This post was written by TCCS member, Marie-Pier Rochon
CopyCon: Mini Copybeasts Welcomed!
Last year, going to CopyCon was the highlight of my year. So when I found out I’d have a six-week-old baby by the time this year’s conference happened, my heart sank a little.
I mean, no-one wants a baby at a conference.
Or do they?
Before crossing out CopyCon from my 2018 goals, I asked if I’d be able to sneak a baby into the conference undetected. Surprisingly, Kate not only agreed but also organised space for an official mini-copybeast table.
Now that I’ve lived to tell the tale, let me tell you the tips and tricks that made CopyCon a wonderful experience for copy mums and bubs.
1) Ask if the event is open to babies
Find out what accommodations the organisers will make for mums with bubs ahead of time.
At CopyCon, a dedicated table was strategically placed so mothers could listen to the speakers without distracting other people with baby noises. Extra space around the table made it easy to let our babies stretch out and crawl around. A toilet with change table was available nearby, and elevators made the space accessible to prams.
If you were quick enough, you could even get a free back and shoulder massage during the lunch break—a much-needed perk when you’re carrying a bundle heavier than the usual laptop bag.
2) Plan ahead and pick your favourite sessions
For some, planning ahead meant finding the perfect time to feed their baby. Some mums had partners, grandmothers and even friends bringing in their babies at dedicated times for feedings.
For others like me, it meant knowing which sessions were the most important so I could skip others when the baby and I needed a break.
Luckily for us, videos of all the CopyCon presentations are available. That way, we can always catch up on our own time—say, during the midnight feeds?
3) Bring all your gear
Babies comes with a lot of bits and bobs when you venture out. And it’s no different when you go to a conference.
There are a few things I’m happy I’d brought along. Like my giant water bottle so I’d never go thirsty. And my pram so I could rock my baby to sleep. And way more clothes than I thought was reasonable because… well, accidents happen.
But I left a few things at home that I wish I’d brought along. Other mums had their reusable coffee cups, which are more practical than a ceramic cup and saucer. They also brought baby carriers so they could be hands-free for taking notes. I was jealous.
4) Be prepared for lots of baby talk
It turns out copywriters adore babies. At least, the ones at CopyCon do.
Babies are a great way to meet people. But chat about business or copywriting was minimal. And when it did happen, it went like this: “How do you manage babies and work?”
On the plus side, quite a few people I admired from afar but didn’t have the courage to approach last year came to me. And we had a great connection because new baby smell can melt hearts.
5) Decide how to take notes
Forgot your baby carrier? Bubba wants to be in your arms all the time? Then you might need a few ideas to take notes one-handed.
Record the audio if you’re allowed to. Ask someone to share their notes with you. Take a few photos of presentations with your phone and do your best to type with one hand.
But CopyCon is a special beast. You can get a video ticket of this year’s speakers, and everyone who attended the conference gets access . Even though I brought pen and paper I didn’t take notes because I knew I’d be able to look through the videos afterwards.
Mixing babies and conferences: it’s not for everybody
Not everybody is ready to attend a conference so early with a new baby. Some may never be. But bring your baby to a conference if you feel ready for it, and don’t let a baby stop you from going to an event you’ve got your heart set on.
Breastfeed at all times if that’s your thing, or ask for a private space if that’s what you need. Stay for the whole weekend, or attend only a few sessions and leave when you’ve had enough. Simply do what feels right for you.
You do you. Just bring your baby too.
Marie-Pier Rochon is a copywriter who specialises in making complicated technical topics sound simple. She also has a soft spot for UX writing and technology. A mum of three under four, she always has a Play School song stuck in her head.
Over to you
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