my experience at the first annual #mashcon

Standard

my amazing Gowalla race #teamshark with Mickey & Minnie

WOW! the first annual Mashable Connect conference in Walt Disney World went by so fast. i am very proud to have been a part of the planning, managing, and production of #mashcon.  to me, it was the best event i’ve ever done.  it was , as cheesy as this sounds, “magical.” i arrived a couple days early because of course, being on the Mashable events team, i had to prepare for our epic event! with that being said, i was overcome with joy when we arrived at the Contemporary Resort.  honestly, it’s retro architecture and monorail stop are just the beginning. there are magical surprises around every corner!  especially for the #mashconattendees…

Mickey Mouse and our Mashable CEO, Pete Cashmore!

i agree with Chris Moody, who recently posted his recap of #mashcon:

I was amazed by how smart and engaging all of the conference attendees were. There were tons of new connections formed and great conversations had by all. I’m partial to the bond I formed with other#team26 members: Josh Williams of Gowalla (@jw), Marcus Nelson of Salesforce.com (@marcusnelson), Jeff Rohrs (@jkrohrs) and Jesse Engle (@engle) of Exacttarget/Cotweet, Robert Michael Murray of National Geographic (@rmmdc), Laura Fitton of oneforty (@pistachio) and Pia Erkinheimo of Nokia (@piaerkinheimo).

i feel the same way about the bond i formed with my #teamshark members: “Scary Scott” aka Scott Simmons (@scarehousescott),

Yesi and I, just lounging around. #teamshark

i like how Scary Scott phrased what #mashcon meant to him in his recent summary post:

What was #mashcon? I tell you what it wasn’t. It wasn’t a bunch of teenagers tweeting about what they had for lunch. It wasn’t an excuse for media professionals to goof off. And it wasn’t about cashing-in, selling out, or maximizing SEO. Yes, it was about business and marketing and new technology. But it was also the first business and/or industry conference I have ever attended in which connections, community, and context were valued above monetizing, profit, and market share.

shhhh...we snuck road soadies to bring with us on the bus to Epcot!

what did #mashcon mean to me? i have a different perspective since i was behind the scenes of #mashcon. what i can say is that it was the most enjoyable event i have every been a part of.  it ran so smoothly with barely any hiccups.  although i only had a chance to see one presentation because i was busy working the conference, i am so excited to watch the speaker presentations.  the tweets and feedback from our attendees regarding the quality and content of our speakers persuaded me that i have to take time to watch every single one!

speaking of tweets, the #mashcon hashtag has been one of the most enjoyable lists that i have ever been a part of.  i revert back to it constantly.  i am kind of addicted to it. and sadly, i miss my attendees. as Jack would say, WE HAVE TO GO BACK!!!

i met so many new friends and colleagues.  this conference was generally all about having fun. Mashable kickstarted the event with Speed Connections, which was basically speed dating, which was a great way to break the ice and meet each other. after the keynote dinner, we all rushed into the Digital Lounge, where we spent the night drinking cocktails and getting to know each other.  i ended up playing a made up game with a bouncing glowing ball, which one of the attendees made up. seriously, they made a game up about bouncing one of Idea’s ballsaround. i love it!

Mashable Connect photographer, Michael Cummings and I being goofy in Epcot's London pub.

the next day was when the real fun started. the conference was in full affect! there were content sessions during the day and scrumptious breakfasts, lunch, and dinners.  we then headed to Epcot for fireworks, cocktails and fun.  the attendees could decide whether they wanted to stay in Epcot for the after hours or head to Hollywood Studios for a behind-the-scenes look at the ride, Tower of Terror!  The choose-your-own-adventure didn’t have me stumped. my instincts jumped in and i rallied attendees to join me on a quest to booze cruise around the countries in Epcot.  it was a glorious night indeed. we ended up staying in London, where we all sang “Sweet Caroline.”

Mashable events team from left to right: @lisamashable @katetheshark @rachelsaysthis @khartline @nifer

the last day of the conference was my favorite because we had the Mashable Gowalla race in Magic Kingdom planned. i formed #teamshark and we set off on an adventure to ride and do as much as possible before heading back to the Contemporary Resort for dinner and karaoke.  when i say all of the fun activities we accomplished out loud, i laugh because it doesn’t sound like a typical conference. it sounds like something much more. and Mashable Connect was just that. ❤ the shark

R2D2 Mickey ears

Standard

i’m living at the Walt Disney World Contemporary Resort for the next 7 days, setting up and working the first Mashable Connect.  with that being said, i plan on going to the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot for sure!  i must get these R2D2 Mickey ears that Dwight Howard, All-Star center for the Orlando Magic, is sporting on the Disney Parks Blog:

looking forward to the new Star Tours ride that is reopening on May 20th too!  Disney Parks is giving away free tickets for a sneak peak too!

❤ the shark