A Few Things I Learned at #DisneySMMC On the Road

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A few days ago I got to go to my very first blogger conference. It was the Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Conference in Portland. It was an invitation only event and I was thrilled to receive one! Nobody knows their method in choosing people to go. There were some big-time bloggers there, and then there was me.

All set to go!!

Business cardsNotes on the laptop? Or in a notebook? Take both!!  (I ended up using the notebook. It was so weird using a pen again.)

Portland is a few hours from my house and I was lucky enough to find a carpool buddy. I got to hang out with Maegan from Sounds Fun Mom, a fantastic site about local activities for families-right up my alley!

Unfortunately, we were a bit late to the event. Traffic was horrible and we missed the beginning, including the pin exchange. They handed out pins to everyone at registration and they got a chance to trade with each other. It’s a huge deal at the Disney parks. All of their “cast members” have pins to exchange with guests. At this particular event, the pin exchange portion was the best time for a meet and greet.

The entire event was really fun! There were great speakers, all of whom really knew their stuff!

Some stand out points I thought I’d share:

Victoria Lim

*when taking photos, “zoom in” with your feet. (It makes so much sense! The zoom on my phone just ruins the quality of the photo!)

*She demonstrated some Video apps, specifically Magisto and Videoliscious. They are quite different from each other, but they both involve making a video out of your photos.

Andrea and Megan from Babble talked about the most effective way they have found to use social media.

*FB-Instead of just posting links, post “shareables” and native uploads

*Pinterest-Use the “guided search” feature. It helps you find the most valuable keywords for your descriptions.

*Twitter-Every morning check to see what’s trending. If you have a relevant way to use it, do it.

*There is “no such thing as too many tweets!”

*Instagram-Always share your photos to FB. (I just recently started doing this. For some reason I had it stuck in my head that we weren’t supposed to.)

*if you want to connect with brands or other bloggers, always start with Twitter.

Marianne Richmond, children’s book author and illustrator-

*Know your “why”

*Embrace your design and your unique voice.

(In our goodie bags, we received a copy of Ms. Richmond’s most popular book, If I Could Keep You Little…She was gracious enough to sign everyone’s copy. By the way, total tear-jerker! But such a great book!)

Kathy Cano-Marillo, The Crafty Chica and her daughter, Maya Marillo, Maya in the Moment

*What are the top search terms for your site?

*Don’t be afraid to block people on social media

*Let your kids be involved. They’re going to be online anyway, may as well be involved.

These weren’t all of the speakers that were there, and this is just a snippet of what I learned, it was quite an busy day!

And what kind of Disney event would it be, without a photo with Mickey?! I’ve got to be completely honest here, this is the first time I’ve met him.Mickey Mouse One last thing I learned while I was there. I am not the social butterfly I thought I was. I was so intimidated but all the great bloggers, I only handed out a few of my cards! Oh, well! Something to work on for next time.

Your turn! Have you ever been to a #Disneysmmc event? Or another blogging conference? Did you enjoy it? What were you able to take away from it?

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  • Reply Lauren

    Great suggestions here! It looks like you had fun and learned a lot.. I love your cards!

    June 12, 2015 at 7:42 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! It was fun. Thanks so much! My face is pretty big…LOL…

      June 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Lindsey Smallwood

    So cool that you got invited to this! Thanks for sharing your tips with us. I need to think about getting a Twitter, it’s the only social media thing I haven’t done yet, but everyone says it’s great for bloggers.

    June 12, 2015 at 7:43 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks! Yes, I go back and forth on Twitter. Sometimes I love it, then I hate it. But it really is great for bloggers. If you decide to sign up, send me a tweet so I can follow you!

      June 12, 2015 at 7:49 am
  • Reply Kassi

    Ooh this sounds like a great conference! And so cool that you got invited!!! I haven’t ever been to one. I live so far off the beaten path it’s hard for me to make it to conferences, but I would definitely go if I got invited to one! 🙂

    June 12, 2015 at 8:08 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It was fun. It was two and half hours both ways, so the travel time equaled the conference time, but it was worth it! I had to apply for it. When the whole hubbub about the big Disneysmmoms conference was going around, I started digging a bit, then found an application to their “on the road” tour.

      June 12, 2015 at 2:01 pm
  • Reply Shelah

    I have never been to a blogging conference but I have gone to the Librarian conferences (with a client) and to many autism conferences. The Disney bloggers conference looks like a lot of fun!

    June 12, 2015 at 8:16 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It was fun! I can’t wait to go to another blogger conference.

      June 12, 2015 at 9:27 am
  • Reply twitchetts.com

    So cool that you got to go to this!! We don’t have business cards yet, but it is on the radar. Sounds like you got a lot of great information!!

    June 12, 2015 at 8:39 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It was fun! I ordered the business cards after I found out I was going to this. I got mine at Vista print because they’re so inexpensive.

      June 12, 2015 at 9:26 am
  • Reply Cristi G

    i’ve been to a couple of blogging conferences although not a Disney one. My first was hugely intimidating but the second was much more enjoyable! I’m looking forward to going again and hopefully I’ll eventually get an invite to DisneySMMC one day!

    June 12, 2015 at 9:39 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Which conferences have you been to, if you don’t mind my asking? How about we both get an invite to DisneySMMC next year and we can meet in person at Disney World. Sound good? 🙂

      June 12, 2015 at 9:41 am
  • Reply Melissa

    So awesome! I need to connect with other bloggers in Southern California. I’ve connected with a few but it would be cool to go to a conference.

    June 12, 2015 at 10:44 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I was really surprised that there were a lot of people from Southern California there. Are you part of any local blogger Facebook groups? At the conference, I met someone that lives just down the street from me!! Crazy!

      June 12, 2015 at 2:03 pm
  • Reply shann

    Sounds like a cool event!!! Lots of great tips!

    June 12, 2015 at 10:54 am
  • Reply Tricia

    Oh you’re so lucky you got to go! It sounds like such a great event. I’m definitely going to use some of these tips. Thanks for sharing.

    June 12, 2015 at 11:52 am
  • Reply Rachael Boley

    So cool tarynn! What an awesome thing to be invited to! I’ve never been to a blogging conference but would love to someday! Great tips…I really need to use Twitter more! Glad you got to meet Mickey and thanks for sharing the experience with us!

    June 12, 2015 at 12:49 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It was fun! Maybe when we’re both really “big-time” we’ll be able to meet up at one. That would be so awesome!

      June 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Ai

    Thanks for sharing what you learned! I’ve never been to a blogging conference before, but I imagine that I would be pretty intimidated. It sounds like you had a lot of fun and got so much out of it. Love the pic with you & Mickey!

    June 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Sure! Thank you! It was fun! I’m hoping to go to a weekend one someday.

      June 14, 2015 at 8:43 pm
  • Reply Ellen Oliveira

    So awesome. Congrats on being chosen, I’m sure you learned so much. Thanks for sharing some of their wisdom with us.

    June 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm
  • Reply Alana

    I’m so impressed with you! You got INVITED and you have business cards, and… and… and… It’s so nice that Portland is so close to you. Oregon is so beautiful. If it hadn’t been a full day’s worth of driving from BC, I would have been there all the time. This entire post was so valuable and filled with such great info. Thank you SO much for sharing!!!! xo

    June 15, 2015 at 5:41 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks Alana! I did have to apply, but I was surprised I got invited. And the business cards were really inexpensive (vistaprint) for a ton of them. Now I need to go to a lot more events to hand them out! I’m glad you liked it, I hope you found something of use!

      June 15, 2015 at 8:40 am

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