Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

Al Roker to Live Broadcast From Universal Studios Saturday

Today Show” weatherman Al Roker will be broadcasting live from Universal Orlando on Saturday morning (Jan 31) as part of the NBC network’s Super Bowl XLIII coverage.

To make sure there’s a good crowd turnout for Roker’s appearance, Universal is offering a free 1-day, 2-park ticket to everyone who shows up in their favorite Steelers or Cardinals team apparel.

Check in for the broadcast will begin at 5:45am for the show which will air live from 7-9am. I’m not sure if this will be inside one of the two parks (Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure) or if everything is being set up in CityWalk. Participants can pick up their tickets afterwards and spend the day at the UO theme parks.

To register, or for more information, call 407.363.8220 or email

Tent City UCF 2009

If you’ve been out near the UCF campus today, you may have noticed an encampment of sorts on Memory Mall and wondered what was going on. It’s a project called Tent City UCF and it will be up through the remainder of this week.

According to the Tent City website, there are two purposes to this event. The first is to build a sense of community among the students and the second is to give exposure to different groups that are available on campus for students to take part in.

Today was the kick-off day, but each day this week will follow a theme of sorts.

Monday is “Eco Day!” and is dedicated to the eco-friendly movement with events like a bike ride, recycled fashion show and solar cooker cook-off.  Tuesday is “Gender and Sexuality Exploration and Awareness Day!” with discussions on topics relating the subject and bands from 5-9pm. There’s also an afternoon oil/Spaghettio/pudding wrestling event, which I’m guessing ties into the sexuality thing?

Wednesday is dedicated to art, with a lot of discussions on DIY activities like knitting, kite making and hemp braiding. This evening also has live bands from 5-9pm. Thursday is all about peace, and covers everything from cultivating personal peace to world peace and activism. Enjoy more live bands from 5-9pm.

Friday is the final day and involves a group yoga and breakfast, live bands in the afternoon and a closing ceremony drum circle.

It’s all free to attend, so if you want more details or a complete schedule of events, visit the Tent City UCF Facebook page.

Watch the Obama Inauguration at IZEA

Want to watch the Obama inauguration but don’t want to stay home tomorrow? Head downtown to the Quaker Oatmeal’s “Start with Substance” inauguration party.

Hosted by local online social media mavens Missy Ward and Ted Murphy, the party starts at 10am and runs until 2pm at Murphy’s IZEA headquarters (150 North Orange Avenue, Suite 412).

The event will feature a hot oatmeal bar with all the toppings, courtesy of Quaker, along with beverages. So if you’re interested, visit the event’s Facebook page to RSVP.

I haven’t really been looking around, but if any of you know of other events being held in conjunction with tomorrow’s inauguration, feel free to leave the details in a comment.

Enjoy a Night of Swingerhead for Give Kids The World

Michael Andrew and Swingerhead at the House of Blues Orlando to benefit Give Kids the WorldWhether you enjoy great classic dance music (I’m talking swing, jazz and jump blues) or just like supporting locally-based charities, you’ll want to mark your calendars for December 21st, 2008.

That’s when the stage at the House of Blues will be taken over by Michael Andrew and Swingerhead for a night of great music to benefit Give Kids The World.

For only $17.50 a person, you can groove to Andrew & co. performing tributes to Bobby Darrin and Frank Sinatra and a healthy dose of their own originals, including tunes off their Christmas cd.

Each ticket purchased also enters you into a drawing to win to win a great door prize: a one-night stay in a harbor-view room at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club and EIGHT one-day Park Hopper Passes.

100% of the proceeds from ticket sales goes to Give Kids The World, a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. You can pick up yours at the House of Blues box office, or online at Doors open at 6pm and the show starts at 7pm.

Wanna Go To Prom with Mel Taylor?

Orlando Frosty Ball with Mel Taylor Bad Girls ClubMost people know radio DJ Mel Taylor as one of the voices on WJRR, but she also spears a charitable organization called Mel’s Bad Girls Club (MBGC), that aims to raise money for other charities by having fun events and fundraising activities.

This Friday, December 5th, MBGC is holding an event called The Frosty Ball, which is being billed as a sort of Christmas prom. Originally, tickets were $25 a piece, with proceeds going to B.A.S.E. Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation. But in hopes of drawing a bigger audience and more money for the charity, Mel is now offering tickets to the event in exchange for any kind of donation. A portion of the bar sales will also benefit Base Camp.

The event is being held at the City Arts Factory (located at 29 S. Orange Ave; corner of Orange and Pine downtown), and in addition to partying with Mel and her gang, you can enjoy a silent auction, a raffle with some great prizes, a dj spinning some great tunes all night and take in an art show also put on by MBGC until 11pm, featuring over 29 different female artists and Base Camp patients.

