At Dad 2.0, Whit Honea discovered a room full of people telling stories and living the art of conversation, with organic connections and genuine laughter. It was a good room to be in.
The Dad 2.0 Summit, which was held in Houston on the first weekend of February, brought together an amazing collection of bloggers, social media specialists, and brands that found common ground in parenting and decided to build upon it. There was also karaoke.
This was the second year for the Dad 2.0 Summit, and the improvements, tweaks, and audibles called, in my opinion, took the fledging conference from a hopeful (and successful) experiment the first time around squarely into the legitimacy of blogging events that are not to be missed.
Obviously, much of the praise falls upon the people behind the conference, a group headed by Doug French and John Pacini. Together with their wonderful team they have built a space for men and women to champion what is right with fatherhood and address those things that are not, but in a way that is far from preachy and embraces both the art of writing and the business of blogging. The intertwining of theory and technology with passionate practice is something to behold. Sometimes there are tears.
One of the main focuses of the conference is allowing bloggers to work with brands in a way that is mutually beneficial, where the benefit for the brand is reaching new markets in non-traditional ways, and the benefit to the blogger is something greater than a gift card. The very obvious benefit to the rest of the world is that the role of fathers and their portrayal in media is very much under the microscope in this process, and with each step forward another bumbling buffoon of a TV dad is addressed, corrected, and hopefully put out our collective misery.
Of course, the side effect (a positive one) of having so many smart and dedicated people in one hotel for an entire weekend is that long days of powerful discussion melt nicely into long nights of the same, but over drinks, dinner, songs, and laughter (see, karaoke). In fact, many people rank the networking aspect, and this is the part they are talking about, as the best part of any conference, which is not a knock on the work done by day, but rather a celebration of it.
It is funny, to walk through a bar filled with bloggers, many of whom have only met for the first time (in real life) hours before, and to watch them interact. Aside from the random updates to social media and photos being taken there is rarely a smartphone in sight. Rather, they are people telling stories and living the art of conversation—it is a room of organic connections and genuine laughter. It is a good room to be in.
Overall, the Dad 2.0 Summit proved to be a rousing success, from the sponsorship of Dove Men+Care, Honda, and so many others, to the keynote speakers touching hearts, brains, and wallets (figuratively). The takeaway content was there for the taking, and at times it was downright inspiring.
Don’t miss another one.