I’ve been home from 2nd Annual Social Fresh Cruise for a few days and I’m still trying to digest it all. As many of you know, my two passions the last 3 years have been cruising and social media, so of course I had an incredible time.
I attend social media conferences throughout the year and I usually come home with one or two nuggets of valuable information. Unfortunately, due to the varying expertise of the conference attendees the content is usually kept at lower level and even if everyone is at a higher-level, the speakers are careful not to give-a-way the “secret sauce”. At typical conferences, I usually swap business cards with 30 people and have a memorable conversation with 3 – 4 attendees. True friendships grow over a long period of time of seeing these same people at multiple events.
Social Fresh Cruise is completely different.
We were on a boat! Cruising is the most social form of vacationing. As a group, we ate nice dinners together, sang karaoke, played in the casino, danced, and hung out on the beach. In each spot, you could hear cruisers talking shop, but there was also conversation about families and other personal interests.
From the sessions and the side conversations, I came home with several pages of thoughts and ideas shared by conference attendees. I’m overwhelmed because I almost have too many things that I can start doing today to improve CruiseSource.us and my use of social media.
Why is Social Fresh Cruise so different?
I learn more because the group of 60 attendees has all been using social media for business for 2 or more years. They are a diverse group of thought leaders. The speakers facilitate discussion; they don’t just push out information as if they are the expert. From this open discussion we all learn.
To further collaboration we had several roundtable discussions and to dive into marketing with humor we all participated in some improv exercises. Not your typical conference fare.
So a major drawback of a social media conference at sea would seem to be the lack of internet connection. While for exposure, it may be nice for everyone to be live tweeting during the conference sessions. But by going 4 days with little connectivity, the attendees are much more focused on each other and on contributing their input to the sessions. So what we lose in awareness of the event, we gain 10 fold in the quality of the conversation and relationships.
Unlike other conferences, I left with 40 true friends. These are 40 people with whom I have shared an once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ll be supporting many of these friends achieve awesome goals in the upcoming years and I’m sure they will do the same for me. Priceless!
I would like to thank Jason Keath founder of Social Fresh, llc, Ted Murphy, founder of
IZEA, Peggi the Social Fresh Cruise Booking agent at CruiseDeals.com, Carnival Cruise Line, and all of the speakers, facilitators, and attendees for helping make Social Fresh Cruise such a memorable event!
What others had to tweet about the 2nd Annual Social Fresh Cruise:
Full Disclosure: Social Fresh Cruise is a conference at sea that I host. CruiseDeals.com is the booking agency. I fully participate in the event as an attendee because I am there to learn and make new friends who share my passion in social media. In 2011, I will be hosting the 3rd annual Social Fresh Cruise. Follow @SoCruise on Twitter for Details.
Social Fresh Cruise Photos:
All Pictures in this post taken by Steve Hall aka @Adrants. Click to View all of Steve’s Social Fresh Cruise photos.
If you made it this far down, you may want to read my post live from the ship recapping the 1st half of SocialFresh Cruise.