I just returned from a whirlwind trip to San Diego where I attended my third Dad 2.0 conference! And I am grateful that I made it, I left last week during a major NY snowstorm, my 8 am flight was eventually canceled and I luckily got on a 8 pm flight as a standby flyer. I did not want to miss this event!
I am a Best Buy Ambassador and their sponsorship of the conference and my trip is one of the wonderful perks that goes along with that job! I love hanging out at the Best Buy booth and chatting up other bloggers who may be interested in the program. This is the second year they hosted a Drone flying excursion with a bar-b-queue lunch!
Dove Men+Care, the title sponsor, goes above and beyond for the dads with a full barbershop, much swag, and other great support at the conference. It is worthwhile to head to the conference unkempt so that one can get a complete makeover, my friend Phil C. caught me doing just that!
This conference also included a first for me, I was a speaker on a panel where we talked about our experiences as gay parents in the blog business world:
There are always terrific key note speakers, this year we heard some great family stories from football pro Charles “Peanut” Tillman, and Actor Andrew McCarthy. And of course I got my celeb pics!
And the brands in attendance this year encouraged me to show my fun side, which is not something you have to ask me twice!
I will be working with Hero Clean in the coming months: “A technologically advanced home cleaning products line specifically formulated and fragranced for guys’ gear and homes,” I took some great photos in their booth for later posting! General Mills also hosted some of the dad bloggers for a delicious dinner, we are huge fans of their cereal lines, so you will be hearing more from me, especially with National Cereal Day coming up on March 7th! You see me posing with the Russell Athletic wear line, they saved me, my luggage was delayed almost a day and a half, luckily there was underwear, socks, and athletic shirts at their booth, as I did not have time to wash my clothes over night with Hero Clean! Lastly, Baby Bjorn had a contest, I just enjoyed posing with a very lifelike baby!
The bottom line for me personally is that every year I attend this conference I learn how to be a dad among dads. Not a gay dad. Growing up last century, before the full acceptance of gay people, left me with some baggage that I still carry with me. Luckily those old voices get softer and quieter as I learn more about myself, and interact with my community at large. I am learning not to see my difference as something that separates me, but something that celebrates me, something that I have to help others that come after me. Just like I need those others to help me. Because now I have a teenager in the house!
It was another great conference that inspired me to purchase my next year’s ticket as soon as the information became available! Bonding with my fellow dad bloggers is one of my favorite things to do!