Laura Mayes and Carrie Pacini
By: Elsa Tovar
Photos: Courtesy of Mom 2.0 Summit
Two Moms with a Mission: Mom 2.0 Summit
Laura Mayes and Carrie Pacini, two women from Texas co-founders of the successful Mom 2.0 Summit for mothers who are entrepreneurs, brought this event for the first time to Austin in 2019 and it was an outstanding success. This year they focused on expanding the definition of mothers and women in today’s world and what that means for media, entertainment, marketing and storytelling.
This super innovative summit for the education of women in the social network has had a very positive impact nation wide reaching over 1,300,000,000 + impressions of the event in Austin. The Mom 2.0 summit keeps growing and is held on a different city every year. Tickets to attend were sold out six months in advance.
HOW DID ALL BEGIN AND WHAT EXACTLY IS MOM 2.0 ?
The Magic Question
Do you have a twitter account? I think that was the magic question between two Texas moms, Laura Mayes of Austin and Carrie Pacini of Houston, when they became acquainted at a business meeting eleven years ago and saw that there was no events and seminars to support and enlighten working mothers, most pressingly the need to create a community to offer seminars for these women to promote themselves and the means of using technology. This moment later propelled a support community called Mom 2.0 Summit which has turned into a huge success which continues to grow every year.
A Community of Moms
Mom 2.0 is a community that began with one hundred and seventy-five moms and currently has more than 1,200 entrepreneurs, bloggers, influencers, media specialists, marketers and entrepreneurs in the education of children, food, entertainment, politics, technology , social change, business, travel, design and other areas. It has become an important annual event since 2008.
I met with Laura Mayes and Carrie Pacini in Austin, the co-founders of Mom 2.0 in the new professional meeting building called The Riveter in Austin. Laura had just arrived from vacation and Carrie had driven in all the way from Houston to meet with us. Laura and Carrie are two business women and mothers full of positive energy, and achievers even before Mom 2.0 as you will see from the conversation
Co-founder of Mom 2.0 Summit, an Emmy-winning writer and a successful businesswoman. In recent years, she has created, developed and produced a variety of events and programs for women in the media, including industry conferences, brand events, book launches and products, her general mission: to educate women about social networks.
She is part of the Advisory Council for Girls and Women for the ONE Campaign and her work has been profiled in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, AdWeek, Mashable, The TODAY Show, Rachael Ray Show, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes and Gardens. Her secret passion: ballroom dancing.
What was the first obstacle at the very first Mom 2.0 Summit in Houston?
Carrie: The main obstacle was to convince people to attend a summit focused on women since it had never been done before. You have to bear in mind that eleven years ago that technology was not what it is now, and most women did not make reference to this type of summit in their minds; It was difficult to visualize.The first Summit was based on trust, and we were able to gather one hundred and seventy-five attendees at the 4 Seasons Hotel in Houston.They all left after the event delighted and they were the ones that encouraged us to continue.
“Now all those ‘guardians at the door’ have been eliminated. Women, people of color, now have the best opportunity to share their stories.”
Why do you think that social networks are so important for women, specifically?
Laura: I think that social networks have increased democratization. Years ago, it was more difficult to get something published. Before you had to go through a hierarchy of approvals either public relations, advertising agents in about ninety percent of the time. Now all those “guardians at the door” have been eliminated. Women, people of color, now have the best opportunity to share their stories.
With your great variety of experience, you contribute a lot to the summit. Why national art exhibitions and ballroom dancing?
Laura: When I was young, I worked in a dance studio just to try something new and found that I really liked it. The studio asked me to be part of their team and before I knew it I was dancing in the dance hall.That was really fun! I am also passionate about art and came up with the idea of doing art exhibitions to raise funds for a non-profit event to help other women. And all these experiences help me do what I do today.
Carrie Pacini is a successful businesswoman, co-founder of the MOM 2.0 Summit and blogger and creative technologist. The focus of her career in the technology industry began with Compaq / HP and Hewlett Packard in Houston, where she was one of the few successful executives in a male-dominated industry at that time.
In 2006, Carrie focused on creating social media resources for working moms, and was co-creator of the Operation Mommy (OPMOM) project. Carrie now focuses on writing about food and photography on her personal blog For The Feast. A blog of her travels around the world and a space where you can learn how to travel and for example, learn how to prepare a good English tea correctly.
Carrie, Mom 2.0 Summit’s success has been phenomenal. If you were thinking of taking it to another level, what would it be?
Carrie: A larger audience. But we plan to grow incrementally. We try to grow only around twenty percent each year.We want it to be a very organic, very personal growth.This year, Mom 2.0 had a hundred and twenty speakers and almost a thousand two hundred registered attendees with more than a thousand people on the waiting list for tickets.This is because we don’t want to have such a big event that we lose contact between us.
I noticed that in the event in Austin 75% of the attendees came from outside of Texas, why do you think this event is more known outside of Texas?
Carrie: We started this summit thinking of being an online community and, as such, it extends throughout the state and beyond Texas. We have had an incredible response across the country.That was the intention along the way, a summit to connect everywhere with all.
Would you be interested in emphasizing more the Hispanic presence at the Mom 2.0 Summit in the future?
Carrie: Absolutely, one of our goals is to thrive on being inclusive at all times. We want to invite all readers of La Revista Mujer to present a proposal for a panel for our next Mom 2.0 Summit. Please note the deadline for submissions:
Wednesday, 9/4: Call for Speakers and Ideas Opens.
Wednesday, 9/25: Call for Speakers and Ideas Closes.
The next Summit will be held in Los Angeles from May 6 to 8, 2020. Tickets for the conference are now available for purchase at: https://mom2.com/register/
When the Mom 2.0 Summit was over, I realized that it really was very special. I felt a very positive energy from each person that I met from the first day until the closing of the summit. There was an atmosphere of complicity, joy and support from women that I had never seen before, it felt like a bond of solidarity regardless of the origin, language or profession of each other.
Why is it important to attend Mom 2.0 Summit? Because women need a community like this to connect, learn, find support, exchange ideas, with exceptional women and make sure that what we are doing is ok and in the process learn how to succeed!
Submit your proposal to participate in one of the panels from September 4 to 24 and don’t miss the next event in Los Angeles and register now! https://mom2.com/register/