Selecting a keynote speaker for Blogalicious Weekend is a task we take very seriously. This individual has to bring the energy and set the tone for the entire Weekend. Below, we share some of our notable favorites!
Blogalicious 2009: Karen Walrond and Kim Coles
Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks lit up our inaugural conference with her powerful message about “The Beauty of Different.” Kimberly Coleman (Mom In The City) shared this reaction: “The message really resonated with me. She encouraged us to figure out what made us different – our “superpower.” That’s the only way that we can be who we are meant to be and to live out our own personal dreams.”
During Disney Interactive’s The Princess and the Frog New Orleans-style Luncheon, one of us did a double take. Is that THE Kim Coles from ‘Living Single’ tip-toeing into the ballroom?! Turns out she was in the hotel as part of the presenting team for the BET Hip Hop Awards, and saw the fabulous group of ladies entering the luncheon; she decided our event was more fun to attend and she crashed for a few minutes. She said she would be back! Later that night, Kim joined us in the Clever Girls’ Yummie Tummie Suite. We had a ball sipping on bubbly and noshing on tasty cupcakes Good times! We love that, 8 years later, she is still connected with our community.
Blogalicious 2010: Loni Love, Marc Morial and Kindred The Family Soul
Whew! Let’s talk about Miami, shall we? We had the great honor of having Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League (and former mayor of New Orleans), present our Opening Keynote. We felt inspired as Mr. Morial applauded us for lifting our voices and talked of the important work to be done in our communities. We’ve remained good friends with the Urban League – and Blogalicious family members were invited to live blog President Obama’s speech at their Centennial Conference! A Moment to remember.
And then, there was Loni Love! Presented by McDonald’s – a long-time Blogalicious partner – Loni, a Cafe Mocha Radio personality and co-host on The Real, had us in stitches as she hosted our luncheon AND took the time to interview several bloggers one-on-one.
A private performance for the Blogalicious attendees by Kindred The Family Soul, capped off an evening presented by General Mills (complete with topless waiters serving Yoplait martinis!) The duo was so down to earth and personable that they blessed us with a repeat, surprise, performance the next day. We’ve kept in touch and have been cheering them on ever since, through their webisodes, Wal-mart commercials and more!
Blogalicious 2011: Jessie Jones, Paula Patton, and Chef Aaron McCargo Jr.
Jessie Jones’, then-founder of U-ology, motivational speech tackledrelationship building. “We need to develop an “army” with those that want to build with us. If you only have support from 2 people then great, build from there. Don’t waste time with people who won’t support you.” (Quote source: Mommy Factor) We enjoyed having our Canadian brother grace the stage – congrats on your new agency, Jesse!!!
The line for the Cover Girl QUEEN Collection Suite was out the door! That’s because the gorgeous and warm Paula Patton was their brand ambassador on hand to meet and greet with the Blogalicious community. Justice Fergie’s mom was oh-so-tickled when Ms. Patton told her that she should be so very proud of her daughter – we’re proud of you, Paula!
Breakfast for dinner you say? We think that’s a great idea! And so did Aunt Jemima, who brought their brand ambassador, Chef Aaron “Big Daddy” McCargo from the Food Network to Blogalicious. Not only did he perform live cooking demos and host our Pancake Dinner, but he also took the time to autograph his cookbook: Simply Done, Well Done for everyone in attendance. Keep cookin’ with grease, Chef!
Blogalicious 2012: Mario Armstrong and Doug E. Fresh
Mario Armstrong kickoff Blogalicious 2012 on a high note. He gave an energizing keynote sharing his entrepreneurship journey, and kept it all the way real by sharing a screenshot of his negative bank account statement to show that the road to entrepreneurship is not always paved in gold. After his keynote, 30+ bloggers continued the conversation outside of the ballroom! Attendees couldn’t get enough to his wisdom and energy. [P.S. Congrats on the launch of The Never Settle Show, Mario!!]
Those of you where were there already know. This is hands down THE BEST closing party we hosted in the history of Blogalicious. Gain took us back to early 90’s and bought Doug E. Fresh to help us relive the nostalgia. Attendees are still talking about this party today! Thanks #GainFresh!!
But wait! There’s MORE. Part 2 Up Next!
Blogalicious 2017: Who would YOU want to see this year?
Comment below or tweet us at @beblogalicious with your suggestions!