We asked some of our City Dads Group members to reflect on what they took away from attending the recent fifth annual Dad 2.0 Summit in Washington, D.C. Here are a few of their thoughts:
Kevin “Spike” Zelenka, Las Vegas Dads Group
I’ve been to dad conventions, and I’ve been to blog conferences. The Dad 2.0 Summit was the first event I’ve ever attended that really met the need of who I am: a blogger and a parent. I can’t stop talking about the opening and closing keynotes. They both really spoke to me as a father, and in different ways. The other programming I attended had a blog focus, and I learned a ton that I couldn’t wait to implement once I returned home. The fact that they have found such a magical combination in only five years existence is incredible, and I’ve already bought my ticket for next year.
Adam Gertsacov, Chicago Dads Group
There were lots of … great things, and lots of great content, but for me, the No. 1 reason I keep on coming is the community. Being in a community of these great dads (many of whom are also great writers and raconteurs) is just plain exhilarating. As a dad, you have your wife as a person to talk with, but she’s your wife. You are related to her.
Having colleagues — work friends, if you will — with whom I can just hang out with for a few days, talk about parenting, and comic books, and make slightly obscure references to obscurer movies and books, and even on occasion talk about our hopes and dreams — this is why I want to come back to Dad 2.0
— Read Adam’s complete thoughts on his blog, Dadapalooza
Niel Vuolo, NYC Dads Group
Dad 2.0 — Was about connecting dads with brands. … about fellowship, community and trying new things. … about meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones (even old friends who ended up getting carded at the bar!). … It was also about sharing ideas and inspiration. I can’t wait to attack this year and be more extraordinary when I get to Dad 2.0 in 2017.
— Read Niel’s complete thoughts on his blog, Great Moments in Bad Parenting
Jay Wisniewski, Detroit Dads Group
Honesty. It flows throughout the halls and ballrooms once the summit has taken up its residency. At times you will feel more comfortable talking to a random group of dads that you’ve stumbled upon than you’ve felt talking to your friend back home. It almost comes naturally because somewhere in its five years of life the creators of the Dad 2.0 Summit have fostered the growth of a collective of fathers that celebrates the successes of one another, provides wisdom through their struggles and failures, but most of all, never falters on their dedication to honesty. There are no perfect dads and when you spend your days and nights with these men, you come realize that’s totally OK.
— Read Jay’s complete thoughts on his blog, Inked Up Dad
Creed Anthony, Indianapolis Dads Group
Editor’s Note: Creed wrote this as a letter to the late Oren Miller.
I imagined you watching and listening as so many new voices were added to the collective voice. Men who weren’t shy about their love and involvement with their children. Women who supported the cause and played a role in helping to change the image of modern fatherhood.
I imagined you roaming the streets of D.C. with some of us, with your chin high, and that kind, gentle grin you always wore and realizing that the power of change isn’t simply found in the offices of the elected, but in the blogs, playrooms, kitchens, and carpools of the men and women in attendance.
— Read Creed’s complete thoughts on his blog, Tales From the Poop Deck
Victor Aragon, Chicago Dads Group
This was my second time going to Dad 2.0 and as much as it felt like my second home, I still felt out of place. I felt like the little brother that was trying to hang out with his bigger brothers and was accepted by all. I had a few people pull me to the side and ask me about my family and about post I wrote. It felt good to know that someone, other than myself, was reading my stuff and that it actually moved them.
Lance Somerfeld, NYC Dads Group
The fifth annual Dad 2.0 Summit was my favorite one yet. Dad 2.0 is a ripe opportunity for dads and dad bloggers to escape from hiding behind their computers and meet talented and caring dads face-to-face. A highlight for me was hosting a City Dads Group team meeting (photo at top) and being surrounded by over 40 organizers, active members and blog contributors. Community, family, friendship and beyond!
Another highlight for me was taking advantage of a little “me time” which is rare since the birth of our daughter 10 months ago. Strolling through the Capitol at night with a few good friends and admiring the world-renowned landmarks was a magnificent experience as was relaxing in a barber’s chair and receiving a professional shave in the Dove Men+Care suite.
Dave Lesser, NYC Dads Group
A lot Dad 2.016 recaps will probably mention the inaugural DadSLAM, a Moth-style public reading of blog posts. My roommate John Kinnear hosted the event to high acclaim. John read a hilarious article about his kid pooping in the McDonald’s ball pit and another guy read a different hilarious story about poop. Some stories left the room in nods and tears and not all of the essays were about accidental defecation. I don’t think. I’m actually not sure, since I didn’t go. It was an after-hours event and I went down to the room where it was being held to make sure someone showed up for John. The room, packed with attendees, was stuffy and warm, and there was no booze, so I quietly left. What can I say, sometimes I’m too big an asshole to let the transcendent moments happen.
— Read Dave’s complete thoughts on his blog, Amateur Idiot/Professional Dad
Scott Posey, Baltimore Dads Group
The Dad 2.0 conference is … a meeting of minds to discuss modern fatherhood as it is portrayed in the media and in everyday life. This conversation takes place with a lot of the big movers and shakers of the entertainment [and retail] worlds and has the power to truly initiate change. There were big brand names here like Lego, Dove Men+Care, Kia, Esquire, and Lee (among others). These are brands that see a passion for fatherhood being championed across all corners of the web and are coming out to say that they not only agree, but support our movement. Panels were held to discuss the ever changing role of fatherhood as it corresponds to the workplace (something I’m very passionate about) and how people are fighting the good fight daily to ensure that parental leave is not only a right but one that is taken without fear of career suicide. Everywhere you looked this weekend, you could see this desire to better oneself as a father but also on a larger scale for all fathers across the world.
The other reason I wanted to attend the conference was to meet all of the fellow dads who I have talked with, shared stories with, and grew with as a father [online]. … It was amazing seeing and talking to these guys whose work I have read and been affected by since having my son. … Attending a summit to help advance fatherhood is a great reason to attend, but hanging out with your friends and forming relationships in person is a close second.
— Read Scott’s complete thoughts on his blog, Father Nerds Best
Carter Gaddis, City Dads Group columnist
I found a large, passionate, talented group of men and women who shared my interests and — incredibly, to me — seemed to care what I thought and wrote. The Dad 2.0 mission of bringing brands together with fathers of the Internet is great, of course. It’s been a privilege to work with companies that understand the importance of shattering the tired stereotype of the aloof, goofball dad so often portrayed in ads, movies and TV shows over the years. The networking is great, but I will always go back to the Dad 2.0 Summit because of the sense of renewal it provides. It is a reunion with my “tribe,” a chance to rejuvenate, a source of energy throughout the rest of the year. I’ve been to other social media conferences, and they were great. This one? This one is home.
— Read Carter’s complete thoughts on his blog, Carter Gaddis, Writer
Nick Browne and Benjamin Muller, Philadelphia Dads Group
This weekend, we spent four days in Washington, D.C. for the Dad 2.0 Summit. And in a few words: IT WAS AMAZING. Honestly, so many great people came together to put together a truly inspiring event. For details, listen to their Poppin’ Bottles podcast.
Want more? Read what our New York City members had to say on the NYC Dads Group blog.
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