My favorite aspect of the conference was how well-run it was, with each presentation starting and ending exactly on time. Oh and there wasn't a hallway full of sponsors like the last two conferences I attended, which can be very distracting.
I hadn't heard of any of the speakers ahead of time, but they turned out to all be interesting, funny and very knowledgeable about their topics which ranged from social media to SEO recipes to how to brand yourself. Some of my favorites were Coryanne Etienne, Lora Amato and Erika Kerekes who created a cool product called Not Ketchup.
The conference was held at Rosen Shingle Creek, a massive resort that was ideal for the event. It's a great place to stay in Orlando and it would be perfect for people flying in because everything you could possibly need is at the resort but for us it was too big.
It was annoying hauling our luggage from the parking lot big enough for Rosen's 1,500 guests, and even more annoying when we realized our wine opener was still in the car. It seriously took 30 minutes to fetch it from the parking lot. That being said, I would like to attend next year and it's so convenient to stay at the conference venue that I will likely stay at Rosen again.
I took the photo below from our 6th floor room which overlooked three out of the four pools as well as the golf course. The area was beautiful and I wish we would have had time to check out the pools.
I had read reviews on TripAdvisor warning not to visit in the summer and definitely not on a weekend due to the heat and crowds, but we figured we'd just go for a few hours and it couldn't be that bad. We were wrong. After only 3 hours we were exhausted and ready to leave. However, we're still glad we bought the annual passes and are looking forward to our next trip to Universal in September when I attend the Florida Blog Conference, FLBlogCon, in Orlando.
This time we checked out just one of Universal's two theme parks, starting with Islands of Adventure, which has the older Harry Potter area (the new area in Universal Studios opened this month and is INSANE, as in 6-hour wait times for rides). We loved visiting Hogsmeade and I think it would made a trip to Universal worthwhile for any Harry Potter fan because while we've seen a few of the movies I wouldn't say we're fans.
I'm back home for just a couple days because I'm heading to Wisconsin again for another work trip. The timing worked out very well because my brother, his wife and their daughter will be visiting from Seattle at the same time and I'll also be able to meetup with my favorite Milwaukee food bloggers who are dining at Lazy Susan this week.