I was offered a media pass to cover Dad 2.0 Digital as an attendee, but all opinions continue to remain my own.
Eight months ago, plans were in the works to run a second Dad 2.0 conference this year with Dad 2.0 West, an event that would’ve been in Los Angeles, California to kick off an impressive new expansion to the brand. But—as with all too many things thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic—those plans were soon shelved without anyone knowing what was coming next. And then in their Fatherhood on Friday post on July 24th, the Dad 2.0 staff hit us with the news we’d all been waiting for—that instead of Dad 2.0 West, they’d serve it up in a digital format—let me tell you all about Dad 2.0 Digital.
Dad 2.0 Digital | Why Did I Go?
Now I have to admit that I didn’t initially plan to go to Dad 2.0 Digital because I was just too busy. Though I had a great time at Dad 2.018 in New Orleans and Dad 2.020 in Washington D.C. alike, my world had changed since George Floyd got murdered, and plenty was filling my plate as one of Canada’s few Black content creators.
But they say not to forget where you came from, and I have so many successes that come from Dad 2.0 that I’d be a fool to ignore them. I’m a cohost of Brothers in Booze thanks to Dad 2.0. I’ve been on various podcasts thanks to Dad 2.0. So when Doug French generously offered up a media pass so I could write on Dad 2.0 Digital, who was I to say no? And so on October 1st, amidst a bevvy of presentations and planning sessions, I logged into the conference on Socio to see what Dad 2.0 Digital would have in store!
Dad 2.0 Digital | How to Get the Most Out of a Virtual Conference
Now, hosting a virtual conference’s much different than if you do it in person, and that comes with both some good and some bad. Whereas it’s great connecting with other dads across the continent over brews and food, these virtual sessions made it much easier to get time in with the speakers since they shared their information with everyone at once.
This meant I could ask Michael Ian Black about his writing process during the opening keynote, or get insights on working with international brands from Jorge Narvaez. It gave us better access to the sponsors, too, with dedicated hours to chat with people like Kevin Strom, the Director of Customer Experience at Intellivision about the new Intellivision Amico gaming system and what it can offer our families; or Celeste Lanuza and Synthia Feliciano-Johnson, the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales and the Marketing Director for Medieval Times, respectively, who I chatted with about the Medieval Times experience and what it’d mean for my kids.
What we can often forget amidst all the fun we have at Dad 2.0 is that the conference provides us with access, and it’s up to us what we do with that to increase the relevance of our brands.
And for me, what would make its biggest mark is Mediavine’s “SEO Like a CEO” workshop with their CEO Eric Hochberger, schooling us on the techniques they use to make their content sing.
SEO Like a CEO, yo.
Even though I’ve created more than 1,200 posts in the decade I’ve had this site, it doesn’t mean I’ve done it well. I’ve honed my craft over the years, and my posts do well when I post them, but if I don’t make sure that people can find them, what more are they doing than taking up space?
And that’s not the only problem—what Eric’s talk had me do is dive deep into Google Search Console to see what my site was ranking for, and so little of that was for things that represented me. No “Canadian dad blogger”. No “Black fatherhood”. I ranked better for my sponsored work than for the stuff that fed my soul, and that wouldn’t do. I often left Dad 2.0 with new ideas to tackle, but rarely with actionable work—I felt I was finally doing something to ensure a better future.
And who could ask for a better outcome than that?
Here’s to the Next Dad 2.0 — Whatever it Might Look Like!
So although Dad 2.0 had a far different delivery, it didn’t skimp at all on its content. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn’t add something new to their toolkit!
Sure, we might not have partied it up in the French Quarter or walked The Mall with new friends, but I think we all came out better from the experience. There’s plenty I hope to watch if they share the replays later, but I already have plenty keeping me busy—I can wait. 😂
So to Doug French, John Pacini and the rest of the Dad 2.0 team, thank you for another great time! Pandemic or no, the show must go on, and you managed to do exactly that.
No one knows what the next event might look like or when the pandemic might be behind us, but you’ve gotta support your community in both good times and bad because it takes every one of us to make our communities work.
If you need me, I’ll be applying everything I learned and working to become a better creator. After all—time? It waits for absolutely no one.
Be well out there, everyone, and I hope to catch you at the next one!
Until the next,