Since this is a prom, they do request you wear some kind of semi-formal/business/cocktail attire (in other words, please make an effort and don’t just slip on a t-shirt and ripped jeans). Doors open at 8:30pm and the party will go on until they kick y’all out.

For more information, visit MBGC’s official website or MySpace page.

AST Dew Tour in Orlando This Weekend

If you like action sports, such as skateboarding, BMX bike races and motorcross, you’ll want to check out the AST Dew tour when it comes to town this weekend to the Amway Arena in downtown Orlando.

ast dew tour logoDuring the event, which kicks into high gear tomorrow, over 150 of the best action sports athletes in the world will be in town to compete in the competition, including Ryan Sheckler (Skateboard Park), Dave Mirra (BMX Park), and Nate Adams (Freestyle Motocross). In addition to the competitions, the Dew Tour will feature a musical performance from Boys Like Girls on Friday, October 17th, and a daily festival village with interactive events, athlete autograph sessions and games.

Tickets for the event are as low as $15 a day for adult general admission and $7.50 children ages 2-12. $35 will get you a reserved general admission single day ticket and for the hardcore sports fan, $100 will put you in the Action Zone, which includes a behind-the-scenes tour. There are also 3-day reserved passes ($90) and 3-day Action Zone passes ($250) available.

NBC Sports will be in town broadcasting live from the Saturday and Sunday events, with recaps later in the wee morning hours on the USA network.

The Orlando stop marks the final event of the 2008 season, so it should bring out some high-energy competition amongst the competitors.

Also around town are a few AST-related events to note.

  • The new Roll Bar, located at Veranda Park (7065 Westpointe Blvd) in Metrowest, is kicking things off with a mega-blowout party on Friday (October 17). Celebrity motorcross competitor and tattoo/nightlife entrepeneur Carey Hart will be hosting the event, which will feature music from local favorites Junkie Rush and Crisis In Hollywood. Hart will be celebrating both the 1-year anniversary of his Hart & Huntington Tattoo shop at Universal Orlando, plus the release of his new book, “Inked.” For more info, or directions to the club, call 407.296.5221.
  • The next day (October 18), you can catch Carey Hart at the Hart & Huntington Tattoo shop signing copies of “Inked” and whatever else people bring in, from 6pm until 7pm.
  • The Dragon Room at 25 Church St is holding an after-party Saturday night (Oct 18). Liquid Force, leader in wake apparel and hard goods, will be teaming up Monster Energy, Skull Candy, Spy, Ketel One and Jose Cuervo to throw a huge party and your Dew Tour badge or ticket stub gets you free entry before 11pm. Call 407.733.0208 for VIP Reservations.

I don’t think I’ll be attending any of the events or parties, but if you do, feel free to drop links to your photos or blog coverage in the comments.

2nd Annual Orlando Hispanic Film Festival

Like movies? Go check out the 2nd Annual Orlando Hispanic Film Festival opening today through the weekend, wrapping up on Sunday. The event is being held at the Premiere Cinemas 14 at Fashion Square and coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month festivities.

This event is described by the website as a “high energy, high profile event” that provides a “highly desirable platform where independent filmmakers from around the world can showcase their work to industry professionals and the entire Central Florida Community.”

Awards will be presented to the top films in several categories, selected by a committee of Orlando area entertainment professionals, with the exception of the Audience Award, which, you guessed it, is decided by audience kudos. The categories are:

• Best Feature
• Best Short Film
• Best Documentary Feature
• Best Short Documentary
• Best Screenplay
• Best Original Score
• Best Director
• Best Cinematography
• Best Short Animation
• Best Actor Male
• Best Actor Female
• Best Ensemble Cast

Cool stuff, looks like over 50 films will be screened, so should be something for everyone’s tastes.

Upcoming Create Chaos 08 Conference Offers Plenty for Local Creative and Tech Professionals

With the recent slate of tech conferences that have rolled into Orlando, such as IZEAFest and BlogOrlando, one would think O-Town has become the new Silicon Valley. Well, there’s even more just on the horizon as Create Chaos 08 comes to town next week.

create chaos 08 in orlando floridaThe event, which runs October 13th – 17th at the Orlando World Center Marriott, is actually a conglomeration of ten different events, including a web and design conference, a job fair, a track by FreshBooks on billing and invoicing clients, the Annual Create Awards, and the Motion Graphics Festival, aimed at “creative” types ranging from photographers and graphic artists to web designers and more techy types.

