Beaches Moms, Social Media on the Sand is an invitation-only social media conference hosted by Beaches Resorts. This year it was held at Beaches Turks and Caicos location. You will also see the name Beaches Moms and the hashtags #socialmediaonthesand and #beachesmoms. I am sharing all the details about this conference and the most amazing experience of my career.
Last week I flooded my social channels with all the amazing photos from Social Media on the Sand conference so, it is no surprise that I am getting lots of texts and DMs asking me what is Social Media on the Sand and Beaches Moms. I figured if people are messaging me more of you are probably thinking the same thing.
Beaches Moms, Social Media on the Sand
Beaches Moms (and Dads) is an invite-only conference was hands down the most amazing experience of my career. From the first day of conference to our departure I had to pinch myself that this was real life. Through the week, we were given opportunities to learn more about subjects like photography, Facebook trends, and current trends through the generations.
We were also inspired to vacation more when we learned about the history and locations of the Beaches and Sandals resorts. We were also inspired by female entrepreneurs. All while connecting with other bloggers and their families in the most picture perfect setting of Beaches Turks & Caicos.
The conference schedule was setup so that we had plenty of time to enjoy the resort and the 12 miles of the world's best beach, Grace Bay, the water sports, the pools, the 5-Star Global Gourmet™ restaurants, and first-class entertainment. The branding for this conference was like nothing I have seen before. From surprise and delight gifts sent before the conference to nightly in room gifts and finally to the conference day setup. They pulled out all the stops.
We came in a day early and if we are lucky enough to come back again next year we will extend even longer than a day!
The list of speakers changes every conference. My favorites included Maria Bailey of BSM Media and Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals and Beaches Resorts. Adam and I went to high school together so I was really looking forward to hearing him speak. I was blown away by his passion and knowledge for his brand. He left me planning trips to every Sandals and Beaches location and with an even deeper appreciate for the brand.
Did you know that Sandals (the parent company for Beaches) is:
- First hotel chain to add hair dryers to every hotel room
- First hotel chain to include an alarm clock in every hotel room
- The inventor of the swim up bar
- Eliminating all plastic straws from their properties this year
Celebrities at Beaches Moms, Social Media on the Sand
Keynotes included Rebecca Minkoff (founder of the eponymous fashion powerhouse), Alli Webb (founder of Drybar, the nation's premier blowout salon) and Holly Robinson Peete (award-winning author, actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist and brand spokesperson).
Holly Peete shared her families story about having a son with autism. I love that she said "I would never change my son for anything in the world, but I would change the world for him".
Did you know that all Beaches resorts staff receive specialized training for how to interact and support kids with autism? There were a number of women in the room with children on the spectrum who shared their own struggles and not wanting to travel with their kids. This specialized training made it so that families can travel possibly for the first time.
My hometown of Boca was also well represented by the founder of DryBar, Alli Webb. She reminded all of us that it is important to solve problems in order to create a successful business. And to not let fear stop us from starting a company. I love her branding with the pop of yellow. She shared with us that branding is what gets people in the door and that feedback is a gift. We should all surround ourselves with people who will be honest with us.
I fell in love with Rebecca Minkoff. She shared how they are a brand launched by social media. In the early days as a designer she went to online forums to engage with her customers. She discussed how balance is not a word she believes in. There is no balance. It is a word made up by a mean woman. Instead of balance we need to focus on our boundaries.
Additional Presenters at Beaches Moms, Social Media on the Sand
I also loved seeing my Permission to Hustle friend, Danielle from OK Dani up on stage sharing tips to monetize your site.
In addition to the keynotes there were outdoor-oriented interactive sessions like a Photography class with Ron Magill, Nikon Ambassador and Zoo Miami Director. Other interactive sessions included sushi, sand castle and drink making classes. In addition, there were cabana chats that were small breakout sessions with 10 influencers in cabana's overlooking the ocean.
In addition to the amazing nightly entertainment with shows like fire dancing and Alice and Wonderland. They also had exciting family-friendly activities including The Sesame Street® stage shows, a parade, The Sesame Street character breakfast, a kids swim up bar and the Caribbean's most thrilling waterpark, Pirate Island Water Park at Beaches Turks and Caicos.
Special for the event the conference also had the most over the top parties that showcased the Beaches Turks and Caicos staff creativity and talent. No detail was missed and the pictures do not do the parties justice.
My favorite was the closing party, Floatopia that featured Hollywood Records' artists In Real Life (IRL), the winners of ABC's hit show, Boy Band. Have you ever seen so many floats? Or a stage over the hot tub? Or waiters serving drinks in the pool?
Event Partners for Beaches Moms, Social Media on the Sand
The event partners spoiled us and everyday felt like Christmas. I did not share much about the chill bar and Swag bungalow yet, but I will be sharing some of my favorite products with you soon.
For me I was all about the Land's End swim shirts and dresses. I was recently reintroduced to Land's End and love their bathing suits and swim shirts.
I was also really excited to meet Amanda Perna from The House of Perna. She is another South Florida business owners. Her brand is all about color and tassels. I have added some of her purses and earrings to my holiday wish list.
The complete list of event partners include Drybar, Yummie, TruFusion, SpinMaster, JetBlue, Rebecca Minkoff, Hollywood Records, Cable and Wireless Business, The Crafted Coconut, Swarovski, School Specialty, SNUBA, Twiddle, NuFACE, Gaiam, Red Lane Spa, FITKICKS, Dreampad, Desert Sunglass of Scottsdale, Sprout Foods, Sun Bum, Pevonia, Air Esscentials, Build-A-Bear Workshop, The House of Perna, Sesame Workshop, Buddha Shack, Instax, essie, Tuuci, Bling2o, KooKooLoos, HeroBoys, Hapari, 8 Greens, Coconut Float, The Bouqs Co., U.R. Bath and Body, Lands' End, the Red Lane Spa, Island Routes, the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), and the Sandals Foundation.
It is a family affair. Beaches is fun for everyone. Some people came solo and others brought a friend. No matter who you bring most important thing is that you come! This was my first time attending the conference. When I first got the invite, I thought about bringing a friend with me. Flights were pricey to Beaches Turks and Caicos. And your conference fee only covers you.
Thanks to the good council of my dad and my husband we went as a family. I am so happy we did. I have had friends bring their families to other conferences and I felt bad for them because they missed out in some of the fun. This is certainly not the case with Social Media on the Sand. The conference schedule and the Beaches resort is setup for everyone to enjoy.
The Cost of Beaches Moms, Social Media on the Sand
A number of people have asked me if we had to pay for the conference. I will not share the exact pricing because I am sure it changes from year to year. Since it is a conference there is a conference fee that covers your access to the conference and your room, food, drinks and access to everything . There is a fee for each person you bring, but the pricing is a fraction of cost you would pay to enjoy Beaches Turks and Caicos on your own.
How to get an invite to Beaches Moms, Social Media on the Sand
Be on the lookout for the interest form for next year's conference. The survey includes about 20 questions including your contact information, social channels and traffic. The selection process for this invite-only conference this is unknown, but the women I met were elite bloggers. I was in awe of what they have created and the experiences they have had through blogging.
My best advice is to follow Beaches Resorts on all their social channels like Facebook and Twitter. Also follow the hashtags #socialmediaonthesand and #beachesmoms on all social channels so you can stay up to date on the conference details for next year. This was the 4th annual Social Media on the Sand conference. The year before was canceled because of the extensive damage from Hurricane Irma. Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos invested $70 million to get the resort back in shape.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
*Photo credit Beaches Resorts