MommyCon Chicago- An Attendee’s Point of View

Earlier this month, I had the privilege to attend MommyCon Chicago! I traveled 6ish hours from Columbus- and it was SO worth it! This mama needed a vacation and I figured what better place than MommyCon?! I took Jackson with me and attended with my sister-in-law and nephew. While I wasn’t totally “child-free,” it was still a little freeing to get out of the house and have two children less for a few days! 😉 MommyCon Chicago was combined with WEAR this year- so we were looking forward to three days of the event!!!

 

We left Ohio Friday morning and made it with very little bumps in the road. We only stopped twice; once for lunch and once for gas. Can you believe we only stopped twice with TWO rambunctious toddlers? Yeah- I can’t either. But it worked out!!! We made it an hour before check-in, but Hilton was amazing and let us check-in early since our room was ready. After we got into the hotel room, we got ready and headed to MommyCon! Luckily, I really only wanted to attend one of the sessions on Friday and it was the last session of the day. After the session- I stopped at the MommyCon Shoppe and grabbed a new Milk & Milk & Milk shirt for Jackson!

Friday evening was the Wear Party presented by Abby’s Lane. Christy from Smartbottoms, Ula from Tula Baby, Julie from Cloth Diaper Geek and Stephanie from Abby’s Lane were on stage and spoke to the party-goers. It was hard to hear the amazing women on the stage, which was disappointing. But we all had a drink ticket, entered to win some prizes, and had some delicious food! (They served brownies, cookies, and a veggie tray with hummus!) Jackson enjoyed dancing to Miss Jamie’s music!

 

Saturday was the main event day! The exhibitor hall was full of amazing exhibitors and I picked up some amazing goodies! 😉 As a blogger for Cotton Babies, Jen Labit invited me up on stage during the mob party! I (unexpectedly) spoke to the attendee’s about why we started cloth diapering and why I started this blog. It was super exciting. I feel like I looked silly- my last “public speaking” was 8+ years ago in high school!

Also on Saturday, I took pictures with everyone I could! I love meeting new people and seeing my internet friends! Saturday felt really hectic so it was nice to be in the hotel connected to the convention center. I could go back to the room as I pleased to just decompress, grab a snack, etc.

 

Saturday night was a night to remember! I snatched tickets for the Tula Party! They did not disappoint- when using the #freetogrow on instagram, there was a printer printing out your photos! There was also an awesome green screen for pictures and they printed out those pictures right there as a souvenir! We were the first to see the upcoming release of the new Free to Grow Tula carriers and we were able to not only see them- but we could try them on as well! And did I mention…. open bar? Yeah. It was a phenomenal party! Perfect for a mom-cation! 😉

 

Sunday was our last day. The initial plan was that we would stay until giveaways that day- but it just didn’t work out. We were tired. And we didn’t pace ourselves well on Saturday. I attended a social media session with Xza and Mat York first thing in the morning and did a little bit more shopping. By that point, the toddlers were done. And the mamas were tired! Plus, add in the fact that we had a 6+ hour drive ahead of us…. it was just time to go. 🙁

 

MommyCon Chicago did not disappoint. Per the usual, we left with amazing freebies from sponsors and bags full of items that we purchased. I got to meet some of my new friends, take pictures with people I love talking with everyday, and got a weekend away. It was perfect. <3

 

 

*Want to see more pictures? Check out my instagram! I took so many pictures and don’t want to overwhelm this post with all of them! 😉

Thinking about attending MommyCon? Check out my “MommyCon 101” Page for tons of helpful tips and information- including a coupon code for your general admission ticket! 😉

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10 Tips to Make Your MommyCon Experience Amazing!

 

Another post for the MommyCon Series! Can you tell I’m a little excited? I’ve been to two MommyCon events so while I wouldn’t consider myself an expert MommyCon attendee- I’ve been around the block twice so I’ve learned a few things. Here are 10 tips to make your MommyCon experience amazing, fun and the best that it can be!

