The Mommy Conference
The Mommy Conference, Inc is a boutique conference for toddler Moms looking for education and information about raising early learners.
Name or Organization
The Mommy Conference, Inc.
The Mommy Conference Inc has a home-based office located in Westwood, MA.
What is your stage of development?
New Innovator, with less than one year of experience in ECD
What is the stage of your proposal?
Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.
Describe your submission in one clear sentence
The Mommy Conference is a phase-one platform for moms of toddler-aged children to connect directly with other moms and licensed professionals to learn about important topics such as creative play, nutrition, technology, school readiness, creating empathy, the care and keeping of mom, behavior and discipline.
Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)
The mission of The Mommy Conference is to build a community of parents interested in connecting with each other and learning best practices for parenting from licensed or credentialed professionals.
Select an Innovation Target
Network: Connecting people with each other to enhance the reach or effectiveness of new or existing resources.
Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)
The Mommy Conference is phase one of a five-phase approach. Phase one is a series of live events promoted through Facebook and Meet-up communities of moms in the Boston area looking for new opportunities to connect on important parenting topics. Phase two is to transition from Facebook and Meet-up to an on-line membership and collaboration platform to deliver a more frequent stream of content to our members. Phase three is to replicate a "Mommy Conference" like experience for Dads, parents, grandparents and care-givers. Phase four is to expand across North America. Phase five is to franchise the experience starting with the membership base.
What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)
Build personalized communities for parents. So many times, we hear about the concept of - "it takes a village" but there isn't really a blueprint for building or creating your village, which includes friends, family and skilled-professionals. And, let's face it, even if there was a blueprint, it takes time and focus - which is sparse if you have a toddler at home.
Explain your idea (5000 characters)
The Mommy Conference is a boutique conference targeting moms living in communities around the Boston area through a grassroots effort of community outreach and social networking such as FaceBook and Meet-up. Our kick-off conference theme is the Power of Play, with opening opening keynote speaker: Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Author Taking Back Childhood. Our half day conference begins with a welcome breakfast, keynote followed by a series of small roundtable discussions with practitioners to lead topics such as: nutrition, technology, school readiness, creating empathy, the care and keeping of mom, behavior and discipline. The breakout sessions differentiate our experience because they allow for a level of intimacy and openness to foster discussions. Our event will conclude with lunch. During the event, moms will also have the opportunity to be hands-on with conference sponsors. Sponsors are limited in number - as to not overtake the educational component but are designed to allow for sampling or product/solution awareness. Additional opportunities include - CPR Certification.
We actually held our first Mommy Conference Breakfast and Roundtable event in June 2017. We had two roundtable topics with an occupational therapist, who specializes in in home parenting care of infants; and a day care provider and yoga instructor, who provides children with an educational environment characterized by balance, creativity, and harmony. We had eight attendees, who left the event feeling connected and with a few new practical tips to apply at home. We had four sponsors for our first conference - The Foodery, Label Daddy, The Chestnut Hill School and The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
Our goal is to further develop The Mommy Conference with a focus on topics unique to women and Moms. From there, we'd like to expand to Dads and eventually bring both parents into various conferences and seminars. The opportunities to bring parents togethers around interesting topics is limitless.
There is value to our educators, healthcare and wellness practitioners as well. From practical business building opportunities - such as building up awareness for a new practice or provider to a larger institution (Ex: Steward Healthcare) demonstrating support to the community through a one-to-many educational approach. Other benefits include: educating parents on what to expect from a provider - how to manage care - what's right, wrong, expected and how to identify issues.
In addition to parents and providers/educators, we'll recruit sponsors as well. Our sponsorship is considered high value given the intimacy of the group. A chance to sample a product or service, build awareness or recruit market testers or collect market intel, The Mommy Conference is an ideal opportunity.
The ultimate goal is really to provide support for parents - really human connections located in real communities. And to connect parents to quality educators, healthcare and wellness providers in a safe, efficient and fun environment. It sounds very simple but it really doesn't exist today.
December Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zdcbsb7d3nk8gnf/TMC%20Dec%202017%20Video.mp4?dl=0
Who benefits? (1500 characters)
Parents benefit by getting to know other parents who are dealing with similar challenges. In addition, parents have a trusted platform and resource for quality education, healthcare and wellness information. Providers have a platform to share important information, while building awareness for their services and capabilities. Sponsors have a platform to demonstrate products and solutions with potential buyers.
Interactions will include on-line communications - videos, news updates, surveys; and live event experiences.
What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)
In the Boston metro area alone, we have identified 19 communities that could benefit and support a conference of 100+ moms at the time of launch. We anticipate incremental growth in one year to expand to 40 communities with the potential to reach 10,000 moms. The on-line platform and series of experiences allows us to grow our audiences virtually - exponentially.
