What do you get when 100 elite digital mom influencers, and some of the most powerful businesswomen and brands in the world, link up in Caribbean paradise?
Magic. Undeniable magic.
There were high expectations for the 2018 Social Media on the Sand Conference at Beaches Turks & Caicos, a five-day gathering of digital influencers (#BeachesMoms) that was jam-packed with events, star-studded guest appearances from fashion icon Rebecca Minkoff to former Good Morning America host Sam Champion, a Trufusion Barefoot Bootcamp workout, a custom Drybar® Braids and Dry Styling Suite, endless swag giveaways, and more! All in all, totaling up to one epic week-long work-cation in paradise.
Celebrities Alli Webb, Sam Champion and Rebecca Minkoff teamed up with the #BeachesMoms to give back with the Sandals Foundation and School Specialty in Turks & Caicos during Social Media on the Sand.
Want the scoop and some insider information? Here’s a little play-by-play of a week to remember.
From the moment these #BeachesMoms arrived at Beaches Turks & Caicos, the conference was already in full swing. Set up around the resort’s French Village pool, was an interactive welcome and registration event called the “Just Chill” Pop-Up. It was a family-friendly outing with something for everyone, as moms and children alike challenged each other to life-size board games presented by Spin Master™—a Canadian global toy and entertainment company—and loaded up on freebies, including sweet and savory snacks, Bling2O goggles, waterproof SNUBA bags and Spin Master Otrio pool floats. Lands’ End, a big-name sponsor at the conference, was also there to give away a selection of bright, sunset-colored dresses and straw sun hats—the perfect way to accessorize for the week ahead!
Keeping the spirits high, all Beaches Moms were invited to a Rock-the-Dock soiree and sunset catamaran cruise around Providenciales’ world-famous Grace Bay. In addition to cocktail spritzers and small bites, guests enjoyed live entertainment and fun with the opportunity to create their own marbled hats with Black Light Visuals (BLVisuals®)—a company that combines unique marble dyes with black lighting to create one-of-a-kind, glowing apparel and body art.
Before setting sail, guests took the time to reconnect with familiar faces and network with new ones, while also striking a pose for the first round of conference socialphoto contests held by Beaches.. The rules were simple: capture an image that speaks to the day’s theme—Shades of Sunset was day one—and tag @BeachesResorts #BeachesMoms #SocialMediaontheSand and #BeachesTurksandCaicos on their social media channels.
Taking in splashes of gold, magenta and creamsicle orange, it certainly was the perfect evening for a golden hour photo.
Sesame Street®, Build-A-Bear®, Lands’ End, Sun Bum, The House of Perna, Hapari, instax by FUJIFILM. Any of these brands sound familiar? Well, those are only a few of the dozens of brands that made up Social Media on the Sand’s “Swag Bungalow.” As brand upon brand, and product upon product were loaded straight into swag bags, the Beaches Moms began wondering if they needed an extra suitcase! To top it all off, there were multiple curated experiences from top-notch brands as well, including hairstyling by Drybar®, a Polaroid photo op with Instax, and 10-minute skincare treatments courtesy of Red Lane® Spa.
Beaches Resorts introduced the Beaches Swag Bungalow at this year’s conference – a fun and interactive gifting experience where Beaches deconstructed the traditional conference attendee gift bag and invited attendees to experience the “swag” they received.
Following the Swag Bungalow were exciting breakout sessions for the #BeachesMoms to participate in a variety of interest-based activities. Whether it was Amazing Art with Julia—a friendly, four-year-old girl with autism—at Camp Sesame, a photography lesson with Ron Magill, mixology lessons at the bar, or an underwater SNUBA® dive, every influencer found something of interest to take part in.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights of the day was the Mad Hatter After Party. It was a whimsical affair that seemingly emerged straight from the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. Hundreds of desserts filled an extensive display, the Rad Hatter fashioned unique hats made from recycled paper bags, kids gathered at their own tea party table, and BLVisuals® returned to marble everyone’s arms. With a DJ playing hits all night and the cast of Creativiva’s Alice In Wonderland show dancing about the party, this was a Rabbit Hole everyone was eager to fall into.
When Conference Day arrived, the #BeachesMoms were ready for the most impactful and insightful component of the week. It was one media mogul after another, speaking to their brand, their story and how they’ve achieved success through social media. The Social Media on the Sand team brought in the best of the best, including fashion industry leader, Rebecca Minkoff; co-founder of Drybar® blowout shops, Ali Webb; American weather anchor, Sam Champion; American actress and singer, Holly Robinson Peete; and the Deputy Chairman of Sandals and Beaches Resorts, Adam Stewart, to name a few keynote speakers. As they listened to each speaker’s words of wisdom, the #BeachesMoms were filled the inspiration and confidence to tackle their own brand goals.
Keynote speaker Rebecca Minkoff took the stage for Beaches Resorts’ 4th annual Social Media on the Sand conference.
The rest of the afternoon proceeded with informational “Cabana Chats” presented by industry experts along with brands such as BuzzFeed, ShopStyle, and The International Board of Credentialing and Continued Education Standards (IBCCES). Plus, the #BeachesMoms that brought their kids and teens along even had a chance to learn from 17-year old YouTube sensation and influencer, Ella Ellbels who explained how she transformed personal hobbies and skills into her own YouTube channel.
The most memorable and touching experiences of the entire conference took place Saturday morning when the #BeachesMoms visited a local school supported by the Sandals Foundation and School Specialty. After 2017’s devastating hurricane season, the Ianthe Pratt Primary School was still severely damaged. With a little hard work and lots of love, the #BeachesMoms teamed up to repaint the courtyard, picnic areas, and classrooms, as well as clean up the entire library. The best part? When the students arrived for the following school week, they walked straight into a massive surprise full of vivid colors!
To follow such an incredible morning and close out the week, the 2018 Conference celebrated one last hurrah. There’s no better way to describe it other than the most epic pool party of the year- with (too many to count) Coconut Floats who filled the resort’s French Village pool to the brim, Spin Master™ there to hand out more games for the kids, TUUCI umbrellas who added their own extra pop of bright color, and a special performance by Hollywood Records’ artists In Real Life (IRL), the winners of ABC’s hit show, Boy Band, it made for the ultimate farewell.
Social Media on the Sand ended with the party of the year – a Farewell Floatopia, featuring a special performance by Hollywood Records’ artists In Real Life.
It was a huge hit as kids floated about the stage and families sang along to the band’s most popular songs. Best. Party. Ever.!!
After the most fulfilling, influential, and extravagant week came to an end, it was finally time for the #BeachesMoms to say goodbye to Beaches Turks & Caicos and to Social Media on the Sand. Thanks to the generous donations of sponsors and the time commitment of every guest, Social Media On the Sand 2018 achieved more success than ever imagined. As the sun set in paradise, you could feel the positive energy of every #BeachesMom and the countdown beginning to next year’s event.