Eight Reasons I Look Forward to The Dad 2.0 Summit Every Year
I look forward to attending the Dad 2.0 Summit every year. It has been a great experience each time I’ve attended. The chance to meet fellow bloggers, marketers and industry experts is unparalleled for the price point. My first summit was like a reunion with all these guys I’d talked to online, but had never met in person. My second summit was all about meeting brands and new people I’d not found online. I’m not sure what to expect from my third summit, but here are a few things I’ve learned that can be helping to those who’ve never been to a Dad 2.0 Summit.
“It’s Like the Coolest Fraternity Ever”
Josh Levs, author/speaker/CNN reporter, made that comment about Dad 2.0 in his 2014 keynote address at the conference in New Orleans and he’s right. Almost everyone in attendance seems to already know each other or is completely willing to welcome you into the group. Dad bloggers as a whole are some of the most welcoming and uplifting groups I’ve ever met. There is a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs systems represented at Dad 2.0, but even in moments of disagreement everyone seems to be on the same side. We all want to raise our kids in such a way that makes the world better a better place for innovation, cooperation and peace.
Cooperation, Not Competition, Rules The Day
I heard a comment mentioned while sitting at a California Pizza Kitchen in San Fransisco one evening during the 2015 Dad 2.0 Summit with fellow attendees. If you’re outside of the dad blogger world looking in you might wonder why there is so much comradery and so little negative competition amongst us. We believe that PR agencies and influencers improve their relationships and campaign results when we are all open about what we are worth and what we can deliver. He didn’t come up with the saying, but I’ve heard Adam Cohen, of DaDa Rocks, say this more than once: “A rising tide lifts all boats.” When a dad blogger can raise his rates we all can expect a little bit more in exchange for what we produce. The Dad 2.0 Summit is about helping the community and not just yourself.
— Daddy's Grounded (@DaddysGrounded) February 22, 2015
Stay At The Conference Hotel
The official hotel can sell out fast so you’ll want to get your room reserved early. Why? Its already one of the most affordable places to stay in the city Dad 2.0 Summit is happening. It is also a lifesaver when it comes to networking between sessions or planning outings later on. You might save $50 a night by staying a few blocks away, but you’ll miss out on some great opportunities to say “Hello” to new faces or that extra trip to the exhibit booth doing that giveaway you want to win when trekking back and forth between your hotel and the official one.
Be Ready To Interact
Bloggers love to talk. Some are more open about things than others, but don’t expect to attend Dad 2.0 Summit without talking with a whole new group of people. Some of these will be people who’ve read your blog online before and some will be complete strangers. Embrace it. Building friendships (i.e. networking) makes the event fun and memorable. Its great to hang out with your friends (or new found friends) between sessions. Its even better to do so after the official programing is over. Dad 2.0 changes its location every year to keep the event accessible and entertaining. Every city has its own type of fun to be experienced and remembered.
That is totally my thinking face!
Feel Free To Bring Your Electronic Devices
This is a blogging conference after all. Through out the weekend there are last minute group get togethers and outings that are planned via Twitter and word of mouth. People comment about sessions as they are happening and even discuss what a speaker is saying while they are saying it. If you like living online while you are at a real life event you will fit right there. There’s no pressure to do this though. Many also find time during Dad 2.0 to be unplugged and simply connect with people outside of these electronic networks. Play it by ear and do what you feel comfortable with doing. Perfect example? You’ll likely never see Andy, from HowToBeADad, without an earbud in his ear. It’s just his thing and everyone gets that.
Bring Business Cards And Follow Up
You’ll be meeting a lot of new people and it’s an easy way to relay a lot of contact information without much effort. If you are looking for sponsored contacts its essential to have business cards to give to brands when you introduce yourself. Smartphone batteries die and people don’t always carry pens. Business cards are a nice backup plan. They can also be creative if you plan ahead. QR Codes can link to special downloads for the people you meet. RFID chips can transfer information directly to smartphones. Your personal branding can tell a story on your card in an instant. If you don’t know where to get your card printed up you can click on my affiliate link for Moo.com, but there are many places that offer card printing services. Don’t forget to follow-up with your new contacts. The guys who follow, email and subscribe during or right after the conferences are the one’s who get more done than the guys who take home a pile of cards and forget about them.
There is no dress code for the summit. Come as you feel most comfortable. Outfits rand from shorts and t-shirts to full on three piece suits. Although most are somewhere in-between. Chris Routly, of The Full Routly, has a great Dad 2.0 Dress Code infographic if you are of the more visual type. I’ll likely be wearing jeans and a mix of t-shirts or collard shirts. I also plan on not shaving while in DC. Wife won’t be there.
— Daddy's Grounded (@DaddysGrounded) February 21, 2015
Food & Free Swag
Breakfast and lunches are provided during the conference. Dinners are usually not covered. There are sometimes special events or beer/snack times at the end of the conference day. Check the schedule for details. Dinner time in my experience has been setup as a free time meet & greet around the conference city. Plan where you want to go and see if anyone else is interested. Or follow the crowd and you’ll have your evening planned for you. The conference does a small “swag drop” in hotel rooms for registered guests of the conference and sponsors like Lee Jeans often give out free product when visiting their booth. Its different every year, but remember this: swag and giveaways at Dad 2.0 are secondary to the learning and networking taking place. If you attend looking for free stuff you’ll get it, but if you attend looking for connections and knowledge you’ll leave more satisfied.
Attending Dad 2.0 Summit 2016 in DC? Find me and say “Hi.” I’d love to hear what you are up to in the dad blogging / marketing field.