How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)
Education, connections and networking. All parents - regardless of socio-economics need support and education. For low-income children, there parents often don't have the time to take off from work for the number of meetings and appointments required to get the same information that we are offering in a few hours. As the conference grows, we hope to be able to offer a baby-sitting program so that parents can attend the conference with their toddler. This is another unique component to our program. If nothing else, our conference brings awareness to parents of the resources available in their community to help support the needs of early learners.
Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (1500 characters)
We are getting back to basics with The Mommy Conference. The emergence and evolution of the internet has make us more connected and informed - than ever before. But it's also made us more isolated and overwhelmed. The Mommy Conference delivers a human, intimate and social experience down the street with quality providers with expertise about caring for toddlers.
Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)
The market for parents will always exist along with the desire to provide the best possible care for our children. Scaling is more a matter of available time, appropriate marketing, thoughtful planning and conference experience delivery. Evolution will be content delivery formats. Keeping an eye on consumer behaviors and trends in our demographic, looking at the education, healthcare and wellness markets for shifts in delivery mechanisms may also impact our future offering. Delivering a consistently quality experience globally will also need to be defined and managed.
Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)
We are two moms, who work part and full-time with less than five hours per week for The Mommy Conference. We're slow to build and deliver our conferences because we're working with limited "spare" time. The idea for funding, would allow us to hire two part-time employees - one to manage the day to day content delivery and promotion, the second to focus on recruitment - members, sponsors, speakers. Funding allows us to pay employees, increase advertising spends and pay speakers.
Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (1500 characters)
Our model works beautifully provided we get the right on-line experience and deliver quality on the live event experiences. Barriers today are time from our resources.
HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (1500 characters)
We are moms. One of us has a toddler and a network of toddler moms to solicit ideas and feedback. The other of us has middle school-aged children but a deeper understanding and awareness of the available community resources - both public and private. In building out the first Mommy Conference, we spoke with community groups, moms, educators, healthcare and wellness providers to identify hot topics for parents and young children. As an example, to launch our first conference, we connected with Dr. Nancy Carlson-Paige, professor Emerita with Lesley University and prolific author and speaker, focusing on media and technology, early childhood, peaceable classrooms, and education reform, to deliver our opening keynote on the Power of Play. Nancy introduced us to other professionals, such as ean Rogers, M.S.Ed. with The Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood, who agreed to help co-promote our conference and provided free resources for our conference attendees. A human centered experience is the mission of The Mommy Conference.
Tell us more about you (3000 characters)
A Mother’s intuition inspired two friends - Cindy and Amy - to meet up for a few glasses of Sangria during a work trip. Amy wanted to be a mom; Cindy felt something was missing for moms. Three years - and a baby - later we found "the right time" to launch The Mommy Conference in 2017. Still guided by intuition and an occasional glass of Sangria.
In the past nine months, we've met with 100+ new moms, a dozen local area providers who are interested and willing to support our mission and we've proven to ourselves that this small idea - has big potential.
Our questions, curiosity and experiences as moms guide us and we surround ourselves with experts like Nancy Carlson-Paige and Jean Rogers to mentor us on the unknowns.
Being a parent is complex with so many factors adding to the tension of parenting. The Mommy Conference attempts to ease the burden of unknowns and the underlying feelings of failure and guilt. Google isn't getting the job done on the education front - yet - it's the default education platform because it's so easy and always available.
We aren't asking moms and dads for a ton of time and in return, we're connecting them with others and directly to quality resources in safe and intimate setting. The payback for everyone involved is ginormous.
We are excited to deliver unique and high quality experiences to other moms and dads. The job of parenting is hard - and the purpose of The Mommy Conference is to help ease the burden - and give a little something extra to surprise and delight almost as a subtle reward for taking on the monumentous task of raising a child.
Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (500 characters)
We need someone to help on the technology side. Today, we're using facebook and meet up as platforms to connect on-line. That's fine for now, but soon, we'll need our own "space" for moms and dads to connect for a more personalized content experience.
As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)
A social network savvy mom or dad would be awesome - to help round out our team. Per the above - we could use a developer to help us identify or architect the right type of on-line platform.
Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?
Yes, share my contact information
[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).
Cindy Buckley: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthia-buckley-4955649
Amy Pesa, https://www.linkedin.com/in/amypesa/
[Optional] Attachments: Please upload relevant attachments or graphics or show us how you prototyped.
June 3, 2017 Breakfast Event
June 2017 Promo Flyer
June 2017 Sponsorship Annoucement