Just for You... Reviews by Lissete



Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Full Day of Conference. Fun & Surprises Included!

Friday was conference day. The schedule called for an early morning with the conference running till late afternoon. My family was planning on spending the day at the parks and actually felt sorry for me! Well sort of. I, on the other hand, was very excited about attending the conference. Period. I have been to several conferences in my life. Not a social media conference, but conferences nonetheless. Nothing could have prepared me for a conference put on by Disney!

I was already in awe of everything that we had already, not only received, but also experienced!

So I wake up early, strike that, I roll out of bed early. The bags under my eyes are practically touching my knees. I drag my exhausted body to the bathroom and hop in the shower. That is the only way that I would wake up. I decided to be a rebel and put on a sleeveless top, with a light cardigan and SANDALS! I’m in FLORIDA for crissake!

So I, and about 100 other moms jump on the monorail to the Contemporary Resort. Mind you, it is about 8:00 AM and that monorail was full of happy chatty ladies. Myself included. That shower worked wonders!

We arrive at the Contemporary and are led to the conference room. We walk into the room and the tables are all set for breakfast. Not just set, beautifully set. If that were not enough, we were then led to another conference room. This room was even more beautiful!

Each table had a plush doll from Build-a-Bear, each dressed as different Disney Princesses. There were also individual vases for each person. Plus Mickey confetti scattered on the table. The stage had a castle cut out that was all lit up and was surrounded by Mickey balloons.

The first speaker of the day was Maxine Clark, founder & Chief Executive Bear of Build-a-Bear Workshop. She spoke to us about her inspiration to create this company. Two quotes that stand out from her speech are:
“It’s about doing what you love, and loving what you do”
And my favorite:
“You can never have too many shoes or too many teddy bears!”

BABW was started in 1997 and now boasts 400 stores in 18 countries! All I can say is wow! I have read that BABW is one of the top companies to work for and that in itself is a great accomplishment. I have been in several BABW stores and have always been treated beary special.


The next guest speaker was Marissa Jaret Winokur. She starred in Hairspray as Tracy Turnblad and most recently was on Dancing With the Stars. Marissa said that she does not do speeches but she does interviews. So, she set up a mock interview and had a q&a on stage. Did you know that she is a cancer survivor?
Marissa credits her success on DWTS to her willingness to meet with the media outlets, including bloggers. She says that exposure made her more appealing to the voters.

Somewhere in between we broke for lunch. And what a lunch it was! YUMMY!

Yes, I took two cheesecakes! So what? They were minis!


We then heard from Kathy Ireland. former supermodel and now the CEO of a design and marketing firm, Kathy Ireland Worldwide.
I was VERY impressed with Kathy. Not just for her accomplishments. She is genuine. Plus she is a fantastic speaker!
She said:
“There’s no career more challenging, rewarding, or important than that of being a mom and raising children”
I agree with that quote 110%! (More on this later)
She also made a valid point when she said that "cyber footprints never disappear. Only put messages out there that you want the world to see;" an important lesson that we need to teach our children.


Next up was Chris Brogan. Ok, I am one of those that were oblivious to whom he was. But let me tell you, he is one funny guy! Chris is President of New Marketing Labs, and best-selling author of Trust Agents. He is a blogger and a social media expert. I like that he is into making connections. One thing I need to work on is brevity! Since I currently just blog on a personal level, I tend to ramble on and go off on tangents! I need to work on that!

Quote: “Treat your community like gold and never sell out.” This applies for both business & personal relationships.

My all time favorite quote of the day came from Chris:
"Don’t ever treat a ‘little blogger’ like poop, because little bloggers grow up!” So yeah, don’t treat me like poop! ;-)


We were asked to leave the room so that they could set up a special surprise. I was very happy to get up and run to the restroom, which of course had a line out the door. There were some ladies using the men’s room and one poor man was turned away. I stayed in line, because there’s something about urinals that freaks me out a little.
When we returned to the lobby area outside of the conference rooms, I, along with four other moms were asked if we would like to watch Kathy Ireland tape a promo. I’ll post about this tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of WDWPress

When we returned to the conference room, they had set up some munchies and a bar to get us all liquored up! More food! I haven’t eaten so much in one day in a very long time. And we haven’t even gotten to dinner! Maryellen Hooper did a stand up routine, which was pee in your pants hilarious! Mainly because I could relate to most of what she was poking fun of! I was so happy to get a copy of her DVD ~“Stinky Flowers”: A “Stand-Up” View of Marriage, Motherhood, & Life. I played it for my husband and he was cracking up… because he knew she was talking about HIM!

Did I mention that we got more goodies? First of all, we all got a pink fleece jacket, which came in handy because it was freakin’ freezing that night! We each also had a number printed on the back of our badge, which corresponded with a prize. Mine was Minnie plush. We each took home a vase from the table. Other lucky ladies won door prizes and one lucky lady won a night in Cinderella’s Castle! I would LOVE to just be able to SEE the suite! Oh, and the Build a Bear plushes on the table were given to one person at each table via a tag under our seats.

It had been raining all day and by nighttime, it was freezing. While waiting in line for the bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we were each given umbrellas! Yet another thoughtful touch by Disney. We were once again taken through a super secret entrance to the final evening event. Due to the rain and the crappy weather, the event was moved indoors. After a bit of dinner and some dancing, we headed out to Toy Story Mania. We had it all to ourselves and were able to ride it over and over! Good thing because I loved the ride. It’s sort of like Buzz Lightyear in the MK, only this one you wear 3-D glasses and stuff flies at you! Danny beat me each time. In my eyes, guys will ALWAYS win at this one. If you’ve ridden it you will know why.
The night ended by going back out the super secret way, boarding the bus, and heading straight back to the Poly to sleep! My thoughts on the whole experience coming in the next post. This post is already longer than it should be. Sorry Chris!

Although I did pay a greatly reduced rate for this event, all opinions are my own. I was not asked to write about the events or The Walt Disney Company.

Up next: Kathy Ireland Up Close & Personal and Final Wrap up

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