 

10 Tips as a MommyCon Attendee

Plan your day ahead of time. MommyCon is very fast paced and a lot goes on throughout the day. There are multiple rooms with different sessions going on plus the vendor area. Writing out your schedule ahead of time on paper or your phone is a great idea. You don’t want to miss the seminars you wanted to attend because of mom brain! (I highly recommend attending Cloth 101 with Jennifer Labit and Kim Rosas’ Reusable Menstrual Products seminar!)

 

Grab your tickets early. While MommyCon is a huge event, there are restrictions to how many people can attend due to the location. MommyCon  events tend to sell out, so waiting until the day before isn’t the best idea. MommyCon offers Presale tickets at a super discounted rate, some promotions throughout the year for discounted tickets, and Bloggers/Street Team/Parent Squad members have discount codes. (You can find mine here.) If plans change and you can no longer attend the event, MommyCon does not refund your ticket BUT they do allow selling of your tickets on your location’s Facebook group.

 

Join the Facebook Group. Speaking of the Facebook group- did you know that MommyCon has Facebook groups for the different locations? This is a great place to be to find out important information. This is also where they’ll share volunteer opportunities and sneak peaks to the event behind the scenes. Like I mentioned above, this is also the perfect place to find a buyer for tickets you may no longer need or where you may be able to find tickets yourself if the event has sold out! (You may even be able to grab a VIP ticket this way!)

 

Get your goodie bag later. The goodie bags will not run out. (Usually there’s actually some extras at the end of the day.) But they will get heavy. And bulky. And you can’t just check them in somewhere for later. If you don’t want to carry them around all day, wait a little bit to get them. Just before lunch is the perfect time because chances are- you’re going to your car or hotel room anyways. And if not- its the perfect time to dip out and head to your car or hotel room since you won’t miss any sessions.

 

Bring snacks or get lunch close. Lunch break is an hour long. This may seem like a lot of time- but once you take your goodie bag to your car and scope out the nearby places, lunch will be over in a flash. Just like planning your day ahead of time is important, figuring out your lunch plan is important too! It’s a long day so you’ll be starving. (Trust me on that.) Have a plan for lunch and a backup plan in case the first place is too busy or closed. My first year, the places we wanted to eat were closed. (Silly large cities.) And my second year, lunchtime is when I discovered I locked my keys in my car. Ended up eating lunch at the hotel’s Starbucks while waiting for AAA. You better believe I’ll know what I’m doing beforehand this year! 😉 Also scope out the nearest coffee shop. If you’re lucky enough to have a coffee shop in the connecting hotel- take advantage of that. You may be wired with caffeine, but it’ll keep ya going all day long!

 

Take pictures! Take lots of pictures! The day flies by so fast and you’ll want to remember the cool toy your kiddo loved at the event, meeting somebody you follow on social media, and just your overall experience. I highly suggest you bring your phone charger too just in case. If you have service or wifi at the event’s location, put your pictures on social media and tag MommyCon and/or use the hashtag for the event! All the mamas at home are waiting to see/hear about your day! 😉

 

Wear comfortable shoes. It really is a long day. And while you think you’ll be sitting a majority of the time while attending sessions, it’s still a lot of walking. Don’t wear heels unless you’re a pro at them. And don’t wear brand new shoes unless you want blisters. Be comfortable.

 

Pack light & babywear. Chances are, you’re going to be shopping for a few things during the event. The vendor’s hall is usually pretty packed with your favorite vendors and full of ones you’ve never heard of before (and will also love!). If you’re going by yourself, pack a small bag with just the necessities. And if you’re going with a little one, pack only the things you will need and leave the “maybe needs” in the car. Try to not bring a stroller if you’re bringing a little one too. While MommyCon doesn’t have a “no stroller” policy, they may ask for you to park it along the outskirts of the room or ask you to fold it up if it’s too crowded. There are so many little ones crawling and walking around that you really need to be careful. While going stroller-less isn’t an option for all parents, if it’s an option for you to just babywear- please do that.

 

 

Bring a friend! My sister in law and I have made it our thing. We love going to MommyCon together and making it a “Mom’s Weekend Away.” There are so many other parents to mingle with at the event sp there’s always the option of making new friends! But if you know someone expecting, trying to conceive, or another mama with little ones, why not ask them to come along??? You may be able to convert someone into cloth diapering, show them the awesomeness of babywearing, or give them a day kid-free!

