Monday, September 22, 2014

Nerdy fun day!

Today was the day of the welcome party and badge pick up for the conference. After breakfast this morning, we walked over to the convention center so Nick could get his badge and my guest pass (which turned out to be an orange rubber bracelet) before Nick had to be at a dry run of a panel he is sitting on tomorrow. So I went for a walk downtown while he did that, and then I met up with Katie and Rich for lunch. (Rich was born in Brooklyn and lives in Long Island. I LOVE the way he talks.) We ate at a local place called Crave, and it was fancy and foodie and yummy. Nick eventually joined us so he could eat too. We parted ways after that, and Nick and I grabbed the car so we could go to the airport to pick up Joe.

I've spoken to Joe on the phone many times. He's from Michigan and has a great accent as well. His flight came in at 2:30, and we got to the airport a little early, which was good considering that my GPS decided to take us into the back service entrance to the airport and we had to drive back around to the front. Then I kept missing the pull off for parking so we circled the airport 3 times before I got us into the parking lot. On the way to the airport, Nick registered me as a Spiceworks user so he could register me for the free sponsor showcase so I could go with him to get some free swag and talk to vendors. (I just wanted the free stuff.)

We came back to the conference center again after Joe checked in to the hotel so we could get his badge and my badge. The nice lady also gave me a Spiceworld laptop bag full of swag like regular attendees received (I don't think she was supposed to) and I became a little more official.

We entered the sponsor showcase and the mingling and chit chat began. Nick mostly asked questions and genuinely wanted to learn about the products. I just smiled and acted cute and asked for free ink pens and stuff. I scored some t-shirts and other fun stuff. We hit up a couple of vendor photo booths and managed to speak to 22 vendors during the 2 hour window.
Then it was time to run our swag back to the hotel room so we could walk down to Banger Sausage House & Beer Garden for the welcome party. We had free food, which was not good. Well, the fried pickles were amazing, but I'm not really a fan of the bratwurst. I couldn't eat it, so I just stood around and talked to people as Nick introduced me. It was loud and over stimulating, but I enjoyed people watching and making a few acquaintances. I talked to Joe a lot too, which is fun to finally hang out with and meet someone in person that you've spoken to a lot over the phone.

Since we are old and boring, we skipped the after party mess that was heading to the bars and opted for the quiet retreat to our hotel instead. I managed over 14,000 steps today...I'm tired!

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