The Evolution of Women in Social Media… Great conference but why was I there? It was funny telling people that I was going to a conference and then telling them the titled of the conference. I got a lot of funny looks. Why was I going to go to Utah to spend the weekend with a couple hundred female bloggers? I’ll tell you why, and it wasn’t just because I was speaking. I went because I saw the potential to make some really strong personal connections with people who understand Social Media and what it means to be a blogger. I saw the opportunity to hear fresh new voices of courage and strength. I saw a hidden gem of a conference that was engaging, intimate and inspiring. That is why I attended Evo’10 and why I’ll be ready to sign up for Evo’11.
|The day started with a very cool keynote by two members of HARPO, Oprah’s company, Jon Sinclair and Andrea Wishom. We listened to them as we ate a delicious breakfast supplied by one of the conference sponsors, Quaker Oats. Jon and Andrea talked about how Oprah’s foray into Social Media came about. It was such a great keynote, but because of the altitude I was drinking so much water that I had to run and pee halfway through the keynote. I was sitting dead center in the middle of the room inches form the stage. Great. And the whole room was rapt with attention and very quietly hanging on the words. I was quiet and respectful as I left but still felt like a bull in a china shoppe.||
After the keynote I went up tot he PBSKids.org room to talk with the women who came to represent PBSKids.org. By far, they had the best room for a guy like me. They had a half dozen Macs, plus iphones, iPod Touches and iPads. I got a private tour of PBSKid Island and also some of the downloadable apps. It was all really cool stuff and I am excited to play with Eva and show her these new offerings. The iPad games were awesome, I played the SuperWhy one and it was great!
I then visited the other suites of the additional sponsors, Avery Labels, Nu Skin and Scandinavian Child. Each room was nice and I talked with the reps, everyone was really nice too.
I went down for lunch and then to watch part of the session Bloggers, Brands and Agencies. I had to leave halfway through to go talk with the guys on our panel so that we could figure out what we were doing for out panel. We were winging it. Well, maybe not exactly winging it, we were going to go off the cuff for a bit, but we did settle into a great rhythm together.
Our session was very well attended and as I looked out into the crowd I saw many people with whom I had spoken over the past few days. That was very heartening. It immediately made me feel as if all the connections that I made during the weekend were so strong that people wanted to hear what we had to say. Troy, Greg and Adam were great co-panelists. We were funny, smart, engaging and authentic. Each of us blogs for a different reason and we come from different backgrounds and we’ve all blogged for differing lengths of time but we gelled pretty well. I had a bit of a choked up moment as I spoke about Eva and the Evabear adventures. I think the crowd really liked that because there was this great tweet from @Childhood – “Watching @BenSpark cry… @dada_rocks laugh at him… @telling_dad fling monkeys and @TroyPattee look on in amusement #EVOROCKS!” Seeing all the tweets about the session and then having people quoting me too like @DigitalKadi “@BenSpark “The more you give away, the more comes back to you.” SO TRUE! #EVOconf”
The session was a big success and I am still flying high over it.
After that session was the closing keynote. Brené Brown and Karen Walrond talked about authenticity and their discussion was frank, intimate, courageous and inspiring. I didn’t know Brené but I had sort of met Karen last night at the Spruce Dinner. Karen was taking portraits of people at the dinner and her way of engaging each person was something to see. She brought out such joy in each person and captured them at their very best. I want to shoot like that too. As far as the session went it was great. Loved it and both Brené and Karen have a new follower.
With the day’s activities ending I ran all my stuff back to the hotel room and came back up to get on the bus to the Park City Mountain Resort. I ended up getting a ride in the Buick test vehicle, a Buick Lacrosse. I learned even more about this great car and had a nice conversation. Much better than a bus ride if given the option. At the resort I headed in and got my photo taken with some cowboys. Had a delicious dinner and gave EvaBear a cowboy mustache. Then I went up the mountain to do the Alpine Slide with Scott, Brandie and Michelle. The slide was so much fun and I took a video of myself as I rode down with Evabear. I’ll be posting that as soon as I get faster bandwidth.
Heading back to the Hotel I caught up with @jenijen and @thejennui. We decided to go back to the hotel grab my car and go get a late night snack. That ended up being at Jean Louis for some French Onions Soup, steak and potato skins as well as a great conversation. I had a such a great day that I cannot get myself to bed till I get this all out of my head and upload all the Evabear photos. I haven’t gone through them and tagged all of them yet so hang on, they will be up as soon as I can get them up.
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