Top three take aways from EVO:

1. I REALLY need to step into the current century and swap  my Blackberry for an iPhone!

2. Twitter is more powerful than I realize!

3. Oprah doesn’t have it all figured out, and that’s why we LOVE her so much!

I’m a newbie to Social Media conferences, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when Brian and I arrived at EVO.  Can I just say my expectations were blown out of the water!!  First of all, Utah…PARK CITY…is CRAZY BEAUTIFUL-TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY-PINCH YOURSELF EVERY MORNING YOU OPEN YOUR CURTAINS kind of scenery!  Just look at this cloud photo Brian took on his iPhone!

With a gorgeous background, this was the most fun three day conference (and not just for me and Brian but our WHOLE family)!  The kids went to the coolest adventure day camp, riding gondolas up to awesome hiking trails (Pascaline saw her first MOOSE!), swimming in the afternoon, bowling, and more!

The keynotes were fascinating, especially hearing the candid creative process that Oprah and the Harpo team are in the midst as they reinvent themselves with OWN.   The workshops had such great hands-on takeaway too!  Brian and I had a blast doing an intensive photography workshop with the fabulous WhiteOnRice duo.

And all the EVO sponsors were incredibly approachable from the Sesame Street marketing team to the Southwest Airlines group to crying over babies stories in the Huggies suite.

But what strikes me most about this conference is what was missing from EVO.   Ego.  Ego was totally missing from this conference!  No rock star attitudes whether you were the VP Creative Director at Harpo or a down-to-earth @Bloggess who keeps it real while blowing her audience away, despite her fears of presenting.   Instead of ego, there was intense PASSION for making the world a better place, whether your tool is Social Media or a nerf gun with intention of empowering other parents to engage in SERIOUS PLAY with their kids (thank you Meredith!).  There was room for every kind of passion, and I especially love the ones that have a mind to spread sparkles everywhere!

Everyone I met at EVO was so incredibly approachable, friendly, wanting to learn from each other–I wish I had more time with every new friend I made.

(me with Meredith from Hoo-dee-Hoo!)

And I know I made new life long friends that will help me grow and laugh along the way.

(me and Rachael Herrscher of Today’s Mama / Co-Founder of EVO)

Whether you are a newbie to blogging, Twitter, and every other vice of Social Media, or maybe you are an old pro at it all, or maybe you want an excuse to come to one of the most beautiful places in the world and make new friends while your kids have a blast at the coolest day camp (and you scream your pants off on the Alpine Coaster)–whatever reason you can justify to come to EVO next year–YOU HAVE TOO!  The word is that EVO’s Early Bird Registration started (and last year they sold out lighting fast!).

And Jeramy, dudes are invited too!!  The tagline of the conference is “the evolution of women in social media” but it was awesome to see a handful of men attend who are interested in seeing how women are shaking up the sm world!

Big shout out to my amazing publisher, Amphoto Books/Random House!  They gave a copy of “Your Baby in Pictures” to the first TWO HUNDRED people to grab their seat for my closing Keynote!  I LOVE this photo!  It’s the perfect combination; women laughing while eating chocolate and holding my book!

But seriously, I can’t thank YOU enough for all your well wishes, thoughts and prayers toward my Closing Keynote.  I practiced that talk for weeks, and I can’t imagine it going any better.  My stomach was a flurry of butterflies in the hours leading up to my talk, but when it came time to get on stage I thought of Oprah’s words “Fill Your Space”, and I went for it.

The response that has followed on Twitter has left me speechless.  So many hearts resonated with what I shared, and I love that we got to go on a journey from a psych ward to the jungles of Thailand to the Nate Berkus Show set–and we even whooped like Gibbon Apes with Pascaline’s help!  (big thanks to Trevor Christensen for these photos!  I love my baby girl’s smile as she stands on stage with me!)

When we left Utah Tuesday night, I tweeted “My heart is full.”  EVO truly filled my heart on so many unexpected levels. Fingers crossed we’ll see eachother next year!

Thank you to the amazing #evoconf team for ALL their hard work, thinking of the smallest details, and making us feel so welcome.  It was a honor to be with all of you!

I took a TON of photos at the party after my keynote, if we got a photo together will you tag me on Facebook on this page?  I’d love to see them and stay in touch!

Now, for those of you who are veterans at attending social media conferences, what are your favorite reasons for going?

xoxo,

m