family fun

evo Conference Goes Family Friendly With Elmo, Rolo McFlurries, and Hula Hooping

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evo Conference—If you think Elmo, Rolo McFlurries, and hula hooping are just for kids... think again! At evo'11—a conference for women in social media—we took our family friendliness up many notches this year by having 7 family friendly sponsored suites, two family parties, day care, day camp, and yes!, even Elmo.

I'll admit to being a little uncertain how having my entire family at evo'11 would enhance (or detract from) my overall experience. @TroyPattee and I worried about what to do if the kids got tired and wanted to go back to the room early. We thought long and hard about bringing a babysitter with us for such possible scenarios. But ultimately, what we found was that having our entire family at the conference (sans babysitter even) enhanced our experience in ways we wouldn't have imagined.

How Our Kids Benefited From Attending the evo Conference

  1. They Made Friends. Our kids loved interacting with fellow bloggers' kids. They have been asking non stop since we've returned when they can get together with them again.
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  2. They Met Their Favorite Characters. Being able to hug Elmo, shake hands with Ronald McDonald, and get pictures with Bert & Ernie were highlights for my kids!
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  3. They Were Included in Contests. Johnson & Johnson and Text 4 Baby had a contest specifically geared to children. Cute Lucy, a fellow evo team member's daughter, won and her art will be featured in a Utah-based campaign. See her design inspiration here: http://t.co/ipN5SY1.
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  4. They Got to Have Quality Family Time. There was plenty of time built in to the conference to spend quality time as a family. We specifically enjoyed perusing the suites during the conference's Progressive Dessert Party, riding the Alpine Coaster during the Bush's Beans Party at Park City Mountain Resort, and enjoying the fun outdoor activities during the Together Counts family BBQ.

How We Benefited From Bringing Our Family to the evo Conference

  1. We Had the Best Roomies. I have always loved rooming with other bloggers at conference. I've made some terrific friends that way. But, coming "home" each night to my family, after being able to connect all day and night with fellow bloggers, was the best of both worlds. I loved sharing the highlights of my day with them, hearing the highlights of their day, and just bonding with them.
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  2. The Kid in Us Came Out. We found that having kids around as well as kid-oriented events and activities helped bring out the kid in us. (Case in point? See Catherine Connors hula hooping below!) I made crafts with my kids in the McDonald's suite. Me? Crafts? Who knew? I also loved watching the parents and kids dance together in the XBox suite. But my favorite was watching the kids' excitement in the Sesame Street and PBS Kids suites as they saw characters they loved either in person, on TV, or on cookies (especially on cookies!).

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  3. We Had Fun Together as a Family! I love the tradition of jumping in to the pool with all of our clothes on at the evo Conference. And this year, I was joined by my 8YO son who loved "breaking the rules" and jumping in with all his clothes on like the big kids!
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  4. It Didn't Break the Bank. Family vacays can be expensive. evo Conference offered several perks for families to help decrease the cost. 1) The Grand Summit offers a great discount for evo attendees. 2-bedroom suites, which sleep 8, have a full-sized kitchen, and 3 bathrooms only cost only $220 a night with tax. 2) For full-access pass holders, all meals and snacks Thursday through Saturday nights are included in the conference. 3) Families get free access to Friday and Saturday night events, which include dinner. 4) If you or your spouse needs to work during your stay, wi-fi is free in all hotel rooms.

If you are looking for ways to take your social media skills to the next level, network with bloggers and brands you love, as well spend quality time with your family, evo Conference is the place for you! evo'12 super early bird tickets are on sale now.

Pictures courtesy of Justin Hackworth and Trevor Christensen.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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