I’ve always been interested in the history of Coca-Cola. From their brilliant marketing to their oops moment of introducing New Coke, I’ve found the whole company to be intriguing – so much so that I did a huge research paper/presentation on Coca-Cola back when I was in business school. So when I was invited to the Conversations with Coca-Cola Mom Blogger Conference, I immediately said yes!
Coke has held this conference four times already, focusing on bloggers from different parts of the country. Our conference focused on the Northeast and the South, and there were 15 bloggers in attendance. I was thrilled to have Sarah as my travel buddy – I’m so used to traveling alone.
Sarah and I arrived a full 20 hours before the conference started, and decided to just enjoy free time at the hotel. After lunch, we just sat at the rooftop pool at the W Hotel Atlanta (and were eventually joined by Stefanie) and relaxed. As is, sat by the rooftop pool WITH NO KIDS and relaxed. Heaven.
We eventually headed back to our room to get ready for dinner – we had all sorts of lofty plans of taking one of the hotel’s Acura vans or a cab to someplace. Upon arrival to my room, I saw a fun gift from Coke – a towel, pen, conference materials, snacks, and lots of great drinks. There was also a free drink coupon from the hotel manager.
The skies seem to have opened while I was showering, because when I went downstairs to meet Sarah, it was pouring. So, we decided to use our drink coupons to visit the bar, which we didn’t end up leaving until the bar seats were literally stuck to us. It was nice not having to leave the hotel, and the dinner at the bar was actually really good.
The next morning, it was time for the conference. We started with a keynote from the fabulous and fierce Katherine Stone who was so inspirational and so generous with her guidance. She gave me so much to think about as I continue to move towards family travel blogging.
We then had the chance to put together vision boards, which was particularly helpful after hearing Katherine speak. I focused on how I am trying to grow my sites, and balance my life with my two beautiful children. I definitely recommend putting together a vision board, especially if you are at a cross-roads.
Lunch was courtesy of Wendy’s, and we learned about their support of adoption programs (Dave Thomas himself was adopted). Then, we heard from some of the female leadership of Coke – all of whom deal with mommy guilt and issues trying to have it all.
After the conference portion of the day, we went on a VIP Tour of the World of Coca-Cola where we got an inside view of the museum and even got to take a picture with the famed polar bear. I wrote a whole post about the World of Coca-Cold on Family Travel Magazine, so click over there if you want to learn more. We also received a gift card to do some shopping in the gift shop – I got my kids each a stuffed polar bear and a few pens and a keychain.
It was a great day. I learned a ton, was inspired, and apparently even laughed at something funny.
The next day, we met at the Coca-Cola headquarters, where we learned all about making healthy lunches (thanks to Minute Maid) and how to mix great drinks (courtesy of Bacardi Mixers). After a great lunch, with a Jeopardy style game, we headed back to the airport to go back home.
I learned a ton about Coca-Cola and their culture, which I really enjoyed. They do live up to the phase Live Positively!
Disclosure: My travel, meals, and accommodations were covered by Coca-Cola. All opinions are my own.