The Dad 2.0 Summit — an annual conference where marketers, social media leaders and blogging parents connect to discuss the changing voice and perception of modern fatherhood — will hold its seventh annual event on Feb. 1 in New Orleans. Many of the fathers you know from the various City Dads Groups (plus others from the online parenting space) will be in attendance. I will be one of them.
Why? There are more reasons than you can shake a GIF-stuffed Buzzfeed post at: bonding with like-minded individuals, discussions on public policy, career guidance and so many things found between. It really is an incredible event, full of passion, inspiration and, for some, second winds.
For the sake of transparency, you should know I am biased. In addition to contributing here at City Dads Group (and its The Modern Dads Podcast), I also oversee social media and community management for the Dad 2.0 Summit. However, to paraphrase Sy Sterling (as I often do), I not only work for the Dad 2.0 Summit, I’m also a participant in it. So despite my aforementioned affiliations, this article about the conference is from the heart, not the wallet.
In fact, you don’t need to take my word for it. Here are some thoughts on Dad 2.0 Summit from City Dads members and contributors:
Kevin “Spike” Zelenka: To have the opportunity to meet with such a diverse group of like-minded fathers and share thoughts, stories and ideas has been life changing [See, that’s what I said!]. I’m grateful for Dad 2.0, in that it connected me with other parents of twins, giving me the inspiration to develop FathersofMultiples.com, a writing platform by twin parents, for twin parents.
I was a little apprehensive before attending my first Dad 2.0 Summit. Before the weekend was over, I knew it was something I wanted to plan on attending every year. New Orleans is my third.
Creed Anthony: Dad 2.0 has been an amazing experience for me, personally. The network and fellowship of dads (and the moms who attend as well) is something that I look forward to annually and rely upon during the entire year. I have made lifelong friends who have become more than virtual brothers to me.
Eli Lipmen: There is one thing I know I can always expect at Dad 2.0 — I will meet some incredible dads. I’ve attended twice and each year I’ve made connections that have shaped who I am as a parent and changed the course of my life. And I know this year will be no different.
Even people who haven’t been to Dad 2 are excited:
Brock Lusch, co-organizer of Cincinnati Dads Group: This is my first time attending Dad 2.0, and I am very excited — like a kid going to Disney World. What is Brock excited about? Meeting the dads I have only known by profile pictures and small conversations, and learning/experiencing how to take my passion for fatherhood to continue growing a community of active and intentional fathers in Cincinnati. That’s what.
I know it sounds like I’m going all in on David S. Pumpkins here (and these guys are part of it), and maybe I am, after all, I haven’t always been on the payroll. There was a time, let’s call it seven years ago, when I was speaker on a panel, dishing what I dish as wisdom about writing, and feeling so many of the feels that I never knew I needed. I realized then that Dad 2.0 was in my life to stay.
The next year I was a featured reader, “opening” for Brené Brown, mostly with curse words, and by the time I left Dad 2.0 I had made every case I could to join the team. Luckily, there was an opportunity offered, and I took it.
The co-founders of Dad 2.0 Summit, Doug French and John Pacini (below) are, I assume, still regretting it. Also, they don’t like this picture.
I realize that it is probably too late for anyone who hasn’t already planned for Dad 2.018 to make it happen this year; however, I’m not trying to sell you anything. Rather, I want people to understand what it means for dads to have an opportunity to develop and nurture a community, both in regard to their professional lives and their personal. Being a dad is a wonderful thing, full of love and lessons, but it can often be lonely and frustrating, too. To stand in a room full of people who get it? That’s a special thing.
That said, if you can’t make New Orleans, then I hope to see you at the next Dad 2.0. And then the one after that.