 

Snatch a VIP spot! I’ve never attended a VIP session so I really can’t speak much on this topic. You can totally have an amazing time at MommyCon with a general admission ticket and no extras. But if you have the funds and the availability to attend a VIP session (or two!) then go for it! VIP sessions have extra goodie bags and they’ll also snatch you another entry into the giveaway! (Look for a “MommyCon VIP Sessions 101” post later this week!)

 

Need more MommyCon Info? Check out the other posts in my MommyCon Series! This series of posts is leading up to a MommyCon ticket giveaway!!!!! 😉

 

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MommyCon Basics & FAQs

Are you asking yourself, “What’s MommyCon?” Are you wondering what comes with a general admission ticket? Questions about VIP, Military tickets, or Scholarship tickets? Need a discount to purchase your ticket? Well- you’re in a REALLY good place! I’m a 2017 Parent Squad member for MommyCon and on their Blogger Collective for my 4th year! 🙂 So you could say…. I love MommyCon and I’ve got some good advice!

 

What’s MommyCon?

MommyCon is the largest and best natural parenting event in the country! At MommyCon, you’ll find seminar  sessions with amazing speakers, workshops, and tons of shopping! If you’re starting the adventure of parenthood, have a little one at home already, or you’re in the baby industry- MommyCon is the place for you!

 

Where is MommyCon traveling in 2017?

Chicago, IL – March 3-5

New York City, NY – March 25

Memphis, TN – April 29

Austin, TX – June 3

Vancouver, Canada – July 22

Orange County, CA – August 12

Orlando, FL – September 2

Atlanta, GA – October 28

 

What comes with a general admission ticket?

A general admission ticket is $45.00. With this ticket, you’ll get into all the seminars, workshops (some require registration before the event), and the vendor area. Your general admission ticket also gets you automatically entered into the giveaway at the end of event day. Tickets are nonrefundable, but you can transfer the ticket into someone else’s name if you’re unable to attend. Ano

*Want a discount code for your general admission ticket? Keep reading!*

 

What’s the VIP upgrade? How do I get one?

VIP upgrades are additional tickets that can be purchased. VIP sessions are held the Friday before the event and are very limited. These options vary from event to event, so they also aren’t revealed or up for sale until about 30 days before the event. You MUST have a general admission ticket before being able to purchase a VIP upgrade. These also vary in price. VIP tickets are a “fast fingers” type stocking. So you should probably set an alarm on your phone once you get the email with the stocking information. 😉

 

What about Military tickets or scholarship tickets?

Scholarship Program: MommyCon wants everyone to be able to attend! If you’re unable to attend due to the cost of general admission, there are several giveaways to enter plus they have a scholarship program. Applications are selected randomly to receive the tickets. These tickets are non-transferable.

Military Tickets: Complimentary Military Tickets are for Active Duty Military members, Active Duty Military dependents, and Veterans (Rank E5 and below) who would like to attend MommyCon but can not financially afford a ticket. Military Discount Tickets are for Active Duty Military members, Active Duty Military dependents, and Veterans who have the financial means to attend an event, but would like to use the military discount program. For more information on how to obtain half price tickets utilizing the Military Discount, email tickets@mommycon.com.

 

Do kids need a ticket? Is the event stroller friendly?

Children 16 years and under are free with their parents. All adults must have a paid admission. Strollers are allowed, however there are many people and lots of toddlers/babies on the floor. If you must bring a stroller, be sure to really watch in front of you so no babies are run over! If it gets too crowded, you may be asked to fold the stroller up or park it on the outskirts of the room.

 

I’m on a budget- are there coupons/discounts/promo codes for tickets?

YES! Use the code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off your general admission tickets! This code is not valid on presale or VIP upgrades. Need a little more of a discount? You can combine this with the social sharing discount at checkout! With these two discounts together- you’ll save $7 on your MommyCon General Admission ticket!!!

*Need more “MommyCon on a budget” ideas? Stay tuned for a new post this week in my new MommyCon Series!

 

If you didn’t find the answer you’re looking for- check out MommyCon’s website for more information and/or ask me in the comments below!

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