This past weekend I headed down to Anaheim, California for the first Entertainment New Media Network Conference (#ENMNCon14). This conference tailored towards the travel and entertainment industry. A conference to teach fellow bloggers about these two industries. Bloggers involved didn’t have to be Entertainment and Travel bloggers to attend, but by the end they would be learning more about these two industries.
For me, there was a HUGE HUGE reason why I wanted to attend.
I was one of the first 40 bloggers involved with the first kickstarter campaign that really launched ENMNetwork. To think, it was just this past July, and during that time because of a huge passion for a specific actor on one of my all time favorite crime shows, “Criminal Minds,” that all of this would come to fruition, but it did. And honestly, I wanted to see HOW this all came out. And now that I have I am so proud of what has been accomplished in such a few short months.
My blog has ALWAYS had some sort of focus on travel. Always. From focusing on local areas to visit to fun weekend getaways. Travel has been a huge component of my life. From my early age when my dad would take me on vacations from Colorado to Mackinaw Island in Michigan to Duluth in Northern Minnesota to my first trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando to taking trips with mom to Las Vegas to visit my grandparents. These trips helped find my love of travel.
At 17 I was very fortunate to take a 3 week excursion to Australia and New Zealand. Let me tell you, from that moment on, that experience changed the way I viewed traveling completely and realized how important the cultural component is with every place you travel to.
US State Captiol, Washington DC
Then after my divorce in my later 20’s I soon got the courage to take a few trips on my “own.” And btw I have taken on the motto that every person should take a vacation on their own just once in their lives. When you travel alone you learn a lot about yourself, but it also forges an independence in you that also helps to build your confidence. I will always remember the moment I was taking off at the Newark airport and looked out my plane window and saw the New York City Skyline for the first time in my life after just taking my first adventure on my own. That is a moment I will always cherish in my life.
And then when I finally got the courage to move outside of the home I knew my entire life. That cross country journey from Minnesota to California will always be ingrained in my brain, and also the beauty of our country.
So, the entire point of this is that travel has always been a part of my life and I wanted to truly learn how to make it more a piece of this puzzle of my so called blog. By having access to Visitor and Convention Bureaus I was able to ask a lot of different questions that have been on my mind along with learn about areas of the west I may not have visited before.
And then YOU add the Entertainment Component. Many of you know I have attended movie screenings. I’ve been fortunate to meet a few celebrities in my life, and also learn about movies coming out months prior to the actual release day. Needless to say I had to find a better system of figuring all this out. HENCE this conference.
Me at the Hyatt Regency Orange County
So now the Recap. The conference was broke down into three different days. The first day focusing a lot on blogging techniques, practices, being yourself and staying authentic to who you are as a blogger.
The second day was completely geared towards travel. Visitor and Convention Bureaus were apart of the conference along with some PR and Twitter rockstars. I mean, the conference had the creative director of Twitter involved along with a PR from a top agency, and let me tell you, the cool thing? She started a blogger.
Some of my SoCal Friends from ENMNCon14
I mean, the team at ENMNCon really brought in some great speakers, and speakers who knew their stuff and had the expertise to back it up, but they also brought in real people. During this second day they also had a brand expo that gave bloggers the ability to talk to these brands first hand and network for future opportunities down the road. Hotels, local attractions within the Anaheim Area to travel accessories. Needless to say, for a travel geek, I was in heaven.
And the third day had a complete focus on the Entertainment industry from covering Hollywood to Working with Entertainment Publicists to developing your interview techniques, but not only with giving you information the conference also gave you a chance to put those skills to use by bringing in celebrities, screenings and more:
Sean Astin and me
The conference has shown the beauty of bringing bloggers together with the Entertainment industry and truly what it can create from the Celebrities sharing their latest projects to the bloggers who are covering it. Down the road I will be showcasing a few of the screenings and films that were shown at the conference. More on that later. BTW: You guys are going to lvoe Mom’s Night Out that is coming out Mother’s Day Weekend. That’s an entirely new post for down the road.
But what it comes down to is the people. A blogging conference is an opportunity to learn from one another, from bloggers that have truly succeeded in this business, but it’s also an opportunity to move yourself forward. But what I loved about this conference was how open and genuine everyone was at the conference. And how friendly we all were.
Next year the Conference is headed to Nashville, Tennessee, and I definitely recommend attending. PS: I’ve already bought my ticket and you can too here. Mark your calendar for May 14-16th, 2015.