Like many first birthdays, Club Bébé Voyage’s comes amidst a whirlwind of excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead mixed in with a little overwhelm and anxiety of not knowing what the future holds. But if Club Bébé Voyage’s coming year has even just half as much support, fun, surprise, connection and all around goodness as the first year, then we’re in for a treat.
We, Marianne and Juliet, launched Club Bébé Voyage exactly a year ago as a way to start getting a social media and online presence for the book that we intended to write (and we’ll get to it one day!) Here’s an excerpt of the email that we sent out to 140 of our friends:
June 12, 2015
Dear Bébé Voyager,
Congratulations! As you might have noticed today, you have been hand-picked to join a secret group on Facebook called “Club Bebe Voyage”. You might have seen Marianne and/or Juliet posting fabulous pictures on Facebook about their travels with their babies, but you may not have noticed all the questions and (let’s be honest) fears we’ve had when embarking on these travels–something we think you can relate to!
After having babies and year and a half ago, we (Marianne and Juliet), who have always been big travelers, kept on traveling, but had a lot of questions that we couldn’t easily get answered. Let’s face it, traveling with babies is… a challenge, but we are determined that we can make it easier for you. How? By forming an exclusive club of well-traveled parents based around the world who will be able to help each other out.
How amazing would it be if prior to boarding a long-haul flight with a screaming baby, you could talk to a fellow parent based where you are going and get the clear answers and the support you need. Perhaps you’re based in Europe and are traveling to South Africa or to Australia this summer. Does your destination country carry that specific type of organic yogurt your baby loves? Or perhaps you are worried about the length of the flight and the transfer in between. Your questions and concerns have more than likely been experienced first-hand by a fellow Bebe Voyager who will be able to alleviate your fears.
Welcome to the Club!
Marianne & Juliet
We then prepared a list of 20 “conversation starters” that we would post in the group every few days to encourage participation. And we also decided to monitor the group very closely to make sure that the tone always remained respectful and polite, as we didn’t want the conversation to degenerate as we’ve seen in many other online conversations.
Much to our surprise, we didn’t use a single one of our conversation starters because our early members started the conversation and sustained it on their own! And what a great conversation it’s been! Full of support, ideas, respect, fun, curiosity and love. Not to mention full of new wonderful people that our early members added who then added their friends and so on, getting us up to 2000 members within our first year!
I remember seeing some of the early posts and being surprised that the situation mentioned even existed and not having any idea how to answer the question. But I was even more pleasantly surprised that within a few hours there were five useful and relevant responses to the question. Now that kind of thing happens all the time and it’s what makes Club Bébé Voyage so special!
Watching this community grow and start taking on a life of its own, with its own sweet, distinct personality has truly been a pleasure and a privilege. We’ve been so inspired by the excitement and generosity of the Club members. One of our early superfan Club members, Beth Ertas, is now a part of our core leadership team and several dozen of you have stepped up to volunteer in various ways, whether as ambassadors or sounding boards or in other capacities. We are so grateful to all of you!
And it’s thanks to the leaps and bounds (forget baby steps!) that Club Bébé Voyage has taken that we’ve got a lot of exciting stuff in store for you. Later this summer we’ll be unveiling our new website and we can’t wait to get your feedback on it! Fasten your seat belts, folks, because Bébé Voyage is about to take off!
Happy First Birthday Club Bébé Voyage!