If you’re an avid follower of family bloggers on social media, you likely saw the hashtag #DisneySMMoms show up quite a bit in your news feeds this week. That’s because invitations for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration were sent out on Oct. 10, and the ecstatic and the disappointed were ready to talk about the most magical of gatherings.
The conference takes place Feb. 20 to 26, 2018, and it repeats last year’s format — half of the conference takes place on a Disney Cruise Line ship and the other half at Walt Disney World. Next year will be the ninth 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 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. (Last year, the trip included two nights at Port Orleans Riverside and a three-night stay in a stateroom with a veranda. The cost wass $1,400 for the invitee and one guest. The invitee could 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 around 200 bloggers and their families attend.
Although most of the invitations for 2018 have gone out — there may be some last-minute emails if some participants are unable attend — those interested in attending in 2019 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: @DisneyMoms @DisneyParks @WaltDisneyWorld @WDWToday @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 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. The 2018 dates have not yet been announced, but when they are, you can bet you will them on social media channels!