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Disney On The Road

Disney on the Road is a smaller half day conference sponsored by Disney and invite only. I attended my very first one in Chicago. Prior to the day, I had some reservations even though I was excited to be asked to attend and I looked forward to going. 

I have never been to a blog conference or any other type of blogging event. I didn't know anyone going and I didn't reach out to make connections before attending. I had my business cards ready and my luggage packed. I drove up to Chicago the night before. I found a great deal on a hotel near the event through Hotline. 

The morning of the event I arrived early to get registered, pick up my bag of swag and waited for the doors to open. Once inside, it was random seating. I found a fairly close to the front table with one woman already sitting there. I asked if the seat next to her was available. I began chatting to find out it was her first time too. She was excited and nervous too. As women gathered, we continued to introduce ourselves and I was happy to see they all traveled to the event alone taking care of one of my concerns about not knowing anyone. We chatted about where we lived and how often we visit Disney. Soon breakfast was served.

The presentations began. There were a variety of speakers on a variety of topics. Some spoke about Disney, others about promotions, communications and blogs. There were other companies that paired with Disney to present the days event; HP and Huggies, and they also presented information. The speakers were speckled throughout with give away items like luggage, photo gifts from HP, baby items from winners of the Huggies grant program for new women businesses and of course Disney items. 

There was an artist, Princess Etch A Sketch, who creates art on you guessed it, Etch A Sketches. She was present and working in residence while we met. She also had give away items. 

Half way through we took a break to stretch. There were photo props and backdrops for photo taking in the room as well. HP had a photo card for everyone that sent in a Disney moment photo with a stamped envelope so we could send our cards out right from the meeting. 

Disney handed out pins for swapping so that we could mingle and meet each other. (I don't know that anyone really traded their pins though.)

The event ended with Mickey Mouse being present and available for photo ops. And then I drove home, time to decompress, breath out a sigh, I made it, I survived and really enjoyed myself. Now to process all the information and find ways to share lessons learned. Given the opportunity again, I wouldn't hesitate a moment to register and I wouldn't be nervous or scared one bit!

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