Saturday morning, I went to the 2nd annual Central Florida Blogger Conference located at the Orlando Science Center. (That means, no whiney long run story this weekend. I know you guys are gonna miss that.)
CFLBlogCon is an all-day conference with a schedule of 30-45 minute long meetings covering all sorts of topics about blogging. Topics included everything from making money from your blog to working with brands to using social media in increase your audience. If I remember correctly, the ticket was $50 and it included a swag bag, snacks, and lunch.
I’m gonna be honest here. I didn’t really want to go. Attending a conference that lasts from 9:00am-6:00pm (not including the after party) sounded like a day at work to me. I don’t work in social media and unless someone wants to hire me to write snarky TV commentary, I don’t ever intend to blog for a living or for my blog to become my main source of income. So, learning things that could help that become a reality didn’t appeal to me. What did appeal to me was getting to hang out with and support my friends who were speakers at one of the day’s meetings.
They day started off in the IMAX theatre with a keynote speaker and a flash mob. I’m not kidding. See ‘em down there?
Have you ever been around when one of those busted out? I was so confused. Now I know what my mom must feel like when she’s operating a DVD player.
After the keynote speaker wrapped up, everyone broke apart to attend their chosen meetings of the day.
There were 3-4 different meetings going on during each time slot, so we had a few different topics to choose from. Once one meeting ended, we had 15 minutes to make our way to the next one and take pictures of ourselves when no one was looking.
There are five floors to the Science Center and I’m proud to say I didn’t get lost and cry in a corner once!
After Michelle, Jackie, and Christine’s presentation on Fitting Blogging into Your Life (the second meeting of the day), we hit up the Recharge Lounge with Theresa (who I met for the first time before the Sarasota Half Marathon this year). The Recharge Lounge is a room where we could get snacks and drinks throughout the day and charge our laptops and phones.
I spy a sweet bunny.
There weren’t a whole lot of snacks but I was thankful for what was there since lunch wasn’t scheduled until 1:00pm and I’ve been known to eat all my snacks and lunch for the day by 10:30am. I hoarded a few apples but something else caught my eye.
Oh hi there cookies.
The cookies were soft and strawberry flavored and sprinkled with crack. Or maybe it was powdered sugar. Who knows? I could not keep my mitts off of them.
After having my way with the cookies, it was finally lunchtime. We were the first to arrive. Naturally.
Lunch was provided by Bahama Breeze. They had a really good spread of food and an extremely helpful staff that even offered to help me carry my plates since I was the only jerk that had two of them. I grabbed some grilled chicken, paella, mashed sweet potatoes, spinach dip and chips, salad, mixed fruit, and a death by chocolate dessert (omgsogood).
After lunch, it was back to more meetings. I attended a Widgets and Gadgets for Bloggers and a Facebook Makeover session that I really liked and another called Finding and Sharing Content that Leads to a Passionate Following that I did not care for at all. So for the most part, I got something out of every meeting but there were a couple I attended where I wished I had picked something else.
At the end of the day, we broke out into groups of bloggers in our own niche. I signed up to attend the fit blogger break out group where I got to hang out with Miss Fingers and meet my online mistress, Carissa, for the first time in real life. I failed miserably at taking any pictures however, I am not beneath stealing this picture from Michelle. Thanks Michelle!
After our breakout group ended, we headed to the Yelp after party in the Dino Den.
There was live music, food, and booze, also known as the makes-Paula-happy-trifecta. Just when I thought things couldn’t get better, the cookies from the Recharge Lounge showed up right behind our table and we shared some quality time.
Kerry, Michelle, Christine, J, Jackie, and I all stayed until 8:00pm chatting and catching up. Remember we’re all part of the Central Florida Lady Bloggers? < — if you’re a blogger and in Central Florida, click that link and like us on Facebook so you can join our monthly meet-ups. They are SO fun. And I swear we don’t bite…hard.
It was a long day, but I’m glad I went. I learned some new things, I got to see some of my favorite people, and I had fun.