After an early flight, (6:00 am 😉 a quick hustle from the airport, check-in and swift luggage drop into my wonderful Westin Riverwalk room I was ready for action. The Blogalicious weekend was about to begin and I couldn't have been more happy to be a part. An opportunity to learn, grow, and network was exactly what was to come during this experience.
The event sponsors included Coca-Cola, Walt Disney World, Toyota, Tylenol, Change the Cycle and many others. The main conference activities began on November 6th. As part of the volunteer team (aka #socialsquad) helping to make this event a success entailed completing the stuffing and organizing of the swag bags for the event. The sponsors didn't hold back on the goodies included in these coveted bags.
Not familiar with a swag bag? A loose definition of "swag bag" is a bag or tote full of goodies from sponsors. You know that cool logo stamped tote folks get at large events? Anyway take my word for it this conference swag did not disappoint.
This being only my second blogging conference didn't give me much to compare it to so I was ready for a new adventure.
A great feature I attended was the Newbie Orientation. This session provided an introduction for newcomers to the Blogalicous family. Pertinent info on sessions, social media hashtags, and ideas for networking purposefully were shared. The moderators of this session Thien Kim (@thienkim) and Tvyka Howard of (@prettypeacock21) shared their veteran knowledge and experience. In addition, a very special "hello" was provided by Co-Founder of the event Stacy Ferguson (@justicefergie)
The crowd was eager to hear how best to make this 3-Day experience all they'd hoped it would be. We came away armed with new contacts and readiness for what was to come.
Blogalicious Day -1 scheduling included a delayed start, by design. Someone really put some thought into this. The first session Welcome Lunch presented by Walt Disney World provided time for folks to be rested up from travels. Score!! Beginning the day after 10 am really allowed for folks to catch a bit of rest prior to the main conference activites. Thank you Blogalicious planning team!! Great move!
One speaker hightlight I really enjoyed was, Derreck Kayongo (@derreckkayongo) of Global Soap Project. He shared an inspiring and dynamic story of tragedy turned innovation and entrepreneurship. His families successes and lessons gave him a strong foundation to found an organization truly making a difference. The power of small ideas can create great change and improve everyday life for others, his story is a testament to this. Truly an inspiration to hear from Derreck. Have you ever heard of someone repurposing unused soap scraps? Intriguing right? Well check out the website for more details on how to support this organization. Also have a listen to his TEDx TALK , it will move you.
Other highlights were the Community Conversations Sessions and Riverside Chat Sessions. Each provided very detailed ideas and insider tips to help the veteran and new blogger or social influencer.
The evening events came with a special treat! A comedy night featuring, "Last Comic Standing" Aida Rodriguez her candor and humor lightened up the mood as we prepped for our next event of the evening.
AMC hosted a Private Film Screening and Panel discussion of "Beyond the Lights" presented by Relativity Media. This movie was a love story with many layers. The audience was enraptured by the glamour, hard hitting scenes, and sweet ending. We were captivated! In addition, having the opportunity to talk at length and get pictures with writer and director Gina Prince-Blythewood really put this experience over the top. Her other works were "Love and Basketball" and the 2008 adaptation of "The Secret Life of Bees". Check out the film it is NOW PLAYING in a theatre near you!
By the end of Day 1 all attendees were eager to see what the coming 2 days events had to offer.
What do you think of this post? Are you inspired to attend an engaging event for 2015? Give me a shout!!