I have to say, the EVO Conference was just amazing! Talk about a class act. I don't think there was a hitch throughout the whole weekend (other than the ones I managed to create myself!). Everything ran just like clockwork, the speakers were amazing, the entertainment was fun and fabulous, the sponsors were generous, the food was awesome, and the networking was out of this world! The Canyons Resort could not have been better hosts - everything was spotless and gorgeous and the staff was just terrific.
My favorite part about the conference was that it gave you ample and I do mean ample time to just hang with your favorite peeps (or Tweeps as the case may be). Every couple of hours there was a meal break, a snack break, or a party where you could hang out and get to know your fellow conference goers. And to me, that is just the perfect arrangement. I love the speakers and all the other great stuff, but my main focus is people, people, people!
I did mention that I had a few hitches along the way, but they were kind of silly things and I think they were good life lessons. Coming up on the very first day for registration, I decided to save a few bucks on parking down the hill a ways. I saw someone taking a little shortcut and I thought I could take the "easy" way up - in 3" stacked heels. Yeah, not so much. Turns out there was a huge mud puddle in the middle of the trail. Yep, you guessed it. Fortunately, I didn't fall into the mud, but I did end up with one shoe completely stuck in three inches of solid mud. So, there I am balancing on one heel with one rather muddy sock trying to pull my poor shoe (my favorite pair!) out of the mud.
Now I know a lot of people would have been freaked out at that point knowing they were going to meet a whole room full of new people (mostly women!), and I have to admit, I was a little bummed out, but I thought what the heck, I'm not going to let this ruin my day. I'm came here to have a good time and I'm going to have a good time, mud or not. So I went into the bathroom and used a boatload of paper towels to clean up the worst of it, and then I went on my merry way!
Lesson one - be a good sport! PS: My only regret is that I didn't think to take a pic of the damned muddy shoe!
My next issue concerned a tough decision. My niece had originally schedule a family party for the previous weekend. But when our poor cousin, SuperClark passed away the previous week, she had to reschedule it due to his funeral - that put it smack in the middle of the Saturday workshops. So, even though I had paid a bunch of money for the conference and I desperately wanted to hang with all my great blog friends, I knew this was one of the few times this year that I would get to see my family, so I made the decision to take a break from the conference and drive nearly 60 miles to spend the time with my family. I had a great time, though I missed some workshops I really wanted to experience.
Lesson two - family comes first, even when that's hard to do.
My third issue I had was when I lost my bag. When I was headed out to the family party, I was in a hurry and I think I left my bag in the ladies room. Not a huge problem as I mostly had a bunch of sponsor freebies like OPI nail polish and Pepperidge Farm snacks in it, but then I realized that the tickets for the closing party were in it, for my whole family of four! Yikes! They had specially warned us not to lose them as they likely couldn't be replaced. So I got on Twitter and on the phone and trying like crazy to locate the bag. No luck. But I'm a positive thinker, so we got everyone all dressed up and headed back up to The Canyons for the closing party. Sure enough, our lovely ladies managed to make it work for us and we had a wonderful time at the party and on the rides.
Lesson three - Have faith in people and give them a chance to amaze and delight you.
My next problem was just my own vanity. When they said the closing party was a western party by Bush's Beans, I decided to go all out and wear my best western duds, even though they were totally uncomfortable and impractical. I had boots with 3 inch heels (and cute silver toe tabs), and a flippy, flimsy western skirt with a lovely Southwestern jacket. Problem was, I couldn't dance in the boots - I could hardly walk in them, I couldn't be outside in the skirt because the wind was blowing and it kept flipping up on me, and I couldn't possibly go any rides in it and stay even reasonably decent! Plus I was roasting to death in the jacket.
But get this, I had brought a pair of jeans and shoes to change into in case the outfit got too uncomfortable! But I was too concerned with looking "cute" so I didn't want to change into them, so instead I missed out on all the fun everyone else was having on the ziplines, and the alpine slide, and the zip coaster and instead spent most of my time sitting like a bump on a log waiting for my family to have their fun without me.
Lesson four - pride is a bad thing. You'll have more fun if you just let your hair down and let the flab fly and jump in there for the fun!
My last problem wasn't really my problem, it was someone else's problem. Bobbi from KidtoGrownUp sent out a tweet that her flight to Dallas had been canceled. Well, I was checking tweets from work (a big no-no, but I was having EVO withdrawals), and my office is about 5 minutes from the airport. So, even though I hadn't even met her, I offered her a ride somewhere if she needed one. She confessed that she didn't have anywhere to stay until her early morning flight and couldn't afford a hotel, so without even thinking about it, I invited her home with me. Yeah, it's kind of an odd thing to do, but it's exactly what my mother would have done - she was known for that sort of thing, and actually, we had a great time with her. I made some spaghetti while she visited with my kids and my kitties, and we watched a chick flick together, and then my husband dropped her off at the airport on his way to work. Hey, what's the good of having a six bedroom house if you don't have an occasional houseguest?
Final lesson - do a good turn daily. Why the heck not?