Sometimes anticipation is the best part of an adventure. Not so in the case of IZEAFest 2009. The event exceeded my wildest expectations by a huge margin. And don't let anyone tell you that you don't enjoy something unless you pay for it. I won my ticket to the event courtesy of business developer, writer, blogger, and social media marketing guru Brett Bumeter. (More - click on title)
There's Something About Harry is a wonderful model as are his business blogs. His Softduit Social Media talks about IzeaFest and BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas where he talked next .
From Ted Murphy's first "WHOOOO! " to the last hurrah, the days and nights were filled with positive energy, great tips and exciting concepts. It will take a month for the buzzing in my brain to settle down enough to the point where I can outline all that I learned at this year's conference. I didn't see how it could outshine IzeaFest 2008, but it did!
My good friend Danna Crawford (right) and I were room-mates again this year and that helps reduce the anxiety of meeting new people. (I am wearing one of her PowerSellingMom shirts in the picture above.) Connie Roberts is on the left.
I jumped right in with the Doterati "Blogging Meets Marketing" panel discussion on Thursday afternoon. My friend Connie Roberts (@ConnieFoggles ) who writes "Brain Foggles", "My Chronic Life", "Connie's View" and "Mickey FANatic" was on the panel. This group is loaded with very knowledgeable people on both sides of the equation so I definitely want to stick with a winning combination like that.
Danna and I decided to skip the Howl O' Scream as it sounded like it would keep us up too late and we wanted to get optimum information from the first session to the last of IzeaFest. It didn't help with going to sleep any earlier though as we talked late into the night catching up on what we have been doing, family, eBay and blogging.
I can't say enough about the great speakers both days of Izeafest and Ted Murphy's energy was brightly reflected by master of ceremonies Bob Kodzis (founder and CEO of Flight of Ideas) who was a fantastic entertainer and quick witted guide to the days' steady feed of knowledge.
Ice Bar but my energy level was amazingly high all through both IzeaFest parties and no problems getting up for conference the next day. My usually sleepy self never nodded off during the sessions. There were top speakers all the way. The party at Howl at the Moon included some awesome music both inside and on the patio but I assure you, I was not the lady playing the drums in the bar. I asked around after the 3rd person high-fived me for being "so cool" (and saying "thanks") and found out the drummer who looked like me was an English lady who entertains there every year about this time.
Near the close of day two of IzeaFest members of the audience were invited to talk about their current projects for the "Five Minutes of Fame" segment. It is always good to see what others are learning and building, but the most amazing speaker was 14 year-old Tommy Fishback who had left us open-mouthed with several of his very knowlegeable questions during the day.
Tommy gave me such a burst of hope about the future of our world when he spoke. His delivery was energetic and clear with a purposeful dialog. And what was even more amazing than this young man's intellegence was his easy confidence and charismatic appeal. I felt a prayer forming in my heart that Tommy will be protected and guided to the greatness he seems destined for. That his positive energy not be stifled by a world full of negativity and that he be able to sail right past the pettiness and drama that is sure to stand in his way at times. Then I had to laugh at this child doing the cake-plow along with the other boys. A regular guy to boot!
Danna and I enjoyed sleeping until almost noon on Sunday, an unheard of luxury. I had not slept until noon since ... well, not sure I ever have before. No hangovers, but we had closed the bars two nights in a row, even had breakfast at Denny's in the wee hours of Sunday with our new friend @Jentifa (Jennifer Leet who writes "The Dirty T Shirt") and had kept up the pace at the sessions both days. It was steaming hot by the time we were ready to move Sunday afternoon. Since we both live close enough to enjoy Sea World any time, we decided to skip the Sea World take-over and enjoy it with our families at a later date. The ticket to Sea World that was generously included in our IZEAFest package is good through December of this year.
During the action packed days and nights of IZEAFest, I met amazing people everywhere I turned. It was wonderful to share ideas and knowledge and fun and make new friends. Some of us are already trying to plan to meet up again soon. Others have formed virtual bonds with me that will surely become even stronger in the year ahead. Now to put all this valuable insight to work for me.