Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting Intimate with Coca-Cola


Written by K. Elizabeth


When I was first asked to attend the Conversations with Coca-Cola Blogger Conference in Atlanta on behalf of Mommy Delicious, I was thrilled.  Nobody loves Coca-Cola more than I do.  I am a total Dr. Pepper and Sprite addict.  Another reason Coca-Cola has a special place in my heart is because my hometown was greatly affected when most of its textile jobs went overseas and the Coca-Cola consolidated bottling plant is pretty much keeping a lot of my friends and family employed.

They didn't follow the domino effect.  Lastly, I was excited because this was my first blogger's conference.  I was looking forward to the intimate gathering and getting to know more about Coke and what positive things they're doing around the world.  I can truly say that Coca-Cola did not disappoint. 

Monday was our free/arrival day.  There were bloggers coming from New York to North Carolina all the way down to Florida.  Some of us drove and others flew in. While I didn't get to meet up with any of the other ladies in person until the next day, I had a blast exploring The W Hotel.  The room decor and views were pure perfection.  The people at Coke sure did know how to wow a girl!

I am a huge fan of many of the other bloggers and I was nervous about meeting finally meeting them in person on Tuesday.  Let me just say that everyone was so nice and down to earth.  Our first day of sessions was held at the World of Coca-Cola and I had the chance to bond and chat with some of my blogging idols over breakfast.  Speaking of sessions, Katherine Stone started things off right with a presentation on building, improving and expanding our blogs/brands.

A former Coke employee, she traded in her Coke badge to become a mental health advocate and started Postpartum Process and Fierce & Powerful.  She shared tips like make sure you have a central logo that supporters can associate your blog/brand with.   She also confessed that the best way to get that door of opportunity and partnership open is to make the first move.  Don't wait for brands to come to you, go to them.

Following Katherine's presentation we created and shared vision boards.  It was nice getting to know the ladies a little more.  Wendy's treated us to a delicious lunch spread and presentation about how they are encouraging healthier eating with their new meal customization app and some of their community service initiatives.  They also shared the fact that they are looking to add more side options for their kid's meals.  And did you know that Wendy's helps 2 kids get adopted everyday?! Visit their website to learn more and download their new app!

We also heard from a women's panel of Coca-Cola executives. Those ladies rocked!  They talked to us about balancing career, family and how Coca-Cola is helping women break the glass ceiling in the corporate world.  By the end of their panel discussion I was thinking to myself “geez..I wouldn’t mind working for Coca-Cola either.”

We ended sessions with a tour of World of Coca-Cola.  The ladies and I had our picture taken with the polar bear, visited the vault where the secret formula is kept, rode a 3D ride and learn more about the history of Coca-Cola.  Later that night we were treated to dinner at BLT Steak.  My mouth is still watering from the crab cakes, rosemary chicken and Barcardi cucumber mojitos I had.

Wednesday,our last day, came too fast for me.  I was having a great time.  Held at Coca-Cola headquarters, our last day of sessions focused on how we and our families can live positively. The folks from Chef Advantage gave us tips and a live demonstration on how to create lunches that are healthy and fun for our kids.  Barcardi mixologist Scott Mayer showed us how to the crowd at our next dinner party using Barcardi mixers.

As Barcardi pointed out moms and wives are the center of families.  If we’re not happy then neither are our family or guests.  And part of being happy and making sure that our loved ones feel same includes entertaining.  We also had a Barcardi mixers drink challenge.  My group didn’t win but we made a ginger watermelon “Momito” with a hint of mint and garnished with a strawberry.

We also learned about some of the ways Coke is helping out in the community and around the world to encourage and promote positive living.  For example they donate used syrup drums to families in countries like India to use as rain barrels.  Coke is also a supporter of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to help end childhood obesity.  They’ve given away over $48 million in scholarship funds.

Overall, it was a great conference.  If asked to participate again, I would.  I enjoyed the small, intimate setting and getting to know more about a brand that is near and dear to my heart.  A special thank you to Mommy Delicious and all the folks at Coca-Cola.

{Disclaimer: Expenses for the conference were paid by Coca-Cola.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.}

About the author:
K. Elizabeth is a wife, mommy of two and a published author. She blogs about her journey through motherhood, fashion, and life on YUMMommy. She aspires to start a nonprofit for young parents and make the New York Times Bestsellers list. 

8 comments:

  1. This sounds like it was a fabulous opportunity! Thank you for sharing this experience with us. I recently went to BlogHer for the first time and while it was overwhelming I enjoyed it. I can totally see how a smaller, more intimate conference could be beneficial such as this.

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  2. Sounds like Coca Cola is doing some great things. I am a die hard Diet Coke person.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Just give me my Cherry Coke please! This was a great opportunity!

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  4. LOVED Diet Coke's recent 30-second surprise birthday bashes. Such a fab idea! And what a fun conference--you took lots of notes and did a lot of drinking for me, right? ;)

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  5. I am way to obsessed over cherry coke. Loved getting to read about your experience. Oh and I had no idea about Wendy's. That makes me feel less guilty about eating fast food.

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  6. I am a big Coca Cola girl!! That watermelon Momito looks amazing!!!! Yum!

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  7. I really love the idea of a vision board. That's very cool, I do something similar!

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  8. This sounds great conference. I am so inspired :)

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