    Stacie, you have summed up the very reasons i forgo conferences anymore.

    trisha
    momdot.com