17th Annual At-Home Dads Convention in Washington, DC. I couldn't be happier to help the guys promote the event. I attended last year's convention, and walked away feeling confident, encouraged, and supported in my new role as an at-home dad. I met a lot of great guys, and I learned a ton of useful information about parenting and getting connected with other individuals in this chosen profession. The speakers at the convention were specific, informative, and very accessible. I had a great time, and I am looking forward to attending again this year. Here are the details you have all been waiting for!
WHEN: The convention itself is a one day event, and that will take place on Saturday, October 6, 2012. That said, most of the guys make a long weekend out of it by arriving on Thursday evening. On Friday, there will be various options for activities around the DC area so you can get to know some of the dads before the convention. There will also be an added opportunity for a nice meal after the convention is over. This provides you with another chance to further the conversation with your at-home brethren. I really enjoyed this time before and after the convention as much as the convention itself. I was able to get out and have dinner and drinks with a group of about ten guys on Friday night after the meet & greet. They just saw me hanging out in the lobby and said, "You want to come with us?" That's how it works with this group. You're a dad? You're in! No judging. We talked football, beer, and even bluegrass music at one point. I still connect with a handful of these guys online, and I know it is because we had the chance to get to know one another during this time before the convention.
WHERE: Washington, DC - The official hotel for the convention is the Embassy Suites Alexandria - Old Town located at 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandra, VA 22314. If you check out the convention home page, there is a promo code to book your room with so you can lock in the $139/night rate. Also, if you want to split the room cost, be sure to check out the discussion forum to find a roommate. The location for the actual convention activities on Saturday has not been announced yet, but guys usually carpool from the hotel to the location.
HOW MUCH: Honestly, it doesn't matter. You should attend. The convention cost was $60 last year, and I anticipate that it will be somewhere in the same neighborhood again this year, although registration doesn't open until later this week so I can't know for sure. If finances are a concern, there are also scholarships available. I had a friend nominate me for a scholarship last year, and it did make a big difference for me. I appreciated the gesture, and I made the most of my opportunity to attend. I would encourage those of you who are on the fence about attending because of finances to at least try for a scholarship.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT: I wrote a post about my experience last year so you will have a basic idea of what to expect. I also wrote this post about at-home dads based on a presentation from one of the guest speakers. And I wrote this post based on some handouts from another session on childhood reading. You can also listen to the radio show by Bobblehead Dad that I participated in which covered some of the convention topics. Expect to be included, encouraged, and energized about begin an awesome dad.
GET CONNECTED: I will be keeping my audience up to date with all of the upcoming announcements regarding convention cost, speakers, main event location, etc. So, if you follow me, you will definitely be "in the know" so to speak. You can also follow The National At-Home Dad Network on Facebook and on Twitter. The official hash tag for the convention is going to be #AHDCONVENTION
To my fellow at-home dads, I sincerely hope to see you there!
To any wives of at-home dads that want their husband to attend and are having trouble convincing him to do so, feel free to contact me for a no-charge strategy session where I will help you win him over.