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Packing 10 Essential Items for IZEAFest

20 days from today I’m going to be boarding a SouthWest Airlines Flight with my active toddler daughter, Eva and my wife, Allison. We’ll be heading down to visit with Allison’s parents and have a vacation with them before we drive on up to Orlando for IZEAFest 2009. So now is the time for us to really think about what to pack… for IZEAFest!

Back in April I wrote a blog post entitled 10 Essential Items for IZEAFest 2009. Since then I’ve decided to change them up a bit. I’ll be giving many of these items to MommaDJane (@MommaDJane), Buck “Daddy” (@BuckDaddy) and Melinda (@LkWhtMomFound) because they won my Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Packs.

10. XShot – I love this device. It is a camera extender that allows you to extend the camera away from you 37″ and get a great shot of you with the people around you. I make use of this device all the time and I have some to give away at IZEAFest. And I am so happy that XShot (@xshot) is a sponsor for IZEAFest as well. I had the XShot 1st and have given it to over 24 great bloggers so far. Ted Murphy received one from me and it is no coincidence that this great device has made its way all over IZEA and even to IZEAFest. Without it how could I have gotten this great shot with Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Crush It and all around awesome guy. Oh and he does a little wine related podcast too.

BenSpark and Gary Vay-ner-chuk!

9. BluFrog Energy Drink – I no longer have any BluFrog. I want more. There will be some at IZEAFest. So I luckily don’t have to pack any. The weight limit for the suitcases might be a bit tough. So I bet that MommaDJane is probably going to want to pack a second suitcase to haul back her free case that she won courtesy of Martha Decker (@MarDeck)!

What I can bring with me on the plane however is the Energy Drink EBOOST (@EBOOST). I have 100 packets to give away at IZEAFest and luckily they were shipped down to the in-laws because 100 packets would also take up a bunch of room but 2 or 3 can easily be taken with you anywhere.

8. ZINK Paper – I like doing things differently. One thing I really enjoy is giving a very personal touch to the people that I meet. At conferences I have brought with me a a Polaroid Pogo, my Canon SD800is and my XShot to take pictures with people. Then I print the image out, remove the back of the ZINK paper and stick it to my business card. That way the person has both my business card and a photo of themselves with me. It impressed a few people at Affiliate Summit East. By doing this it really made the interaction so personal and gave me at least a minute or two to talk with each person while the image printed. This is how I use ZINK Paper.

7. Business Cards POKENS – Right before Affiliate Summit East I created 1000 business cards, last minute, rush order. Sure they are great when paired with my PoGo and ZINK paper however they are pretty much useless now for anything but that because I now have a Poken. What is a Poken? It is a digital business card that allows you to slap “High 4” with other Poken owners. You instantly connect and pass your business cards to each other. Put the USB portion of the Poken (stealthily hidden within the body of the Poken) into your computer and you can pull up the cards of all the people that you just met. You have instant connections to their profiles on many social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linked In (You must still friend each person in the regular manner of each platform).

I got so excited about Pokens that I bought a case of them and gave some away but I may have a few to give out at IZEAFest. You can certainly try to win one at the Karaoke contest sponsored by Me and PokenGirl (@PokenGirl). at ICEBAR on Friday Night. And if you are down in the Boynton Beach Area meet us at Bru’s Room for Wings and Pings night.

Poken with The Real Tim Jones

6. Portable Hard Drive – A small portable hard drive is a perfect thing to have with you because you can take a ton of photos and a ton of video and never have to worry about running out of space. I have a SimpleTech 320GB hard drive that weighs so little and is so small.

You don’t want to run out of space when you get that great video interview with Missy Ward or Chris Brogan.

I wasn’t able to get one of these for the winner of the Ultimate IZEAFest PRize PAck Contest but I did get a cool device called the CinemaCube. I got some help from one of my “I’m Not A Famous Blogger” crew members, Jennifer Leet (@jentifa. Jennifer is the queen of contests and she connected with one of her sponsors, BriteView, (@BriteView to get a Cinema Cube to add to the Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Pack.

5. Swag – #5 had been power but I ditched that for the very cool swag that I will be bringing with me. I can’t quite reveal what I’m bringing. I want it to be a surprise. I can tell you that what I chose to put my new logo on is something that people will use every day, multiple times. Althought I will make sure that I pack my Targus power adapter. With it I can power up my computer and peripherals in the car, at the wall socket and even on the plane.

