Girls just wanna have fun… especially girls who are moms of preschoolers (read: burned out, sleep-deprived and slaphappy). Enter MOMcon, the annual Mothers of Preschoolers conference. More than 45,000 MOPS members meet in local chapters in 33 countries to support one another in their journeys as Christian mothers.
MOMcon 2016, held Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 at Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, included the traditional main sessions, breakouts and an exhibit hall, all aimed to uplift moms. The schedule included playful activities as well, making the event a “glorified girls’ weekend,” says event manager Janella Thaxton.
The agenda included a moms’ night out one evening, where attendees had free time to enjoy Milwaukee however they pleased. MOMcon ended on Saturday night with a 1980s-themed MomProm, a popular event from previous conferences, where everyone was invited to dress up in over-the-top attire and dance. While gatherings often suffer from low attendance during final events (due to attendees leaving to get back to their families), that was not the case for MomProm.
“This year [the moms] went crazy!” says Thaxton. “The ballroom was packed with women in their outfits.”
The MOPS events team recognized and capitalized on the reality that time off to kick back with girlfriends is a rarity for moms of young children. “We always get high marks for [the fun events] on our post-event surveys,” Thaxton said. “We want to make sure MOMcon is worth their time away from family and the financial commitment.”
Planners, take a cue from the MOPS team by considering your attendees’ personal lives as you build your event schedule, format, menus and off-site outings, aiming to ensure they leave feeling filled up—in more ways than one.