As the 2017 Annual National Sweepstakes Convention was on a cruise, many found either: the dates didn’t work for their schedule or the cost was prohibitive. Cortney Sneller and I decided to team up to host SweepsCon 2017 as an alternative option for those that couldn’t attend the cruise. We made a good team as she was the ‘boots n the ground’ in Orange County CA and I did the digital work.

SweepsCon was originally slated to be hosted in the Hilton DoubleTree in Orange, but as we had a smaller number of attendees than initially anticipated, we moved it to The Rib Trader. Which turned out to be a better venue as more food was included and it was far superior to most hotel food.


Our haul of big prizes from Best Buy!

Tuesday, July 25th


This was my travel day to California. I wanted to arrive with enough time to help Cortney with the final prep for the convention.

Wednesday, July 26th

This was my favorite prep day as we went shopping for all the big prizes. We also finalized all the details with the owners of the Rib Trader.


The Rib TraderThursday, July 27th

Cortney had been collecting prizes for over 6 months and people had been donating prizes for almost as long. We spent the day sorting and organizing the prizes. Yes, we had that many! We also finished prepping all the registration kits, games, and speaker gifts.

DAY 1 – Friday, July 28th

Cortney and I arrived early to set up. A few attendees arrived at the same time and helped us.

SweepsCon 2017

Morning Session

Kathy Partak was our first speaker. I had known Kathy for over 10 years as she is the owner of Intentional Winning, a blog about using intention to not only win sweepstakes but in life. She regaled us with tales of how to win radio contests. She even ‘won’ her husband Dave!

Next up was her 13-year-old son, Mason Park. As a Chopped Junior champion chef, he discussed the ins and out of winning cooking competitions. I fully expect mason to have his own cooking show on the Food Network when he grows up.

Watch Mason in action on the Hallmark Channel!

As we had moved from the hotel to a restaurant, a buffet lunch was included. Lunch on the first day was Tex-Mex. Everyone raved about the food.

Afternoon Session

First up was Valerie Mitchell from Sweeps4Bloggers. I was really excited as I had also known Valerie for over 10 years, but this was the first time we met. I loved hearing h

er stories about her hobby, how she got started, and tips on winning blog contests.

Unfortunately, we had two speakers cancel at the last minute. I stepped in and taught them How To Win on Social Media.

As we had to be out by a set time, I would continue the next morning.

Carolyn & Kathy

Friday Evening

As we had a free evening, Cortney and I met Kathy and Mason for dinner. The chef selected a ramen restaurant. Perfect as I was beginning to feel under the weather and the hot broth hit the spot.

Go to my Facebook page to see the full SweepsCon 2017 photo album. If you have any pictures you would like to contribute, please email them to me.

If you would like to attend a convention, you can find a full list on my website.

Read about Day 2’s adventures!