unconference for creative women
When Trish Morrison laughs, heads turn. And she laughs a lot. The boisterous founder of MomCom doesn’t hold back when she is amused, and her dynamic personality makes her an awful lot of fun to be around. She dreams big, works enthusiastically and leaves inspiration in her wake. It was a natural transition for her to invite other women along for the ride.
In 2011, Morrison founded MomCom, a biannual “un-conference” for passionate women in Austin. She wanted to offer the opportunity for ladies with an entrepreneurial streak to spend a day together, get to know each other and encourage one another. MomCom gives local ladies a business-y excuse to spend a Saturday away from the family, drink some wine and learn a little something along the way.
“I've worked in the conference industry and conferences were born from professional associations set up before women came into the workplace,” Morrison explains.
"An un-conference brings a human touch to the business." - MomCom founder Trish Morrison
“Most conferences have not changed from the original structure, which caters primarily to men. An un-conference aims to do the same thing as traditional conferences, which connect people, foster relationships and explore new ideas, but it does so in a way that caters to women, with more down time, more breaks, more time to talk, and more interaction with and support for the speakers and vendors. An un-conference brings a human touch to the business.”
The inaugural MomCom event was held in January of this year on the beautiful grounds of The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. An intimate group of women spent the day eating, chatting, listening to amazingly honest talks from local entrepreneurs, eating, winning door prizes, listening to live music, eating and generally having a grand time. (In fact, there was a lot of eating involved – including a chocolate reception. Oh, baby.)
MomCom returns to Austin this month, at a new venue, with another amazing line-up of inspirational speakers. On June 23, Austin mamas will congregate at The Oasis on Lake Travis to hear stories from women who have made incredible strides in business, in community and in their personal lives.
“No matter where we are in our lives, if we work together, we can do amazing things,” says Morrison.
“MomCom focuses on stories, because we all have incredible stories to tell. The learning comes from active listening and participation rather than classroom-style sessions. It also brings together women who may seem to be on different courses in their lives; bloggers, techies, creatives, stay at home moms, entrepreneurs, all come together under the same roof and realize that we're all in this together, no matter where our paths are taking us.”
Where else can homemakers hobnob with local celebrities and focus on what they have in common? This community of support is what MomCom is all about.
Speakers at MomCom will include several renowned locals: Addie Broyles, writer for the Austin American-Statesman; Wendi Aarons, recently named “Editors’ Choice Funniest Mom Blog” by Parents magazine; Tiffany Harelik, author of Trailer Food Diaries and co-founder of Austin’s Gypsy Picnic; Marissa C. Vogel, Founder and Executive Director of Little Helping Hands; and Laura Pressley PhD, Co-founder of Pure Rain Bottled Rain Water.
Flying in from Oregon to give the keynote address is Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software.
The event promises to be a fun mix learning and laughing. Seating arrangements will be casual, and there will be plenty of opportunities to mingle and discuss with your newfound friends.
The day will wrap up with an interactive speed-relating session, where you get to know your neighbors and see how you can help each other.
After a full day of camaraderie on the lake, Morrison hopes that participants will feel enriched from the knowledge others at MomCom have shared.
“For whatever you want to do in life, you are where you need to be. You have your own story and it's an important one. And if you truly don't feel you are ‘there yet’ then you have the support to get up and do something about it. Your life has purpose and what you are doing today matters.”
Tickets for MomCom are on sale now. $60 covers admission to the event, breakfast snacks, a healthy lunch and a complimentary drink station. Guests are invited to stay for a Happy Hour following the event, to continue the conversation over drinks at the Starlight bar or deck. There, you'll enjoy great company and, if you're lucky, hear Trish Morrison laugh.