I am back!!
I want to start off by talking about the conference and then I will do a post later on about the actual cruise experience. I have a few crazy stories to share, so you don’t want to miss it. But in this post I would like to share about the First Social Media by the Sea – Cruise / Conference.
I was asked to speak back in December of 2008 for the conference, which was known then as the Twitter by the Sea Conference. The name has been changed to Social Media by the Sea so that there could be a broader target, which I think is a great idea. After all, Twitter and many other sites fall under the “Social Media” category. Blogging can also fall under the social media category because it is a means of networking as well. My speaking presentation was on Blog Design.
The first night of the cruise, we had a Welcome Party where all of the speakers and attendees got together to ask questions and share. They did something really fun called “Speed Networking”. It is a spin off of speed dating. We went around the room in 5 – 10 minute increments, introducing ourselves to everyone and sharing about ourselves and our businesses.
The following day was the first conference session. I spoke along with @WillieCrawford who is a well known social media expert and Jen Grant (@Cre8tive) who is a Social Media Strategist with Intrapromote. They were awesome! And even though this was my first speaking experience, they really made me feel at home. Here is a picture of me getting started with my Powerpoint presentation.
The conference was held in one of the cruise club lounges, so as you can see it does not look like the usual conference space. It was kinda fun actually. 🙂
The next conference session was held on the 3rd day and @EricaRueschhoff shared some great tips and strategies for being a WAHM. (I got so much out of it) The next speaker was @john_hinds, a self published author who shared how he went from writing his book to getting it on Amazon. He really inspired me and I am now working on my goal of writing a book. I will share more about that later… 🙂
On the last session day, Michelle Price (@prosperitygal) shared on using social media to market your business. The final speaker was Willie Crawford who came back and spoke on how to monetize your blog or website. He shared some great tools on how to make your site work better for you.
Everyone did a great job! I learned so much!
I want to give a special thankyou to Sharnese Lanier (@SharneseLaNier) for putting all of this together. We definitely had a lot of ups and downs. This was a huge learning experience for all of us who had no prior conference coordinating experience. I saw the vision that Sharnese had and decided to stay loyal and stick with it till the end. And in spite of the many obstacles, this event happened and not only that – it was GREAT!
Here is a picture of Sharnese welcoming one of the speakers to the podium.
Thanks to all the speakers and sponsors who jumped in. I had so much fun on all levels. We not only learned and networked, but we vacationed together. One of my favorite times was dinner. We had assigned seating with other conference speakers & attendees. Our thing was ordering 2 of everything – 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 desserts. The food was so good on the menu we couldn’t just pick one thing! I definitely gained lots of weight – but I have a good excuse! (Eating for TWO). 🙂
I also want to thank our photographer, Jenny Marie of Jenny Marie Photography. She did a great job! All the photos included in this post are from her. I will be sharing my own in a later post – so stay tuned.
I definitely recommend this conference to all of my readers! I will continue to show my support and assist in any way that I can. If you are a blogger or own a small business, this conference is definitely for you! I was honored to be a part of the FIRST Social Media Cruise Conference and I can’t wait for the next one!