4. Digital Camera – The one thing that I really wanted to provide the winner of the Ultimate IZEAFest prize pack. A Digital Camera is essential for blogging conferences. Photos make the event so much better. So many cool things happen at blogger conferences and you are going to make so many great friends. So what better accessory to go with the XShot than a digital camera to capture everything. I did however get a sponsor with a brand new product to help enhance your existing camera. The device is a called a Flipbac (@flipbac) which is an angled viewfinder and LCD screen protector for digital cameras.

On a Train (Yacht) Bound for Nowhere

3. Netbook – Portability and battery life are the two biggest concerns when at a blog conference, you don’t want to be weighed down with a ton of stuff and you don’t want to lose power when you have that great tweet to post.

I really wanted the winner to receive a netbook and I was so fortunate to hook up with the generous help of Dina Riccobono (@MLDina) and MarketLeverage (@MarketLeverage) who provided me with the major prizes of an Asus Eee PC 1000HA netbook.

2. Flip Mino HD – HD is where it is at. And the Flip is a perfect device to have with you at a blog conference, it is small, it fits in your pocket and powers up so quickly. I have one and Allison has one. I’ve used it for a ton of things and it fits great on the XShot. I even won another one at Affiliate Summit East. But it can no way compare to the coolness that is the the Flip Mino HD that MommaDJane is going to get. It is a custom made co-branded one with two of the best logos around. Check it out!

Co-Branded Flip Mino HD MarketLeverage and BenSpark.com

1 – A Sense of Fun, An Open Mind and a Great Attitude – IZEAFest 2009 is going to be the most fun, informative and exciting events you have ever been to or will attend this year. This will only be topped by IZEAFest 2010. However this cannot be the best time ever with out the essential items from #1 on this list, everything else is cool stuff to have but the number one essential is truly… essential. You are going to have the rare intimate opportunity to spend time with some of the best minds in blogging today. Approach the conference with a great attitude, a sense of fun and an open mind and you will have the time of your life.

So is that the definitive list? No, there are many other great things to bring, why don’t you let me know what some of them are in the comments.

I figure that by now most people have gotten their ticket to IZEAFest 2009 but if you haven’t go and click the IZEAFest logo on the top left sidebar. I’ve been talking about IZEAFest 2009 since IZEAFest 2008 and many people have clicked the link. Yet no one has made their purchase with me. So if you would like to help me help defray the cost of #5 on this list (I went way over budget on the swag I bought) please buy your ticket to IZEAFest through me. You can even use the promo code “Sponsoredtweets” for 50% off the ticket price. That is even a better deal than the early bird prices.

Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Contest

Contest has now Ended – Winners to be announced on Market Leverage TV Network WrapUp Channel on August 17 at approx 10:30am EST. You can go and view the Finalist Videos though. – Updated 08.12.09

Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack
Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack

I like to do things in a big and bold way. Ted Murphy does as well and IZEAFest 2009 is the biggest and boldest yet. Imagine 3 days and 300 bloggers invading SeaWorld (and as I recently learned Busch Gardens Tampa!) to learn how to be better bloggers, win prizes, party and even hang with RealShamu! That is what you can do if you attend IZEAFest 2009.

I mentioned Busch Gardens, check out this latest announcement for details.

Yes, you get to go to not 1 but 2 Awesome Theme Parks all for the price of 1 IZEAFest ticket! Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream, Here We Come!

What’s that you say? You don’t have an IZEAFest 2009 ticket? Never Fear!

BenSpark.com along with IZEA, MarketLeverage, XShot Pix, ZINK Imaging, Martha Decker, EBOOST, brite-View, The Dirty Shirt, Flipbac and PokenGirl are Here to Help!

I’ve teamed up with these great sponsors to give some lucky winners amazing prizes. One lucky winner is going to hang with me at IZEAFest 2009 and go on a very special outing and that lucky person will also receive the Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Grand Prize Pack! But never fear I have prizes for two runner ups as well.

How to Enter for the Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack?

In order to qualify for the Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack you must do all of the following:

  • Create a 60 second video (no less thank 45 seconds and no more than 90 seconds) of yourself answering these questions:
  • “Why do I Want to Hang with BenSpark at IZEAFest 2009?”
  • “How will IZEAFest 2009 Change My Life?”
  • “What Am I Most Looking Forward to at IZEAFEst 2009?”
  • Videos should be tagged with izeafest, benspark.com and marketleverage
  • Post videos to Youtube, or Vimeo or Viddler or all of them. Important – LEAVE a comment here with links to the videos.
  • Write a Blog Post elaborating on the questions and embed your video. Take a look at my 10 Great Reasons to Go to IZEAFest 2009! & 10 Items to Bring With You to IZEAFest 2009 posts. Read them and add an 11th reason for both in your post.
  • Posts should be tagged with izeafest, benspark.com and marketleverage.
  • Your post should link back to the contest post https://benspark.com/ultimateizeafest.html and encourage others to enter. It’d also be nice also to link to the contest sponsors for their great contributions.
  • Leave comments with links to your video(s) (if posted on multiple sites) and your blog post.