There will also be several keynote speeches, including one by Lee Cockerell, the former executive vice president of operations at the Walt Disney World Resort, who has just released a new book titled, Creating Magic, 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From A Life At Disney. In it, he draws from his experience with the company to discuss how we all can become better leaders not just in business, but in our personal lives in general. If you want to know more about the book, visit Cockerell’s site and receive a free chapter when you sign up for his mailing list.

Tickets for Create Chaos 08 range from $45 to visit the expo hall, to full week passes for $995. Individual day passes range from $295 to $395.

There are also two free events during the week worth noting – “BarCampChaos,” a Monday-night session that invites participants to control the programming by preparing a 20 minute talk on any creative topic and presenting it to other conference attendees, and doterati’s “Juggling Creativity and Business,” on Wednesday night, where local business leaders Ted Murphy of IZEA, Sterling Raphael of NFi Studios, Scott Allen from and Chuck Southworth of the Southworth Group will all speak on starting creative businesses from the ground up. I highly recommend both of those events to anyone interesting in networking with locally-minded tech and creative minds. As a bonus, pre-register for either event via the above links and you’ll get a free pass to visit the expo hall on the day of the event.

I’ll definitely be there on Wednesday for the FreshBooks track, as I’ve been interested in learning more about their online invoicing and time tracking service (not to mention their Twitters mention something about candy…), and most likely both the BarCampChaos and the doterati sessions. I’m also told that using the codes FRESHBOOKS or BARCAMP when registering for Create Chaos 08 online will offer a hefty discount off passes.

IZEAFest Rocked!

As you know from earlier posts, I had plans to attend this weekend’s IZEAFest and I did, even though I can’t claim to be too awake during the morning sessions. LOL But overall, I’d have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the conference.

Ted Murphy of IZEATo be honest, I didn’t learn a lot of new stuff, since I’ve been blogging and designing for over eight years, but I enjoyed hearing the different perspectives from the people on the panels. I also felt quite a bit more inspired to keep doing this line of work in hearing the anecdotes and various tidbits of info that I didn’t know. Think of it as positive reinforcement that I’m still on the right track. Though in talking with others, some got a wealth of new knowledge from the panels, so I guess it’s all relative to what you walked in there knowing.

But what I did enjoy the most were the various networking opportunities this blogger conference gave me. From people who I read daily to people who I’ve now added to my feedreader, it was the human interaction with people who felt as passionate about the subject as me that I enjoyed the most. And I really enjoyed finally meeting people face to face that I’d only interacted with online before (a big hello to Ashley, Sean B. & Rae!).

September 12, 2008First of all, big kudos to the IZEA folks who put on the conference. Despite a few glitches (which happen at any conference), both days ran smooth and provided a good variety of panels, for people of all levels of blogging. Though, in talking with people in between, as well as hearing various panel guests talk about “hotlinking” (a word that seriously makes me cringe), perhaps a “copyrights and blogging” panel might be a good subject for any future events.

Second, if you didn’t attend, or just want to relive the event, IZEA is streaming the event at You can also read the Twitter stream that ran during the event, which I’d have to say was really cool to experience in the moment, as it was interesting reading the various threads that were running between those in the room and those who were not even in Orlando, much less at the event, but were following the live feed on their computers. A great way to harness current social media technology, I think.

Anatomy of a blog redesign with Scott AllenIf anyone is interested, I have a few pics up from the event at my Flickr account. Lighting wasn’t the best from the back, where I was sitting, and the light from the onstage screens, while providing several ongoing streams of chat to read, played havoc with my camera’s light meter. As a result, I stopped taking pictures on the second day. But thanks to Flickr’s search engine, you can also view pics there from anyone else who tagged their photos with IZEAFest.

I look forward to seeing what the IZEA folks put together for their next event, and I’m really looking forward to seeing more about the new project from them, which they debuted on Friday at the conference. I’ll talk more about it when it gets to a stage where it’s out of the testing phase and open to all, but I think it’ll provide a really fun level of interactivity to any blog and I’m excited that it’s being produced by an Orlando-based company.

So, that’s my wrap-up on IZEAFest. Did you go or at least watch the live feed? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it and if you’ve done a blog post or have photos up somewhere, drop a link in the comments so we can come read it.

IZEAfest this week!

I know that Michelle already mentioned this before, but since I’m flying to town for it I thought I’d mention it again – IZEAfest is this week! If you are interested in blogs or social media or anything that kinda relates to that I’m guessing you might want to check it out. There’s lots of great speakers lined up which you can see from this schedule. I’m even on a panel Saturday about social networking if that’s your thing. Anyway, come out, say hi, all that stuff. See you then!

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