Social Media on the Sand Takes 5Sunday, October 27, 2019
There was non-stop tweeting at Beaches Turks & Caicos two weekends ago as 100 elite digital mom bosses spent five days engaging in modern-day marketing secrets from some of the world's brightest business entrepreneurs. The 5th annual “Social Media on the Sand” conference took place October 16-20, 2019 at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages and Spa, and offered #BeachesMoms a first-hand look at how to sharpen their social media skills, grow their online presence and get inspired by other talented like-minded women.
Voted one of BizBash's Most Innovative Meetings of 2018, this sold-out, by-invitation-only event took attendees on a complete sensory journey to commemorate its fifth year through the sounds of social media success. The conference featured speeches from keynote industry innovators who shared their inspiring stories on how they built their brands, as well as fireside track sessions that spotlighted topics such as how to monetise a blog, to partnering with brands to build awareness.
“Remarkable things happen when moms come together. Each year Beaches Resorts brings a new group of outstanding people to help motivate and inspire our conference guests with their own knowledge and industry expertise,” said Debbie-Ann White, SVP, public relations and promotions at Unique Vacations, Inc. “Social Media on the Sand offers a unique platform for not only professional growth, but for personal growth through sparked conversations, authentic connections and shared experiences between the modern working moms.”
This year, Beaches' handpicked list of guest and keynote speakers included three of the most accomplished modern brand builders and industry titans: Rebecca Minkoff (co-founder and creative director of the eponymous fashion powerhouse), who gave an inside look at how her business grew from the ground up; Jamie Kern Lima (co-founder of IT Cosmetics, a top-selling make-up and skincare brand), who spoke on the power of authenticity and honing in on the “why's” behind what motivates us; and Daymond John (investor on the ABC reality television series Shark Tank), who shared his personal key lessons from social media, as well as goal-setting tips to achieve your dreams.
“Equally as important as building yourself and your brand is building a group of strong team members to support you,” said Minkoff. “We're only human, which means we can't be experts in everything. So, we need to take a step back and hire experts to support us in areas where we are not experts ourselves.”
“The journey that you're on is your authenticity,” said Kern Lima. “Your community will know if you're faking it, so it's crucial to trust your gut and remain your authentic self along the way.”
“Don't put anything out there if you can't own it,” said John. “I've learned that due diligence starts with social media, and you need to be able to authentically own the content you're putting out there – don't just post something to post it; there needs to be a purpose.”
The Social Media on the Sand conference also featured several fun twists on networking and curated experiences to further ignite attendees' senses. This included a Match Ups & Mimosas event, where the #BeachesMoms mixed and mingled over mimosas, complete with a scent sommelier to customise perfume inspired by tropical cocktails. Other activities included a health and wellness village presented by the Red Lane Spa, multiple Beauty & the Beach suite activities featuring Drybar styling and make-up by IT Cosmetics, and even a special concert performance by platinum-selling recording artiste, Hunter Hayes. Also new to this year's conference was a 5 Senses on the Sand pop-up, which offered the perfect Gram-worthy backdrops for guests to capture interactive and authentic content right on the beach, and a Silent DiscGLOW, which was a blacklight haven that put guests into sensory overload. To top things off, #BeachesMoms and their families immersed themselves in a world of pure imagination at Willy Wonka's Splendiferous Fun Factory on National Sweetest Day, October 19, with everything from gumdrop trees to a scratch & sniff wall sponsored by Air Esscentials. One lucky attendee won the ultimate golden ticket – a return trip to the 6th annual “Social Media on the Sand”conference.
“Sea The Future” With The Sandals Foundation
In addition to having access to the picture-perfect Instagram moments and networking opportunities to establish new genuine connections, conference attendees had the chance to learn about the Sandals Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International – and its initiatives that are near and dear to the heart of Beaches Resorts. The week kicked off with a Sea the Future Welcome Party presented by the foundation, which immersed conference guests in the Sandals Foundation's mission of making a difference in the Caribbean, and celebrated the foundation's 10-year milestone anniversary. Not only were guests exposed to the foundation's mission and one of its core pillars, environmental awareness, but they were also joined by award-winning NYC-based street artist Marco Santini for an interactive painting session surrounding guests' perceptions of the foundation. Additionally, attendees contributed to the Sea the Future Welcome Party by bringing environmental-themed books to help the local children of Turks & Caicos, along with raising funds for the foundation in a silent auction. A special, heart-warming performance by local Turks & Caicos students of Long Bay High School concluded the first night. They sang one of Hunter Hayes' songs, Wanted, and were taken aback when Hunter Hayes himself cheered them on in the audience – setting the tone for the surprise and delights ahead.
“At Beaches Resorts, we believe one of the ways of lending support is by educating the next generation,” added White. “We see the future and it's crystal clear – emulating the Caribbean water surrounding us.”
Additional Speakers & Event Partners
In addition to Adam Stewart, deputy chairman of Sandals Resorts International, and White, speakers included Shannon Levis, Facebook; Courtney Heimlich, YouTube; Landyn Hutchinson, lifestyle expert, Living With Landyn; Melissa Gerstein co-founder, The MOMS Network; Meaghan Murphy, executive editor of Good Housekeeping; Emily Kaufman, travel writer, The Travel Mom; Audrey McClelland, co-founder, MomGenerations.com; Amy Choi, head of brand partnerships, ShopStyle; Amanda Perna, seasoned fashion and textile designer, The House of Perna; Rosemarie T Truglio, SVP of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop; Michelle Kreher, senior manager of Themed Entertainment at Sesame Workshop; Ellen Heaney, senior brand manager for Spin Master Games; Mykella Gannon, marketing director, COOLA; Julie Nowell, founder and principal of 3c Consulting; Myron Pincomb, CEO and board chairman of the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards; and popular content creators Terrell and Jarius Joseph, April Athena; and Jessica Skube of JesssFam.
Event partners included Rebecca Minkoff, Spin Master Games, Drybar, IT Cosmetics, COOLA Suncare, JetBlue, Swarovski, The House of Perna, good2grow, Sesame Workshop, HAPARI Swimwear, Sprout, abercrombie kids, SNUBA, Red Lane Spa, Kim Crawford Wines, Pevonia, Air Esscentials, Sanitas, Bling2o, Playskool, The Incy Wincies, Saltability, SNUBA, the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), BLVisuals, Rockabye Baby, PLAYSKOOL, SpaRitual, School Specialty, FLOW, PADI: Professional Association of Diving Instructors, Alliance Connection Productions, Gifts for the Good Life, Florabella Studios, Kelly + Jones and The Sandals Foundation.