I just got back today from the #MileMadness Do in Charlotte to celebrate the fun we had with the MileMadness competition and bring together a small but wonderful group of people to share thoughts and ideas on all things miles, point and manufactured spending. I am very proud to say that the event, at least from my perspective, was an absolutely rip-roaring success! I met a lot of awesome people, listened to some conversations and presentations that actually taught me new stuff and even changed some of my perspective on what we do in this hobby, and all round just had a great time with some great people in a great venue. I use the word “proud” specifically because I will say the idea of putting on a DO at the end of the tournament was mine. I always thought it would be a fun way to end the tournament and give a chance for the participants to share thoughts on how they really went about it and to interact with people who followed along. With that said while I did a lot of the initial research to get it off the ground, I have to ask for a huge round of applause for Matt at Saverocity for actually doing the real work of organizing the whole event and also FrequentMiler and TheMilesProfessor for their huge contributions in the planning as well.
Two things really stood out for me about the DO that made it a big success. First of all was the quality of the presenters. In particular MarathonMan Jeff F completely and utterly stole the show with a funny, engaging and genuinely thought-provoking presentation on how to be a “steward” of MS and share information responsibly in a way that benefits all of us in the community. I have been to many conferences in my work life with very highly paid professional public speakers showing up and I will say not one of them has compared to this guy. This guy is just a natural born speaker. Marathon Man for president? He’s got my vote LOL. While Jeff set the bar really high everyone else was awesome too and I did not find a single presentation where I did not feel I learned something. I will give one other shout out though for Tashir AKA The Bengali Miles Guru who looks about 12 years old but carries himself like a highly accomplished, experienced individual again with a great natural talent for public speaking. And someone who clearly “gets” this game and how to absolutely maximize it.
The other hugely positive element was the chance to talk to so many people meaningfully. I really wish I had a chance to talk to everyone but I certainly managed to get at least a few words with many people and with a few of you I think there were some pretty deep conversations after sufficient wine had been consumed LOL. Definitely no egotistical-think-they-are-celebs bloggers here with no time for the unwashed masses! Anyway I wanted to say it was great talking with you all and I wanted to say hi again… so in no particular order here is a shout out to Jeff, Greg, Ken, Charles, Nancy, Jay, Michele, Rachel, Geoff (guys another bottle of wine at 3am is never a good idea!!), Inna, Svetlana, Matt, Sam, Gideon, Tashir, Amol, Pat, Mike, Kendra, Dave, Jason, whatever your real name is Mr First Class Queen, Gene, Elena,Kathy (ladies next time let’s plan the run before the “night before” right!?), Karyn, Elaine, Trevor, George, Brett, Nick, Ivan… and I know there are many more faces in my head that I simply cannot recall the name… to all of you I apologize but say it was genuinely nice talking with you! If you haven’t already please connect with me here on Facebook and keep in touch – and that is my personal account not the blog and I do that deliberately as this was genuinely a more personal experience.
So what next? Well let me take a bet there is going to be a sequel. Possibly West Coast this time but let’s see how the cards land. And frankly round here I am feeling a little more inspired to start blogging again. Appreciate it’s been a while, been dealing with all kinds of personal crap. But anyway I can tell you my trip report of our Spring Break trip to Conrad Maldives has graduated from my head to my drafts and should appear shortly, along with a comparison of the Conrad and the Park Hyatt, the two big point options in this beautiful though now frankly over-blogged country. But for now, thanks to everyone who came and here’s to keeping touch and enjoying the next opportunity!
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