Katy and I got home late last night after a wonderful weekend with all of you in Chicago. We had a whirlwind time over 2 1/2 days of grass roots fun. No fancy hotels or tuxedos. No expensive and elaborate appetizer spreads, just chips and salsa, blue jeans and flip flops and all of us one on one, talking and doing what we like best, sharing the game of miles and points. The old Sly and the Family Stone song “We are Family” keeps popping into my head.
I can’t begin to tell you how many of you came up to me to congratulate me on the seminar’s success. I accept those kind words of thanks on behalf of each and everyone of us that helped put the event on. It’s not just me that puts on this event. It’s “you” as represented by those that man the registration desk, the member that brought apples from Michigan, or Linda picking up the logo boards from the printer. (I’m sorry I don’t remember all the names. There are just so many.) The behind-the-scenes gang makes the Chicago Seminars. There are two I need to point out in particular: “Howie, Howie, Howie” who has tirelessly helped me with my blog and the seminars since inception. And Cliff Stratton (Dlouise 37) who handles the AV for all of us.
Sharon (Skiadcock), what can we say? She tirelessly, year after year, handles our charity event without fanfare. Every minute she puts into this event are her flat-out giving back on behalf of all of us in the game. I’m proud to call her my friend.
And our speakers and panelists. Some may think they do it to promote their blogs. I know better. Many of them are not bloggers at all, and the bloggers love to do the event to just plain old meet the people in the game. I don’t see an ulterior motive from any of them.
Sponsors are the financial safety net of this event. It’s because of their support we can have a cocktail party, keep the registration price down and share with you some valuable information about our hobby.
The staff at the Holdiay Inn Elk Grove Village is amazing to me. We come back each year to the most welcoming group of hospitality providers I’ve seen, even in the best five star hotels. To Jim, Nina, Nabor and all the gang, I love coming home for a weekend knowing we will be well taken care of.
But as I’ve said before the event is a success because of you, those that come, sit in a “coach seat” for hours, and then stand up and share with your neighbor, a newbie or rookie a tip to make the game more fun and affordable. Our hats are off to you for what you do for the hobby, and any part we, as organizers, volunteers, and speakers get to have facilitating that exchange of information is an honor and privilege for us. Thanks for all the charity donations and sharing of vouchers. One member gave me a handful of Hyatt $100 off certs. (I got them all distributed to those that had a two night stay coming). PatMkie donated a fresh new bottle of Jameson that we planned on giving away at Family Feud. Howie, you had it last??
To all of you, we are so grateful. Thank you for coming and sharing.
In that positive light, we are 99% sure the event will be held again, the same weekend in October in 2013. The Holiday Inn is holding the weekend for us, subject to an attendee survey and a one in a million chance that a better deal and more welcoming place can be found in the next couple of weeks. I look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Our whirlwind weekend ended Monday where Brian, ThePointsGuy and I presented to the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business a few tips and tricks from our hobby. We were their representing you and all you have done for us. The camaraderie, knowledge, spirit and fun we all share.
On behalf of Professor Kelly and myself. Thanks for letting us be part of your lives.