My adventures in Pensacola by Pete Cleevely

…And lessons learned from the peanut gallery – Dave Waring

Well our journey began on the road we had some good music and great conversation mixed in among the hits. Our fist stop was in Ocala where we were meeting up with Tampa and Polk County folks who were joining.

Prior to hitting the road, we exchanged walkie-talkies so we could share laughs from car to car. We also made a rule that at each stop, one person from each car had to rotate to the other car. This ended up being a great idea because it got us all acquainted with one another. I will say that it was very easy to feel comfortable with the extra members of our group.
2 lessons learned: It’s “What’s your 20?” not “What’s your 40?” And some people need to get to a missionary position before they can fully concentrate… or was it a stationary position?

Once in Pensacola we wasted no time getting checked in and immediately heading for the bar. We had a couple pre-game drinks and then got on the trolley to head over to the party for some networking, ice breaking and a scavenger hunt. It was a great first night in a place that was totally new to me.
Lesson learned: It can be both 11 p.m. and 10 p.m. in Florida at the same time.

Saturday was great! The festivities began with our morning speaker who covered mostly digital media and how it will be used in the foreseeable future. At the board meeting a lot of things were put up to discussion as well as up for voting. It was very interesting to see the inner workings of AAF and Ad 2. The lunch time speaker went over focusing on the good sides of life and business as opposed to the bad. I was able to relate to him immediately due to his motivation to excel in business with a lack of excelling in academics.
Lessons learned: For some reason, 8 a.m. comes very early in Pensacola, Nike’s original vision statement was “beat Adidas’, give four compliments to someone within the first few moments of meeting them – “You’re pretty” doesn’t count, and voting on issues is way cooler than represented.

Time for dinner, they had prepared an amazing spread along with a pianist to entertain us while we dined. Afterwards we all met downstairs for a drink in the bar area of the hotel while waiting for the trolley to pick us up and take us on the pub crawl.
Lesson learned: Some women have the god-given and very handy ability to fit 8 beers in a purse the size of my hand!

The pub crawl started at The Grand Marlin; it had an amazing view, live band, great drinks and an all-around great atmosphere. From there, we traveled to Sand Shakers then to Islanders; both fun and full of locals.
Lessons learned: It’s not PC to call it a “stripper pole”… it’s called a “dancing pole”, and Ad3 aint got nothin’ on us!

On Sunday, breakfast was followed by our last speaker who covered social media and how important it is to start utilizing it if you haven’t already. After our last board meeting, the final duty was to watch the video collaborated by Jim Clark, the 4th District Historian”. It was hilarious and a great way to finish off the conference.
Lessons learned: If you want interaction on your Facebook posts, ask an interesting, engaging question… and stop bitchin’ about everything, you damn whiner!

In a nutshell it was great experience filled with great people, great locations and great knowledge of Ad 2, AAF, and business in general.
Lesson learned: Tampa and Polk county people are great travel companions and Pensacola knows how to throw a party… and a conference. See you in Miami Ad 2 Orlando!
Cleeveley, out.