|Maria Bailey kickin' things off.|
But only a small number of women get invited and there are applications and the wait list is a mile long. So when an email landed in my inbox inviting me to an event in Houston called Disney on the Road, hosted by Maria Bailey, I was super intrigued. It seems she decided to do a mini Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in a few different cities and Houston was at the top of the list.
Now I've worked with Maria's BSM Media and MomTV for a long time. I know she is one smart lady and I figured any event she hosted would be worth attending even though I am not one of those gunning for a spot on the Disney Moms Panel.
So I sat in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour and a half to get to the Galleria on time. Then I ran through the mall to the Westin Galleria, not realizing the event was at the Westin Oaks. I loathe being late for anything, so me running around an empty mall in sparkly heels was a sight to be seen.
Lucky for me they started much later than the agenda had indicated! And they had a full breakfast with the most delicious tomato quiche, fresh fruit and bread and an abundance of coffee.
I saw a few friends from Dallas and even a few Houston PR types I know there. But of course I sat with my Houston Blogging Chicks friends because I love them. We were the noisy, chatty table.
|Shannon Miller is super tiny.|
First up to speak was Olympic gold medal gymnast, Shannon Miller. I had forgotten that she was only fifteen when she won a ton of medals in 1996, and now she is a mother and successful entrepreneur as well. She talked about women owning businesses and shared the familiar story of Sara Blakely who created Spanx and is now a self-made billionaire.
Shannon was very inspirational and motivational. She talked about how building your own business is kind of like training for the Olympics, in that the world will be there to celebrate your big glorious moment but you are mostly alone during the training and struggles. She talked about the need for building a team to help you and not trying to do everything yourself.
It turns out that Shannon didn't like having her agent be in control of her endorsement career. So she ended up going to business school at the University of Houston and then on to law school. Smart cookie.
Shannon talked a lot about using social media to help you find exactly the right audience. She shared how she did some ambassador training for the recent Olympics and taught them about the dangers of social media as well and the importance of "counting to ten before you hit send."
|Laura Spencer loves pink.|
Then she shared her recent discovery of germ cell tumor, a rare ovarian cancer. Because of her work with doctors and health advocates she went to the doctor early and they found it early. Chemo really hit her hard but she said it was just like falling off the balance beam..."you keep getting back up."
Like I said, her talk was super motivational.
The next speaker was Laura Spencer, a social media manager for Disney Destinations. She was absolutely hilarious. She talked about female empowerment and urged women to take the time to support each other. I found her talk to be entertaining.
Maria Bailey, on the other hand, was like an overflowing fountain of useful, practical business advice. She didn't even talk that much, but when she did it was worth hearing. She inspired me to dream up some big new ideas for my own business, but I can't share what specifically she said or what my plan is just yet. *wink*
The conference closed with Houston local celeb, Dayna Steele, who used to be a well known rock and roll DJ. I had actually met Dayna before when we both appeared on the same (social media focused) episode of Great Day Houston. She has a big personality and is fun to listen to. She definitely closed out our time on a high note with some really excellent advice.
So thank you, Maria Bailey, for bringing Disney on the Road to Houston and inviting me to attend! If you hear that this event is coming to your city, definitely plan to attend.