WOW! Izeafest was my first blogging/social media conference and it was amazing. Prior to last Thursday I had only met 1 Izeafest attendee in person, and she wouldn’t arrive until Friday. I had no roommate and knew no one so I was totally alone and, I don’t do
alone well. This was going to stretch me and kick me out of my comfort zone right off the bat. But, I left Izeafest on Sunday knowing I made 5 new good friends and a lot of acquaintences.
I’ve already told you about the trials of my Thursday getting to Orlando and checking into the hotel. As a follow up to that post I will tell you that today they finally charged me for my room and they put it on the wrong card so I was doing some creative financial moves this morning!
I can’t go into detail about the sessions because I am still digesting all the meat we were fed by the amazing line up of speakers, and trying to figure out what it all means for The Mom Maven. I will say Ted Murphy encouraged us to define our personal brand and solidify our identity. Brian Clark gave us a 3 step blog traffic strategy. The screen gems were, ahem, “hot” and entertaining. Rae Hoffman and Michael Gray are amazing at SEO but I didn’t understand a thing they were talking about! Sarah Evans is an amazing, passionate speaker. Lucretia Pruitt can keep a strong panel in order and share about Social Media Promotion. That was all day 1!!
Friday night brought to a VIP party at IceBar Orlando. I don’t normally do the bar scene but this was a networking opportunity and I had to experience the ice room. We had a lot of fun and relaxed as we networked and listened to some interesting karaoke.
Saturday was again filled with great learning opportunities. The day’s keynote was given by Aaron Brazell who inspired us to be better people and better bloggers. Brett Bumeter moderated a panel on “What Advertisers Want” and I think the key is authenticity. Chris Brogan spoke on “Go Deep or Go Home” and being self-aware not self-involved. Then the entire conference was taken over by a 14 year old boy who, while walking into SeaWorld with his family, saw the Izeafest banner and asked to spend the day at the conference instead of in the park! That eloquent teen entrepreneur is Tommy Fishback. Pay attention to that name. He will be famous someday soon. Ted Murphy and Dan Rua closed out the conference with the introduction of Izea’s latest offering, Sponzai-sponsored guest posts.
Saturday night found us at Howl at the Moon. I must admit, this party was a let down. Our VIP party was about 100 Izeafest attenders all dressed up, sitting outside in rickety folding chairs in the hot Florida night, listening to 2 pianists and a drummer bang out requests. The night wasn’t a total loss though, I got to speak with our MC for the weekend-the amazing Bob Kodzis and “The Crocs Guy” George Smith. We left the party early so we could pack and get ready to hit SeaWorld Orlando Sunday morning. I’ll share more about SeaWorld in another post though.
I am thankful that Izea Insider Corrin chose me as one of her ticket winners so that I could attend Izeafest-but I am more thankful that after last weekend I can call her “friend”. I am also thankful to Hotels Combined for sponsoring my hotel stay. It was a wonderful weekend that I won’t soon forget.