*Videos and blog posts will be judged by a Panel of Bloggers : Murray Newlands, Eric Schechter, Tim Jones and Kim Ann Curtin the winning blogger will be selected on Tuesday August 11th and announced the following Monday August 17th on MarketLeverage TV. The winner’s video will air on the show as well!

How to Enter the for the Runner Up Prize Packs.

So, if you are just looking for IZEAFest 2009 tickets and maybe a few extras then here are ways to enter. These options below do not qualify you for the ultimate prize pack. These qualify you only for the Runner Up Prize Packs.

What is so Ultimate about this Prize Pack anyway?

The Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack includes: An IZEAFest 2009 pass for the entire event including the Kickoff Party at Busch Gardens Tampa on Thursday October 1, 2009 & Blogger Takeover day at SeaWorld on Sunday October 4, 2009. This pass also gets you into all the parties, the swag and the speaker sessions. Did I forget to mention IZEAHunt you get to participate in that too. This pass alone is one highly sought after prize!

But that is not all: The Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack ALSO includes:

What about the Runner Up Prize Packs?

There will be two Runner Up Prize Packs.

  • The Runner Up IZEAFest 2009 Prize Packs includes: An IZEAFest 2009 pass for the entire event including the Kickoff Party at Busch Gardens Tampa on Thursday October 1, 2009 & Blogger Takeover day at SeaWorld on Sunday October 4, 2009. This pass also gets you into all the parties, the swag and the speaker sessions. Did I forget to mention IZEAHunt you get to participate in that too. This pass alone is one highly sought after prize!
  • An XShot from XShotpix.com.
  • A Flipbac – an angle viewfinder and LCD screen protector for digital cameras. From Flipbac Innovations.
  • Added 08/03/09 A Poken of your choice from PokenGirl
  • Some BenSpark.com Swag
  • 1 Tube of Orange EBOOST and 5 Pink Lemonade Daily Heath Booster Packets

Official Rules

  • Ultimate Prize Pack and Runner Up winners will receive their prizes at IZEAFest 2009 (except the registration code for IZEAFest 2009 which obviously will be provided ahead of time). The winners must attend IZEAFest 2009 to receive the prizes. No prizes will be mailed to winners. If you win and do not go you forfeit your prizes.
  • Winners must agree to be photographed with their winnings for a follow up post about the contest after IZEAFest 2009.
  • All links need to use the rel=”no-follow” tags. We wouldn’t want to piss of Google.
  • Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack winner will win based on their video and blog post and will be determined by a panel of judges, who will be announced in a followup blog post. The Ultimate IZEAFest 2009 Prize Pack winner will be announced on MarketLeverage.tv. They will also be notified via e-mail. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me before another winner is chosen.
  • Runner up winners will be randomly selected using Random.org from all valid entries and announced on MarketLeverage.tv. They will also be notified via e-mail. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me before another winner is chosen.
  • You may enter for the Ultimate Grand Prize Pack and the Runner Up Prize Pack but you may only win one. I.E. if you win the Ultimate Prize you cannot be selected for the Runner Up Prize.
  • The Contest is open from July 17, 2009 12:00pm EST to August 11, 2009 12:00pm EST.
  • I reserve the right to final say in any dispute. By participating you agree to these terms.
I want to thank all of my sponsors for donations of such great prizes. Special Thanks goes to Ted Murphy & Ashley Edwards of IZEA for the IZEAFest tickets and believing in me enough to be an IZEA Insider. Additional thanks goes to Dina Ricobonno, Michael Daoud, ZINK Imaging, Martha Decker, EBOOST, Jennifer Leet, brite-View, Kristin from Flipbac, PokenGirl, Murray Newlands, Eric Schechter, Tim Jones and Kim Ann Curtin.

I am still looking for a couple more things for the Ultimate Prize Pack – see specifically #’s 8, 6, 5 & 3. If you are a company attending IZEAFest 2009 or another blogger who is interested in donating a $150 – $200 prize, your products or something else to the contest please use my contact form and talk to me.