DUNMORE — Bloggers and social media junkies alike gathered Saturday morning to hear speakers and support a summer tech camp.
The fifth annual NEPA BlogCon — billed as “NEPA’s only blogging and social media conference,” by the convention’s website — was held at the Penn State Worthington campus and housed participants of all ages.
Participants were able to network and hear approximately a dozen presenters talk about marketing, social media strategies and branding.
Event organizer Mandy Boyle, of Scranton, said she credits the diversity in attendance largely to the role of technology in people’s everyday lives.
“It changed how we consume media,” Boyle said.
BlogCon, which launched in 2012, is organized by Boyle, Karla Porter and Michelle Davies. The convention has been held at universities across Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Luzerne County Community College and East Stroudsburg University. The proceeds from the event have gone to different charities in the past. Since 2014, however, proceeds have gone to hold a annual code camp for girls in grades four through six.
The NEPA BlogCon Squirrel Girls Tech Camp is a summer technology and coding camp which takes place at the Think Center in Wilkes-Barre.
“It’s designed to be a fun and safe environment,” Boyle said.
In the camp, girls learn about technology concepts, self-esteem, problem solving and creativity. Of course, Boyle said, they also have a lot of fun.
“There’s a hunger out there for activities like this,” Karla Porter, of Wilkes-Barre, said.
In order to pull off an event like BlogCon, Boyle and Porter said they plan year-round.
“We’re already thinking about next year,” Boyle said.
Boyle said they had about a dozen volunteers this years helping “from all different sides,” including marketing, set-up of the space and reaching out in the community.
First-time attendees shared positive thoughts on the day and all the speakers.
“The topics were really informative and the speakers were so motivating,” Paul Capoccia, 22, of Dunmore, said. “They bring such passion to what they do and know, and they were great passing it on.”
McKensie Curnow, 22, of Jermyn, said she thought it was “incredible” to connect with so many people through the event.
“There was so much to learn from each speaker’s personal stories, experiences and tips for being successful,” Curnow said.
Porter said the warm weather this weekend helped contribute to the overall turnout Saturday and that organizers consider BlogCon 2016 to be another success. Watching the event grow over the past five years is something both Boyle and Porter say they take pride in.
“It’s amazing,” Porter said. “We couldn’t be happier.”
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