Now that it appears that everybody has finished their posts about the "Blogger Blowout", I thought I would end with a few random thoughts. (We had a final breakfast on Sunday morning....all you can eat. People seemed happy, content and genuinely sad to be going. That about sums it up.)
There are so many people in the blogosphere that I admire, respect and truly find funny that I thought, "Wouldn't it be great to meet these people face-to-face?" People like Billie, Juan, John and Brenda, to name just a few. There are other people too, spread around the globe and the Caribbean Coast, to numerous to mention. Just look at my blogroll! At that time, I was emailing multiple times a day and developing a deep friendship with Andee of Chacala, who has since passed away. I broached the subject of having some kind of get together and she said, "Go for it!" So, why not?
I thought about it a lot and approached CancunCanuck with the idea and she graciously agreed to fill in and help out wherever needed. As it turned out, I didn't need her physical help as much as I needed her spiritual support and shoulder to cry on once in awhile. We decided on a date well into the future and sent out the announcement. Not knowing if I would get 1 reply or 101. Risky business! We ended up with 18 attendees and I'm glad it was not more!
Make no mistake about it. It is a lot of work trying to organize something like this. Especially not knowing until the last minute what the exact head count is going to be. The logistics were horrendous. For those attending, it may not have seemed like it, but it was no easy task getting those venues lined up. I had to choose several different ones, from a smaller, more intimate group to a large crowd because I was not sure how many people would be attending. As the numbers became more solidified, I had to cancell some venues and renew requests at others. And negotiate for better deals, special treatment, blah, blah, blah.
The hardest was the hotel. Mostly because they were in the process of installing air conditioning in all rooms and they kept constantly changing the prices on me! At one point, I had been quoted 4 different prices! No way was I going to keep telling people their reservation price would be increasing over and over. I finally threatened to use a different hotel and we found ourselves back at the original prices. So I guess we got a deal after all.
Making sure everybody knew where they were supposed to be and at what time was not as hard as I imagined it would be. Everybody showed up on time and made an attempt to find out where things were before they had to be there. Except for the golf carts. That was like a Keystone Cop comedy! People would arrive and leave to get a coffee or something, until I was not sure who was supposed to be there and who wasn't! I consulted my list about a gazillion times! The only glitch as far as I am concerned, was paying the bill at Brisas. Where they mixed up all the bills and Heather had to straighten out. I owe her big time for that one!
I spent hours getting this all organized and shit. (I think Heather has coined a new catch phrase...just add "and shit" too everything!) Probably way more than I had too, but I wanted this to be a HUGE success so that it would happen again. And I think it was. I think everybody had a nice time, with a few exceptions around the edges that I wish I had known about at the time because I could have easily fixed the problem.
In the end, I feel that I accomplished my goal. I got bloggers together who wanted to be together or could be together and I got to meet some of my favorite blogosphere people in my neck of the woods. And from Belize too! I am sooooo going to San Pedro! I think the friendships I made in person last weekend are going to last for a long time.
So, would I organize another one? Hell, no! But if somebody else picks up the ball and runs with the Second Annual Blogger Blowout, will I be there? Hell, YES!