Monday, July 7, 2014

10 reasons to attend Adventure Con blogging conference

This summer I attended my second blogging conference, Adventure Con 2014.  Adventure Con 2014 is a conference for bloggers in Texas hosted by Sea World San Antonio.  One of the reasons why I love this conference so much it that it is limited to the top Texas blogger which cultivates an intimate setting for optimal learning. The other reason why I love this conference is that it is at Sea World and the whole family can attend.  Attending Adventure Con 2104 was one of those opportunities a blogger like me just cannot pass up.

1. Marriott Hotel
We arrived at the Marriott Hotel in San Antonio Friday evening.  The courtyard at San Antonio is the official hotel of Sea World.  After we check into our room and we settled into our room we, went swimming in their amazing pool.  (to read more about the hotel review click here).

2. Meeting Other Bloggers
The first night we had a meet and greet with other bloggers and their family.  The bloggers were so friendly and shared a wealth of information about their blogs.  My kids and I were even able to meet with some of the Sea World team members and even took our photo with Shamu.

Saturday morning my family slept in while I attended the conference in the Alamo room at the Hotel.  It was fun to see bloggers I had met last year and to met new blogger too.  This conference is jam packed full of great information for seasoned bloggers as well as newbies.   I am a newbie when it comes to social media so I decided to takeaway one statement from each of the presentation and share it with my readers as well as use it myself.  

3. "How to think like a reporter"
From Randy Escamilla @RandyEscamilla I learned "How to think like a reporter".  I learned that emotion is the common thread to all stories.  The best stories are the ones that are authentic and real.  Anyone can ask questions, but it’s best to use a follow up question, for example , “what do you mean,”  to gain a deeper understand.  

4. “How to be a Great Media Source”
The panel consisted of top blogger; Sue Patterson as @socialnewsara, John Pacini as @superjohn, and Carrie Pacini as @carriepacini.   The best tip I learned was the media loves original content and they want you to be loyal to them and available when they need you.

5. Aquatica
Around noon we all headed to Sea World, Aquatica to be exact.  In Aquatica we ate lunch at Waterstone Grill. The sausage wrap and potato salad was really good.  My daughter enjoyed eating watermelon.  Her favorite part was when the shamu and the penguin mascots came out and hugged her.
While our lunch settled we headed over to Roa's Aviary, in Loggerhear Beach of Aquatica. There were more birds then I was able to count. As you can see by the pictures the scenery is breath taking not to mention you can either walk among the tropical birds or wade through the waterfall.  Some of the birds in the aviary are considered threatened or endangered.  We were even able to feed the birds and see how amazing they are up-close.  Sea World educations are also there to answer any question we had about the birds.

6. Special Encounters
Animal Ambassadors. As you are walking around the park keep your eye open for SeaWorld Animal Ambassadors. They walk the park at different time with animals from the park. My family and I were able to meet some animals.  We were able to see an American bald Eagle, she was young so he was still brown, but soon she  lose those brown feathers.   We also met a few Lemurs.

7. Sea World
Before we watch One Ocean We sat down with the Killer Whale (Orcinus Orca) trainers for a special Question and answer session.   We were able to ask any questions we had about Sea World.  There were many questions asked by all the blogger, the trainer was very informative and answered all of the questions. The trainer spoke of her love for these orcas and what a privileges it was to be able to work with them.  She spoke of the positive reinforcement they use with them and how if they don’t want to do something for a show, they don’t have to do it.  She also assured us they are feed whether they perform or not.   I could tell how much she really loved working with these mammals. 

After all questions were answered we stayed in our seats at the “splash zone” and waited for the show One Ocean staring Shamu to start. I don't care how many times I see Killer whales; I never seem to get tired of watching them perform!  They are beautiful majestic creatures.  Their performance is a dance of motion in the water.   I cannot go to Sea World without seeing Shamu. Yes this show entertains but it also meant to educate and inspires us to save these killer whales. 
On Sunday we met at Sea World in the Seaside landing for more information on Blogging.

8. Community Storytelling
Fran Stephenson from Step in Communication (@FranSteps) spoke on telling a great story.  The best tip I learned was the power of a good story invokes imagination, it is part of our history and tradition.   I learn to tell not just everyday stories but stories that will define a generation by creating empathy and action.

9. Flip the Pin
Stacy Teet of Kids Stuff World (@stacyofksw) spoke on Pinterest and Flipboard .  I learned that you must give credit where credit is due (just like I am doing in this blog post). She also gave great ideas for sharing on Printrest by keeping your boards to about 40-60 and changing your board cover often.

10.Secrets of Google plus
Jamie Dorobek of C.R.A.F.T. (Creating Really Awesome FreeThings) who is a Google+ expert helped me to realize a profile is better than a page and to use a picture in link to blog post.

When Adventrure Con  2014 was over I took some time to take some photos with some of the bloggers I met. I also wanted to thank Kami (@kamiChat) for her hard work and dedication to organizing his amazing event for us blogger.

If you have not experienced SeaWorld or Aquatic and are a blogger you will want to join us next year for another amazing adventure. 

Disclosure: I recieved discounted ticket to SeaWorld and Aquatic as well as queue passes and meal vouchers as part of Adventure Con 2014 Blogging Conference.