I’m sure it’s impossible for you to forget but I am a SeaWorld Wildside blogger for the 2013 season, so my boys (Charlie included) and I did get free season passes to both SeaWorld and Aquatica. However, I was NOT asked to write this post and the opinions are ENTIRELY my own.
I’ve really enjoyed being a Wildside Blogger so far this year. Julie, Kami, Mason and Brian are are fabulous to work with and they did not disappoint when they put on a fun and engaging conference for us and a few other bloggers this weekend. Thank you Julie and Mason and whoever else took these shots :).
It’s always impossible to wrap up an entire weekend into one post, but I like to try.
Here are 10 things I learned at AdventureCon and Seaworld.
- It’s always great to see old friends. I first met Jennifer and Sara at Bloggy Boot Camp back in 2010. We’ve been following each other in the social media circus ever since. I’m also friends with Kristin, Heidi, and Rebecca. I live kinda close to them, but for whatever reason we don’t see each other nearly as often as we should. HINT*HINT
- Azul is STILL my favorite show. Yes, I LOVE Shamu, (and the best experience ever was dining with him last year) but when I watch Azul and they talk about how we are ALL connected and weaved together? It reminds me of one of the career paths I wanted to take. I wanted to be an Oceanographer/marine biologist, but clearly I chose the Mommy path instead. Hawaii would have been awesome but then I wouldn’t have my boys and I wouldn’t be a Wildsider.
- There are SO many blogging tools out there I’ve never heard of. I’ll list a few but I have no idea who rattled them off, we were all asked to name two of our favorites. You will have to look these up. I know I will. Live Writer. PickMonkey. Evernote. Majesto. APP for Top Fans (on FB). Hootesuite. PEOPLE! SEO Yoast. Dragon. Audacity. NoFollowR. Custom Sidebars. A beautiful mess APP. Do you have anything fabulous to add to my list!?
- It’s always a blast to meet new friends. I met Renee and we are absolutely cocktail soulmates, and I think Nathan has a crush on her daughter. I also met Kristin, Jennifer, and Elayna. I truly hope to stay connected with these women and that we can form lifelong friendships. Afterall, that IS what blogging is about right? I met far more than just these ladies but these are the ones I was able to spend more time with.
- “Wheelchairs go over there.” I have to keep it real and include the ugly, too. Right? 99 times out of 100 people don’t see the chair, they see me. Okay. I’m sure they see the chair but they know I’m a person that uses a chair. When I went in to see a show this weekend, the girl ushering noticed a chair roll into the room and very matter-of-factly without looking AT ME, pointed off in a general direction and said, “Wheelchairs go over there!”. She should have politely informed me that the accessible seating was over there. PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT typical of the employees at SeaWorld. Most are fabulous and friendly and politely run to off help when needed. This was a total fluke but was absolutely a moment that stuck out in my head. I’m sure she didn’t mean anything by it and was just sweating the crowd that was about to knock down the doors behind me, but I did learn that not everyone sees me for the DIVA that I am… Some people ACTUALLY KNOW MY SECRET. I’m REALLY in a wheelchair. I chose not to mention this to anyone in charge because I’d rather her not get in trouble. It didn’t change my opinion of Seaworld and I can’t imagine it would anyone else in a chair.
- Seaworld loves our familes, too.The conference fell on Father’s Day weekend so the Dads were in charge of their kids – ALONE. The staff did not let this go unnoticed and they toasted the Dads with a cold one. A good ROOT BEER, that is and they gave them a souvenir koozie.
- It’s always the best to hang out with someone in your tribe, one of your best friends. Traci – A star in my own universe attended the conference as well. She is definitely one of my BEST blogging friends and in my “tribe”. We live about 30 minutes away from each other and our schedules don’t line up anywhere near enough but I am sure if we were next door neighbors we would be in all kinds of trouble. Daily.
- It’s always important to be reminded of the things you already know, but maybe forgot. Be specific in your posts. (ha! I’ll never learn to follow that one, no matter how often I hear it. ALways consider SEO. PROOFREAD. Be concise.
- You can’t ignore tips on attracting a brand when you HEAR IT FROM A BRAND! Kami shared these tips and as PR goddesses, She knows what she’s talking about. Build a community. Know your numbers. Don’t Fake it. Hone your Craft. Be approachable. BE PASSIONATE. Know your value.
- It’s always so rewarding to learn NEW advice. You can use google to find out if you images are stolen. It’s pretty simple. Just go to images.google.com and upload what you want to search for. Google will find it on every web page it appears. How cool is that!? Flickr now offers a TERABYTE of photo storage. That’s a TON people. Well, actually it’s more than a ton. I’m definitely signing up.