You like being a dad. You think you’re pretty good at it. You have strong opinions about it. And you’d find the time to actually write about the experience if your damn kids weren’t always interrupting you.
Then you should probably be paying particular attention to Fatherly, February 9 – 12, as we become the hub for the largest dad-centric conference in North America, the Dad 2.0 Summit. For the past 6 years Dad 2.0 has held a conference that’s more like a conversation between dads, marketers, and media about the state of modern fatherhood.
Remember how the parent blog landscape used to be mostly moms talking about their feelings on lactation consultants, poop consistency, and playground etiquette? How dads who wanted to share their gripes on the Internets didn’t have their own clubhouse to talk about how to do just that? Well, now is your chance.
“Dads want to be taken more seriously,” says Dad 2.0 co-founder Doug French, and father of 2 (so you know he’s not just the founder, he’s also a client). He, along with John Pacini (also a dad, don’t panic) are part of the reason major brands — from Big Diaper to Big Auto — have shifted how they treat fathers. That is to say not as a domestic punchline, but actual parents who can take care of their own children. “Referring to us as babysitters doesn’t fly anymore. Women rolling their eyes at hapless men doesn’t work. You just don’t see a lot of dippy dads on TV anymore.”
French says 2017 will mark the biggest convention in their short history. “By all accounts we look at this as a breakout year. Our social engagement is larger. Our programming is bigger. We usually have 9 panels, now we have 15. It feels like a real expansion of our influence,” he says.
So what can you expect from hundreds of actively engaged, media-savvy fathers all showing up at the same time in La Jolla hotel lobby?
- Live blogging from Fatherly’s FB Live Lounge, where interviews with the country’s most interesting dads will stream all day and all night — or at least until everyone goes to bed at a reasonable hour because they have to work in the morning.
- Panel discussions about issues you care about, such as “Where We Are: Fatherhood,” a deeper look at how the world is responding to the new role of male caregiving; “Mingling the Modern Family,” a panel of divorced and remarried guys talk about how the Brady Bunch is BS; and “The Uncertain Path To Advocacy,” where you’ll learn how put out a social media flame war in your own backyard.
- Engage with other dad bloggers. Because, as French says, “The most important job of the Internet remains a way to find your tribe, share your passions, and help inspire them.” If you can get paid for it all the better. Hear about how these influencers wrote their stories, made some videos, or freestyle rapped about their fatherhood. Find out how they took that great content, made it sing on social media, and supported their families — by talking about their families.
Still not convinced this will be a worthwhile 2 days of your online life? What about the prospect of just connecting with other guys with kids that totally get you? French remembers when he was a stay-at-home dad living in New York and just trying to get this blogging thing off the ground. He was at a playground with his 3-year-old and one-week-old — things were rough. “I bumped into a woman with 3 kids under 5 and she engaged me in a conversation. She could see I was pale and not doing great, so she said, ‘If you ever consider how hard it is to have a second kid, have a third.’ Eleven years later I haven’t forgotten that. People go through horrible shit, and the guys at Dad 2.0 are there for them.”
Head to the Dad 2.0 hub to follow along and get a schedule of everything that’s happening.