By Mitra Sorrells Posted May 24, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT
Mashable staff invited some of the attendees, but most applied through the company’s Web site starting in February. Those chosen came from a variety of industries, such as technology, media, government, nonprofit, and entertainment. Each paid $2,500 for the conference, which included three nights of lodging, meals, and Disney park passes.
The program included a keynote address on the opening night from Mashable C.E.O. Pete Cashmore, followed by a day and a half of presentations from more than 20 speakers, including executives from Tumblr, Gowalla, Thrillist, Yahoo, and HBO. All of the sessions took place in the Contemporary Resort's large ballrooms, but the format varied: Some were done as straight presentations by a single speaker, while others were set up as a conversation between a Mashable reporter and the presenter.
The conference ended with a social event at Magic Kingdom—the Mashable Connect Race. Teams of attendees were challenged to check in on Gowalla at 17 different locations around the park, and to snap photos at each check-in and share it on their social networks with the hashtag #MashCon. Participants earned special Gowalla pins and stamps specifically for Mashable Connect.
Organizers lined up seven sponsors for the conference, including .idea, Tagged, iContact, Nokia, and American Airlines.