We just got back from our very favorite professional conference of the year, the one and only conference we consider a must-do: the Mom 2.0 Summit. It was our fourth year attending, and the best one yet. We look forward to this three-day event all year, and it never fails to disappoint!
As working moms, we get pulled in many directions all year long, both personally and professionally. So we want to quickly share what makes Mom 2.0 worth it for us, in hopes that it might be useful to you in deciding whether to attend or politely decline to attend a professional event. After all, if we’re going to get on airplanes and take time away from our kids, it had better be worth it.
Here’s our quick bullet list.
1. The Content
Will the conference or seminar cover material that is actually useful to you? One of the reasons Mom 2.0 is on our list – and other conferences are not – is because the speaker lineup is excellent. Through that lineup, the Mom 2.0 conference always leaves us with a ton of practical, actionable information. As a result, we come home with a bunch of to-dos we can immediately put into practice.
If you’re looking at a schedule that is sort of uninspiring or mediocre, or just a little too aspirational or off-topic for you, maybe skip it and look for a better option.
2. The Networking
We are big, huge believers in making face-to-face connections. You can email with someone for years, or follow each other on social media, and that’s never going to be as good as connecting over lunch or a glass of wine. The biggest reason we attend Mom 2.0 every year is because of the excellent networking. We have met some amazing smart women (and men!) and built some great professional relationships as a result of this one conference.
3. The Ability to Establish Yourself as an Expert
This year we were thrilled to give a presentation at Mom 2.0. We worked hard over a period of several weeks to pull together and polish our material because we wanted it to be useful to our audience. And this was great for two reasons.
First, giving that presentation helps to further establish ourselves as experts in our fields, which is great for professional development. And second, we were actually able to help a bunch of people. Getting an email from an attendee saying how much she enjoyed your presentation feels wonderful. Game, set, and match.
4. Your Ability to Follow Up
We got home Friday night. Today is Monday, and we’re spending a chunk of today sending follow-up emails to many of the women we met at the conference. As our friend Jen at Jeneration PR would say, that stack of business cards in your wallet does you no good if they stay in your wallet! Following up is critical to solidifying the relationships made.
So be realistic with yourself. If you don’t have time to follow up, or to actually implement any of the knowledge you learned, maybe it’s not the right fit for you.
5. No Guilt!
Last but not least, when you decide to go, go guilt free! Before we left, we talked to our kids about how excited we were to meet new people and learn new things. We promised to tell them all about our adventures when we got home. That made all the difference. We were able to enjoy and maximize our time away without feeling guilty about it. It helped that we came home with suitcases full of swag for the kiddos, but that’s not the point.
We’ve already booked our tickets for next year’s Mom 2.0 in Pasadena! Will we see you there?