Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is part land, part sea in 2017
Many mom bloggers received an unexpected gift last week that inspired even more gratitude than usual during the Thanksgiving holiday. That’s because highly sought-after invitations to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration were sent out – months earlier than they have been in the past.
This year's conference takes place Feb. 7 to 12, and it features a first – half of the conference takes place on a Disney Cruise Line ship. The first two nights are spent at Port Orleans Riverside at Walt Disney World and the following three nights are onboard the ship. The conference day is scheduled for when the ship has a day at sea. Next year will be the eighth year for the conference, with all but one held in Florida. (The exception was a year when Disneyland hosted the conference.)
Participation in “The Most Magical Social Media Conference of the Year” is by invitation only, although there might be some ways to increase your odds. (More on that below.)
The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is a conference for bloggers who get professional communication advice from a range of speakers from national companies. Some of the past speakers have included wedding designer David Tutera; Matt Jacobson, head of market development at Facebook; Chris Brogan, president of Human Business Works, New York Times best-selling author and consultant; Ridley Pearson, the author of the "Kingdom Keepers" series for young adults and many other novels; and Rene Syler, former CBS' The Early Show Anchor and webmaster of goodenoughmother.com.
The multiday event also includes elements of a press junket, allowing conference attendees to experience what's new at the Disney Parks and, this year, Disney Cruise Line. Plus, it's a celebration that includes many fun family dinners and experiences. Participants pay their own way to the conference and a discounted registration fee that typically includes a stay at a Walt Disney World resort, theme park tickets and dinners for the family, and meals for the blogger. This year, it includes a three-night stay in a cabin with a veranda. The cost this year is $1,400 for the invitee and one guest. The invitee may bring up to two additional guests at a cost of $400 per guest.
For years, the big question has been how to get invited to the conference. And, unfortunately, there is no definitive answer, except that it involves a lot of pixie dust.
I was among those fortunate enough to be invited to the 2011 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, and I learned as much from my fellow bloggers as the amazing speakers. Moms who blog about Disney and other Orlando theme parks (like me) actually were in the minority. Most participants were mom bloggers who write about their daily experiences with their families, while some had specialized blogs for travel and other niches. It's a small group -- somewhere between 150 to 200 bloggers and their families attend.
Although most of the invitations for 2017 have gone out -- there may be some last-minute emails if some participants are unable attend -- those interested in attending in 2018 might be able to increase their chances by getting involved online and in person.
** Begin by following and interacting on social media (when appropriate) with Maria Bailey, who helped create the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. She is known as "the" authority on marketing to moms. She and her company, BSM Media, Inc., still are very involved with the conference. You also can connect with her by registering as a mom blogger at MomSelect.
** Be sure you are following on social media the Disney organizers behind the magic: @DisneySMMoms @DisneyParks @WaltDisneyWorld @DisneylandToday @DisneyCruise @DisneySports @runDisney @leannej (Leanne J. O'Regan, Walt Disney World Director of Social Media) Follow the hashtag #DisneySMMC to see what’s happening at the conference.
** Try to attend a Disney Social Media Moms Celebration on the Road. These mini conferences take place during the summer in a handful of cities throughout the United States. They are a good way to network and promote yourself to the organizers of the big conference at the Disney Parks. Although the 2017 dates have not yet been announced, keep checking the official Disney Social Media Moms Celebration site.