Mom 2.0 in New Orleans – 2011 | 1099 - Mom
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Mom 2.0 in New Orleans – 2011

A beautiful lunch gift provided by Almond Accents 
We've just gotten back from an amazing trip down south.  It was a long drive from Nebraska to NOLA, but we made it there in 3 days and back in the same.  The sites along the way were worth the price of admission, but that's probably not what you came here to read about.  Here are the highlights of the conference (for those who couldn't attend.)  I can't stress enough that Mom 2.0 has always been one of my favorite social media events, and I highly recommend getting your tickets for next year as soon as they go on sale!
The Sponsors

This year's collection of corporate sponsors were beyond amazing.  With the exception of one horribly unprofessional brand representative, I was met with nothing but smiling faces, helpfulness, and an enthusiasm for helping Moms live better lives.  Among the superstars were the ladies at the Huggies booth (who are working hard to help moms bring their inventions the market), the Truvia team (who were always there to give my sometimes fussy baby Marcus another low-calorie cookie), Whirlpool (who were wise enough to bring reps who REALLY knew their stuff), and Microsoft (whose suite was the most relaxing, had the best food, and created an incredible experience.)  I found that the accommodations in the Microsoft suite were conducive for the tired mom and baby, as well.  While not the “official” lactation suite at the event, many moms I spoke to found they could plop down at the Microsoft lounge and feed their baby in peace with no hassles.  And they had snacks!

Marcus getting worn out in the Kaboom! Suite
The Parties

I couldn't attend all the parties, as I was just too busy with my 10-month son along.  However, the events I did go to had lots of NOLA flavor and plenty to drink.  (Note to Mom 2.0 planners:  Next year, offer some beer options.  Not all moms are the fruity umbrella drinking type.)  There were plenty of off-site get-togethers, as well, although I only had the time or energy to attend one.  The wonderful folks at Marcus Thomas sent Katelyn Lusterberg up to give us gals a much-needed appetizer as we got into town.  To be honest, this was the BEST food I had while in NOLA.  There was plenty of beautiful food, all served up by the crew at the Bourbon House.  If you get down there, check this place out.  It puts many of the other establishments to shame.  For the most part, everyone was practicing their best conference etiquette - even during the after hour events.

The Sessions

I honestly didn't attend many sessions.  I tried, but baby needs come first, and I sat through 2 full sessions and popped in and out of a few others.  The two I went to: The New Style: Bloggers, Brands and the Post Review & Giveaway Era and The Written Word – How (and When) to Contemplate Becoming a Published Author were worth the ticket price.  I really enjoyed Susan Wagner's moderation skills, and I was thrilled to see Meagan Francis tell more about her book writing process.  Having the advice from an agent was priceless, as well.  I have attended no less than 5 sessions on “blog to book” or some variation, and this was all stuff – no fluff.  (The best, by far.)

The People

As if there was any OTHER reason to attend Mom 2.0, I had a list of people I hadn't seen in forever, or I was dying to meet IRL for the first time.  I won't list them all here (it won't be fair if I forget someone), but let's just say that I cried upon seeing a few of them.  I get so encased in my little WAHM bubble sometimes, that it just feels good to hug a living, breathing person whom you admire so much.  Everyone at the conference was approachable (even the “A-listers”).  Yes, I did see Dooce at a lunch table.  No, I didn't go over.

The Swag

The LEAST important part of a conference (but the most asked about) is always the swag.  There were some nice items in the bag, but nothing that I couldn't have done without.  The best thing I brought home was the pair of New Balance shoes from the walking tour I signed up for.  These babies are COMFY!  I will definitely be buying my next pair (and the pair after that) from NB.  (Sorry, Skechers.)  There were some really nice giveaways that I forgot to put my biz card in for, but once I saw who won, I wasn't at all jealous.  These people deserved it!  I happened to be sitting next to Amy Hodges when it was announced that she won a netbook.  We all screamed like little girls.  Then my son started becoming hysterical (we scared him).  It was like Oprah's Favorite Things, but with traumatized infants.

He wasn't born with it there... 
This conference is just an example of how you can work it 'til you make it.  I spent a total over over $1,000 out of pocket to attend this event, including clothes, travel, and accommodations.  Was it worth it?  Yes, and not just from a “social” standpoint.  I truly feel that I made enough quality business connections to make it pay off real soon.

Anyone else attend Mom 2.0 and feel that it was a worthwhile biz endeavor?

*A Big THANK YOU to my Mom, who tipped me off to several typos in my original version of this article.  Turns out that driving over 1,000 miles makes you very tired... and editing becomes nearly impossible!  Love you, Mom ;) 

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Thanks for Reading!

Linsey Knerl (the "1099 Mom") is a professional blogger, public speaker, consultant, and mom of 6!
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  1. I would have loved to be there and meet you in person! I know Amy Hodges, she's one of my good friends online and IRL - so happy for her. And Marcus, aw! so cute! And thank God for moms!

  2. Thanks for your comment! Amy is a peach, as are so many of the girls I was fortunate enough to spend time with. Approaching the conferences from a positive place really helps you get more done. I think that having classy, professional, and friendly people around you can help make that happen, too!

  3. I loved getting to meet you, and am so glad you were at the table that morning(tho I am sorry about traumatizing the wee one!) Look forward to connecting more!!

  4. I was standing next to Amy at Blissdom when she won a year's supply of ice cream! She's a lucky girl!

  5. Amy,
    I'm so impressed by how many people know you. Now I know why -- you're a blast!

    I guess I need to have one of whatever Amy's having.. I hear that luck is contagious!

    Thanks for the comments, ladies.