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!

You can subscribe to Miles Abound by email by signing up here. Keep up to date on ideas and experiences around miles and travel!

  • Thanks for the review of CLT DO! I can’t wait to read everyone’s thoughts on what I missed

    • MilesAbound

      You will have to make the next one!!

      • Definitely! It sounds like I missed out on a lot of fun and interacting with some great people

  • Maria Sangria

    +1! Act II in the Maldives?

    Looking forward to that trip report.

    • MilesAbound

      Actually this was our 4th trip and I am planning no 5 for next March 😉

  • Maria Sangria

    +1! Act II in the Maldives?

    Looking forward to that trip report.

  • Giddy for Points

    Ya staying up until 4am is not conducive to running :p Great meeting you!

    • MilesAbound

      Oh yes that did not help one bit! My head was not capable of dealing with bouncing around for three miles lol. Next time lesson learned – go running before the night out!!! Great meeting you too and hope you make the next one

  • travis

    wow, so much fun.

    will you organize another RTP meetup anytime soon?

    • MilesAbound

      Hey Travis I really should… I am going to look at the calendar. I met at least 4-5 people from RDU area at CLT so hopefully a few can come along 🙂

      • Travis

        Wonderful!

        I would definitely be coming.

  • Elaine

    It really was a terrfic DO. I have no comparison, having not gone before, but I think this one will be one we’ll talk about for a long time to come.

    At first, when I signed up, I thought “Great! I’ll get to meet my fav bloggers!” But as the DO got closer, I decided that the bloggers just might prefer to hang together and not constantly be talking to their fans and commenters. I warned myself that many of the bloggers are friends from way back, that they look forward to these events to connect with eachother, that they will have things to discuss out of earshot of us groupies, etc. I vowed to respect that; it was only fair. And I lowered my expectations a bit.

    So the first few times I entered a conversation or joined a table, I asked tentatively if this was a bloggers’ conversation. If it was, I could certainly find other places to sit. But it became clear very quickly that we’d be mixing and mingling just about all the time, regardless of whether one was young or old, male or female, participant or spouse, newbie or old hand, blogger or fan – everyone was so gracious, welcoming and helpful that even the highest expectations would have been dwarfed.

    So, thanks so very much to the organizers, the speakers, the #milemadness competitors, the attendees, and even the great staff of the Hyatt House. It was my best Mother’s Day weekend ever, and my kids are not kids anymore!

    • MilesAbound

      This is great to hear! Speaking personally I always hoped and envisioned this as being highly interactive. I look at these FTU/Chicago seminars and see row after row of unsocial lecture seating so right off the bat I was like we have to have round tables for people to sit at to encourage people actually talking to each other. And there was absolutely no way I was going to just interact with other “bloggers”. We are all enthusiasts and I relished the chance to talk with everyone. Anyway really happy to hear such wonderful feedback and I hope we can reach the same heights with the next one!

  • It was great meeting you — definitely appreciated your insight!

    As far as Marathon Man — The next “Rudy” Ruettiger perhaps?

    • MilesAbound

      Nice meeting you too Trevor! I think MM is just one of a kind 🙂

  • Wndrstr

    Hi,

    I heard about local deal that you shared at Charlotte DO event through PDFdigest review. Care to give some hints?

    Thanks in advance

    • MilesAbound

      very niche. unless your kid is a swimmer, or goes to one specific charter school downtown, it’s not much use to you